• Brexit: Boris Johnson becoming prime minister would make Tory MPs defect to Change UK party, its leader says
    News
    The Independent

    Brexit: Boris Johnson becoming prime minister would make Tory MPs defect to Change UK party, its leader says

    Boris Johnson taking over at No 10 would be “the end of the road” for several Conservative MPs who would defect to the new centrist Change UK party, its leader says. Heidi Allen, a former Conservative, predicted “a number” of her former colleagues would follow her across the Commons if the arch-Brexiteer – or someone like him – succeeded Theresa May as prime minister. Mr Johnson remains the bookies favourite to reach Downing Street, in a contest already effectively underway despite Ms May’s determination to stay until she wins Commons approval for a Brexit deal.

  • Adele and husband the latest in a line of celebrity splits this year
    News
    PA Entertainment

    Adele and husband the latest in a line of celebrity splits this year

    Lady Gaga, Khloe Kardashian and Lily Allen have all become single this year.

  • 'We've all done it': Diane Abbott backed after apology for train mojito
    News
    The Guardian

    'We've all done it': Diane Abbott backed after apology for train mojito

    Diane Abbott has apologised for drinking on TfL, where alcohol consumption is banned. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PAThe shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has apologised after a photo was circulated showing her drinking a mojito on public transport in London.The Labour frontbencher said on Twitter: “A photo of me drinking from a can of M&S mojito on the Overground has been circulated. I’m sincerely sorry for drinking on TfL.”She sent the tweet after the photograph was published in the Sun, and she received widespread support, with many people saying she should not have to apologise.The therapist and writer Philippa Perry said: “Oh mate. We’ve all done it. Anyway thanks for travelling on the tube like most people have to do.” While the Labour MP David Lammy said: “Jah Rastafari! Why was the rum not Jamaican?”A mental health campaigner, Sam Thomas, said: “Why should you be sorry? We are all free to the freedom of choice. If you choose to drink on the underground, it’s fine. Meanwhile, for the serious crime that it isn’t, far worse atrocities are being committed.”One person wrote: “I’ve never felt more represented,” while another said: “Babe, live your life”.The Sun reported that Abbott was “slammed” for drinking alcohol on the tube, which is illegal. It reported that one commuter saw Abbott drinking at 1pm, keeping her head down and staring at her mobile phone.Rules introduced in 2008 state that drinking is not allowed on buses or tubes run by Transport for London. The Conservative MP Boris Johnson was responsible for bringing in the ban when he was mayor.At the time, Johnson said: “I firmly believe that banning the drinking of alcohol on London’s public transport will create a better travelling environment for all Londoners.”

  • Hollyoaks' shock Ste story continues in 23 pics
    Digital Spy

    Hollyoaks' shock Ste story continues in 23 pics

    Jonny and his friends carry out more abuse. From Digital Spy

  • Half of England owned by less than 1 per cent of population, research finds
    News
    The Independent

    Half of England owned by less than 1 per cent of population, research finds

    Land ownership in England, a source of enormous wealth, is often shielded by a culture of secrecy harking back to the Middle Ages. Less than one percent of the population — including aristocrats, royals and wealthy investors — owns about half the land, according to Who Owns England, a book that is to be published in May. In the book, author Guy Shrubsole, an environmental activist and writer, identifies many of the owners and compiles data gathered by peppering public bodies with freedom of information requests and combing through the 25 million title records in the government’s Land Registry.

  • Game of Thrones: George RR Martin originally planned for Arya and Jon Snow romance
    News
    The Independent

    Game of Thrones: George RR Martin originally planned for Arya and Jon Snow romance

    Game of Thrones almost featured an incestuous relationship that’s impossible to comprehend. While the series has featured the relationship of brother and sister Cersei and Jaime Lanniser as well as nephew and auntie Daenerys and Aegon Targaryen (otherwise known as Jon Snow), George RR Martin – author of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire - originally planned on Arya Stark falling for her half-brother Jon Snow, who is later revealed to be her cousin. When Martin was prepping the outline for his book franchise, he described how the character, played in the HBO series by Maisie Williams, would have fallen for Snow (Kit Harington) after joining him on his journey to the wall alongside mother Catelyn and brother Bran.

  • Tension in Paris as Yellow Vests protest on first Saturday since Notre-Dame fire
    News
    France 24

    Tension in Paris as Yellow Vests protest on first Saturday since Notre-Dame fire

    Officials warn that violence could flare up on the 23rd Saturday of Yellow Vest marches, the first since the Notre-Dame fire, with protesters angry that nearly €1 billion was pledged to restore the cathedral while their demands remain unsatisfied. After weeks of relative calm, with the marches attracting declining numbers, Interior minister Christophe Castaner said during a press conference on Friday domestic intelligence services had informed him of a potential return of rioters intent on wreaking havoc in Paris, Toulouse, Montpellier and Bordeaux, in a repeat of violent protests on March 16.That day, during the violent protests against inequality that have been shaking up France for months, hooded gangs ransacked stores on Paris's famed Champs-Élysées avenue, set fire to a bank and forced Macron to cut short a ski trip in the Pyrénées."The rioters will be back tomorrow," Castaner told a press conference. "Their proclaimed aim: A repeat of March 16," he said. "The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame."For many Yellow Vest protesters, the stinging sadness that came with the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral has quickly given way to boiling anger.Some of the activists said they cried in front of their TV sets as they watched the Gothic architectural masterpiece being consumed by flames Monday night and some even made small donations for the restoration of the iconic building, despite their struggles to make ends meet.Outrage as €1bn pledged for Notre-DameBut they felt outraged when, in just a few hours, billionaires pledged around one billion euros to help restore the damaged cathedral while their demands remain unsatisfied in their longstanding fight with the French government."You're there, looking at all these millions accumulating, after spending five months in the streets fighting social and fiscal injustice. It's breaking my heart," Ingrid Levavasseur, a founding leader of the movement, told the Associated Press ahead of another round of planned protests across France this weekend.Castaner said 60,000 police officers will be mobilised on Saturday across France, and planned marches that would have come near the medieval church on the central island on the Seine River had been banned, while one march from Saint-Denis, north of Paris, to Jussieu University on the Left Bank, had been authorised."What happened at Notre-Dame is obviously a deplorable tragedy. But nobody died," Levavasseur said. "I've heard someone speaking of national mourning. Are they out of their minds?"Macron ‘made us wait for three weeks’But they also felt unheard when French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to speak about the fire, instead of laying out his response to the social crisis that has fuelled their protests since last November.The French leader was due to unveil policies to quell the movement on Monday, before the blaze at Notre-Dame forced him to cancel the speech. Macron is set to speak on the announcements on Thursday, the French presidency said.Levavasseur believes the image of unbroken national unity that arose in the aftermath of the fire is being politically exploited by Macron."It took him less than 24 hours to speak about the fire, while he made us wait for three weeks before addressing our issues," she said.Decrying the struggles of low-paid workers and pensioners and accusing Macron's government of favouring the rich, Yellow Vest activists have been protesting for 22 consecutive weekends.Frustrated by the lack of government response, Levavasseur has stopped attending demonstrations in recent weeks but is considering returning to the streets on Saturday because of an even greater sense of being overlooked since the Notre-Dame tragedy. And she's not the only one feeling this way.‘Nothing for the needy’"The Yellow Vests will show their anger against the billion found in four days for stones, and nothing for the needy," wrote Pierre Derrien on the Facebook page of a Yellow Vests group based in the southern city of Montpellier.France's richest businessman, Bernard Arnault, and his luxury goods LVMH group pledged €200 million for the reconstruction. Billionaire François Pinault and his son, François-Henri Pinault, said they were giving €100 million from Artémis, the holding company that owns the Christie's auction house and the main shareholder of luxury fashion houses, including Gucci."If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre-Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency," said CGT trade union leader Philippe Martinez.Money better spent elsewhere, protesters sayMany French citizens believe the near billion euros pledged for the cathedral's restoration could be better spent elsewhere. Some have also criticised the billionaires' donations because their pledges make them eligible for huge tax deductions.The Pinault family has said, however, they will not ask for a tax deduction for their donation to Notre-Dame, and Arnault said his family holding company was not eligible for tax breaks because it has already reached the limit for deductions.In fact, taxes have been one of the most pressing issues of the Yellow Vest movement, which has lashed out at Macron for favouring the rich by eliminating a wealth tax as part of his economic stimulus plan, while average French workers have seen their living standards decline.Anti-rich messages have flourished on social media in recent days as Yellow Vest protesters coordinated their action for the weekend."Victor Hugo thanks all the generous donors ready to save Notre-Dame and proposes that they do the same thing with Les Misérables," they wrote on their social media pages, quoting French writer Ollivier Pourriol and his droll reference to Hugo's famous novels about the cathedral and the lives of the poor.Tristan, a Yellow Vest supporter who declined to give his full name for fear of being identified by police after he was banned from travelling to Paris during weekends to attend demonstrations, prefers to stay away from the polemics.He made an €80 donation to Notre-Dame – quite a sum for the 29-year-old, who works in construction and does frequent night shifts to put butter on his bread."I'm a Catholic, I'm a regular churchgoer and I felt personally touched," he said. "Tears came to my eyes on Monday night. Of course, one can ask why billionaires did not give money before to less important organisations. But who knows if they didn't?"On the other hand, what really shocked me is Macron saying Notre-Dame would be rebuilt within five years. It's obvious he never held a trowel in his life."(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)

  • Royal baby odds: Bookies' top picks for name, birth date and gender of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's baby
    News
    Evening Standard

    Royal baby odds: Bookies' top picks for name, birth date and gender of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's baby

    Tuesday is the bookies' favourite for the arrival of Meghan and Harry's first child.

  • Ferrari face tough questions and pressing need to do well in Baku
    News
    The Guardian

    Ferrari face tough questions and pressing need to do well in Baku

    The Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, has been a picture of considered, affable and approachable calm this season.

  • Seagram whisky heiress Clare Bronfman pleads guilty to role in Nxivm 'sex cult'
    News
    The Telegraph

    Seagram whisky heiress Clare Bronfman pleads guilty to role in Nxivm 'sex cult'

    American whisky heiress Clare Bronfman has pleaded guilty to her role in the secretive "sex cult" Nxivm which allegedly trafficked women.

  • Celebrities before they were famous from Game of Thrones stars to Kim Kardashian
    News
    Evening Standard

    Celebrities before they were famous from Game of Thrones stars to Kim Kardashian

    Super dodgy hairstyles and some very questionable fashion choices were the norm for some of our favourite celebs pre-fame.

  • Julian Assange put through 'hell' at embassy, says former diplomat
    News
    Sky News

    Julian Assange put through 'hell' at embassy, says former diplomat

    Julian Assange was always respectful but went through "hell" in the Ecuadorian embassy as officials tried to "break him down", according to a former senior diplomat. Fidel Narvaez worked at the London embassy for six of the seven years the WikiLeaks figurehead lived there and says they became friends. Assange was evicted a few weeks ago after a change of government in Ecuador.

  • China clamping down on Christianity
    Sky video

    China clamping down on Christianity

    Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he is 'appalled' at the ongoing persecution of Christians.

  • Extinction Rebellion latest: 750 people arrested and 28 charged over climate protest chaos as activists plan to stage picnic on major A-road
    News
    Evening Standard

    Extinction Rebellion latest: 750 people arrested and 28 charged over climate protest chaos as activists plan to stage picnic on major A-road

    Twenty-eight people have been charged and 750 arrested in connection with the Extinction Rebellion protests in London. Police in London are under strain over cell space following the huge number of arrests made during a week of climate change protests by Extinction Rebellion. Scotland Yard said those released under investigation "will be brought back to be formally interviewed and charged as appropriate in due course".

  • Avengers: Marvel actor Stellan Skarsgard reveals he won't appear in Endgame debunking popular fan theory
    News
    The Independent

    Avengers: Marvel actor Stellan Skarsgard reveals he won't appear in Endgame debunking popular fan theory

    One actor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ruled themselves out of appearing in Avengers: Endgame. Despite seemingly starring almost everyone who has appeared in any Marvel film released since 2008’s Iron Man, the film will be without the character of Dr Erik Selvig. Actor Stellan Skarsgård confirmed the news to Metro, saying: “No, I’m not [in Endgame].

  • Any type of Brexit is going to have 'negative consequences' – Juncker
    News
    PA Ready News UK

    Any type of Brexit is going to have 'negative consequences' – Juncker

    The European Commission president has urged the UK not to waste the time granted by Brussels to pass a deal.

  • News
    Sky News

    As atheist China shuts churches, Christians pray in secret

    In a run-down block of flats in north Beijing, up flights of bare concrete stairs, you can hear them singing hymns behind a closed door. "We also entrust the people who are suffering for you in jail to you, Lord," Pastor Xu Yonghai says. This is one of the few spaces left for Christianity in China - Mr Xu's own small flat.

  • Irish Brexit border issue could endanger EU-U.S. trade deal - Congressman
    News
    Reuters

    Irish Brexit border issue could endanger EU-U.S. trade deal - Congressman

    An influential U.S. congressman has warned the European Union that any Brexit arrangement that undermines Northern Ireland's 1998 peace agreement could endanger a proposed EU-U.S. trade deal, the Irish Times reported on Friday. The European Union last week said it was ready to start talks on a trade agreement with the United States and aims to conclude a deal before year-end. "If America wants a trade agreement with the European Union, which I think is very desirable – I want it – at the same time you are back to the same issue on the border if you do anything that dampens or softens the Good Friday Agreement," Democratic Congressman Richard Neal was quoted as saying.

  • Britain could enjoy temperatures of up to 27C during Easter weekend
    News
    PA Ready News UK

    Britain could enjoy temperatures of up to 27C during Easter weekend

    Met Office says it is set to be "a glorious day" in most areas

  • Manchester City win Spurs rematch as Phil Foden heads them top
    News
    The Guardian

    Manchester City win Spurs rematch as Phil Foden heads them top

    Revenge might not be exactly the right word, given the European dimension of Manchester City’s attempted quadruple was probably the one that mattered most to them, but Pep Guardiola will have been satisfied with the reaction his players showed after the draining events of Wednesday in the Champions League. The City manager had confessed he had no idea how such a cruel late setback might affect his side, though they gave one of their more solid performances of the season to take three points from a gutsy and resolute Spurs team to move back to the top of the Premier League table. This was not City at their fluent, most incisive best, they did not cut their opponents to pieces or rack up the goals as they are capable of doing, but Liverpool and Manchester United will still have been impressed. Liverpool are well aware of the difficulty of grinding out results against stubborn opponents at this stage of the season, while United, who play City next, might be encouraged by a relatively low-key home performance but will find it challenging to defend for 90 minutes as well as Spurs did. Realistically the third meeting of these sides within a fortnight was never going to live up to the breathless excitement of midweek, but they deserve credit for producing professional performances after their exertions in Europe. The only drawback from City’s point of view was that Kevin De Bruyne did not complete the game, twisting a knee in the act of shooting and limping off before half-time, though City have prospered without the influential Belgian for much of the season and appear equipped to do so again. Bernardo Silva is one of the less celebrated names on the shortlist that was released on Saturday for PFA player of the season award, and he gave Ben Davies a game he will not forget in a hurry. Time and again the Portugal international turned and tormented the wing-back trying to mark him, and he was unlucky to have a penalty appeal turned down midway through the first half when Jan Vertonghen caught his leg. Before that Silva had been instrumental in creating the first goal, cutting in from the right after five minutes to pick out Sergio Agüero at the far post. The striker was not in a position to score but had the awareness to nod the ball back across goal, where Phil Foden’s reward for following up assiduously was a first league goal. Phil Foden (centre) celebrates his early header, which proved to be the match’s decisive moment. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters Such an early breakthrough raised hopes of an end-to-end goalfest to resemble midweek, but the rest of the first half took on the aspect of an end-of-season encounter without much at stake, which was odd considering the fixture had been sold out for weeks and until a few days ago was considered make or break in City’s attempts to win another title. They were comfortably in control for the most part, without finding the cutting edge that had brought them the lead, and while Spurs were reduced to sending long balls in the direction of Son Heung-min in the absence of Harry Kane, with Christian Eriksen supplying the passes and Son excelling at making the most out of very little, the visitors always looked capable of finding an equaliser. Manchester City (86 points) 24 Apr Man Utd (a) 28 Apr Burnley (a) 4 May Leicester (h) 12 May Brighton (a) Liverpool (85 points) 21 Apr Cardiff (a)  26 Apr Huddersfield (h) 5 May Newcastle (a)  12 May Wolves (h) Son showed blistering pace to get goal side of Aymeric Laporte from Eriksen’s first invitation, only for the defender to recover in time to block his eventual shot. Eriksen had brought the first save of the game from Ederson, but it was Son who created Spurs’ best chance before the interval with a stunning turn in the middle of the pitch followed by a run through City’s defence all the way into the area, where he was foiled by the keeper’s alertness in leaving his line. Agüero had a shot blocked by Toby Alderweireld early in the second half and at the other end Spurs would have had a penalty had VAR been around to catch Kyle Walker’s hand diverting the ball away from Dele Alli, before Guardiola decided to be more proactive and sent on Leroy Sané, switching Raheem Sterling to a central role to try to inject more pace into City’s attacks. The pair almost produced a goal within minutes when Sané’s cross found Sterling in the middle, yet what looked a straightforward tap-in was kept out by Paulo Gazzaniga’s trailing leg. Ederson had to make a sharp save from Lucas Moura shortly after that as the game began to live up to its original billing. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. There were no more goals, though the four minutes of stoppage time – with Vertonghen and Sterling booked after a scuffle and Spurs pumping high balls into the City area – were just as nervy and frenetic as anything on Wednesday. With the home fans shrieking for the whistle the contest ended almost comically, with Sané rolling around in agony, Guardiola almost stepping on to the pitch in his anxiousness to get involved and Fernandinho finally attempting to boot the ball out of the stadium in a bid to relieve the pressure. It was not what City are famous for, but at this stage of an attempt to win an unprecedented domestic clean sweep, results are all that matter.

  • Annunziata Rees-Mogg hits out at 'broken' political system
    News
    PA Ready News UK

    Annunziata Rees-Mogg hits out at 'broken' political system

    The sister of Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg is standing for the Brexit Party in the European elections.

  • Healthcare stocks take a beating as Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare for all' plan grows in popularity
    News
    The Independent

    Healthcare stocks take a beating as Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare for all' plan grows in popularity

    UnitedHealth Group has been a stock market darling for much of the past decade, dependably churning out earnings increases and rewarding shareholders with staggering returns. Earnings per share jumped 24 per cent. Based on the news about the diversified health service company’s fundamental businesses, you might have expected its stock price to rise.

  • Le Pen's National Rally goes green in bid for European election votes
    News
    France 24

    Le Pen's National Rally goes green in bid for European election votes

    In its European election manifesto unveiled on Monday, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (formerly the National Front) adopted an environmentalist approach in an attempt to woo French voters beyond its base. The far-right National Rally (RN) launched its policy platform for May’s European elections on Monday. It was met with broad indifference, until the fire at Notre-Dame swept it out of the news cycle completely. Yet Le Pen’s party set out a surprising new approach: environmentalism tied to “localism”.With this manifesto – branded as “not just a programme” but a “vision of humanity” – Le Pen said she is “putting everything back on the table” to make a “Europe of nations” the world’s “first ecological civilisation”.Indeed, it seems that ecology is no longer the preserve of “bobos” (a popular French term for bourgeois bohemians) – as Marine’s father and National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen once dismissively said. The party’s new paradigm owes much of its intellectual basis to the essayist Hervé Juvin – an apostle of a “localism” that combines environmentalism with identitarianism who helped write the manifesto.‘Borders are the environment’s greatest ally’The RN’s ecological vision bears little relation to that of France’s left-wing parties, such as the Socialists and the Greens. “Borders are the environment’s greatest ally; it is through them that we will save the planet,” Jordan Bardella, head of the RN’s European election candidates list, told right-wing French daily Le Figaro on Monday. He proposes to reduce emissions by ending imports all over the place.For her part, Le Pen has sought to anchor her new vision in the idea that the individual is “not simply a consumer or producer” but “someone rooted, someone who wants to live on their land and to pass it on to their children”. Extrapolating from this axiom, she argued that someone “who is rooted in their home is an ecologist”, whereas those who are “nomadic […] do not care about the environment; they have no homeland”.“Environmentalism and localism have become part of the RN’s political agenda, but it’s a specifically far-right form of environmentalism – very identitarian,” said Jean-Yves Camus, a specialist on the extreme right at the Fondation Jean-Jaurès think-tank in Paris.“Many right-wing voters see society as like a biological organism that should be kept in its original state,” Camus continued. “According to this line of thinking, when a foreign body is introduced, it causes disorder – hence the anti-immigration stance. Logically the same goes for nature: We must respect the natural order established by the seasons of the year etc.”No more Frexit, no more return to the francAs well as pivoting in an ecological direction, Le Pen’s party has watered down its Europhobic stance. Although they were key planks of her platform in the 2017 presidential elections, a French withdrawal from the EU and the euro (with a consequent return to the franc) are no longer on the cards. “After that election, Le Pen swept the idea of Frexit off the carpet because she realised that it provokes anxiety,” Camus pointed out. “Brexit is another factor: Its advocates promised so much, but it is very difficult to put into practice. Meanwhile, the notion of leaving the euro isn’t exactly reassuring for young people who never knew the franc.”Instead, Le Pen now wants to “renegotiate EU treaties” and replace the European Commission with a simple administrative secretariat. “For the first time [in its history], the European Parliament can become the place where change is carried out, if an alliance of national and popular parties prevails,” the manifesto reads.“In other words, the NR wants to overhaul the EU from the inside,” Camus said, summing it up. However, in order for this agenda to be put in place, it would need unanimity in the European Council, composed of heads of state or government – and, as things stand, this seems a distinctly unlikely prospect.That’s while Le Pen’s agenda risks collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions. It is hard to envisage how one could defend national sovereignty in the European Parliament at the same time as submitting to the decisions of European institutions, approved by majorities of the EU’s nation-states. At the same time, Le Pen’s newfound acceptance of the euro sits uncomfortably with her railing against its guarantor, the European Central Bank.But, no stranger to ideological cross-dressing, the far-right party has a rich history of embracing paradoxical positions.This article was adapted from the original in French.

  • Nearly one in four teachers physically attacked by pupils at least once a week, survey suggests
    News
    The Independent

    Nearly one in four teachers physically attacked by pupils at least once a week, survey suggests

    Nearly one in four teachers are physically attacked by pupils at least once a week, a survey has suggested. Almost three in 10 (29 per cent) teachers have been hit, punched or kicked – and nearly two in five (39 per cent) have been shoved or barged by students, a study from the NASUWT teaching union has revealed. Other attacks include being spat at (7 per cent) and being headbutted (3 per cent), according to the survey, of more than 4,900 teachers, ahead of the NASUWT annual conference in Belfast this weekend.

  • New potato salad with pickled cucumber, red onion and dill recipe
    News
    The Telegraph

    New potato salad with pickled cucumber, red onion and dill recipe

    Pickling cucumber gives this salad a new dimension and it’s not as time-consuming as it sounds. I love to add coarsely crushed coriander seed to the vinegar and plenty of fresh dill.