Electrical cars EV Brexit: Pound and shares jump on optimism over talks

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electrical cars  EV Pounds and euros

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The pound has jumped to its highest level in five months on reports the two sides in the Brexit talks are inching towards a draft deal.

Shares in banks and housebuilders also soared as optimism about a breakthrough buoyed companies with a UK focus.

It was hoped that a preliminary deal might be reached on Tuesday, ready to go before a summit on Thursday.

Sterling rose 1.5% on the dollar to $1.28, and by a similar amount against the euro to 86.3 pence.

On the FTSE 100, shares with a big exposure to the health of the UK economy rose sharply. Builders Barratt Developments and British Land were up about 6%, and Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland rose more than 5%. Next, ITV and Ocado were also big risers.

“A deal between the UK and EU was 60% in the price [of sterling] and now we stand to see if the remaining 40% come into play,” said Stephen Gallo, European head of foreign exchange at BMO.

Morten Lund, a senior forex strategist at Nordea, added: “The reaction from the markets shows they want to get this deal over and they are ready to push the button at the slightest sign of a deal.”

But he said he was “a bit more sceptical about the outcome” given how little time remained to negotiate and the difficulties of getting a deal through the British Parliament. The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Shares and the pound jumped last week on growing optimism of a deal, only to slip amid signals from Brussels that the negotiations still had a long way to go.

Electrical cars EV ‘Right direction’

But on Tuesday, Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier sparked another rise on the markets when he said it was “high time to turn good intentions [into] a legal text”.

Irish PM Leo Varadkar said talks were “moving in the right direction”. Boris Johnson has spoken to France’s Emmanuel Macron and the BBC understands the two men agreed there was “positive momentum”, although “many hurdles” must still be overcome.

The FTSE 250 of UK mid-cap stocks rose and European equity benchmarks extended their gains on the news.

“The more uncertainty you remove, the better for investors. If the [UK] prime minister and the EU were now to agree a deal, then the market would take that positively,” said Edmund Shing, global head of equity derivatives strategy at BNP Paribas.

Electrical cars EV Curbing MP abuse ‘not high priority’ for leaders, says watchdog

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electrical cars  EV Commons

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UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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MPs are facing calls to moderate their language

Tackling the growing abuse and intimidation of MPs does not appear to be a “high priority” for party leaders, the UK’s standards watchdog has said.

Lord Evans, chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said leaders must set a better example to their supporters on social media.

Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, said she was very concerned about politicians’ physical safety.

Both were giving evidence to the Home Affairs committee.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for all sides to “calm down” after a row over the use of inflammatory language in the Commons, in which he was accused of using “dangerous” words.

But the PM insisted he had been a “model of restraint” and the government plans to create a new criminal offence of intimidating candidates and campaigners in the run up to an election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has singled Mr Johnson’s language out for criticism, while arguing that all MPs need to do more to moderate their behaviour.

However, neither he nor Mr Johnson have signed up to a draft code of conduct drawn up by the standards committee aimed at improving the “intimidatory, bullying and abusive culture” in public life.

Electrical cars EV ‘Nostalgic’

Speaking to the committee, Lord Evans said parties had not been “beating a path to our door [which] would suggest this is not top of people’s priorities at the moment, which worries me”.

He warned against being too “nostalgic” about the standard of political debate in the UK, which he said had always featured personal attacks.

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Lord Evans retired from the security services in 2009

But Lord Evans said the “abuse and intimidation” had got out of hand in the past five years – driven, in part, by social media, and it was threatening democracy by deterring people from standing for election.

His own committee had heard some MPs had even been scared into changing their votes on Brexit – something that would have concerned him in his previous role as the head of MI5.

“We would have seen that as a really serious national security issue, if it had been another state doing it,” he said.

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Jo Cox Foundation / PA

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The Jo Cox Foundation was set up in memory of the MP who was murdered in 2016

Lord Evans argued social media companies had to do more to stamp out abuse, but the tone set by political leaders was “critical” as it gave “permission” to their supporters to behave in certain ways.

“It’s not evident that ensuring the tone of debate is appropriate is a high priority at the moment for a number of people in leadership roles,” he added.

Electrical cars EV ‘Safety concerns’

The standards committee has joined forces with the Jo Cox Foundation – set up after Ms Cox was was shot and stabbed in June 2016 while on her way to meet constituents.

The foundation is holding meetings with senior party representatives to persuade them to sign up to the draft code, but so far, only SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has signed.

Catherine Anderson, chief executive of the foundation, said: “We are particularly worried for people’s safety, that’s the immediate concern.

“With a potentially very imminent general election, we are very concerned about increased incidences of direct physical attacks.

“We know in the MEP and the local elections earlier this year we saw an increase in actual physical attacks, often against women candidates.

“We are also very worried about the importance of language, and the offline consequences of the language we are seeing online.”

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Jo Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, gave evidence to the committee

Electrical cars EV ‘Toxic cocktail’

Ms Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, also gave evidence to the committee.

With her voice cracking with emotion, she said: “It’s very difficult for me to be objective in terms of how great a threat there is to anybody else.

“But one of the things that drives me and that drives my parents, and many of my friends and family to keep going, is that we don’t want any other family to experience what we have had to experience and, indeed, continue to experience every single day.”

She said a “huge societal change” was needed to stem the rise in anger and hate – including addressing the “frustration” felt by marginalised communities – and it was too easy to blame all problems on the divisions caused by Brexit.

“Brexit didn’t create those problems but it certainly hasn’t helped,” she added.

“It’s exacerbated some of the issues we are facing in our communities up and down the country.

“And you put in the mix of that the anonymity of social media… and I think you have got a toxic cocktail.”

Police, schools and public figures all had a role to play in restoring civility, she argued, but politicians also had a “responsibility” to improve their behaviour.

“That’s why I find it very upsetting when we see some of the scenes we have seen recently in Parliament of bad behaviour across the political spectrum,” she added.

Electrical cars EV Do party election broadcasts matter any more?

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Media captionThe UK’s first political election broadcast on TV

From sombre money box lectures to cheesy boy band spoofs, the party election broadcast has become a stalwart of our TV listings.

It was on this day – 15 October – in 1951 that former Liberal leader Lord Herbert Samuel took to our screens for the first ever televised version and changed political campaigning forever.

His appearance was a 15-minute slot, sat at a desk and staring down the camera lens, and reports at the time called it a fiasco as he read from a prepared radio script.

But despite that stilted start, within a decade, prime-time broadcasts had become an essential part of electioneering.

Technology – and the imaginations of communications directors – has, of course, moved on, and the rather formal broadcasts of old have morphed into more elaborate, faster-paced affairs.

But what is their impact? And will that continue in the future?

Electrical cars EV The history

The first party election broadcasts took place on BBC Radio during the 1924 election, with leader of the Liberal Party Herbert Asquith, Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin and Labour leader Ramsey MacDonald, each giving a 20-minute speech to the public.

It was another 23 years before they began to be regulated by the Committee on Party Political Broadcasts, deciding how long each party would get on the airwaves.

But come the launch of BBC Television, the slots made their way to screen.

And in 1955, with the emergence of commercial television, the broadcasts spread to more channels, and by 1959 they were part and parcel of an election campaign.

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Media captionHarold Wilson makes Labour’s pitch for 1964 election

Lord Peter Mandelson – a key player in Tony Blair’s Labour government – said the broadcasts went through a “transformative” process in the 1980s, when his party’s then-leader, Neil Kinnock, brought in a famous face to make one.

Chariots of Fire director Hugh Hudson made what is known as “Kinnock: The Movie” – a move Lord Mandelson said was “trailblazing”.

But the Labour Party was not alone as political outfits from across the spectrum ramped up their game.

Kevin Pringle, the director of communications for the SNP until after the 2015 general election, said his party made big changes in the same decade, creating a soap opera series for one campaign and even a quiz show format for another.

“Perhaps when you look at them now, they are not so impressive,” he admitted. “But back then, they were considered cutting edge.”

The new formats – and use of celebrities – have continued since, as parties still compete over their showing on the main channels.

It is still down to those channels – which now form the Broadcasters Liaison Group – to decide what length of airtime they want to give each.

But Ofcom sets the rules for the broadcasts, which include the fact a party must be contesting at least a sixth of the seats in the election to qualify for a slot. They must also have a running time of either two minutes 40 seconds, three minutes 40 seconds, or four minutes 40 seconds.

Electrical cars EV Do they have an impact?

The short political slots on television may have more to compete with now, and viewing figures for all strands of television have taken a hit.

But research from Neuro-Insight said these particular broadcasts still had an “considerable influence” over viewers’ perceptions of political brands.

And Mr Pringle said having those few minutes on prime time TV can make a big difference to a party’s reach.

“TV is such an important medium – and the biggest – and if you are not on it, you are not at the races,” he said.

The former communications director said the broadcasts had their challenges, as they needed to be good television viewing, as well as holding a strong political message.

But they provide a “guaranteed mass audience… which every party wants”, he added.

Alastair Campbell, the director of Mr Blair’s campaigns – who worked with him in No 10 – said the broadcasts were also good for the party machines.

“It can boost the moral of the campaign when done well,” he said. “And if they are done properly, they can get extra coverage in the media for the party.”

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Media captionDavid Cameron sells himself for 2010 election

For Sir Bernard Ingham – Margaret Thatcher’s longest serving press secretary – broadcasts are a good platform to set out policies, but you need the plans to back them up.

“It’s an opportunity that no party would turn down,” he said. “But I think [their success] depend on the content of those policies.”

Baroness Olly Grender, who was the deputy director of communications for the government during the coalition – working for Lib Dem leader and deputy PM Nick Clegg – also said the broadcasts had a “real value” for voters.

“The alternative is to have attack adverts like the do in the US, which is not a route we want to go down,” she said.

“Having been in the US during an election, [UK] broadcasts add to political knowledge, which those adverts don’t.”

Electrical cars EV What about the future?

Westminster is in agreement that an election is looming – perhaps even by the end of the year – so expect more broadcasts to hit your screens in the coming months.

These traditional post-teatime news slots make up for the ban the parties face on buying other TV and radio advertising.

However, as the Electoral Commission has pointed out, “electoral law was written long before campaigning went digital”, so rather than one channel with one guaranteed audience, you are looking at internet advertising with spending on the rise across multiple platforms – especially social media.

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Media captionGreen Party use humour for 2015 election appeal

Mr Campbell said TV broadcasts were still important, “even if they are less so now”.

“If the broadcasting rules allow for parties to get a few minutes of prime time… you would be foolish not to take them, as there are potentially millions of people watching,” he said.

And when it comes to social media, he believes the broadcasts are “part of the same thing”.

“Look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. They are relentlessly pumping out something on social media, but these [broadcasts] give you four or five minutes more and form part of the strategy.”

Sir Bernard believes the scope of influence for the TV broadcasts has diminished as a result.

“I am sure some people suffered if they went wrong, but there are so many voices now that people are switching off,” he said. “I don’t watch much television myself.

“They are a means, but only one, and God knows, there are so many now.”

Mr Pringle agreed there were other outlets to spread policies, but that did not take away from the party election broadcast.

“Of course there are many other things now, like social media, but many parties use those tools to spread their political election broadcast further,” he said.

“I think the political election broadcast will be here for many years to come.”

Electrical cars EV Zimbabwe readmitted as an ICC member after political interference ban

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electrical cars  EV Zimbabwe in action last month

Zimbabwe played T20 matches against Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Singapore and Nepal during their suspension

The International Cricket Council has readmitted Zimbabwe as a member following a three-month ban.

Zimbabwe, who failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, were suspended from ICC events in July because of political interference.

They are now eligible to play in the men’s Under-19 World Cup in January.

However, the lifting of the ban comes too late for Friday’s 2020 World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

It was agreed in August that Nigeria would replace them in the 14-team round-robin event.

An ICC statement said the readmission was made following a meeting in Dubai involving the Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and sports minister Kirsty Coventry.

“I would like to thank the Zimbabwe sports minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket,” ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said.

“Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC board.”

Zimbabwe, who continued to play matches during their suspension, have not played a Test since November 2018 and last faced England in an international in 2007.

They are 11th in the ICC Test rankings, 12th in the ODI rankings and 15th in the T20 rankings.

The suspension on Nepal’s national cricket body, imposed in 2016 for a similar breach of the ICC’s regulations regarding government interference, has also been lifted.

Electrical cars EV NHS doctor ‘worried parents into using private health care’

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electrical cars  EV The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service

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The hearing is taking place at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester

An NHS paediatrician is facing a misconduct hearing accused of worrying parents into getting private health care for their children.

Dr Mina Chowdhury is alleged to have provided false patient information.

He allegedly created “an unwarranted sense of concern” and suggested private medical care to three families.

He was managing director of a private healthcare firm at the time, and it is alleged his actions were “financially motivated and dishonest.”

Dr Chowdhury, who practices in Stirling, is also accused of failing to arrange referral for NHS investigation and/or treatment.

The misconduct is alleged to have taken place between March and August 2017.

Dr Chowdhury has admitted that he was managing director and a shareholder of Meras Global Ltd and Meras Healthcare Ltd during this period.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service misconduct hearing is due to run in Manchester until 1 November.

Dr Chowdhury could not be reached when contacted for comment by BBC Scotland.

Electrical cars EV Man stabbed neighbour 47 times in Camelon out of ‘revenge’

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electrical cars  EV William Canning/ Fiona Canning

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Police Scotland

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A court heard William Finlay stabbed Fiona Canning 47 times

A man who murdered a grandmother by stabbing her 47 times told police that he should be “shot in the head”, a court has heard.

William Finlay, 57, said he killed Fiona Canning, or McDonald, at her flat in Camelon, Falkirk, last November out of “revenge.”

Finlay believed Miss Canning, 44, had been “rinsing him” of a £10,000 pension payment.

He will be sentenced in November after pleading guilty to murder.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Finlay and Miss Canning were neighbours who would often violently argue.

Finlay, an ex-electronics worker, had received a £10,000 pension payment in March last year but was left with £300 a few months later.

Electrical cars EV ‘Can’t apologise for killing someone’

Prosecutor Margaret Barron said: “He stated to witnesses that Miss Canning had been ‘rinsing him’ and was constantly asking for money.”

Finlay was heard inside Miss Canning’s flat by a neighbour on the night of her death.

He went to a friend’s house later that day covered in blood and confessed to murdering Miss Canning.

The victim was found by neighbours covered in blood.

When the neighbours returned to Finlay he shouted: “I’ve murdered her, I’ve done her, I’ve murdered Fiona.”

Ambulance crews arrived and failed to revive Miss Canning using CPR.

Finlay told officers he “took it out on a poor woman” who had “robbed” him of thousands of pounds.

He said: “I deserve to be shot in the head for what I’ve done tonight.

“I apologise for doing it, but you can’t apologise for killing someone – this is what happens when you get pushed to the limits.”

Electrical cars EV T20 Cup Qualifier: Ireland beat Netherlands by 30 runs in warm-up

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electrical cars  EV Craig Young

Craig Young took three Dutch wickets for 21 wins
ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier warm-up, Abu Dhabi:
Ireland 156-8 (20 overs): Wilson 44; van der Gugten 2-20
Netherlands 126 (20 overs): ten Doeschate 46; Young 3-21, Adair 3-28
Ireland won by 30 runs

Ireland warmed up for the start of the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier by beating the Netherlands by 30 runs.

The Irish were in trouble at 55-4 but Gary Wilson’s knock of 44 off 32 balls helped them to 156-8 off 20 overs.

The Dutch started well in reply, hitting 37 from the first 29 balls, but a collapse saw three wickets fall for six runs and they were all out for 126.

Essex’s Ryan ten Doeschate scored 46, with Mark Adair and Craig Young taking three wickets apiece.

Having lost the toss, Ireland lost opener Paul Stirling for five and three further wickets fell in the next six overs.

Captain Wilson led his side’s revival, hitting five fours and a six in his innings, ably supported by Harry Tector (21 from 20 balls) and Mark Adair (24 from 13 balls), who hit two sixes.

After a top-order batting collapse, the Netherlands found themselves 43-4 in response and a required run-rate heading towards 10 runs an over.

The damage was mainly done by paceman Young who claimed two wickets in the space of three balls, and went on to finish with 3-21 from his four overs.

As the required rate grew, further wickets tumbled – Adair putting the icing on the Irish cake by claiming three wickets in the last five balls of the innings to finish with 3-28, and the Netherlands were bowled out for 126.

After facing Scotland in another warm-up game on Tuesday, Ireland will take part in the T20 World Cup Qualifier from 18-26 October in Abu Dhabi.

Ireland will face Hong Kong, UAE, Oman, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria in a bid to make the tournament proper in Australia in late 2020.

Electrical cars EV Federer to chase elusive Olympic singles title

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electrical cars  EV Roger Federer won silver at London 2012, with Andy Murray taking gold and Juan Martin del Potro earning bronze

Roger Federer won silver at London 2012, with Andy Murray taking gold and Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro earning bronze

Roger Federer has confirmed he intends to play in next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo as he chases an elusive gold medal in the men’s singles.

The Swiss great, who turns 39 during the Games, is one of the sport’s most decorated players but he has never won the Olympic singles title.

Federer won silver at London 2012 after losing to Britain’s Andy Murray.

“At the end of the day my heart decided I would love to play the Olympic Games again,” Federer said.

Federer, who missed Rio 2016 through injury, did win a gold medal at Beijing 2008 in the men’s doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka.

In the singles, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer finished fourth at Sydney 2000, lost in the second round at Athens 2004 and reached the quarter-finals in Beijing.

“I’ve been debating with my team for a few weeks now, months actually, what I should do in the summer after Wimbledon and before the US Open,” added Federer, ranked third in the World.

“I carried the flag twice for Switzerland in Athens and Beijing, I’ve got a gold and a silver, and I would love to play again, so I’m very excited.”

Electrical cars EV Conker Championships defies rain to crown a winner

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It was a soggy start to the 2019 World Conker Championships, but it failed to dampen competitors’ spirits.

The very British contest has been held in Northamptonshire for 54 years and sees people from around the World compete for the titles of Queen and King Conker.

Jasmine Tetley, 26, from Nottinghamshire, claimed the 2019 title after beating Andy Moore, 53, from Birmingham.

However, their crowning was delayed while their thrones were moved from the flooded main arena.

Electrical cars EV Hitchhiker’s actor Stephen Moore dies aged 81

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electrical cars  EV Stephen Moore in the Student Prince

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Stephen Moore was described as the “most sweet, charming and affable of men”

Stephen Moore – known as the voice of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’s Marvin the Paranoid Android – has died aged 81.

He also played Adrian Mole’s father on TV, and the dad to Harry Enfield’s grumpy teenager Kevin.

Hitchhiker’s producer and director Dirk Maggs said Moore was the “most sweet, charming and affable of men”.

He paid tribute to “an amazing, varied career”, adding that he was best known for the role of Marvin.

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Moore was the voice of Marvin for five series of Hitchhiker’s on radio, and the 1980s TV adaptation

The first series of Hitchhiker’s appeared on Radio 4 in 1978, and after being adapted for TV in the 1980s, it returned to the airwaves in 2003.

In it Marvin is a failed prototype robot with “genuine people personalities”, which has led him to struggle with severe depression.

Maggs said: “That was the thing that won the hearts of people, Marvin is the most miserable character but people seem to love him.

“It was Stephen’s voice that made that happen.”

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The prolific actor also played teenage diarist Adrian Mole’s father George on TV

Alongside the paranoid android, Moore had a successful career on stage, TV and in film.

He was Major Robert Steele in Richard Attenborough’s A Bridge Too Far.

He played teenage diarist Adrian Mole’s father George on TV, and the dad of Melody and Harmony Parker on children’s show The Queen’s Nose.

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He also played the dad of grumpy teenager Kevin in Harry Enfield sketches

Maggs said: “I’ll always remember the story of him getting locked in a mic cupboard in the Paris studio at the BBC, and they forgot he was in there and went out to lunch.

“He was an infinitely professional actor, would put up with any discomfort and waited to play his part.

“And then outside the working situation he was the most sweet, charming and affable of men.”

Actor Ben Barnes – who worked with Moore in a West End production of The History Boys – wrote on Twitter that “he was a sensitive, brilliant actor and a funny, lovely man”.