Brexit could slow UK access to ‘cutting-edge’ medicines, group claims
Exiting the EU could slow British access to cutting-edge medicines, a group of business leaders and life-sciences organisations claim.
The group says that British people currently benefit from early access to medicines produced by “cutting-edge” research because the UK is part of the EU, according to a Guardian
report. In a letter to the Observer
, the group said that EU research funding and regulations help produce new medicines more quickly. Brexit would add complexity and uncertainty to that process and risk a loss of funding for the British drug industry.
The letter comes as the prime minister, David Cameron, prepares to make a “patriotic case” for Britain remaining in the EU, the Guardian
reported. Cameron is expected to urge Britons to vote to remain in a speech today.
Bank of England meeting could discuss interest rate cuts
A less than stellar economic outlook could cause at least one Bank of England policymaker to push for an interest rate cut at the bank’s meeting Thursday, according to a Guardian
The nine-member monetary policy committee isn’t expected to make any changes to the already record-low base rate of 0.5%, and governor Mark Carney has signalled that any rate adjustment is likely to be up rather than down. However, experts say that a string of bad economic news may have eroded Carney’s certainty on that score, the Guardian
“A run of weak activity surveys for April suggest that the economy may see growth in the second quarter slow compared to the first quarter’s already insipid performance,” said Martin Beck of Oxford Economics
. “Uncertainty caused by June’s EU referendum has been widely blamed. But with the economy slackening well before the referendum date was announced, it is difficult to believe that this is the only story. One thing that is clear is that the possibility of a cut in interest rates is looking ever less outlandish.”
Union workers awarded £10 million over blacklisting scandal
Workers who claimed they were blacklisted by construction companies have won more than £10 million in compensation, according to a BBC report.
The settlement is the latest chapter in a scandal that came to light in 2009, when a Worcestershire organization called The Consulting Association was raided by the information commissioner’s office. The raid uncovered a list of more than 3,000 workers – and in many cases detailed workers’ competence, union activities and even political views. The list was used by dozens of construction firms to vet workers applying for jobs, according to the BBC
The construction industry has denied “blacklisting” but admits that firms engaged in a secret vetting system for decades. Industry critics, meanwhile, insist it comes to the same thing.
Greece may appeal to UN for return of Parthenon Marbles
As the 200th
anniversary of the Parthenon Marbles’ removal to London approaches, Greece still hasn’t given up on trying to compel England to return the antiquities, according to a Guardian
Greece is investigating strategies for bringing a claim against the British Museum – up to and including trying to get the United Nations into the fight.
“We are trying to develop alliances which we hope would eventually lead to an international body like the United Nations to come with us against the British Museum,” said Aristides Baltas, Greece’s culture minister. “If the UN represents all nations of the world and all nations of the world say, ‘The marbles should be returned,’ then we’ll go to court because the British Museum would be against humanity. We do not regard the Parthenon as exclusively Greek but rather a heritage of humanity.”
Between 1801 and 1812, Lord Elgin, ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, had the marble friezes stripped from the Parthenon and shipped to England. In 1816, Parliament voted to purchase the marbles, the Guardian
reported. Greece has been demanding their return since that time.
Cameron faces demands to end tax-haven secrecy
David Cameron is facing intense pressure to force British tax havens to end their secrecy, according to a Guardian
The Panama Papers scandal revealed how widely tax havens like the British Virgin Islands were being used to hide money offshore. Now the prime minister faces calls to set a timetable for the imposition of strict anti-corruption laws on the havens.
A coalition of anti-corruption organisations is demanding that Cameron take action that would force crown dependencies and overseas territories to introduce public registers of company ownership, which would allow law-enforcement agencies to easily identify the true owners of cash stashed overseas, the Guardian
And you thought they were too hard on Valjean
In Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Miserables
, a man spends 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. And just in case you think that kind of judicial overreaction belongs to a bygone age...
French parents who post embarrassing photos of their children on Facebook could get slapped with a fine or even jail time, authorities have warned. The French government’s famously draconian privacy laws mean parents posting photos of their kids without the children’s permission could get slapped with a fine of up to £35,000 or even end up incarcerated, the Mirror
Parents who post photos of their children without obtaining permission could find themselves in trouble once the children are old enough to object, according to the Mirror
. In that case, under French law, they could be found guilty of violating their children’s privacy.
To be fair, there’s a lot of potential material for kids to be embarrassed by as they get older. A 2015 study found that British parents will post an average of around 1,000 photos of their kids online before the kids turn 5 years old.
The power of the dean compels you!
A publicly funded university in Spain will force its students to attend an exorcism course, according to the Mirror
The University College of Barberan and Collan, which boasts a student body of 196, has made attendance at the lecture, called “The Evil,” mandatory for all. The course will be led by Roman Catholic priest José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, who is the author of a “manual” on exorcism.
The college is connected to Complutense University of Madrid and is funded by Spain’s defence ministry, the Mirror
reported. Some members of the student body are reportedly angered at the move to make the course mandatory, although there have been no formal complaints yet.