Firms face pressure over zero-hours

Minimum wage rates rise, but bills go up too Zero-hour staff ‘do more night shifts’ Why are 1.8 million people getting a pay rise? Workers underpaid by record £15.6m Commitments to the programme have already been made by major Living Wage employers including Richer Sounds, SSE and Standard Life Aberdeen, who will receive Living Hours accreditation. Julian Richer, Founder and Managing Director of Richer Sounds, said: “If you treat the people who work for you well, you’re going to have happier, more motivated staff, and ones that stay with you for years. “Offering Living Hours is a great way to provide workers with security, but it’s also going to help businesses in the long-run.” Related Topics UK living wage Personal …

Why the NHS gave thousands HIV-contaminated blood

People who had blood transfusions after an operation, or childbirth, are also thought to have been exposed. About 5,000 people are believed to have been infected – but some estimates put the number at 30,000. Nearly 3,000 people have died. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Theresa May says the scandal “was a tragedy that should never have happened” In the US, companies that supplied infected products have paid out millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements. In other countries, politicians and drug companies have been convicted of negligence. None of that has happened in the UK – although victims have been given limited financial support. At the opening of the inquiry, it was announced that criminal trials could follow.

Martial arts knife teaching ‘needs control’

He said he would “never put anyone in a situation where they could hurt themselves”. Image caption Fiorindo Ardesi calls himself a martial art teacher on his Facebook page “In the UK there isn’t one overarching governing body for martial arts, instead there are governing bodies for each sport such as taekwondo, jiu jitsu, or Chinese martial arts,” said a spokesman. But “the lack of one overarching governing body” and safety concerns for children prompted the launch of a Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts in 2018. Mr Ardesi advertises on Facebook as a teacher of Kung Fu, Wing Shun and Wu Shu. Torquay Wing Chun instructor Derek Vernon, who taught Mr Ardesi for at least 18 months, said it would …

Ireland ‘unwise’ to pick a fight over fishing

It is an eroded volcano that lies 260 miles (418km) west of the Western Isles and is only 100ft (30m) wide and 70ft (21m) high above the sea. ‘Very unwise’ The UK claimed Rockall in 1955, but Ireland, Iceland and Denmark have previously challenged that claim. The row between Scotland and Ireland broke out after increased activity from Irish vessels around Rockall and the Scottish government has said it will take “enforcement action” against Irish vessels found fishing within 12 miles of Rockall from Saturday. Mr Armstrong told the BBC the SFF was behind the move. Image caption Bertie Armstrong from the SFF believes it is a black-and-white case of illegality A spokeswoman from the Scottish government said: “Irish vessels …

Call to ban wet wipes over blockages

After carrying out an inquiry into plastic, the assembly’s climate change committee said it had been “disappointed” by the actions ministers had taken so far. Plastics ‘in food chain’ It called for a “comprehensive, ambitious 10-year strategy” to be put together and implemented. “We shouldn’t wait for others and must take the lead where we can,” the committee’s chair, Labour AM Mike Hedges, said. “The public are supportive – we must harness their energy and enthusiasm and bring forward ambitious and transformative policies.” Plastics do not biodegrade – but break down over time into smaller and smaller fragments known as micro or nano plastics. They have been found in the soil, rivers and sea – and are known to be …

The woman who makes cannabis oil ‘to help people’

I flew to Spain to meet Marie after a tip-off from a family I met in Scotland. Image caption Marie and the location of her cannabis oil operation need to remain anonymous In response, some people have been going to countries such as the Netherlands to get medical cannabis on prescription while others have turned to the black market. Experts warn this is a bad idea because their products are not pharmaceutical grade. They say there can be a “very real danger” because users do not know exactly what is in the dealer’s products. The family I met in Scotland felt they had a black market dealer who actually wanted to help people – that was Marie. Image caption The …

Passenger trust in rail firms declines

Timetable chaos Over the survey period, trust declined in all rail operators apart from Southern. However, in terms of trust, Southern was still bottom of the pile, with only 22% of passengers saying they trusted the firm last autumn. Two other Govia Thameslink firms were among the worst performers, Thameslink and Great Northern, which had trust ratings of 27% and 24%. Transport Focus said there was a link between levels of customer trust and the punctuality and reliability of services. Throughout 2016, Southern was subject to the most disruptive industrial action for 23 years, with tens of thousands of services fully or partly cancelled. And in 2018, timetabling chaos paralysed large swathes of the UK’s rail network. A Govia Thameslink …

No apology to journalists from top officer

On Monday, police confirmed the case against the two journalists had been dropped. It followed a court ruling that the search warrants issued against them had been “inappropriate”. The items collected from the journalists included laptops, hard drives, mobile phones, notepads and millions of digital files. Speaking at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board on Thursday, Mr Barton said that press freedom was crucial in any democracy. Image caption PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said police had a duty to follow the evidence PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton also spoke about the case at the meeting. “There is nothing about this investigation that has been easy,” he said. “I became a police officer to uphold the law, to …

Ex-soldier’s court appeal dismissed

John Pat Cunningham, 27, who had learning difficulties, was shot in the back as he ran away from an Army patrol near Benburb, County Tyrone, in 1974. Mr Hutchings has made the case it was never his intention to kill or injure Mr Cunningham, but that he was firing warning shots to get him to stop. He began his appeal in March. Lord Kerr, who delivered the judgement on Thursday, said that trial by jury should not be assumed to be the unique means of achieving fairness in the criminal justice process. What is a Diplock court? The non-jury system was named after Lord Diplock, a former senior judge and Law Lord. During the height of the Troubles, he chaired …

Knighthood for PSNI chief constable

Image Copyright @ChiefConPSNI @ChiefConPSNI Report Report Feargal Sharkey receives an OBE for services to music. Once the lead singer with The Undertones, he went on to have a successful solo career. Image caption Feargal Sharkey in 1978, when The Undertones appeared on Top of the Pops He subsequently took on a number of public roles as a member of the Radio Authority and as head of UK Music, representing the interests of the UK commercial music industry. Meanwhile, one of Ireland’s most famous priests is to receive an OBE. Image caption Richard Williams has taken a lead role in developing the film industry in Northern Ireland The growing importance of the film industry in Northern Ireland is acknowledged with an …

BBC confirms first Tory leadership debate

“It’ll be broadcast at a key moment in the process of narrowing down the field of candidates in the race for Downing Street.” The quirks of the Tory leadership process BBC to host Tory leader TV debates Tory leadership: Who will replace Theresa May? Brexit: Where do Conservative leadership candidates stand? The Conservative leadership contest is already under way, despite MPs still having until the end of the week to put their names forward. After the full list of candidates has been confirmed on Monday, MPs will begin a series of votes, and the contender with the lowest number will be eliminated in each round. The process will take place until only two MPs remain, and the wider party membership …

Slimmed down Bopper finds forever home

Image caption Bopper (left) with his new owner Mike and dogs Honey and Sadie The shelter’s deputy manager Ruth Rickard approached the pair as they had already rehomed five older dogs, including labradors Honey and Sadie, from the shelter. Image caption Bopper has almost reached his target weight of 27kg (4st) The shelter has earned a reputation for helping hefty hounds shed the pounds. Bopper was about 10kg heavier than the shelter’s other hefty hound, “Hattie the Fatty”, who also made headlines for her huge frame. Hattie has since been rehomed by Mrs Rickard after shedding half her body weight. In April, the shelter took in its biggest dog yet – 70kg (11st) Georgie Porgie. You may also like: ‘Britain’s …

Fox cubs ‘fed’ to hunting hounds

Image copyright PA Image caption Nathan Parry was the hunt’s terrierman Opening the case against the hunt’s master of hounds Paul Oliver, kennel maid Hannah Rose and terrierman Nathan Parry, prosecutor Simon Davis said: “The unnecessary suffering involved the killing of fox cubs, effectively feeding the animals… throwing the fox cubs into the kennels of the fox hounds, thereby killing them.” Image copyright PA Image caption Paul Oliver and Hannah Rose deny the charges Mr Oliver, was caught by the covert camera as he prepared to feed live fox cubs to the dogs, the court heard. Mr Davis alleged the camera provided “significant” evidence against Mr Oliver, including footage which he claimed showed him lifting fox cubs out of a …

Drivers face delays after M6 closure

The delays led to drivers getting out of their cars on the northbound carriageway. Skip Twitter post by @CMPG Please avoid the M6 Northbound between junctions 15 and 16, we are dealing with an incident there and traffic is at a standstill. We will update you as soon as we can, thank you in advance for your patience and understanding 4914 — CMPG (@CMPG) May 25, 2019 The A500 is also closed southbound between the A519 Hanchurch interchange and junction 15 on the M6, which means traffic coming from Stoke-on-Trent will not be able to access the M6 in either direction. Debbie Young, Conservative councillor for Chalford in Gloucester, tweeted that she had been stuck in traffic for two hours. …

Sheikh to pay Dubai fall woman’s bills

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has offered to pay for Ms Chisholm’s medical costs Ms Chisholm, from East Bridgford, was riding with her mother when the horse bolted and she was thrown off, leaving her unconscious with serious head injuries and her face “caked in sand and blood”. Image copyright St Clare’s School Image caption St Clare’s School in Manchester, where Miss Chisholm trained, is supporting the fundraising efforts A statement on the family’s funding page said: “We can announce today that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has offered singularly the most generous gift we could ever have …

The Theresa May story

Theresa May to resign as prime minister Ministerial resignations and parliamentary rebellions that would have spelled the end for a prime minister in normal times seemed to bounce off her. She ploughed on, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around her, telling MPs “nothing has changed” and promising to deliver on the “will” of British people, even as her power over Parliament and control of her warring party drained away to nothing. It might have been different had she managed to win the 2017 general election. Image copyright Theresa May Image caption Theresa May married her husband Philip in 1980 Date of birth: 1 October 1956 (aged 62) Jobs: MP for Maidenhead since 1997. Became prime minister in 2016 after serving …