Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Brexit party's funding must be investigated, says Gordon Brown

Former PM is concerned ‘dirty money’ from foreign donors could reach Nigel Farage’s party

The Electoral Commission is under mounting pressure to launch an investigation into the funding of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party because of concerns that its donation structure could allow foreign interference in British democracy.

Before Thursday’s crucial European elections, Gordon Brown has written to the Electoral Commission calling on it to urgently examine whether the party has sufficient safeguards on its website to prevent the contribution of “dirty money”.

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Sun, 19 May 2019 23:01:17 GMT
UK's 'cruel and harmful policies' lack regard for child hunger, says NGO

Damning Human Rights Watch report accuses the government of breaching its duty

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the UK government of breaching its international duty to keep people from hunger by pursuing “cruel and harmful polices” with no regard for the impact on children living in poverty.

Examining family poverty in Hull, Cambridgeshire and Oxford, it concluded that tens of thousands of families do not have enough to eat. And it revealed that schools in Oxford are the latest to have turned to food banks to feed their pupils.

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Sun, 19 May 2019 21:30:15 GMT
Google 'blocks Huawei access to Android updates' after blacklisting

Reported move could hit Huawei Technologies’ ability to run phone operating system

In a fresh blow to Huawei, Google has suspended its access to updates of its Android operating system while chipmakers have reportedly cut off supplies to the company, complying with orders from the US government as it seeks to blacklist Huawei around the world.

Google said it was complying with Trump’s executive order and was reviewing the “implications”, after Reuters initially reported the story.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 02:43:35 GMT
Unions lobby investors to press Amazon over UK working conditions

GMB tells shareholders that warehouse workers endure targets that cause suffering

Trade unions are lobbying City investors to put pressure on Amazon to improve conditions for its workers in the UK.

At a meeting at the TUC’s head office this month the GMB union made presentations, including one from an Amazon employee, to a dozen leading fund managers and pension funds that own stakes in Amazon including Legal & General, Baillie Gifford and Aberdeen Standard.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 05:01:24 GMT
Revealed: 5G rollout is being stalled by rows over lampposts

Exclusive: plans to put network transmitters on tall structures has caused dozens of disputes

The rollout of the 5G telecommunications network is being stalled by at least two years over legal wrangling about the control of millions of lampposts, the Guardian can reveal.

Lampposts have suddenly become hot property because 5G requires the installation of transmitters on a dense network of masts taller than a double-decker bus. As a result, mobile network operators (MNOs) are clamouring for access to lampposts and other tall structures in cities, and are threatening legal action to any local authorities or landlords who stand in their way.

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Sun, 19 May 2019 15:37:57 GMT
British nationals to be banned from parts of Syria under new law

Those who enter or remain in Idlib or north-east could face 10 years in jail, Sajid Javid to warn

British nationals are to be banned from entering or remaining in parts of conflict-stricken Syria in the first use of a controversial new power.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, will reveal on Monday how he expects the law, which makes it a criminal offence to enter or remain in a “designated area” overseas, to be used.

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Sun, 19 May 2019 23:01:18 GMT
Revised MoD guidance could leave door open for torture

Updated protocol allows information sharing even if torture may have been used

The Ministry of Defence has insisted that newly emerged departmental guidance on the sharing of intelligence derived from torture with allies, remains in line with practices agreed in the aftermath of a series of scandals following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

An MoD document discreetly rewritten in November 2018 and made public on Sunday night says that UK ministers can share information obtained from third parties where there is a “serious risk” of torture “if ministers agree that the potential benefits justify accepting the risk and the legal consequences that may follow”.

In a statement, the department said that the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office, which regulates government conduct in the area, was “entirely satisfied” with the MoD’s “activities and standards in this area”.

It added that “all our policy and activities in this area comply with the Cabinet Office’s consolidated guidance” on torture, which was last published in November 2011 by then prime minister David Cameron in response to a series of torture and rendition scandals the decade before.

The carefully written 2011 document says that the UK does “not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture”, a violent practice it notes there is “an absolute prohibition of … [in] international law”.

But it also says that when Britain works with other countries where “a serious risk of torture at the hands of a third party remains, our presumption would be that we will not proceed” – therefore not completely ruling out obtaining intelligence via the illegal practice.

A year ago a group of human rights organisations, including Reprieve, Redress and Amnesty International complained that the UK was recasting its guidelines on torture in secret. Writing to the foreign secretary at the time, Boris Johnson, the human rights groups said: “We therefore have serious concerns that the government may be seeking to amend or even water down its guidance on torture behind closed doors.”

Cameron’s government revised the consolidated guidance and agreed to make it public after the Guardian highlighted a series of cases in which terrorism suspects were tortured by overseas intelligence agencies while being asked questions that had been drawn up by the UK’s intelligence agencies.

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Sun, 19 May 2019 23:11:52 GMT
US warship sails in disputed South China Sea amid trade tensions

Destroyer moved near Scarborough Reef to ‘challenge excessive maritime claims’, says commander of Seventh Fleet

A US warship has sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea, a move likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

The destroyer USS Preble carried out the operation on Sunday, a US military spokesman said. The busy waterway is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the US-China relationship, which also include a trade war, the blacklisting of tech company Huawei US sanctions and Taiwan.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 04:30:20 GMT
Rail timetable changes come into effect as industry reels from annus horribilis

Operators have stepped up efforts to avert a repeat of the fiasco of 2018, the worst year on record

Rail passengers in the UK endured the worst year on record for delays and cancellations in 2018, it has emerged, as commuters brace for a new timetable change.

Rescheduling on British railways last May was the catalyst for chaos and disruption, particularly in the north-west and south-east. An estimated 4m hours were lost to passengers over the year through major delays, with 80 trains every day on average held for half an hour or more, according to the consumer group Which?.

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Sun, 19 May 2019 23:00:17 GMT
Van halo: the truck shop in New Zealand that drives off profiteers

Salvation Army initiative delivers truck shop service without high prices or extortionate loans

Painted bright purple and crammed full of everyday essentials, the Salvation Army’s Good Shop is hard to miss as it cruises the back streets of south Auckland.

Frequenting deprived suburbs that are targeted by predatory lenders, the Good Shop aims to beat the bad guys at their own game.

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Mon, 20 May 2019 04:00:23 GMT

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