News headlines in the UK are often focused on the number of foreign citizens moving to the UK from abroad, with those going the other way getting less attention.
It’s now getting late, at least in terms of Brexit, for opponents to get their act together. The resistance to the Johnson-Farage axis will not come from the parliamentary Conservative party. In private, MPs, who once made sure demagogues did not become prime ministers, admit that Johnson is a phoney, unfit for high office or any office. But the Tory party’s guardians no longer care. The gatekeepers are lifting the lock and urging the bullshitter to charge into the china shop. They calculate that only an alliance between the right and the far right can ensure their party’s survival. The pact may be unacknowledged. Johnson may neutralise the Brexit party by becoming more Faragist than Farage. The Tories will take his votes and he will fade into the background. I don’t see a man with Farage’s sense of entitlement fading willingly. His friends Matteo Salvini and Donald Trump have power in Italy and America respectively. Why should Britain’s man of destiny allow the Conservatives to pat him on the head and say: “The grownups will take it from here”? Farage more than any other politician is responsible for Brexit and feels no shame for the pain he has inflicted on the country he professes to love. He can threaten to run candidates against the Tories and let Labour in unless they recognised his greatness by making him, say, deputy prime minister. He surely wants to enter parliament in an early election and his surest route to Westminster is via an electoral alliance with the Conservatives. One way or another, what we call “populism”, a feeble euphemism for an ideology that tolerates no constraints on the leader or his party, will soon be here. Indeed, it already is. For it is one thing for the Putinesque no-hoper Dominic Raab to say that he would suspend parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. Quite another for Johnson, “our” next prime minister, to tell the Tory right he won’t take bypassing the Commons off the table either. The crash that Farage and Johnson contemplate with such insouciance is as much a constitutional as an economic monstrosity. Whatever mistakes they made, no previous administration has deliberately wrecked the economy. But then no administration in the modern era has dared to contemplate inflicting economic misery without a mandate from the Commons or the electorate. You cannot say often enough that a no-deal Brexit was not on the ballot in the 2016 referendum. The 2015 white paper that spelt out the terms of the referendum did not say that no deal would follow a Leave vote, while Johnson and every other senior Leave politician promised that a free-trade deal would follow. Populism is such a treacherous word because it implies that “the people” are in control. Farage and Johnson are proving that in the populist state the leaders are sovereign and the people get what they are given. You shouldn’t be surprised. What kind of popular democracy do you expect when the decisive voice in choosing the national leader is not the electorate’s but the voices of 160,000 Tory activists? What of my trade of journalism? A poor thing, you might say, and one whose deference to “Boris” has been a disgrace. But as his first press briefing showed, our next PM treats reporters who call him “Johnson” and hold him to account with a hostility he never shows to the flunkies on first name terms. Instead of being a moment where journalists questioned a politician, it was a new type of press conference where politicians who supported Johnson booed reporters for asking questions. I could go on. An independent civil service is a check, if only a reality check, on deluded politicians. The Institute for Government tells me what I had already guessed: Brexit has produced an unprecedented rise in the number of political attacks on civil servants. One of the first acts of a Johnson regime will be to fire Olly Robbins, the prime minister’s Brexit adviser. He has become a George Soros-style hate figure on the British right: the sinister manipulator its partisans blame for the inevitable failure of their impossible project. Once the greatest check on runaway power was the opposition. Jeremy Corbyn agrees with Johnson and Farage on the need for Brexit, however, and only queries the detail. His failure to support Remain has fractured the centre left, opening the prospect of a united right coming through the middle in a general election. In any case, look at my description of rightwing authoritarianism. It applies as well to the far left. Corbyn and his network of post-communists don’t want to stop a recession. They are “ disaster socialists” who hope, as Lenin hoped, that economic collapse will turn the masses to their cause. They would happily suspend parliament to force through a radical programme and nothing in their ideology suggests they believe in press freedom or civil service independence. They won’t oppose what they yearn for. Opposition must now be as much without as within parliament. I am heartened to see that the next pro-European march on 20 July will be the start of a full-throated defence of EU membership rather than a process argument about the need for a second referendum. Protests on the streets will not occur in isolation. If any government risks no deal, the financial markets will go wild and employers will warn staff about their jobs. MPs may act independently and reconvene away from a shuttered Westminster. It will be the greatest economic, social and political crisis of our lifetime. Whenever you talk about the far right or left, or make comparisons with Putinism and fascism, you are told it can’t happen here. Don’t be hysterical, old chap: Johnson is a joke, Farage a pub bore and Corbyn a passive-aggressive crank. They can’t hurt us. The critics don’t realise it has never happened here before because enough “hysterical” citizens have stamped on it early and hard. We are late in the day this time around and the moment to start stamping is now. . Nick Cohen is an Observer columnist
Iran will continue scaling back compliance with a nuclear deal unless other signatories to the pact show "positive signals", the Iranian president said on Saturday as tensions with the United States escalated over tanker attacks in the Gulf region. Iran stopped complying in May with some commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal that was agreed with global powers, after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and ratcheted up sanctions on Tehran. "Obviously, Iran cannot stick to this agreement unilaterally," President Hassan Rouhani told Russian, Chinese and other Asian leaders at a conference in Tajikistan.
A charity which teaches inner city youngsters from deprived communities how to ski is aiming to recruit a record number of teenagers onto this year’s snow sports programme. Snow-Camp, a London-based organisation, is opening up the sport to teenagers living in areas rife with knife crime, drugs and gang violence. One participant, Hamza Alkebida, 19, told the Standard how the charity had drawn him away from violence on London’s streets towards a completely unexpected career path.
Punishing children with break time detentions is a violation of their rights, psychologists have said. Schools should not force pupils to work through their free time as play is critical for their wellbeing and development, according to the British Psychological Society.The society’s educational and child psychology division said it was “concerned” by the diminishing opportunities for play within the lives of children, adding that it is a “fundamental right”. It comes after a study earlier this year revealed that school break times have been cut by as much as an hour over the past two decades amid funding cuts and a drive to tackle bad behaviour.“The benefits of play for children, including older children, have been well documented by educational psychologists, and it is crucial that this part of their development isn’t taken away as a punishment for misbehaviour or to complete unfinished work," said Dr Gavin Morgan, chair of the society’s division. “Play improves physical and emotional wellbeing, and creates stronger relationships between peers, within families and across wider communities.”He added that the society “strongly advocates for children’s fundamental right to play” during the school day. "We encourage all educational psychologists to use the influence they have to challenge practices which restrict or reduce access to play, and advocate initiatives which promote it,” he said. The warning came amid concerns about the mental health of young people and childhood obesity.It also follows research from the University College London’s Institute of Education which revealed that one in four secondary schools now leave only 35 minutes or less for lunch.The study warned of a near “virtual elimination” of afternoon breaks and shorter lunch breaks.At key stage 1 in primary school, where children are aged five to seven, pupils now have 45 minutes less break time per week than children of the same age in 1995.Meanwhile, pupils at key stage 3 and 4 (aged 11 to 16) have 65 minutes less than two decades ago.
A British holidaymaker claims he was thrown off a plane by police in Turkey after informing cabin crew he had a potentially deadly nut allergy. Josh Silver, 25, boarded the flight home from Antalya to Gatwick after his first holiday with his girlfriend, when he alerted staff he was seriously allergic to nuts. The events manager said he was told he would have to leave the plane since it was “against airline policy” to fly someone with his requirements.
The health secretary has ordered a “root and branch” review of NHS food after two more patient deaths were linked to an outbreak of listeria.Matt Hancock said he was “incredibly concerned” after it emerged the patients were suspected of dying after eating pre-packaged hospital sandwiches and salads from the same supplier, The Good Food Chain – bringing the number of fatalities to five.The affected products have since been withdrawn from hospitals and Public Health England (PHE) said evidence suggested all the deaths occurred before the items were removed from circulation on 25 May.“I have been incredibly concerned by this issue and strongly believe that we need a radical new approach to the food that is served in our NHS,” said Mr Hancock, who withdrew from the Tory leadership race earlier this week. “Staff, patients and families deserve so much better – our NHS should be at the forefront of supporting people to make healthy choices. I have instructed the NHS to conduct a root and branch review of hospital food.”The listeria infection is a rare a form of food poisoning and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people. However, it can have more serious consequences among those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.The first three victims who died in the recent outbreak were at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.It is understood that of the last two listeria deaths, one died after the first three confirmed cases.The other patient died before the three cases that were reported last week, but has only just been discovered to be linked to the same strain of the bacteria.The trusts where the latest two victims were receiving treatment have not yet been named, but PHE said there are seven trusts across the country dealing with listeria cases.The first case showed symptoms on 25 April and sandwiches and salads were withdrawn on 25 May, as soon as a link with the cases was suspected.PHE said investigations into the outbreak are ongoing and are being conducted in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).The Good Food Chain, which supplied 43 NHS trusts across the UK, has voluntarily ceased production while the investigation is carried out. The business was supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats, which has since tested positive for the outbreak strain of listeria and also stopped production.The Good Food Chain said in a statement: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families of those who have died and anyone else who has been affected by this outbreak. The underlying cause of it remains unclear.“We understand that the investigations being carried out are complicated and will involve a number of stakeholders, but we hope the authorities will pursue their inquiries with all urgency so the wider industry can learn any lessons as soon as possible, and so those affected do not have to wait too long for answers.“For our part, we are co-operating fully and transparently with the FSA and other authorities, and will continue to do so.”Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said it was “time for a review of hospital food and the adoption of minimum standards”.Food Standards Scotland said there continues to be no listeria cases in Scotland.
Those who insult Chinese people should pay the price in order to deter would-be offenders from following suit, Chinese state media said in a sharply worded commentary, after remarks by a UBS economist about pigs sparked an outcry in China. Paul Donovan, global chief economist of UBS's wealth management business, said in a podcast on Wednesday that consumer prices in China had risen after an outbreak of African swine fever killed a vast number of pigs and cut pork supplies. It matters if you like eating pork in China," Donovan said in comments that some interpreted as referring to people, not livestock.
Last year’s deadly Camp fire killed 85 and burned the town of Paradise to the ground. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP Last November, the deadliest wildfire in California history killed 85 and burned the town of Paradise to the ground. Now California’s fire season is starting to heat up again – and officials are bracing for the worst. As California grappled with a record-breaking heatwave last week, the state saw 236 wildfires – one of which grew to more than 2,500 acres before it was largely contained. So far this year, California has faced 1,746 wildfires, burning through more than 15,500 acres of land. The fires have mostly been fueled by the grass and brush that came up during an especially wet winter and mild spring, said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire. “Of course, we’re hoping it’ll be better this year than in 2018. But it’s at a point where we cannot be complacent,” he said. “The fires are starting – they’re starting very easily.” In anticipation of peak wildfire season in the months to come, Cal Fire, under an executive order from California Governor Gavin Newsom, released a report identifying 35 top-priority projects to thin vegetation in and around more than 200 vulnerable communities. The fire agency is now working with local communities to carry out the projects and is calling on the state’s National Guard to help execute them. Meanwhile, Pacific Gas & Electric, which cut power to 21,000 residents in Butte and Yuba counties last week, plans to do so more often during arid, windy periods when wildfire risk is highest. The utility company, whose equipment was responsible for sparking last year’s deadly Camp fire, intends to shut off power to more than 5 million customers as a preventive measure. It is difficult to predict how bad the rest of this fire season will be based on the number of fires so far, said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Our worst fire years aren’t necessarily the years that we’ve had the highest number of fires,” he noted. “All it takes is one – one huge, destructive fire to ruin the whole year.” Hotter, drier summers are increasing the chances that every year for the foreseeable future “is going to be a bad fire year”, Swain said. In the past, a wet winter would slow the onslaught of big blazes, he added. “But nowadays, it almost doesn’t matter whether we’ve had a wet or dry year in some of these regions. The summers are so warm that everything dries out.” US Forest Service and Interior Department officials echoed those thoughts in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Thursday. “A challenging year is ahead of us because the wildfires that we’re now experiencing are consistently more destructive than they’ve ever been,” said Jeff Rupert, director of the Office of Wildland Fire at the Department of the Interior. “If we’re lucky, this fire year will simply be a challenging one.” Over the decades, wildfire season in California has also grown longer, beginning earlier in the spring and stretching later, said Lenya Quinn-Davidson, a fire advisor with the University of California. “It’s not unusual for us to see this many small fires in June,” she said. “But 50 years ago, so many fires this early on, plus these extreme, high temperatures in June – would have been abnormal.” The number of fires this year is smaller than last year, when Cal Fire counted more than 1,900 fires, not including those on federal land, by early June. This year, the National Interagency Fire Center has predicted “above normal” fire potential for much of California and the West Coast, based on averages from 1999 through 2010. In recent years, experts have described a “new reality” when it comes to wildfire devastation. But Cal Fire’s McLean said such phrases were already tired. “We’ve been here for a few years now,” he said. “And we need to adapt.”
Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris will host its first mass on Saturday, exactly two months after the devastating blaze that shocked France and the world. For safety reasons, the mass in Notre-Dame led by Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit will be celebrated on a very small scale. Worshippers will be expected to don hard hats but priests will be wearing their ceremonial garb.There will be just some 30 people - half of them clergy - although the mass will be broadcast live on Catholic TV channel KTO.It will take place at 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) in the Chapel of the Virgin on the east side of the cathedral behind the choir, which has been confirmed to be safe.Aupetit will be joined by the rector of Notre-Dame, Patrick Chauvet, canons, volunteers, people working on the restoration and a handful of lay worshippers.The date has been chosen as it is the anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral’s altar, which is celebrated every year on June 16.The date is “highly significant, spiritually,” Chauvet told AFP, adding he was happy to be able to show that “Notre-Dame is truly alive”. From the ashes: Notre-Dame prepares to hold first mass after fire (video)‘Inventive’ reconstructionPresident Emmanuel Macron has set an ambitious target of five years for restoring Notre-Dame, which was gutted by a fire on April 15 that felled its steeple and consumed the lattice of beams supporting the roof.The diocese is awaiting a response from the French authorities over whether it can re-open the esplanade in front of the cathedral to the public.If the authorities approve the plan, the idea is to celebrate evening prayers there, the diocese said.The church has also floated the idea of erecting a temporary structure in front of the cathedral to welcome worshippers while the building is repaired.Up to 150 workers have been working at the cathedral daily since the fire, continuing to remove debris and stabilise the structure.Two large white canopies have been placed above the nave and the choir to ensure the edifice is protected, including from the rain.Macron’s call for an “inventive” rather than identical reconstruction of the steeple has left some architects up in arms.Meanwhile, legislation over the reconstruction has been blocked in parliament over disagreements between the upper and lower houses and is now only expected to be adopted at the end of July.Pledges of some 850 million euros ($960 million) had been made from prominent French businessmen and ordinary citizens but only around 10 percent has been donated so far.France Info public radio said just 80 million euros had been paid, with businessmen giving the money in tranches and some private individuals renouncing their pledges due to the apparent success of the campaign.(AFP)
A couple who were attacked on a London bus have insisted they will not behave differently in public and feel more "physically confident" because they know they will stand up for themselves. Melania Geymonat, 28, and her girlfriend Chris, 29, were returning from a night out in West Hampstead when a group of teenagers began taunting them, making crude gestures and asking the pair to kiss for their entertainment. When they refused, the group started throwing coins before launching a violent assault, which left Chris with a broken jaw.
Exam board Edexcel launches investigation after Twitter post offers full paper for £70. An investigation has been launched after an A-level maths paper was circulated online before the exam. Images of the test paper by Edexcel appeared on social media on Thursday afternoon. The exam board’s parent company, Pearson, said the images “were circulated in a very limited way” before students sat the exam on Friday. “Having visited a small group of centres within scope of the investigation, we have identified one centre in serious breach of correct practice,” the firm said. “All students should be reassured we have well-established processes in place to ensure no one will be advantaged or disadvantaged, and this paper will not have to be resat.” Two questions from the paper first appeared on Twitter in a since-deleted post which offered students the whole paper for £70. It is not the first time Pearson has had maths papers leaked. Last year, an A-level maths paper apparently appeared for sale online the night before thousands of students sat the exam. The company was also forced to make last-minute changes to two A-level papers in 2017 after receiving reports that some students had gained access to them in advance. Both leaks were investigated by the police, with evidence passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration over whether criminal charges should be brought. In April, it was revealed that Pearson would pilot a scheme in which exam papers would be microchipped to track the date, time and location of each bundle. An online petition calling for the exam board to take the leak into consideration when it set grade boundaries has been signed by hundreds of students. The petition’s creator, Jenny Li, described the situation as “very unfair” for students who had not seen the paper before the exam. A student who sat the exam told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was “frustrated” by the leak. “I’m not frustrated because I feel like I absolutely failed the paper; it wasn’t that kind of frustration,” he said. “It’s more the frustration that I’ve spent two years studying maths A-level only to realise that some students through some sort of opportunity could have not learned anything for two years – and just spent £70 and got an A-level.”
Fourteen arrests have been made after 12 hours of violence in south London which saw two teenagers killed within minutes of each other and another three men stabbed in a separate attack. The two teenagers were attacked on Friday afternoon in different parts of London, with the first attack taking place in Wandsworth and the second in Plumstead. Metropolitan Police say fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the three incidents.
Summer and pop music are made for one another. As evenings turn long and languid and temperatures soar (that’s the theory anyway), so the ability of a killer tune to grab your heart-strings is somehow amplified. Weirdly that’s true regardless of the actual quality of your summer. The weather can be terrible (oh yes it can). Or perhaps you’ve just returned from the beach holiday of a lifetime and have yet to fully reconnect with your boring regular life. Either way, the best summer anthems enhance the experience, whether stoking your euphoria or taking the edges off your melancholy. And what’s great is that everyone else feels that way too. Suddenly people are cranking up their car stereos or blaring their radios in the back garden, so that the most popular tunes of the season become pervasive – filling the air like buzzing sonic bees. Not all summer smashes are created equally, of course. Many are novelties, destined to be forgotten as autumn sweeps in. A few, however, have achieved sun-dappled immortality.Click through the gallery to see the 40 best feel-good summer hits, ranked
Nathan Outlaw, Britain’s undisputed Neptune of chefs, is thrilled. ‘I feel like a giddy kid,’ he says of his glittering new London seafood restaurant, Siren. ‘It’s the first time in ages that I’ve been excited about something.’ The light-drenched, glass-walled dining room, part of a multimillion-pound refurbishment of The Goring Hotel in Belgravia, marks the start of a new culinary voyage.
The Duke of Sussex presents awards at a Commonwealth reception at Marlborough House in central London. Prince Harry handed out prizes to the winners of the inaugural Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards.
The government has announced that people who have an "invisible" disability are now able to apply for a blue badge parking permit. The new guidance issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) says that people with conditions such as autism, dementia or anxiety could be eligible for a badge, which allows holders to park in designated spaces in car parks. Local authorities will still however have the final say on who does and does not qualify for a badge, beginning on 30 August.
Noel Gallagher has hit out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a colourful interview where he despaired at the state of modern British politics. The rock star, who previously said he would rather reform Oasis than see “lunatic” Jeremy Corbyn elected, now branded him a “f***ing student debater, f***ing captain fishy craggy old f***ing donkey, f*** off”. He also described shadow home secretary Diane Abbott as “the face of f***ing buffoonery”.“They talk pipe-smoking communist nonsense, do you know what I mean? I think the role of any politician in the world is to be forward thinking, and modern, and contemporary - looking forward,” he told the Manchester Evening News.“And make no mistake, in this country we need someone and it ain't him. And it's never been anyone from the Conservative party."He added: “The two extremes are the Labour Party don't respect people who are aspirational, and the Conservative Party don't protect the vulnerable. But somewhere in the middle is where New Labour danced, and they kind of had it f***ing right, and then 9/11 happened, and here we are.”Earlier in the interview, Gallagher said he felt “bad for the nation” at how Brexit had been handled, and how “this unremarkable little man, Farage, this unremarkable little f***ing man, from nowhere, appears out of nowhere seemingly and has like somehow f***ing tapped into something that none of us were aware of”.“It's really sad f***ing times,” he continued. “But the thing I think about it is, when we eventually do leave, it'll be f***ed up for a bit, right, then it'll just get back to normal. No one is going to ostracise GB from the rest of the world. We're too f***ng brilliant. There's a lot of f***ing great things going on in this country. I don't think when we leave we go into the abyss… It's just sad that people are so divided now.”All of that said, Gallagher said Remainers calling for the Brexit vote to be overturned should "go to North Korea" if they weren't happy with the results of a "democratic f***ing process".The interview was published the day after Gallagher headlined the first day of Isle of Wight festival, and also after his band’s new EP Black Star Dancing was released via Sour Mash Records. Read the full interview here.
A Chinese-owned company is making circuit boards for the top-secret next generation F-35 warplanes flown by Britain and the United States, Sky News can reveal. Exception PCB, a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer in Gloucestershire, south west England, produces circuit boards that "control many of the F-35's core capabilities", according to publicity material produced by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). When asked about the firm's Chinese ownership, the MoD said Exception PCB is an established manufacturer of circuit boards to the defence industry and presents "no risk" to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter supply chain.
The UAE's foreign minister said on Saturday a "state sponsor" was involved in a May 12 attack on oil tankers in the Gulf, but did not name any particular country. The United States has said Iran was involved in both the May and the June incidents - accusations dismissed by Tehran. "Our conclusion is this has only been possible by a state-sponsored attack," Al Nahyan told reporters after meeting his Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia, referring to the May attack.
The International Monetary Fund has proposed that the European Union improve transparency, regulatory oversight and insolvency rules in its proposals to create a stronger capital market system, a senior IMF official said. EU efforts to create a Capital Markets Union (CMU) have made little headway so far, but the plans are seen as offering major benefits, such as encouraging firms to raise more funds through stocks and bonds rather than relying so heavily on bank loans. It was originally launched in 2015 and has been a central plank of the current European Commission's mandate which is due to expire.
For a while, Sarah Sanders was extremely effective at weaponizing her womanhood. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. Who will replace Sanders? Another empowered woman no doubt. The kindest thing you can say about Sarah Sanders is that she was completely useless. She didn’t bother disguising her disdain for reporters. She didn’t bother holding press briefings – the last one was over 90 days ago. And she didn’t bother with the truth. She was an incompetent press secretary. Here’s the thing though: Sanders was never really hired to be a press secretary. Her real job, I’d venture, was to be a Very Visible Woman. Her real job was to be the female face of a deeply misogynistic administration; to play the role of the empowered working mother and make the Trump administration’s crass patriarchy more palatable. For a while Sanders was extremely effective at weaponizing her womanhood. When politically convenient, for example, she’d bring up the fact that she was the first mother to have the role of press secretary. “That says less about me than it does about this president,” Sanders told reporters in 2017. She then went on to disingenuously claim that “empowering working moms is the heart of the president’s agenda, particularly when it comes to things like tax reform”. There’s no better example of how effective Sanders was at using her sex as a shield than the speed with which a number of high-profile female journalists jumped to Sanders’ defense when Michelle Wolf made a joke about the press secretary at the 2018 White House correspondents’ dinner. “Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable,” MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski tweeted at the time. (Wolf didn’t make a joke about Sanders’ looks; this was a willful misinterpretation.) The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman similarly announced that it was admirable Sanders “sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television”. Sanders is far from the only woman to have played an important role in the Trump administration. While Trump may not have a feminist bone in his body, he’s elevated a number of women into high-profile positions – a talking point frequently repeated by his acolytes. Women like Kellyanne Conway, Nikki Haley, Kirstjen Nielsen and (of course) Ivanka Trump, have been some of the most prominent faces of his administration. These footsoldiers of the patriarchy have helped to roll back women’s rights and reinforce inequality while allowing the Trump administration to boast about “empowering women”. You could call it white(woman)washing. It’s not clear who is going to replace Sanders yet. (And, let’s face it, in many ways she is irreplaceable.) However, my bet is that Trump is strategically going to pick another woman. Indeed rumours are currently swirling that Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s spokeswoman, is one of the leading candidates for the job. Whoever it is, good luck to them. Sanders has set a high bar for odiousness; hers will be a tough act to follow. My Little Lesbian Pony My Little Pony, a children’s cartoon featuring little ponies, is marking Pride month with its first lesbian horse couple. They are called Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty, and they take care of a little pony called Scootaloo. Conservatives, predictably, are screaming “nay” and freaking out. The murky ethics of monetizing #MeToo Artist Andrea Bowers has got an installation at Art Basel, Open Secrets, that looks at all the sexual allegations that have come out during the #MeToo movement – it’s priced at $300,000. The ethics of profiting from #MeToo are already questionable but there’s more: Bowers used an abuse survivor’s photo without their consent. After much justified outcry this week, the photo has now been removed. Say Her Name: Layleen Polanco Last Friday, Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old transgender woman, was found dead in her cell at New York’s Rikers Island jail. While her cause of death is currently being investigated, what we know so far is infuriating. Polanco had been locked up for two months on a misdemeanor charge because she couldn’t afford $500 bail. She’d also been placed in solitary confinement despite reportedly having a medical condition that gave her seizures. “She went [to Riker’s Island] because of a fight,” a friend of Polanco’s told the New York Times. “And her punishment was a death sentence.” Photoshop your way to equality A bunch of Silicon Valley executives went to Italy to meet a designer who makes $1,000 sweatpants. While on their sweatpant sojourn, they took a group photo. A very normal thing to do! They then realized that a photo featuring 15 dudes was maybe not the best optics and photoshopped two women into it, before the picture was published in GQ. A very normal thing to do! Women’s World Cup news roundup The Guardian’s got a good piece on how Argentina’s team, which was so underfunded it didn’t play in 2015 or 2017, took on sexism to reach this year’s World Cup. Meanwhile, Trump refused to say whether he thought the US women’s team deserves equal pay. Megan Rapinoe won’t sing the national anthem (good for her). And Marina Hyde has a fun piece on “the great under-reported story of this Women’s World Cup: men”. Keanu Reeves’s hands-off approach The internet is obsessed with Reeves: the guy is everywhere at the moment. His hands, however, are not. Reeves, who has been dubbed a “respectful king” has mastered the art of the ‘hover hand’ when taking photos with women. Joe Biden: take note.