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19/02/2020 19:54:41  

The former Democratic Illinois governor called himself a ‘Trumpocrat’ as he thanked Donald Trump for commuting his prison sentence, praising Trump’s ‘kind heart’. Blagojevich had been recorded trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became president, but Trump has claimed it did not happen

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19/02/2020 19:54:23  

For months, Australians breathed air pollution caused by bushfire smoke that was up to 26 times above levels considered hazardous to human health. The long-term impact could be devastating

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19/02/2020 19:54:22  

The 86-year-old artist, seen as one of the fathers of the Pop Art movement, discusses his career of political provocation

In 1966, Peter Saul went to a protest in San Francisco. He wore a suit and a tie so he wouldn’t get arrested – and it worked.

“People were getting punched to the ground around me, but nobody would touch me, I looked proper,” he said to the Guardian. “Maybe they thought I was an FBI agent, or something. It was dangerous to protest the Vietnam war, but I didn’t get intomuch trouble.”

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19/02/2020 19:54:21  

Bones of fish eaten by humans thousands of years ago offer clue to region’s ancient climate

The Sahara’s shift from savannah with abundant lakes to a largely arid expanse has been traced in the remains of fish eaten thousands of years ago.

Researchers analysing material found in a rock shelter in the Acacus mountains in south-west Libya say they have found more than 17,500 animal remains dating from between 10,200 and 4,650 years ago, 80% of which are fish. About two-thirds of the fish were catfish and the rest were tilapia. The team say telltale marks on the bones reveal the fish were eaten by humans who used the shelter.

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19/02/2020 19:54:20  

Jonathan Hall QC says there is a risk prisoners will be further radicalised behind bars

Emergency plans to increase the minimum time terrorists serve in jail risk being counterproductive because of the danger that prisoners will be further radicalised behind bars, the official watchdog has said.

Jonathan Hall QC said the Lords should consider striking out government proposals to increase the minimum time served to two-thirds of the sentence after warnings that violent extremism is not under control in the prison system

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19/02/2020 19:54:16  

Workers express frustration in run-up to action involving 50,000 staff at 74 campuses

University staff who are due to start 14 days of strike action at 74 campuses across the UK have expressed their anger and frustration at what they see as employers’ failure to address their concerns over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Up to 50,000 lecturers, technicians, librarians and other academic and support staff plan to start industrial action on Thursday, potentially affecting 1.2 million students, many of whom have already lost weeks of tuition because of previous strikes.

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19/02/2020 19:54:15  

Defendants face up to 15 years in prison for ‘vile and wicked’ crimes between 1995 and 2011

Six men who sexually exploited two vulnerable young girls in Huddersfield have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

The girls – who were aged 13 and 14 when the grooming began – were abused between 1995 and 2011. One is said to have come to the attention of the group while on a paper round.

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19/02/2020 19:54:15  

Lawyers say suspected victims of trafficking have not received ‘adequate access to justice’

The Home Office is planning to deport vulnerable asylum seekers and victims of trafficking on a new charter flight on Thursday, the Guardian has learned.

The flight will be going to Switzerland, Germany and Austria under Dublin Convention legislation, EU rules which require asylum seekers to claim asylum in the first safe EU country they arrive in and not move from one to another.

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19/02/2020 19:54:14  

PM’s aide dragged further into row over decision to hire adviser with eugenicist views

Boris Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings has been dragged further into the row over No 10’s decision to hire an adviser with eugenicist views after it emerged that he suggested in his own writings that the NHS should cover the cost of selecting babies to have higher IQs.

In a blogpost covering his views on the future of “designer babies”, Cummings said he believed rich would-be parents would inevitably select embryos with “the highest prediction for IQ” and floated the idea that “a national health system should fund everybody to do this” to avoid an unfair advantage for the wealthy.

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19/02/2020 19:53:38  

NASA Highlights Science on 20th SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station
19/02/2020 19:53:35  

Mozilla has a new virtual private network service and if you have a Chromebook, a Windows 10 computer or an Android device in the US, you can start using a beta version now. From a report: Called Firefox Private Network, the new service is designed to function as a full-device VPN and give better protection when surfing the web or when using public Wi-Fi networks. The company offers two options: a free browser-extension version, which it launched in beta last year, that provides 12 one-hour VPN passes when using the Firefox browser and a Firefox account; and a second, $4.99-a-month option that provides a more complete VPN service across your whole device. The new paid option, which runs off of servers provided by Swedish open-source VPN company Mullvad, can protect up to five devices with one account. It allows for faster browsing and streaming, and gives you the ability to tap into servers located in "30-plus countries" for masking your location data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19/02/2020 19:50:15  

Unconfirmed reports say that Rowan Baxter set a car alight with his wife and children inside.
19/02/2020 19:50:04  

Evidence for the pardon claim is due to be part of the Wikileaks founder's extradition defence.
19/02/2020 18:54:27  

(Blog) At the moment, the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) is an important piece of legislation…
19/02/2020 18:54:25  

Firm told: Contracting with Uncle Sam is a privilege, not a right

An American court has rejected Huawei's constitutional challenge to a US law that bans federal agencies and contractors from buying and using the Chinese firm's telecoms equipment.…

19/02/2020 18:54:19  

Luise Davies, who has died aged 91, described in her memoir Just Another War: How I Survived the Siege of Leningrad (2018) how, as a girl of 13 during the siege of Leningrad by Nazi troops, she watched her mother slowly starve to death. Her father was able to organise Luise’s escape in 1942, but was left behind and also died of starvation.

Luise was able to flee the city, travelled across the frozen Lake Ladoga, went from there to the Caucasus, and then across Europe to her mother’s relatives in Germany.

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19/02/2020 18:54:03  

Prints of letter, being made public for first time, offered for sale to save late artist’s Dungeness cottage

If there were a choice, Derek Jarman implored God, then could he please go to hell. And if the almighty insisted on reincarnation then “please promise me that I will be queer”.

The heartfelt, witty prayers of the late artist, director and film-maker about his impending death are revealed in an artwork which is being made public for the first time.

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19/02/2020 18:54:02  

  • Incarceration is form of ‘punitive sanction’, says lawyer
  • Manning in jail after refusing to testify before grand jury

Lawyers acting for Chelsea Manning, the former US army intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks, have renewed efforts to secure her release after almost a year of incarceration.

The former soldier’s attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, has lodged a motion with a federal court in the eastern district of Virginia calling for her to be set free more than 11 months after she was detained.

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19/02/2020 18:54:01  

Rood reportedly raised concerns about the freeze on military aid to Ukraine last year

John Rood, the Pentagon’s top policy official who reportedly raised concerns about the freeze on military aid to Ukraine last year – the issue at the heart of Donald Trump’s impeachment – has resigned at the request of the president.

The Trump administration’s delay in releasing that aid was central to the president’s impeachment by the House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate voted to acquit the president. But in the wake of the Senate trial, an emboldened Trump has gone after officials he has perceived as being disloyal.

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19/02/2020 18:54:01  

Split emerges over rebate and spending restraint in first EU budget since Brexit

European Union leaders are preparing for acrimonious talks on the bloc’s seven-year budget, amid deepening divisions between the self-styled “frugal” club versus a larger number of countries fighting cuts.

The EU’s 27 leaders will attempt to agree a budget for 2021-27 at a special summit on Thursday, the first such exercise since Brexit blew a €70bn (£58bn) hole in the finances. “It is an exercise in the division of loss, a bit like Brexit,” a senior EU diplomat said.

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19/02/2020 18:54:00  

Assets of firm that supplied royal family to be sold off after failing to secure rescue deal

Axminster Carpets, the Devon company that made the coronation carpet for George VI in 1937 and could trace its history back 265 years, has collapsed into administration with the loss of 80 jobs.

The company, which continued to supply the royal family, including a recent commission for Buckingham Palace, appointed administrators Duff & Phelps on Wednesday after failing to secure a rescue deal. Axminster had also recently installed carpets at the US Congress and a Donald Trump hotel in Miami.

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19/02/2020 18:53:56  

  • Trent Robinson believes competition can grow
  • Sydney Roosters defend title against St Helens this weekend

Super League and the National Rugby League must do more to promote the World Club Challenge, according to the Sydney Roosters coach aiming to become the first manager to defend the title.

St Helens, the Super League champions, host their NRL counterparts in the 2020 challenge on Saturday but the annual debate about the competition’s prospects has emerged once again.

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19/02/2020 18:53:55  

  • Striker’s back injury worse than initially thought
  • Rashford’s participation at Euro 2020 in major doubt

Marcus Rashford’s chances of playing for Manchester United again this season are “touch and go”, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who has said the striker’s back injury is more severe than initially thought. It leaves Rashford’s participation at Euro 2020 in major doubt.

Rashford suffered a double stress fracture in January’s FA Cup win over Wolves and United’s manager was asked on Wednesday, before his team’s Europa League game at Club Brugge, whether the 22-year-old’s chances of featuring for United before the end of the campaign were rated at 50-50.

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19/02/2020 18:53:54  

  • ‘The more I’ve thought about it, the more I don’t like it’
  • Tiger Woods ‘not going to do it’, adds world No 1

Rory McIlroy has delivered what may well prove to be a fatal blow to plans for a breakaway golf tour by stating he has no interest in taking part.

The Premier Golf League hoped to coax McIlroy and leading players away from the PGA and European tours with eye-watering sums of guaranteed cash – as linked in part to Saudi Arabia – and a model akin to Formula One. Plans include 18 tournaments per year, of 54 holes, and a team element. Discussion over the proposal has dominated the start of this golfing year and McIlroy, who was previously circumspect regarding it, used pre-tournament duties for the WGC Mexico Championship to issue a firm rebuttal.

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19/02/2020 18:53:53  

Atalanta, eh? In the Champions League knock-out rounds, of all places. Who’d have thought it? It’s a throwback to the days when the likes of Videoton, Mechelen and Carl Zeiss Jena could get into European finals, days when fans of almost any club, almost any where, could dream of their team one day being Pretty Good Actually. Not like now, when everything’s been ruined by [insert gripe of choice here].

And this might not be the last of it. Atalanta are not only in the Champions League places again this year, they’re the top-scoring side in Serie A by a standard country mile, and in Josip Ilicic and Luis Muriel they have the division’s fourth and sixth highest scorers. In the last couple of months there have been two 5-0 wins and a 7-0 away victory at Torino, and a total between them and their opponents of 35 goals in nine games at nearly four goals per match. Between them and Valencia there has been a total of one goalless draw all season.

Related: Atalanta v Valencia: the Champions League tie where order meets chaos

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