Queen’s nephew and an anti-skunk activist seek election to Lords

Pair are among 19 hereditary peers seeking to fill seat of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

The Queen’s nephew, an anti-skunk campaigner and a 24-year-old graduate are among those seeking election to the Lords as hereditary peers, according to the latest ballot in the house.

Nineteen applicants are seeking to fill a slot in the House of Lords after the retirement of the crossbench peer Earl Baldwin of Bewdley. Only other hereditary crossbench peers can vote in the byelection, a system that the Electoral Reform Society has previously called “ludicrous”.

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Northern trains operator asked for timetable changes to be delayed

Request was refused by Network Rail and other operators and changes led to chaos for rail users

The operator of Northern trains requested in January to defer the introduction of the rail timetable that has caused chaos across its network, but was refused by Network Rail and other train operators, it has emerged.

However, executives from Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) told MPs that the scale of problems only became clear in the final three days before the timetable change, when drivers’ rosters were drawn up.

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Evangelical Christians step up abortion clinic protests in Queensland

Pro-choice groups send volunteers to escort women as state prepares to decriminalise

An evangelical group has ramped up demonstrations outside several Brisbane abortion clinics as Queensland prepares to reform its 1899 laws that make abortion a criminal offence.

Guardian Australia is aware of several recent verbal clashes between members of the anti-abortion group “Project 139” and clinic patients. The group has sought and received permits to conduct protests at four Brisbane clinics until at least August.

Related: Argentina congress takes historic step towards legalising abortion

Related: Who says no to safety? Only those who want a bully pulpit on our footpaths | Van Badham

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Evangelical Christians step up abortion clinic protests in Queensland

Pro-choice groups send volunteers to escort women as state prepares to decriminalise

An evangelical group has ramped up demonstrations outside several Brisbane abortion clinics as Queensland prepares to reform its 1899 laws that make abortion a criminal offence.

Guardian Australia is aware of several recent verbal clashes between members of the anti-abortion group “Project 139” and clinic patients. The group has sought and received permits to conduct protests at four Brisbane clinics until at least August.

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Voters prefer Shorten’s tax plan to Turnbull’s – Guardian Essential poll

Poll finds strong support for first part of Coalition plan only, which offers cuts to low-income earners

Voters are strongly in favour of the Turnbull government’s tax cut for low and middle income earners, but are considerably more cool on tax relief for high flyers, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.

With the Senate set to resolve the fate of the package in the final two sitting weeks before the winter break, the fortnightly survey finds 79% of a sample of 1,027 voters support stage one of the income tax cuts, while only 37% support stage three, which involves flattening the tax scales so workers earning between $40,000 and $200,000 pay the same rate.

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The NHS crisis will go on: this is a plan that no one believes in | Polly Toynbee

The £20bn Theresa May pledged will vanish before our eyes. It’s a standstill budget from a paralysed government

It’s quite an achievement to spend £20bn and leave nobody satisfied. The NHS in England is not celebrating: this is not feast after famine. The Tory right is indignant about unspecified tax rises to pay for it, or – total anathema – spendthrift borrowing for current spending. Austerity is not over, Theresa May says firmly, so all the other starved departments will see no easing of the eight-year tourniquet that is cutting off the lifeblood of public services: schools, further education, police, prisons, transport and councils. Only Boris Johnson says: “Fantastic news for NHS funding!” But the illusion of his bogus Brexit bus money is over.

Related: The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

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The NHS crisis will go on: this is a plan that no one believes in | Polly Toynbee

The £20bn Theresa May pledged will vanish before our eyes. It’s a standstill budget from a paralysed government

It’s quite an achievement to spend £20bn and leave nobody satisfied. The NHS in England is not celebrating: this is not feast after famine. The Tory right is indignant about unspecified tax rises to pay for it, or – total anathema – spendthrift borrowing for current spending. Austerity is not over, Theresa May says firmly, so all the other starved departments will see no easing of the eight-year tourniquet that is cutting off the lifeblood of public services: schools, further education, police, prisons, transport and councils. Only Boris Johnson says: “Fantastic news for NHS funding!” But the illusion of his bogus Brexit bus money is over.

Related: The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

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The NHS crisis will go on: this is a plan that no one believes in | Polly Toynbee

The £20bn Theresa May pledged will vanish before our eyes. It’s a standstill budget from a paralysed government

It’s quite an achievement to spend £20bn and leave nobody satisfied. The NHS in England is not celebrating: this is not feast after famine. The Tory right is indignant about unspecified tax rises to pay for it, or – total anathema – spendthrift borrowing for current spending. Austerity is not over, Theresa May says firmly, so all the other starved departments will see no easing of the eight-year tourniquet that is cutting off the lifeblood of public services: schools, further education, police, prisons, transport and councils. Only Boris Johnson says: “Fantastic news for NHS funding!” But the illusion of his bogus Brexit bus money is over.

Related: The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

Related: NHS Brexit dividend: questions posed by Theresa May's pledge

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New Lords defeat for government on Brexit ‘meaningful vote’ amendment

Landslide vote by peers, including 22 Tory rebels, sets up another Commons showdown

The government has been defeated in a landslide Lords vote which will set up another Commons showdown over an amendment to give MPs a “meaningful vote” even if the government fails to reach a Brexit deal.

The House of Lords voted in favour of a new amendment, devised by Tory MP and pro-EU rebel Dominic Grieve and tabled by Viscount Hailsham, by a significantly bigger margin than the last time the issue was debated. The amendment was passed by 354 votes to 235 – a majority of 119.

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The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

Theresa May is pandering to her pro-Brexit supporters. The important public finance issue, which is unresolved, is whether to raise taxes or abandon austerity – or both

When she was interviewed on Sunday’s BBC One Andrew Marr programme, Theresa May knowingly and dishonestly suggested that leaving the European Union was the central dynamic behind her new NHS spending pledges. Having started by saying she was determined to secure the NHS’s future, she immediately invoked the shoddy Brexit campaign bus slogan of 2016 with implied approval. Then she talked about the money Britain would save by leaving the EU; finally she deliberately spoke in ways that would lead any unwary listener to assume that a so-called “Brexit dividend” was the windfall that enabled her to make the new spending pledge. Characteristically, Boris Johnson was even more mendacious, calling the pledge “a down payment on the cash we will soon get back from our EU payments”.

All of this was a lie. It disgraces Mrs May to tell such a whopper. True, by the time that she gave her speech on NHS spending on Monday, her words were rather more circumspect; the essential deception nevertheless endured. “Some of the extra funding” will come from money that now goes to the EU, she said at London’s Royal Free Hospital, “but the commitment I am making goes beyond that Brexit dividend.” That is true with bells on, since the NHS pledge dwarves any future savings on the UK’s Brexit payments.

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The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

Theresa May is pandering to her pro-Brexit supporters. The important public finance issue, which is unresolved, is whether to raise taxes or abandon austerity – or both

When she was interviewed on Sunday’s BBC One Andrew Marr programme, Theresa May knowingly and dishonestly suggested that leaving the European Union was the central dynamic behind her new NHS spending pledges. Having started by saying she was determined to secure the NHS’s future, she immediately invoked the shoddy Brexit campaign bus slogan of 2016 with implied approval. Then she talked about the money Britain would save by leaving the EU; finally she deliberately spoke in ways that would lead any unwary listener to assume that a so-called “Brexit dividend” was the windfall that enabled her to make the new spending pledge. Characteristically, Boris Johnson was even more mendacious, calling the pledge “a down payment on the cash we will soon get back from our EU payments”.

All of this was a lie. It disgraces Mrs May to tell such a whopper. True, by the time that she gave her speech on NHS spending on Monday, her words were rather more circumspect; the essential deception nevertheless endured. “Some of the extra funding” will come from money that now goes to the EU, she said at London’s Royal Free Hospital, “but the commitment I am making goes beyond that Brexit dividend.” That is true with bells on, since the NHS pledge dwarves any future savings on the UK’s Brexit payments.

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Civilians own 85% of world’s 1bn firearms, survey reveals

Nearly 40% of all guns are in hands of US citizens, according to report that says rich countries hold more weapons than poorer nations

Latest statistics show the proliferation of privately owned guns is on the rise, with wealthy countries outstripping developing and war-torn countries.

In a detailed report, weapons watchdog the Small Arms Survey has researched the numbers of guns across 230 countries.

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The Guardian view on refugees: who is our neighbour? | Editorial

The migration crisis in Europe is increasingly being understood in religious terms. This can make the incomers seem impossibly alien and makes it harder to understand, and deal with, their problems

The crisis in German politics has been postponed for at least a fortnight. Angela Merkel has rescued her coalition by promising to negotiate a deal within the wider EU about the settlement of refugees. The CSU, the Bavarian party in her conservative parliamentary grouping, had threatened to close the border to refugees trying to re-enter the country after being denied asylum once; this will not now happen until a more general deal has been reached. The crisis goes to the heart of the question – both moral and political – of what are the obligations that the settled world owes to the migrants who come to our frontiers.

The question is increasingly being posed in religious terms. The Bavarian state government, which has been in the hands of the CSU since 1966, started to display crosses on the front of all public buildings – a move opposed by the Catholic Church in Germany, even though the CSU identifies as strongly Catholic. The CSU claimed that the cross was not in this context a theological symbol, but a marker of culture. This is not entirely disingenuous. Religion and culture cannot be completely disentangled from each other: a religion that is not nourished by cultural practice will die in a generation.

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Vintage train company steps in to reopen Lake District line

West Coast Railways to run services on Oxenholme to Windermere route hit by Northern timetable fiasco

A vintage train operator that normally runs journeys for enthusiasts has stepped in to provide rail services to the Lake District after the operator Northern cancelled all of its trains following a timetabling fiasco.

West Coast Railways, which runs charter trains along some of the UK’s most scenic routes, launched its first service on the Lakes line on Monday, two weeks after Northern suspended all journeys and introduced a replacement bus service.

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Poor countries subsidise the NHS by training doctors – compensate them | Letters

The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from the African country to the UK, says this multi-signatory letter from experts, and Parry Mitchell suggests ways to tempt back medics who have moved abroad

The scrapping of the immigration cap is a rare victory for freedom of movement (Immigration cap on doctors to be lifted, 15 June), but the global health inequalities underlying the issue need to be part of the debate. The shortage of health workers is a global problem, particularly acute in parts of Africa and Asia, fuelled by global health inequalities. Nigeria has one doctor for every 2,660 people, compared to one doctor for every 354 in the UK. The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from Nigeria to the UK.

In order to meet its commitment to increase NHS England funding by £8bn, the government cut “non-NHS England” funding (which includes funding for training health workers) by £4bn – a cut of 24% in real terms. If it intends to rely on some of the world’s poorest countries to fill the gap, it must put in place a mechanism to adequately compensate them.
Martin Drewry Director, Health Poverty Action
Prof David Sanders Global Co-chair, People’s Health Movement
Dr Titilola Banjoko Co-chair, Better Health for Africa
Thomas Schwarz Executive secretary, Medicus Mundi International Network
Marielle Bemelmans Director, Wemos
David McCoy Professor of Global Public Health, Queen Mary University of London
Remco van de Pas Academic coordinator, Maastricht Centre for Global Health
Dr Fran Baum Director, Southgate Institute for Health, Flinders University
Professor Ronald Labonté School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

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Poor countries subsidise the NHS by training doctors – compensate them | Letters

The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from the African country to the UK, says this multi-signatory letter from experts, and Parry Mitchell suggests ways to tempt back medics who have moved abroad

The scrapping of the immigration cap is a rare victory for freedom of movement (Immigration cap on doctors to be lifted, 15 June), but the global health inequalities underlying the issue need to be part of the debate. The shortage of health workers is a global problem, particularly acute in parts of Africa and Asia, fuelled by global health inequalities. Nigeria has one doctor for every 2,660 people, compared to one doctor for every 354 in the UK. The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from Nigeria to the UK.

In order to meet its commitment to increase NHS England funding by £8bn, the government cut “non-NHS England” funding (which includes funding for training health workers) by £4bn – a cut of 24% in real terms. If it intends to rely on some of the world’s poorest countries to fill the gap, it must put in place a mechanism to adequately compensate them.
Martin Drewry Director, Health Poverty Action
Prof David Sanders Global Co-chair, People’s Health Movement
Dr Titilola Banjoko Co-chair, Better Health for Africa
Thomas Schwarz Executive secretary, Medicus Mundi International Network
Marielle Bemelmans Director, Wemos
David McCoy Professor of Global Public Health, Queen Mary University of London
Remco van de Pas Academic coordinator, Maastricht Centre for Global Health
Dr Fran Baum Director, Southgate Institute for Health, Flinders University
Professor Ronald Labonté School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

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Antisemitism is well-defined already | Letters

The IHRA definition has government backing and is fast becoming the standard non-legal guide as to what constitutes antisemitism, writes Dave Rich

The academics and others who suggest a new definition of antisemitism (Letters, 16 June) ignore the existence of a perfectly good definition of antisemitism, adopted by the 31-member-state International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in May 2016. This definition has since been adopted or endorsed by the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, over 120 local authorities, several governments overseas and by the European parliament. It is backed by all Britain’s mainstream Jewish community bodies and is fast becoming the standard non-legal guide as to what constitutes antisemitism.

The IHRA definition of antisemitism allows everything that your correspondents want to say in relation to Israel. It states unambiguously that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”. It allows for specific Israeli policies and practices to be described as racist and makes no mention of boycotts. It insists that all cases of alleged antisemitism must be judged in context. But it also reflects the fact – missed by your correspondents – that much contemporary antisemitism occurs in anti-Israel spaces, where old antisemitic myths and tropes are recycled and updated to ascribe the same conspiratorial power and malevolent intent to “Zionists” that antisemites have long ascribed to Jews. It acknowledges that the vile comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany is a modern antisemitic slur. Any definition of antisemitism that does not capture this evolving language is not fit for purpose.

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Donald Trump says US will not be a ‘migrant camp’

The president defends controversial practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border

Donald Trump said the US will not be a “migrant camp” as his administration defended its controversial practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

“The US will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refuge holding facility,” Trump said during remarks at the White House on Monday.

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