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Theresa May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock

Prime minister invites party leaders to discuss alternative deal but sticks to red lines

Theresa May has survived as prime minister after weathering a dramatic no-confidence vote in her government, but was left scrambling to strike a Brexit compromise that could secure the backing of parliament.

In a statement in Downing Street on Wednesday night, the prime minister exhorted politicians from all parties to “put aside self-interest”, and promised to consult with MPs with “the widest possible range of views” in the coming days.

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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:50:45 GMT
More than 170 business leaders join call for second Brexit referendum

Terence Conran and Norman Foster among those signing letter to the Times

More than 170 business leaders, including Terence Conran and Norman Foster, have thrown their weight behind the campaign for a second referendum on Brexit.

In a step designed to indicate growing support for a “people’s vote” after Theresa May suffered the heaviest parliamentary defeat in the modern era over her Brexit plan, the letter due to be published in the Times on Thursday asks both main party leaders in Westminster to support a second referendum.

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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:01:06 GMT
Obsession, vanity or grit: what makes Theresa May tick?

Some say the prime minister is resilient, others that she is inflexible, but all agree she is determined in her mission

Supporters of Theresa May put her extraordinary inflexibility in the face of new facts down to two things: her fabled resilience, and her deeply ingrained determination not to split the Conservative party.

Chris Wilkins, who worked for the prime minister in Downing Street, including drafting key speeches, says: “I often reflect on my time there and think I underestimated the extent to which she is a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative. She is absolutely steeped in the party.”

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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:33:14 GMT
The Guardian view on Brexit and parliament: now dissolve the red lines | Editorial
The prime minister’s offer of cross-party talks rings hollow without evidence of her readiness to compromise on the substance of Brexit

A Commons vote affirming confidence in Her Majesty’s government does not indicate that parliament trusts Theresa May. Her reprieve on Wednesday night, by a margin of 19, largely expresses Tory and DUP reluctance to risk a general election. Power is still flowing away from the prime minister.

In 2017 voters deprived the Tories of a majority. Last December the government was found in contempt of parliament. One-third of Tory MPs have said they have no confidence in Mrs May as their party’s leader. On Tuesday, the prime minister’s Brexit deal was crushed in a Commons defeat greater than any recorded in the modern era. Mrs May’s authority has been stripped away; her credibility is gone. Every precedent guides her towards resignation. But not much about Brexit follows precedent.

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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 20:04:40 GMT
First history, then the hangover: MPs traipse back to the farce | John Crace

It was the day after the night before, and Tories backed their ringleader for this mess

The Ship of Fools drifts on, its captain and crew seemingly indifferent to the rocks ahead. There was a time when Westminster was just your average shitshow, but that shark has long since been jumped. A shitshow at least has a certain entertainment value; now there’s more fun to be had from having a panic attack. Which is what the rest of the country has moved on to. That and foraging in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s recycling for food to stockpile.

And there is nothing average about this parliament. If only. That’s a level of elite performance which most MPs can only dream about. It’s taken years of training for this bunch just to learn how to get dressed in the morning. Or undressed in Boris Johnson’s case. You’d get more sense out of someone who’d overdosed on barbiturates.

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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 20:59:24 GMT
New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

‘Planetary health diet’ would prevent millions of deaths a year and avoid climate change

The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised. It requires huge cuts in red meat-eating in western countries and radical changes across the world.

The “planetary health diet” was created by an international commission seeking to draw up guidelines that provide nutritious food to the world’s fast-growing population. At the same time, the diet addresses the major role of farming – especially livestock – in driving climate change, the destruction of wildlife and the pollution of rivers and oceans.

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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 23:30:01 GMT
Jess Varnish loses employment tribunal against British Cycling and UK Sport
• Varnish had hoped to sue governing body
• 28-year-old to consider her options

Jess Varnish, the former Great Britain track cyclist, has lost her landmark employment case against British Cycling and UK Sport which had threatened to overhaul funding for Olympic athletes. She began legal proceedings after claiming she was dropped from the British Cycling squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics in retaliation for criticising her coaches. She argued that she was in effect an employee of both British Cycling and UK Sport and therefore should be subject to certain protections under law – including sick pay, a pension and the right to sue for unfair dismissal.

However, at a tribunal in Manchester last month British Cycling and UK Sport claimed national lottery funding for athletes is more akin to a university grant and therefore should not be subject to the same employment rights.

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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:32:03 GMT
US plans new space sensors for missile defence against 'rogue states'

Trump likely to present Pentagon findings about changing threat as justification for his planned ‘space force’

Donald Trump will unveil a plan on Thursday for a major expansion in US missile defence that will rely on a new generation of space-based sensors.

The administration’s long-delayed missile defence review, which the president will present at the Pentagon, will call for the expansion of the US network of sensors and interceptors designed to identify and shoot down incoming projectiles from “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.

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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 02:00:04 GMT
'I was prepared to die': survivors recount chaos of Nairobi attack

President says planners of assault claimed by al-Shabaab will be relentlessly pursued

Kenya’s president has vowed to relentlessly pursue anyone involved in the Nairobi hotel complex attack, as new details of the 16-hour siege emerged and investigators tried to trace 50 people who are still missing.

Twenty-one people have so far been confirmed dead, including 11 Kenyans, a Briton and an American, as well as five attackers. The figure is expected to rise.

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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:13:23 GMT
Parents' break-up more likely to harm mental health of children aged seven to 14

Research shows a 16% rise in emotional problems and 8% rise in conduct disorders

Parental separation is more likely to harm the mental health of children if they are aged at least seven when the split occurs, but appears to have no effect on the risks of them getting ill if they are younger, research has found.

The research, involving 6,245 children and young people in the UK, is the first British study to explore the links between couple separation or divorce and the impact on the mental wellbeing of children. Family break-up was already known to be one of several childhood experiences that can lead to young people developing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:01:05 GMT

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