Science

Labour proposes debt cap that would see credit card companies forced to write off billions of pounds owed by customers 

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Credit card companies would be forced to write off billions of pounds in long-term customer debts if Labour got into power under a policy to be unveiled at the party’s conference.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, will propose capping the amount of money lenders can charge in interest so that no one has to pay back more than double what they borrowed.

He will say the policy will help three million credit card holders who are “trapped by their debt”.

But with £14 billion owed by those classed as being in “persistent debt”, the policy raises questions over whether the cost of the policy would end up being passed onto other borrowers.

Mr McDonnell will use his speech at the Labour Party conference to accuse the Government of creating a “debt
crisis”.

The average credit card debt owed by those in persistent debt – classed as people who have paid more interest charges and fees than their original borrowing – is £3,464 per person.

Mr McDonnell proposes a hard cap on credit card repayments of 100 per cent of borrowing, meaning no one would have to pay back more than double what they had borrowed.

The Financial Conduct Authority has estimated that lenders would lose up to £1.3 billion per year as a result.

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Labour ‘stitch-up’ wipes Brexit off the agenda as the party is described as a ‘laughing stock’ by its own MPs

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Mr Corbyn, appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC, appeared to be softening his stance when he failed to rule out the idea that a Brexit transition period could last for as long as 10 years, while John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, told ITV’s Robert Peston that a transition of up to four years would be sensible.

Then Clive Lewis, the former shadow defence secretary, added further controversy by suggesting people who oppose freedom of movement were racists.

In a clash of views with fellow Labour MP Caroline Flint, he told Sky News: “I actually believe in freedom of movement. You are talking about managing migration. You are not going to like to hear this, it always comes back down to something the Left in this country has very much 
difficulty with, which is that it is ultimately about racism. It comes down to racism.”

Today, Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, will use similarly inflammatory language when he tells delegates that the Conservatives’ Brexit policy shows they have “post-imperial delusions”.

In his conference speech – which will not be debated – he will claim that Labour are now “the grown-ups in the room” on Brexit despite their deep 
divisions.

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Eight out ten people believe recycling ‘makes a difference’, but have no idea how

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More than two thirds (67pc) did not realise recycled shampoo bottles could come back as a children’s outdoor play set.

And almost as many (65pc) did not know recycling glass jars can save electricity.

Overall, the poll of 2,426 people for recycling campaign Recycle Now, found 82pc of people thought recycling does make a difference.

Linda Crichton, head of Recycle Now, said: “We know that understanding the recycling process motivates people to recycle.

“Our aim this Recycle Week is for more people to find out their deodorant could come back in a mobile phone, or their sweetie box as a toothpaste box – and as a result, be encouraged to recycle more because they can see it’s worth it.”

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Gary Numan: I live a normal life…’but in a castle with a swinmming pool and a 20ft bronze dragon in the garden’

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Gemma, who married Numan in 1997, said she was a fan of the not-so-humble abode from the moment they first saw it.

“Gary said to me to be calm when we went in,” she said.

“But when the estate agent opened the door, I pushed him out of the away. Gary just remembers how I screamed as I went round from room to room going ‘I love it, I love it!’. In my head I moved in that day and I’ve never moved out.”

She added: “Our life together is so lovely; we’re best friends; soulmates.

“There aren’t many days that we’ve been apart.

“We do everything together and it’s not a possessive doing-everything-together, it’s because want to be with each other.”

Numan recently released his 21st album Savage (Songs From A Broken World), and will hit the road on his tour at the end of September.

Read the full article in Hello! magazine, out now.

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Children as young as 13 being sold knives by shopkeepers, Met and Trading Standards find

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Children as young as 13 are being sold knives by shopkeepers, an investigation by Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police has found. 

Spot checks found 50 shops in London selling kitchen knives, razor blades and cleavers to underage children.

Thirteen teenagers have been stabbed to death in the capital this year, one more than in the whole of 2017.

London Trading Standards and the Met Police used child volunteers between the age of 12 and 17 to carry out 315 checks, with a compliance rate of 84 per cent.

Last year, 725 test purchases were carried out, resulting in 96 sales – a compliance rate of 87 per cent.

Trading Standards Officers carried out the test purchasing as part of a push to reduce knife crime in the capital.

Ministry of Justice statistics released last week showed the number of young people being cautioned or sentenced for carrying knives is at an eight year high.

Trading Standards are now working to support more responsible retailing of knives, with initiatives including a ‘challenge 25’ policy, as well as taking the practical steps of keeping knives behind the counter or in secure cabinets.

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People spend more time sitting on the toilet each week than exercising, study finds 

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The poll of 2,000 adults for the not-for-profit body UKactive, also revealed that only 12% of people know how much exercise is needed for good health.

The NHS recommends that adults do 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise, such as cycling, swimming or brisk walking.

Steven Ward, chief executive of UKactive, said: “Humans are made to move, but modern living has stripped physical activity out of our lives to the point where we pass more time spending a penny than we do getting sweaty.

“The major health concern here is our lack of exercise, but things like poor diet, lack of exertion and our tendency to play on smartphones in the bathroom are all other factors that are driving this inbalance.”

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‘Fantasist facing charges’ over false Ted Heath paedophile claims

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The investigation was launched after Wiltshire Police made an appeal for child sex abuse ‘victims’ of Heath outside his Salisbury home, Arundells.

More than 40 people came forward as a result of the televised appeal but the vast majority of the claims have been dismissed, including several made by fantasists. 

A source has said that one of those faces possible charges for wasting police time but may escape with a caution. The source said: “They are prosecuting somebody who they have shown to be pedalling lies. It is likely to end with a caution.”

The case has shades of the prosecution of an alleged fantasist – identified only as ‘Nick’ – who is accused of making up lurid claims of a murderous paedophile network operating in Westminster that also included Heath. ‘Nick’ faces charges for perverting the course of justice and fraud.

Lincoln Seligman, Heath’s godson, said: “If the only crime Wiltshire police can prove is wasting police time then it simply shows they have been wasting their own time on a ridiculous with hunt.”

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Parishioner shot dead and six others injured after masked gunman opens fire at Nashville church

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Mr Aaron said the gunman,  identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, then entered the church  and began firing multiple rounds.   

“At this juncture, six persons, six innocent persons were wounded by gunfire. They have been taken to area hospitals.”

An usher confronted the shooter, who apparently shot himself accidentally in the struggle, authorities said. He was  currently under police guard at a nearby hospital.

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Police chief admits: ‘We don’t have enough officers to keep the public safe’

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Mr Boucher, who took over as chief constable two years ago, claimed the Government was refusing to fund the police properly.

In March this year he publicly criticised a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary which rated his force as the worst in the country for keeping people safe and reducing crime.

It identified “systemic failings”, and questioned Bedfordshire Police’s ability “to protect some of the most vulnerable children and young people”.

The force’s overall level of service provision was deemed “inadequate”, a drop from the previous year’s assessment of ‘good’.

In her report, Inspector Zoe Billingham criticised what she called an “inability to maintain a preventative policing presence across Bedfordshire”, a claim Mr Boucher said at the time “made little sense”.

Ms Billingham reported  that the force’s overall response to missing children and young people caused her “serious concern”, and added: “The process of assessing calls about missing children is poor, and the review of the initial risk assessment determining whether the case requires a ‘missing’ or ‘absent’ police response is inconsistent.

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