Odds and Ends 

UK parliament seizes cache of internal Facebook documents to further privacy probe

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may yet regret underestimating a UK parliamentary committee that’s been investigating the democracy-denting impact of online disinformation for the best part of this year — and whose repeat requests for facetime he’s just as repeatedly snubbed. In the latest high gear change, reported in yesterday’s Observer, the committee has used parliamentary powers to seize a cache of documents pertaining to a US lawsuit to further its attempt to hold Facebook to account for misuse of user data. Facebook’s oversight — or rather lack of it — where…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

What you need to know ahead of the EU copyright vote

European Union lawmakers are facing a major vote on digital copyright reform proposals on Wednesday — a process that has set the Internet’s hair fully on fire. Here’s a run down of the issues and what’s at stake… Article 13 The most controversial component of the proposals concerns user-generated content platforms such as YouTube, and the idea they should be made liable for copyright infringements committed by their users — instead of the current regime of takedowns after the fact (which locks rights holders into having to constantly monitor and…

Read More
Headlines 

Dublin’s homelessness crisis jars with narrative of Irish economic boom

Ireland is the EUs star performer, but almost 700 families have become homeless in the capital this year Jobs are bountiful, luring back emigrants and drawing newcomers. Property prices are soaring. Chic restaurants are fully booked weeks in advance. RT television is showcasing the top new entries to People in emergency accommodation in Ireland Its virtually an emergency situation, said Tommy Gordon, who manages Wicklow Homeless Five Loaves, a drop-in centre south of Dublin. Were supplying tents and sleeping bags to the homeless and food to those in financial difficulty.…

Read More
Headlines 

‘Have people inspected’ at Irish border after Brexit, says Rees-Mogg

Critics deride suggestion of return to arrangements as we had during the Troubles Jacob Rees-Mogg has sparked a fresh row about the status of the Irish border after Brexit after a video emerged in which he suggests a return to checks as we had during the Troubles. The Conservative MP is seen on the footage from the public meeting suggesting the government could keep an eye on the border. Ireland would not be a free for all. It would be perfectly possible to continue with historic arrangements to ensure that…

Read More
Headlines 

Jeremy Hunt on Brexit: ‘We are heading for no deal by accident’

Probability of exit without deal increasing by the day, UK foreign secretary says The Brexit process is currently heading for no deal by accident, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said during talks in Austria, stepping up his warnings about a potential collapse in talks. This is not project fear, this is project reality, Hunt told a press conference in Vienna alongside his Austrian counterpart, Karin Kneissl. We have to make a decision on Britains future relationship with the EU by the end of this year and we have to…

Read More
Headlines 

Anti-Brexit protest: thousands march two years after referendum

Peoples Vote demonstration in London culminates with speeches in Parliament Square A roar of pro-European chants rose up above Pall Mall and across the royal parks as tens of thousands attended an anti-Brexit march marking the second anniversary of the EU referendum. Some marched on Saturday in the hope of stopping Brexit, some just wanted to alter the mood music to help change the direction of government travel, but young and old, Labour and Tory, they were all united in their pro-European passion. Police on foot, in riot vans in…

Read More
Headlines 

US on brink of trade war with EU, Canada and Mexico as tit-for-tat tariffs begin

Jean-Claude Juncker pledges retaliation as EU companies face 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminiumTrump imposes tariffs business live The United States and its traditional allies are on the brink of a full-scale trade war after European and Canadian leaders reacted swiftly and angrily to Donald Trumps decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium producers. The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, promised immediate retaliation after the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said EU companies would face a 25% duty on steel and a 10% duty on…

Read More
Headlines 

Theresa May forced to give MPs single market vote after shock defeat

More than 80 Labour peers defy whip on amendment calling for vote on EEA membership MPs will have a vote on remaining in the European Economic Area effectively a vote on the single market after a shock defeat for the government in the Lords. It means the Brexit strategy of both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn has been blown apart in the last 24 hours. The rebel Labour amendment in the Lords opened the prospect of a Commons vote on the EEA a less stringent version of the single market…

Read More
Headlines 

Brexit will cause loss of influence on scale of 1970s, says ex-MI6 chief

Sir John Sawers tells MPs national assessment is needed of how Britains future standing can be recovered Brexit is set to cause a loss of UK influence on a par with the 1970s, requiring a national assessment of how the UKs future standing can be recovered once Brexit is complete, Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6, has warned. Speaking to the foreign affairs select committee, Sawers said: We can see the trend of the coming years and we do not want to go through a repeat of the…

Read More
Headlines 

Brexit: voters can change EU deal if they don’t like it, says Michael Gove

As Theresa May wins Tory support for Brussels agreement, the environment secretary flags up potential for a rethink Michael Gove has said voters will be able to force changes to an EU withdrawal deal at the next election if they do not like it. The environment secretarys comments came as prime minister Theresa May won public backing from both wings of the Tory party after securing an agreement with Brussels to start post-Brexit trade negotiations.

Read More
Headlines 

Michael Bloomberg: Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done besides Trump

Exclusive: Billionaire media mogul says it is hard to understand why a country doing so well wanted to ruin it Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York, has said Brexit is the single stupidest thing any country has ever done apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president. Bloomberg argued that it is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it with the Brexit vote, in a series of outspoken remarks made Bloomberg said in…

Read More
Headlines 

Calls for unity as thousands attend anti-Brexit rally in London

Lib Dem Ed Davey says remainers should listen to other side and be a unifying force, as estimated 50,000 turn out in capital Opponents of Brexit who turned out in their tens of thousands for one of the largest marches yet against Britains withdrawal from the EU have been told they need to listen and understand leave voters and bide their time for a referendum on any deal that may emerge. The plea, met with polite applause from many in the crowd in Parliament Square, came from the Liberal Democrat…

Read More
Headlines 

Number of migrants arriving in Italy from Libya falls by half in July

More forceful action by Libyan navy and EU-funded boats credited with reducing migration to Italy to 11,500 last month The Italian government has hailed a fall of more than 50% in the number of migrants from Libya reaching its coastline in July as a potential turning point made possible by tougher actions against smugglers operating in the Mediterranean. The number of migrants reaching Italy fell to 11,459 in July from 23,524 in June and 23,522 in July last year. Over the past few years the summer months have been the…

Read More
Headlines 

England Lost: Mick Jagger releases bleak Brexit-inspired songs

Rolling Stones singer says England Lost reflects countrys vulnerability while Gotta Get a Grip bemoans fake news and politics led by lunatics Mick Jagger at 74 has delivered his first solo musical foray into political commentary, with a pair of new songs that deliver grimly mocking takes on the age of Brexit and Trump. The celebrated Rolling Stones frontman released England Lost and Gotta Get A Grip on Thursday, saying he wrote them while stirred by anxiety [and] unknowability of the changing political situation. The songs represent Jaggers first solo…

Read More
Headlines 

After Trump and Brexit, is this the end for the Anglo Saxon west? | Timothy Garton Ash

Those who welcome the prospect of decline in Britain and the US should be careful what they wish for, argues Guardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash You must be from England, says the shop assistant at the CVS drugstore in Menlo Park, California. When I mention Donald Trump, he says: Well, dont get me started on how things are going on your side of the Atlantic. Your Mrs May there in Downing Street is being [expletive deleted] by the bureaucrats in Brussels I can only agree. Having jumped from the Brexit…

Read More