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Phillip Inman – Why is UK’s productivity still behind that of other major economies?

Extra funds for new roads, research and development and skills training will drive up UK productivity and put the economy in a better position to withstand the looming Brexit shock. That was the central message in Philip Hammond’s autumn statement and went to the heart of a debate about the UK’s low productivity growth, which according to official figures, has …

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United Kingdom Passes ‘Snooper’s Charter,’ Giving Tremendous Surveillance Power to Agencies

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom instated the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, a piece of legislation described by whistleblower Edward Snowden as “the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.” The law, informally known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” spent over a year in Parliament before it was passed. The Guardian reported: The new surveillance law requires web and phone …

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James Moore – Brexit ‘spinning out of control’, top bosses warn

Business leaders have urged the Government to take immediate action amid fears that Brexit was in danger of “spinning out of control”, paralysing British industry and dealing a devastating blow to the economy. They also demanded ministers protect “thousands of valued European employees” fearing for their futures in a Britain outside Europe. The alarm was raised as the Government’s strategy …

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UN votes to ban nukes despite UK attempts to ‘thwart’ negotiations

UN General Assembly (UNGA) members have defied the British government by voting to ban nuclear weapons. The UNGA’s First Committee passed an historic resolution last Thursday to begin negotiations for a legally binding nuclear weapons ban treaty next year. The landmark resolution passed 123 to 38 – with 16 countries abstaining – and succeeded despite smaller states accusing nuclear-armed countries …

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Tim Radford – Population boom adds to city threats

LONDON, 28 October, 2016 – The world’s cities are growing even faster than the human population. Within the last 40 years, the global population has increased by a factor of 1.8,  but built-up areas have multiplied 2.5 times. All of this information, and much more, appears in a new European Commission (EC) publication called the Atlas of the Human Planet, prepared to coincide with the …

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Henry McDonald – Huge rise in Britons applying for Irish citizenship after Brexit vote

Applications for both Irish citizenship and passports have soared since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June, as thousands of people seek to mitigate the effects of Brexit on their lives, government figures show. In all, more than 37,000 people in the UK and Northern Ireland applied for Irish passports in the three months after 23 June – …

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Graham Vanbergen – The authoritarian style of UK’s new PM Theresa May

The BBC’s rather charming piece entitled “Who is Theresa May: A profile” sets out a life reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher, from her early days as a schoolchild to the ascension to the most powerful job in Britain. It’s a piece littered with affection and sentiment, typical of a state broadcaster. “An early advocate of Conservative “modernisation” in the wilderness years that …