Don’t believe the hype – grammar schools won’t increase social mobility | Fiona Millar

Despite the slick campaign promoting grammars, hard evidence shows selection is wholly negative for the poorest pupils

Brexit has been all-consuming and somewhat obscured the government’s much trailed grammar school plans. However, a white paper is said to be due any minute and could take many forms. So far hints seeping out of Whitehall suggest anything from full repeal of the 1998 act (which banned new selective schools) to plans for a handful of new selective schools in some disadvantaged areas or multi-academy trusts simply reassigning one school for higher attainers using a non-test-based process.

Much depends on the government’s stomach for a parliamentary fight. But it is in a bind. Having sold new grammars as a route to greater social mobility, it must overcome the hard evidence that the net impact of selection is wholly negative for the poorest children.

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The Preston model: taking lessons in recovery from rust-belt Cleveland

As councils struggle with cuts, one Lancastrian city adapted a pioneering grassroots approach from America to tackling inequality and keeping profits local

Ted Howard looks out on a group of people drinking tea from styrofoam cups at Preston town hall on a Monday afternoon in March. The social entrepreneur and author from Cleveland, Ohio, is the special guest at the city’s monthly social forum. “What’s happening in this community is historic – it blows my mind,” he tells the city councillors and local business owners. “We’re working out how to build an inclusive economy.”

Howard’s infectious enthusiasm has made him the de facto spokesperson for “community wealth building”, a way of tackling inequality by ensuring the economic development of a place is shared more equally among its residents.

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Indonesia: gay men facing 100 lashes for having sex

Case could become the first time Aceh’s sharia law has been enforced against homosexuality

Two gay Indonesian men have been arrested and face 100 lashes in a case that is drawing international attention to the enforcement of controversial new Islamic bylaws in the semi-autonomous Aceh province.

Mobile phone footage, showing vigilantes slapping one of the young men as he sits naked on the ground awaiting arrest by local sharia police, has been shared on social media in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

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Half of young adults in the UK do not feel European, poll reveals

Survey also finds only a third of those aged 18-30 can speak a foreign language, while a fifth do not feel British

Only half of the UK’s young adults see themselves as having a European identity and one in five do not identify as being British, a survey has found.

The poll also found that exposure to different nationalities among 18- to 30-year-olds in the UK was low, with just 13% ever having worked abroad and just one in three proficient enough to speak Spanish, French or any other foreign language at a “simple” level.

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Brexit weekly briefing: time to dig in and explore our ‘shared values’ with Duterte

The heat has been turned down on UK’s EU divorce, but trade expeditions such as Liam Fox’s meeting with the Philippines’ leader pose awkward questions

Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of developments as the UK heads towards the EU door marked “exit”. If you’d like to receive it as a weekly early morning email, please sign up here.

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Russian embassy’s Twitter account vents barbs against west

Tirades against western leaders dovetail with wider Russian propaganda that some fear could influence the outcome of upcoming European elections

On Sunday morning, the official Russian embassy to the UK Twitter account posted a photograph of flower petals in Sochi lit up in the sunshine.

But it soon moved on to politics. “It is deplorable that @BorisJohnson found himself unfit to stand Western ground on Syria in bilateral talks with Sergey Lavrov,” the embassy said, in reference to the foreign secretary cancelling a planned visit to Moscow while US secretary of state Rex Tillerson goes ahead with his.

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France’s right rallies reluctantly behind François Fillon

Grassroots rightwing support has enabled the Les Républicains candidate to weather corruption allegations and stay in France’s presidential election race

By the crepe stand and flower-stalls on the edge of Angers market in western France, Benoît Triot, a manager at a furniture firm, stood handing out manifesto leaflets for the rightwing presidential candidate François Fillon. “Voters are coming back to him,” he argued. “People want the French right in power again and many are starting to doubt whether what they hear about alleged scandals is true.”

Triot felt optimistic – in three hours handing out leaflets bearing Fillon’s face only one person had shouted “Lock him up in prison!”

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If Theresa May really wants to protect refugees why does she fuel such hatred? | Aditya Chakrabortty

The politicians lining up to condemn the Croydon attack created the current climate of intolerance

Two weeks ago a teenager was almost killed for the apparent crime of seeking safety in this country. Reker Ahmed was waiting at a bus stop in south London, when passersby asked where he was from. “They established he was an asylum seeker,” say the police; the 17-year-old was then kicked and punched, his face was smashed in, an eye socket was cracked and his spine was fractured. The mob swelled to 20 or more. Some joined in, others watched.

The prime minister called the attack “despicable”, and agreed with a local Croydon MP that its perpetrators were “scum”. Politicians on all sides are still lining up to claim that Britain welcomes refugees. Many of us would agree with these sentiments. At best, these are necessary platitudes; at worst, outright lies. In reality, far from welcoming refugees, the political class – from Tony Blair to Theresa May – has spent decades poisoning the country against them.

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More than a quarter of UK birds face extinction risk or steep decline – study

Red list entries swell to 67 species as conservationists call for urgent action to save birds of Britain including warblers, curlews and puffins

More than a quarter of UK birds, including the puffin, nightingale and curlew, require urgent conservation efforts to ensure their survival, according to a new report on the state of the UK’s birds.

Since the last review in 2009, an additional 15 species of bird have been placed on the “red list”, a category that indicates a species is in danger of extinction or that has experienced significant decline in population or habitat in recent years. The total number of species on the red list is now 67 out of a total of 247.

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Russell Street bomber challenges legal change that denies him parole

Craig Minogue would have been eligible for parole last year, 30 years into his life sentence for a fatal bombing of police station in Melbourne

A man convicted for a bomb attack three decades ago at Melbourne police headquarters, which killed a police officer and injured 22 people, has challenged the validity of changes to parole laws that mean he will spend his life in jail.

Craig Minogue was jailed in May 1986 for the infamous attack known as the Russell Street bombing, in which a stolen car containing gelignite was parked outside of the police station and detonated.

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Stakeknife: double agent in IRA ‘was given alibi by senior British officials’

Panorama documentary claims agent who leaked secrets to British army is linked to 18 murders in 1980s and 90s

One of Britain’s most important agents inside the IRA has been linked to 18 murders and was provided with an alibi by a senior police officer to avoid getting him arrested during the Troubles, it has emerged.

Related: Army whistleblower to testify on IRA double agent Stakeknife

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‘Gamechanging’ cancer drug rejected for use on NHS

Nivolumab deemed too expensive for the benefits but cancer specialists urge NHS and manufacturers to reach compromise

A gamechanging immunotherapy drug that can extend the life of patients with advanced head and neck cancer has been turned down for use in the NHS because of its high cost.

Nivolumab is one of a new class of drug that stimulates the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer. Immunotherapy drugs have had some spectacular successes in some patients with some cancers. But although nivolumab can give people with advanced head and neck cancers an extra three months of life – when survival expectancy at present is around six months – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has rejected it.

Related: Immunotherapy drug a 'gamechanger' for head and neck cancer

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‘Gamechanging’ cancer drug rejected for use on NHS

Nivolumab deemed too expensive for the benefits but cancer specialists urge NHS and manufacturers to reach compromise

A gamechanging immunotherapy drug that can extend the life of patients with advanced head and neck cancer has been turned down for use in the NHS because of its high cost.

Nivolumab is one of a new class of drug that stimulates the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer. Immunotherapy drugs have had some spectacular successes in some patients with some cancers. But although nivolumab can give people with advanced head and neck cancers an extra three months of life – when survival expectancy at present is around six months – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has rejected it.

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Tilted device could pinpoint pin number for hackers, study claims

Researchers were able to guess four-digit code with 70% accuracy at first attempt and 100% at fifth from how device held

Hackers could steal mobile phone users’ pin numbers from the way their devices tilt as they type on them, researchers have claimed.

Computer scientists at Newcastle University managed to guess a four-digit pin with 70% accuracy at the first attempt by using the gyroscopes built into all modern smartphones. With five attempts, the team was able to correctly guess the pin 100% of the time.

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If 1997 was a new dawn, now Labour faces its darkest night | Polly Toynbee

Twenty years on from Blair’s historic victory, with his legacy trashed, the party must learn from its past

“A new dawn has broken, has it not?” asked a triumphant Tony Blair on that May morning in 1997. Indeed it had. But oh no it hadn’t, say those now controlling Labour. History is fluid, a prism shifting the light of now, so some days New Labour’s record shimmers, other days it’s clouded by all the opportunities missed.

Twenty years ago in the throes of that election campaign, Blair and Gordon Brown were terrified by the prospect of a 1992 reprise. That shock result was seared into their souls, convincing them that England was so ineradicably conservative that Labour could win only by stealth. History conveys the illusion of inevitability: how absurd now to think that they ever feared losing to that rabble of Tories killing each other over Europe, mired in sex and money sleaze, having never recovered from crashing out of the exchange rate mechanism. Of course Labour was bound to sweep to its greatest ever victory on a swing of over 10%.

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Union action threat recedes at Trident base on river Clyde

Unite union claimed that workers’ rights were being undermined as part of a campaign to outsource work

Industrial action hitting one of the most sensitive sites in the UK, the Trident nuclear submarine bases on the Clyde, appears close to being resolved.

After talks between the union Unite, the civilian contractor Babcock Marine and the Ministry of Defence on Monday, a new offer is set to be put to the union’s shop stewards and members.

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Philippine death squad whistleblower Arturo Lascanas flees to Singapore

Former officer has been in hiding since he revealed the workings of Davao death squads run by now-president Rodrigo Duterte

After months of living in hiding, Arturo Lascanas – a former police officer who accused Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte of orchestrating a decades-long campaign of death squads and lawless murder – has fled to Singapore.

The retired 56-year-old officer is a self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), a group he alleges was formed in the late 1980s by then mayor Rodrigo Duterte, to kill hardened criminals, drug dealers and political opponents.

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Sunshine releases all the sounds of spring

Ebernoe Common, West Sussex Swedes call it ‘early cuckoo morning’ – the act of getting up just to enjoy the first birdsong

The sun is rising above the trees. I cross the meadow, passing gorse bushes bursting with yellow flowers, and enter the wood by the small gate. I walk up the narrow, winding footpath, and a couple of woodcock fly up from the ground, scattering the leaves where they were hiding. The two striped brown birds dart away through the trees in their panic, as if they’d been fired from a gun. I wait for the air to settle after the commotion, look up to the canopy and listen.

Birdsong is everywhere – a wall of sound pulsing through the wood. I pick out the birds, one by one, selectively listening to each song in turn: greenfinch, chaffinch, robin, blackbird, song thrush, nuthatch, great tit, blue tit, and so on.

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Voters aren’t buying the Coalition’s business-as-usual approach – and anger is radioactive | Peter Lewis

A government too busy gazing at its own reflection has left the market to run the show – but trickle-down economics is failing Australians

I haven’t been privy to the Coalition review of its near-death experience at the last federal election, but judging from the leaks breathlessly reported by News Corp this week it appears the government has learned nothing.

The report by former frontbencher and campaign veteran Andrew Robb seems to focus on the mechanics of campaigning, from long-term research, negative framing of the opposition and the development of clearly articulated choice propositions.

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