Rio 2016 Olympic venues abandoned and derelict six months after Games – video

Olympic venues used during Rio 2016 last summer lie in disrepair with extensive damage, just six months after the end of the Games. The famous old football stadium the Maracanã has been unused for months with its pitch currently unfit for play and many of its seats ripped out. Swimming and aquatics venues have been abandoned meanwhile as the gold course is struggling to survive

Continue reading...

Counter-terrorism unit arrests man arriving at Gatwick from Iraq

Scotland Yard officers had stopped 44-year-old man from Hertfordshire under schedule 7 of Terrorism Act as he left plane

A man from Hertfordshire has been arrested at Gatwick airport as he arrived from Iraq on suspicion of plotting terrorist acts.

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit stopped the 44-year-old under the controversial schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act as he left the plane.

Continue reading...

Out of the box: councils try innovative projects to provide social housing

Constrained by government and with a lack of funding, local authorities are becoming developers to tackle the homes crisis

In Hackney, east London, a pair of luxury apartment towers are fast rising above Shoreditch Park, soon to boast multi-million pound penthouses designed by Sir David Chipperfield. It’s not an unusual sight in the capital – except for the fact that the project was the council’s idea, as a canny means of paying for the regeneration of the estate next door.

It is what the borough’s head of regeneration, Karen Barke, describes as an “unapologetically commercial approach, but with a social purpose” – part of Hackney’s plan to build around 3,000 homes over the next seven years, half of which will be for private sale, to cross-subsidise the construction of more affordable housing.

Continue reading...

Lord Dubs calls on home secretary to accept more child refugees

Peer criticises decision to axe scheme he fought to set up and says local authorities are still willing to accept more children

Lord Dubs, who led the fight to secure sanctuary in the UK for refugee children which resulted in the amendment in his name, has issued a direct appeal to the home secretary to reinstate the measure.

Dubs said the decision to axe the policy must be reversed to take in more children stranded in Europe. “The secretary of state’s announcement is a very bad letdown for some very vulnerable children in France, Greece and Italy,” he said. “Before this announcement was made they had a little bit of hope.”

Continue reading...

What is the Dubs amendment? – video explainer

Home secretary Amber Rudd has announced that the government is to end the Dubs amendment, which sought to provide refuge for unaccompanied children arriving in the UK. The amendment was added to an anti-illegal immigration bill introduced by David Cameron’s government by Lord Alf Dubs, who entered the UK as a six-year-old refugee on Sir Nicholas Winton’s Kindertransport trains after fleeing Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia

Stopping the Dubs scheme for child refugees is shameful and heartless

Continue reading...

If the British have taken back control, how come no one’s listening to them? | Lindsay Mackie

On the Blackbird Leys estate outside Oxford, most people voted leave. They now know their future is being decided without them

As we observe parliament struggling to make itself heard against an over-mighty executive, it is clear that the British people themselves have still not been given the time and space necessary to think about the kind of country we want after the referendum decision.

Related: Clive Lewis quits shadow cabinet as article 50 bill clears House of Commons - as it happened

Continue reading...

Labour is standing up for EU nationals’ rights | Letter from Keir Starmer MP

One of your correspondents (Letters, 9 February) entirely misrepresents Labour’s position on the rights of EU nationals in the UK.

For months Labour has been calling for the government to unilaterally grant residency rights for the 3 million EU citizens already in the UK – as the Guardian has reported (Keir Starmer: UK should guarantee EU citizens’ rights before talks begin,, 30 November).

Continue reading...

Reformist Speaker John Bercow places himself in eye of another storm

To supporters, the intervention on Donald Trump’s UK visit was bold and brave; to critics it was the latest step too far

To say that John Bercow divides opinion at Westminster seems altogether inadequate. This week Bercow found himself in the eye of the biggest political storm of the many that have marred his eight years in the Speaker’s chair of the House of Commons. Or, rather, in this case he very deliberately placed himself there.

On Monday afternoon Bercow stood up in parliament and, for two and a half minutes, explained to MPs why he would oppose any proposal to invite Donald Trump to address parliament during the US president’s planned state visit later this year. It was an explosive act. The Speaker, whose office is historically impartial, distant and above controversy, was plunging into the political fray to take sides on a challenge to Britain’s most important international relationship.

Continue reading...

Liverpool Football Club ban Sun journalists over Hillsborough coverage

• Newspaper barred from Anfield and club’s Melwood training ground
• Decision based on notorious coverage immediately after 1989 disaster

Liverpool Football Club have banned the Sun from its Anfield stadium and Melwood training ground over the newspaper’s notorious coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed.

The Sun will not be permitted to report on the club’s matches from Anfield and be given no access to interview players or the manager, Jürgen Klopp. The decision is understood to have been taken by Liverpool’s Boston-based owners, led by the financier John Henry, after club executives had discussions with families whose relatives were killed at Hillsborough at the 1989 FA Cup semi final.

Continue reading...

Cocaine worth £50m is washed up on Norfolk beaches

National Crime Agency hails seizure ‘major blow’ to organised crime as drug found near Great Yarmouth and Caister

Cocaine with a street value of up to £50m has washed up on two Norfolk beaches, the National Crime Agency has said.

NCA officers were initially called to Hopton beach near Great Yarmouth after a member of the public discovered a number of holdalls packed full of the class A drug.

Continue reading...