UK Chancellor: I must cut tax benefits for working poor to help them

ca. 1870 --- An illustration from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

George Osborne, born to a titled millionaire, has explained that he is cutting the tax-credits that let the working poor survive, despite the Tory party's election promise not to do any such thing -- because it will reduce the deficit and therefore save them from the cuts that the country would have to pay in the future in order to pay down those debts. Read the rest

UK top government official: human rights no longer a "top priority"

The royals with Sir Simon McDonald.

Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office -- the country's most senior Foreign Office official -- told MPs that his department had sidelined human rights work in favour of global trade agreements (the same agreements that allow sovereign wealth funds from the world's most brutal, oppressive states to buy huge swathes of the UK's public institutions at knock-down prices in the Tories' great sell-off of public assets). Read the rest

Hundreds of Canadian artists call for repeal of surveillance law


Bill C-51 is a sweeping, radical mass-surveillance bill proposed by the current Canadian Tory government, which will be fighting an election next month. Read the rest

Jamaica wants slavery reparations from the UK


Members of Jamaica's Parliament are threatening to turn their backs on David Cameron during an official visit unless he agrees to discuss reparations for slavery during the meeting. Read the rest

Don't discuss the environment if you're brown and British (Ahmed Mohamed with UK characteristics)


A 14 year old London student was questioned by school officials about his possible involvement with Islamic State after he raised the subject of environmental activism in a classroom discussion. Read the rest

100 bold ideas the BBC can use to fight back


With five more years of Tory government on the horizon, the BBC is at its most perilous moment. Government ministers are attacking it in every way, from wanting to cut the license fee to demanding that it end all popular programming so as not to "compete" with the private sector. Read the rest

David Cameron now all alone in demanding crypto backdoors, doubles down on antibiotic resistant superterrorists


The US government has given up on demanding backdoors in cryptography for now (advocates have announced that they'll wait until a terrorist attack and then use that as the excuse for fresh demands), leaving the UK government as the last man standing in the race to compromise the security of the technologies with the power of life and death over us. Read the rest

Naomi Klein, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, Donald Sutherland and Ellen Page's vision for a better Canada

The Leap Manifesto calls for a Canada remade as "a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality." Read the rest

Vivienne Westwood drives a tank to David Cameron's house

The doyenne of punk design drove the tank to the UK prime minister's house in Chadlington, Oxfordshire to carry out a spoof "chemical attack" in protest over new fracking licenses in 27 residential areas (but not near David Cameron's home). Read the rest

BBC fires UK government's Meterological Office, opens up weather prediction to global firms

It's a complex story -- partly about the Beeb facing privatisation and being required to bid out its work; partly about the Met having made some spectacular recent blunders in providing the weather. Read the rest

Stephen Harper will use 12-18 year old junior rangers to fight the Russians

The largely aboriginal youth club -- historically called upon to fight forest fires and volunteer in parks -- is now part of the Canadian Prime Minister's "arctic soveriegnty" plan. Read the rest

Twitter snoop-requests from UK cops/gov't more than double in 2015

In the first six months of 2015, UK government agencies and police departments made 299 "requests for information" of Twitter, compared to 116 in the 6 months previous. Read the rest

UK govt wants your opinion on sending file-sharers to jail for 10 years

Jim from Open Rights Group writes, "Should file-sharers be threatened with up to 10 years in prison? The UK's Intellectual Property Office are consulting on this idea." Read the rest

That time Donald Trump was elected Mayor of London

Twice now, Londoners have gone to the polls and, for a laugh, voted in "a supposed politician with comedy hair and the manners of a rapey clown." Read the rest

David Cameron will publish the financial details and viewing habits of all UK porn-watchers

That's not what he says—all porn sites will have to gather and retain proof of customer identity. But everything leaks, so it's what he meant.

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