The world is in crisis – yet Trump plans to put millions more at risk with UN cuts | Mark Seddon

Unilateral action in Syria has seized the headlines, but the impending federal budget threatens a crippling blow to humanitarian aid

The story so far has a familiar ring: deadlock and paralysis at the UN security council in the face of an appalling crime against humanity, leading to unilateral military action by one permanent member and an accusation from another that the action is in clear breach of international law.

Ditto the predictable media response, with the UN accused of being weak, indecisive and incapable of showing the leadership required, as horrifying pictures of dying and dead children flood social media.

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Trump’s rigorous asylum proposals endanger domestic abuse survivors

Administration’s anti-immigration stance could undo 2014 ruling granting a sliver of hope to women fleeing from harrowing violence to seek refuge in the US

When Elbia fled her tiny hamlet in Guatemala, she left behind years of abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. The breaking point came after he beat her so badly that she became wedged between the slats of their bed. Some time later, she and her four-year-old son walked into the mountains that loomed above the family’s house – the first step on her months-long path to the United States.

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Students pay high fees and deserve value for money. This bill won’t help | Jim Dickinson

Student approval ratings are abysmal, but the higher education bill offers no hope that universities’ performances will be properly regulated

Imagine if a major car manufacturer released a new model that 25% of drivers couldn’t agree was “running smoothly” after three years of ownership. Or a major driving school where one in four customers said they had not received “sufficient advice and support” before their test – or where almost as many couldn’t bring themselves to agree that feedback on their driving “had helped them clarify things they didn’t understand”.

For any service sector with humility, these statistics would be a source of shame, and reason for regulators to intervene. But in higher education, our funding council took the most recent National (final year) Student Survey and wrote that “this year’s survey remains very positive, demonstrating the commitment of all higher education providers to deliver high quality teaching and learning for their students”.

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Barclays boss investigated over attempts to unmask whistleblower

Regulators probe bank as board plans ‘significant cut’ to Jes Staley’s bonus and censure him for trying to unmask employee who questioned new exec’s suitability

Barclays and its chief executive Jes Staley are being investigated by regulators over his attempts last year to unmask a whistleblower who had raised questions about a recently recruited senior executive.

The bank said it would formally reprimand Staley and cut his bonus by a “very significant” amount, but is supporting him unanimously.

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I’ve had to remove all of a toddler’s teeth. It’s time for a war on sugar

Parents are also to blame as well as a lack of education, and investment in oral health prevention in England

It is the end of an afternoon in theatre and I have extracted more than 100 teeth from my operating list of eight patients, the youngest a two-year-old who needed all 20 baby teeth removing because they were so decayed. I watch in silence as a child younger than my own is transferred from the operating table and I wonder how we reached this point as a society where I don’t believe we truly value oral health, nor realise the implications of failing to do so.

Nearly 20 years after observing my first general anaesthetic as a student it doesn’t get any easier. I regularly see parents overcome by guilt and emotion as they watch their child being put to sleep, or recovering dazed and confused in the recovery suite. Sometimes after a busy afternoon I sit in the theatre and wonder if there is more I can do, sometimes I have nothing left to give.

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I’ve had to remove all of a toddler’s teeth. It’s time for a war on sugar

Parents are also to blame as well as a lack of education, and investment in oral health prevention in England

It is the end of an afternoon in theatre and I have extracted more than 100 teeth from my operating list of eight patients, the youngest a two-year-old who needed all 20 baby teeth removing because they were so decayed. I watch in silence as a child younger than my own is transferred from the operating table and I wonder how we reached this point as a society where I don’t believe we truly value oral health, nor realise the implications of failing to do so.

Nearly 20 years after observing my first general anaesthetic as a student it doesn’t get any easier. I regularly see parents overcome by guilt and emotion as they watch their child being put to sleep, or recovering dazed and confused in the recovery suite. Sometimes after a busy afternoon I sit in the theatre and wonder if there is more I can do, sometimes I have nothing left to give.

Responsibility for oral health promotion has been devolved to cash-strapped local authorities

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‘Don’t worry, I won’t kill you’: the strange boom in homeless tourism

From Prague to Los Angeles, tours led by homeless guides are showing visitors the dark heart of familiar cities – but does it help, or is it just poverty porn?

It is a Friday afternoon in late winter and I am standing outside Prague’s central train station, near a bronze statue of Woodrow Wilson, stripping to my long underwear. A few minutes earlier I’d met Klára, from the tourism group Pragulic, who hauled carrier bags filled with the clothes I would wear over the next 24 hours as a homeless person.

Along with my new outfit, she gave me two things: a late-model Nokia programmed with contacts for the police, fire department, Pragulic’s staff and my guide, Robert, and an envelope containing my budget – 20 koruna (60p). “You can use it to change in the bathrooms in the station,” she says, “or you can save it and change out here.”

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Canadian province gambles future on marijuana’s ‘extreme growth potential’

New Brunswick invests in cannabis industry, which could be worth billions once legalised, with hopes to revive its declining economy and aging population

The thick scent of marijuana hangs heavy in the small room where rows of green plants are neatly arranged on shelves.

For the medical marijuana company OrganiGram, this is simply the latest round of production. But for New Brunswick, the small east coast Canadian province where this facility is based, the plants are part of a bigger gamble – one that aims to transform Canada’s looming plans to fully legalise marijuana by July 2018 into an economic boon capable of solving the problems of chronic unemployment and a rapidly aging population.

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European

Letter signed by 50 politicians offers full support to ensure swift and smooth transition if Scotland leaves UK

Fifty European politicians have said Scotland would be “most welcome” to rejoin the European Union as a full member if it voted for independence.

The group of mainly Green party politicians said they would help ensure any transition to full membership was “as swift, smooth and orderly as possible”.

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China offers rewards to root out foreign spies

Citizens could receive up to £58,500 for intelligence on infiltration, subversion and theft of information

“We should go to the masses and learn from them,” Chairman Mao once counselled his comrades.

Not least, it now seems, if the masses have inadvertently stumbled upon the names and addresses of ill-intentioned foreign spies who have infiltrated Chinese society and are trying to bring down the Communist party.

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‘We will be forced to close’: Polish and Czech food stores post-Brexit

Rising import costs and falling migration pose a serious threat, but retail entrepreneurs are making plans to adapt

Jars of sauerkraut and packets of Polish sweets have become commonplace on the UK’s supermarket aisles. As people migrated to the UK from EU countries, and Poland in particular, supermarkets were quick to meet the market. Savvy entrepreneurs took the opportunity a step further, opening stores and wholesale empires based on the import of EU specialities.

But migration to the UK is falling. According to the Office for National Statistics, net migration to Britain fell by 49,000 to 273,000 last year. And with the country on the path to Brexit, the future for such businesses is uncertain. Can they cope with a potentially declining customer base and rising import prices?

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Politics Live – readers’ edition: Monday 10 April

Discuss today’s politics and share links to breaking news, and to the most interesting stories and blogs on the web

I’m not writing my usual blog this week but here, as an alternative, is the Politics Live readers’ edition. It is a place for you to discuss today’s politics, and to share links to breaking news and to the most interesting stories and blogs on the web.

Feel free to express your views robustly, but please treat others with respect and don’t resort to abuse. Guardian comment pages are supposed to be a haven from the Twitter/social media rant-orama, not an extension of it.

Related: Labour: we'll raise minimum wage to £10 an hour in 2020

Related: Russia decries cancelled Boris Johnson visit and warns on further Syria attacks

Related: John McDonnell blames media and internal splits for Labour's poll misery

Related: Pro-Brexit group unveils plan to cut net migration to 50,000 a year

Related: 'It's a shambles': data shows most asylum seekers put in poorest parts of Britain

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Police seek possibly diabetic girl who left London hospital

Nine-year-old and her family attended St Mary’s hospital in Paddington on Sunday and gave staff false address

Detectives have issued an unusual appeal for help in tracing a nine-year-old girl who doctors believe is in need of urgent medical treatment.

The Metropolitan police were contacted by staff at St Mary’s hospital in Paddington, west London, after the unwell girl attended with a man and woman believed to be her parents on Sunday and the family left before the child could receive treatment.

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Watchtowers, drones and a toxic moat: the designs for Trump’s border wall

Some proposals for Trump’s border wall may look like spoofs, but they provide a fascinating window into the lurid anxieties of middle America

Monorails, shipping containers and nuclear waste dumps are just some of the ways that US construction companies have interpreted Donald Trump’s call for an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful wall” to march 2,000 miles across the country’s border with Mexico. Up to 400 bidding contractors were expected to submit their schemes this week to the US Customs and Border Protection agency, in a militarised beauty pageant worthy of one of Trump’s own reality TV shows.

Related: The beauty pageant to build Trump's border wall is beginning

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Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front | Mary Dejevsky

He may be the hero of Crimea, but for the Russian leader the US strike on Syria could hardly have come at a worse moment

Many reasons were advanced for Donald Trump’s decision to order last week’s strike on a Syrian airfield. In addition to the justifications he gave – the US national interest, the need to demonstrate that the use of chemical weapons had a cost, the emotional response to the pictures of dead children – were more speculative considerations to do with domestic politics.

These included a desire to contrast his own principled resolution with his predecessor’s failure to enforce his “red line”, an opportunity to demonstrate that he was not beholden to the Russians, and a gamble that the relatively risk-free strike would improve his flagging ratings. Rightly or wrongly, the home context can never be avoided.

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How we can start a social care revolution in seven easy steps | Katie Johnson

The budget’s £2bn for social care is a short-term fix that masks the true scale of the crisis. We need to transform funding, commissioning and provision

The government’s commitment to provide an additional £2bn for social care in the spring budget was presented as a solution to help ease pressure on the NHS and councils over the next three years. While the measure has addressed the immediate funding crisis, there is concern that this is no more than a short-term fix. The announcement risks masking the true scale of the challenges ahead and the radical surgery required to reform social care.

In all likelihood, the extra money will be used by local authority and NHS commissioners to block purchase places in residential care homes. This is not the answer.

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How we can start a social care revolution in seven easy steps | Katie Johnson

The budget’s £2bn for social care is a short-term fix that masks the true scale of the crisis. We need to transform funding, commissioning and provision

The government’s commitment to provide an additional £2bn for social care in the spring budget was presented as a solution to help ease pressure on the NHS and councils over the next three years. While the measure has addressed the immediate funding crisis, there is concern that this is no more than a short-term fix. The announcement risks masking the true scale of the challenges ahead and the radical surgery required to reform social care.

In all likelihood, the extra money will be used by local authority and NHS commissioners to block purchase places in residential care homes. This is not the answer.

Related: Social care crisis is about more than money | Bob Hudson

Related: Throwing more money at social care is not the answer

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Len McCluskey ‘has lost the plot’ over Unite election, says rival

Gerard Coyne rubbishes union leader’s claims that rightwing Labour MPs are trying to oust him

The Unite leader Len McCluskey has “lost the plot” over claims that a group of rightwing Labour MPs are seeking to oust him, his main challenger for the top position in Britain’s biggest trade union has said.

Gerard Coyne spoke as Unite members vote to decide whether he or McCluskey should be Unite’s general secretary – a choice with significance for the future direction of Labour. Coyne said there had been too much focus on external politics.

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Centrelink inquiry told debt retrieval system should be abolished due to flaws

Senate inquiry hears data-matching wrongly created debts, which were exacerbated by lack of human involvement

Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system relies on a flawed method of data-matching that means people are wrongly identified as owing money, which is exacerbated by the lack of any human involvement to check for errors, a Senate inquiry has heard.

Witnesses who gave evidence to the inquiry in Adelaide on Monday said those features were central to the failure of the “robo-debt” system, which may have wrongly identified thousands of people as owing money to Centrelink.

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