Morning mail: Michael McCormack set to be new deputy PM

Monday: the National party meet in Canberra to elect a new leader. Plus: warnings over plan to privatise Australia’s visa application system

Good morning, this is Eleanor Ainge Roy bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Monday 26 February.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/26/morning-mail-michael-mccormack-set-to-be-new-deputy-pm

  


Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018: 'the Games of new horizons'?

Russian scandal couldn’t overshadow spectacular sport and thawing relations between North and South Korea

Moments before the XXIII Winter Games ended amid a furious barrage of K-pop and firecrackers, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, insisted that “we have seen here how sport can make the world a better place… these are the Games of new horizons.”

Watching athletes from North and South Korea strolling happily together, for once separated by centimetres rather than 73 years’ antipathy, it was entirely possible to be swept along by waves of sentiment and hope.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/feb/25/pyeongchang-winter-olympics-2018-the-games-of-new-horizons-russia

  


Manchester City thrash Arsenal to win League Cup final

LONDON (Reuters) – Pep Guardiola claimed his maiden English silverware as goals by Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva gave his Manchester City side an easy 3-0 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/UKSportsNews/~3/a9GsYrZ0Yso/manchester-city-thrash-arsenal-to-win-league-cup-final-idUKKCN1G90V9

  


Weakened Merkel offers German cabinet job to arch critic

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday she would promote her most prominent critic from within her conservative party, Jens Spahn, to a coalition cabinet, in a sign she is heeding calls for renewal.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/FdYdd4gOVH0/weakened-merkel-offers-german-cabinet-job-to-arch-critic-idUKKCN1G90DY

  


Robert Clark obituary

My friend Robert Clark was a man with diverse interests who offered his friendship to many of the people with whom he crossed paths. First among these was his partner of a third of a century, Susan Costello. They shared a home in Kennington, south London, that was neatly packed with books, music and their copious papers.

Robert, who has died of myeloma aged 71, was born in Llandudno, north Wales, son of Frank Clark, a tax inspector, and his wife, Joan (nee Davies). He attended Nottingham College of Education and worked briefly as a teacher. Then, in 1970, he joined More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/25/robert-clark-obituary

  


Italy's poor south looks to 5-Star for hope at election

POMIGLIANO D’ARCO, Italy (Reuters) – In a baroque church in Pomigliano d’Arco at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, a cluster of struggling Italians receiving food and other hand-outs from the local priest have no doubt who to back in the March 4 parliamentary election.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/NBZ4NDFGP-A/italys-poor-south-looks-to-5-star-for-hope-at-election-idUKKCN1G90TR

  


Nokia phones look to the future, and to the past

BARCELONA/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Seeking to capitalise on their comeback over the past year, the makers of Nokia phones are expanding to include a premium Android smartphone, their first, and a remake of one of its biggest hits of the 1990s, the 8110 “slider” phone.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/50xoGPrlSRk/nokia-phones-look-to-the-future-and-to-the-past-idUSKCN1G90R0

  


We shouldn’t have to rely on Stormzy to flag up deprivation and neglect | Kimberly McIntosh

With estimates that half of ethnic-minority children live in poverty, Theresa May must act on her pledge to tackle inequality

When Stormzy spoke out at the Brits against Theresa May’s response to Grenfell, it wasn’t just about the disgraceful response to the fire. It was also a reflection of the reality facing people growing up on neglected estates. He has spoken before about his experience of poverty in his childhood, and his struggle to stay on the right track.

Stormzy’s black Britishness is a factor here for, as he vented his frustration, he again highlighted the enduring fact that issues More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/25/stormzy-flag-up-poverty-neglect-ethnic-minority-children

  


Londoners at greater risk of crime as Met budgets tighten

Home secretary Amber Rudd accused of ducking responsibility by office of London mayor

The government has given its clearest sign yet that it will not increase budgets for the Metropolitan police amid warnings a funding crisis will leave nine million Londoners at greater danger of crime.

The Home Office said the Met gets more officers and money per head of population than other forces, as the office of London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said the Conservative government would not meet to discuss funding.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/25/londoners-at-greater-risk-of-as-met-budgets-tighten

  


Israeli navy kills Palestinian after boat breaches sailing limit, military says

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip died on Sunday after the Israeli navy fired on the boat he and two others were sailing in, a military spokeswoman said.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/wzpOkjbhPR8/israeli-navy-kills-palestinian-after-boat-breaches-sailing-limit-military-says-idUKKCN1G90SW

  


UK scientist says Britons in Europe 'utterly ignored' by government

Astrophysicist Mark McCaughrean says many may have to forgo British citizenship if freedom of movement is lost

One of the most senior British scientists in Europe has made an impassioned plea to the government to reconsider its implacable opposition to freedom of movement, saying it is a direct attack on around 1 million British nationals living on the continent.

Britons living in Europe will be left with fewer rights if free movement disappears, while European passport holders living in the UK will continue to have rights as EU citizens post-Brexit.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/25/uk-scientist-says-britons-in-europe-ignored-by-government-mark-mccaughhrean

  


Weakened Merkel hands arch critic a job in German cabinet - source

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will promote her most prominent critic from within her conservative party, Jens Spahn, to her coalition cabinet, a party source said on Sunday, in a sign she is heeding calls for renewal.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/Uawp8BhUmjI/weakened-merkel-hands-arch-critic-a-job-in-german-cabinet-source-idUKKCN1G90DY

  


Iraq court sentences 16 Turkish women to death for joining Isis

Turks sentenced to hanging are among hundreds of foreign women being tried in Iraq

An Iraqi court has sentenced 16 Turkish women to death by hanging for joining Islamic State, a judiciary spokesman said on Sunday.

Iraq is conducting the trials of hundreds of foreign women who have been detained, with hundreds of their children, by Iraqi forces since August, as Islamic State strongholds crumbled.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/iraq-court-sentences-16-turkish-women-to-death-for-joining-isis

  


Syria's return to bombing-as-usual is down to Russia | Simon Tisdall

It is as though the vote for a ceasefire never happened. The burden of responsibility lies with Putin

The first signs from eastern Ghouta are not encouraging. A day after the UN security council finally agreed a ceasefire, it was back to bombing-as-usual for Syria’s regime. It is as though the vote for a truce in the besieged enclave, so long in coming and so contentious, never happened at all.

Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president, is primarily culpable. He probably no longer cares what the world thinks. He has no reputation to lose. Perhaps he calculates one final push by his ground More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/syrias-return-to-bombing-as-usual-is-down-to-russia

  


Iran detains three more activists after Iranian-Canadian dies in jail

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian security forces have detained three more environmental activists on spying charges, the judiciary said on Sunday, weeks after a first wave of arrests and the death in detention of an Iranian-Canadian head of a wildlife group.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/b9X9bkA-dnI/iran-detains-three-more-activists-after-iranian-canadian-dies-in-jail-idUKKCN1G90OK

  


Letter: Ian Aitken obituary

The first time I met Ian Aitken, in 1995, it was obvious how much affection and admiration he had for Michael Foot, the former leader of the Labour party. Ian was attending a preview of Michael’s polemical documentary Two Hours from London, made with his wife, Jill Craigie, to advocate intervention in former Yugoslavia.

We had given Michael a slot in our BBC2 series Open Space, and, introducing the film to the assembled journalists and friends, including the heavily protected Salman Rushdie, I appealed to everyone to do what they could to push More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/25/letter-ian-aitken-obituary

  


Leeds suburb of Headingley launches own investment fund

Fund says investors can expect 2% annual return from fund backing projects such as affordable housing

A suburb of Leeds will launch what is thought to be the UK’s first local investment fund, offering investors a higher return on their money than most savings accounts.

From Monday, anyone with at least £200 can buy shares in a fund set up to improve Headingley, a student-heavy neighbourhood two miles north-west of Leeds city centre.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/25/leeds-suburb-of-headingley-launches-own-investment-fund

  


Prepare for seriously cold weather this week, Britons told

Icy blast prompts Met Office weather warnings for UK snow, with wind chill making it feel minus 15C in daytime

Parts of the UK are set to feel colder than areas in the Arctic circle this week as freezing Siberian air engulfs the British Isles, bringing blizzards, snow drifts and the potential for travel disruption.

The icy blast, “the beast from the east”, has prompted the Met Office to issue yellow and amber weather warnings for snow in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for most of the week, with strong winds expected on Thursday in the south-west.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/25/prepare-for-seriously-cold-weather-this-week-britons-told-uk-snow

  


Anti-Corbyn rightwing press attacks 'boost Momentum support'

Exclusive: Negative stories in Daily Mail often lead to spikes in membership, says group

Attacks on Jeremy Corbyn by the rightwing press are leading to large spikes in his support base immediately after negative newspaper articles, according to data seen by the Guardian.

New figures from Momentum come days after Labour went on the offensive over reports in the Daily Mail, the Sun and others that Corbyn met a Czechoslovakian spy in the 1980s.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/25/anti-corbyn-rightwing-press-attacks-boost-momentum-support-daily-mail

  


Generational battle lines harden over pensions

Thinktank warns that older workers are not bearing their share of the pensions burden

If the personal finances of every household could be ranked, the period following the 2008 financial crisis puts the baby boomer on top. There is a counterpoint to this, say campaigners for older savers, which is the level of interest rates over the period. Surely a decade of ultra-low rates favours borrowers and most of them are young.

Likewise, final salary pension schemes, dominated as they are by the older generation, have struggled to bring down their deficits as low interest rates squeezed the return on More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/25/generational-battle-lines-harden-over-pensions

  


China sets stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party on Sunday set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, with a proposal to remove a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two terms in office.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/UU-up7GdS_U/china-sets-stage-for-president-xi-jinping-to-stay-in-office-indefinitely-idUKKCN1G9072

  


Winter Olympics closing ceremony: 10 highlights from Pyeongchang

The Games came to a spectacular end. Here’s what stood out from the two-hour show

South Korea marked the end of the 2018 Winter Olympics with a spectacular closing ceremony in Pyeongchang. All the usual elements were there – the costumes, the fireworks, and the ceremonial handover to the next hosts. With an overarching theme of winter turning into spring, the two-hour show had some amazing highlights.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/feb/25/winter-olympics-closing-ceremony-10-highlights-from-pyeongchang

  


Madrid names street after female inventor of mechanical 'ebook'

Ángela Ruiz Robles came up with ‘mechanical, electric and air-pressure driven method for reading’ in 1949

Four decades after her death, a Spanish teacher who invented an ingenious mechanical forerunner to today’s ebooks has had a street in Madrid named in her honour.

In 1949, Ángela Ruiz Robles, a passionate and innovative educator and writer from Galicia, came up with a way to expand her students’ knowledge and lighten their satchels at the same time.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/madrid-names-street-after-female-inventor-of-mechanical-ebook

  


For the chop: the battle to save Sheffield’s trees

‘Europe’s greenest city’ has lost 5,000 trees, chopped down by a private company despite furious local protests. Michael Gove calls the destruction “bonkers”. Now, after a brief truce, the chainsaws are about to start their work again …

It’s just after nine on a bitterly cold Wednesday morning and university lecturer Paul Norman has been patrolling a Sheffield street for more than an hour. Between glances up and down the road, he is marking students’ papers, pleased with the gloves that let him use his phone’s touchscreen, in case he needs to call for backup.

An hour later, another academic, Sheldon Hall, More Here…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/25/for-the-chop-the-battle-to-save-sheffields-trees

  


France has foiled two Islamist attacks this year - minister

PARIS (Reuters) – French security forces have foiled two planned attacks so far this year as Islamic State militants set their sights on domestic targets in response to the group’s military setbacks in Iraq and Syria, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Sunday.

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Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/UKWorldNews/~3/q00VGe0a_sA/france-has-foiled-two-islamist-attacks-this-year-minister-idUKKCN1G90K8

  


Rotherham abuse inquiry ‘needs 100 more officers’

Exclusive: Operation Stovewood’s head says team has been able to contact only 17% of 1,510 possible victims

The UK’s biggest investigation into child sexual exploitation needs 100 more officers to tackle the unprecedented scale of abuse in Rotherham, the head of the operation has told the Guardian.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), which is investigating past grooming offences in the town, has identified more than 1,500 potential victims and 110 suspects, and officers expect those figures to rise.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/25/rotherham-abuse-inquiry-needs-100-more-officers-operation-stovewood

  


Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre church closes in tax protest

Religious leaders say Israeli legislation is attempt to weaken Christian presence in area

The heads of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, considered the holiest site in Christianity, have shuttered its doors to protest against a new tax and a piece of Israeli legislation that will allow the government to confiscate church land.

In a rare step not seen for close to three decades, church leaders accused Israel of a “systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land”.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/jerusalem-holy-sepulchre-church-closes-tax-protest-israel

  


Syria: fresh fighting in eastern Ghouta despite UN-ordered ceasefire

Assad forces have launched new air and ground offensive on battered enclave, witnesses say

Fresh fighting has broken out on several fronts in eastern Ghouta, the besieged opposition-held enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, despite a 30-day ceasefire across all of Syria ordered by the United Nations.

After days of intense debate, the UN security council had voted unanimously on Saturday for a temporary truce to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and medical assistance.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/syria-fresh-fighting-in-eastern-ghouta-despite-un-ordered-ceasefire