U.S. judge temporarily restores White House press pass to CNN’s Acosta

Cable News Network (CNN) Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta smiles as he departs after a judge temporarily restored Acosta’s White House press credentials following a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday temporarily restored White House press credentials to CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, which were revoked following a contentious press conference with President Donald Trump, saying there should be a due process in place for limiting a journalist’s access to the White House.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who is hearing CNN’s lawsuit challenging to the revocation, ordered the White House to restore Acosta’s press pass while the case is pending.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Writing by Lisa Lambert

EastEnders goes Disney for Children in Need

(left to right) Natalie Cassidy as Silly Girl, Maisie Smith as Silly Girl, Zack Morris as Aladdin, Lorraine Stanley as the Genie, Shona McGarty as Belle, Tilly Keeper as Jasmine and Stephen Rahman-Hughes as the Tavern Keeper, as the cast of Eastenders perform a medley of Disney songs in Albert Square for Children In Need.Image copyright

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The cast of EastEnders put on a special performance with an Aladdin theme

Albert Square has had a Disney makeover for this year’s Children in Need.

The EastEnders cast have brushed up on their singing skills to perform a medley of Disney songs on the EastEnders set for the BBC fundraising night.

Their performance will be among the highlights of the charity extravaganza, which is on BBC TV and radio on Friday.

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker plays a part on the night, while Boyzone have taken to the Strictly dancefloor.

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Tilly Keeper as Jasmine and Zack Morris as Aladdin in Albert Square

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Jessie Wallace swaps Kat Slater for Elsa to sing Let It Go from Frozen

Hosts for the TV marathon this year include Tess Daly, Graham Norton, Mel Giedroyc, Ade Adepitan, Rochelle and Marvin Humes and Rob Beckett.

As part of the Children in Need night Eddie Redmayne and Zoe Kravitz will be seen playing a joke on The One Show presenter Alex Jones, with the help of some children.

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Eddie Redmayne, Alex Jones and Zoe Kravitz are helped by (left to right) Vidhit Nihal, Kelsey Wheatley and Lucy Subbiah

Jazz musician and broadcaster Jamie Cullum has written the official Children in Need single, Love Is In The Picture.

Friday’s BBC One broadcast runs from 19:30 to 00:30 BST – with a break for the news at 22:00, when Children in Need switches to BBC Two.

Children in Need is the BBC’s official UK charity and raised £60.7m for disadvantaged children across the country last year

The charity is currently supporting 2,400 projects helping children facing a range of disadvantages, such as poverty, abuse or physical disability.

It has raised more than £972m since the first Children in Need broadcast in 1980.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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Stephen Barclay named new Brexit Secretary

Stephen BarclayImage copyright
Getty Images

Stephen Barclay has been confirmed as the new Brexit Secretary as Theresa May seeks to fill posts in her cabinet.

The MP for North East Cambridgeshire and Leave supporter had been serving as a minister at the department for health and social care.

He replaces Dominic Raab, who resigned on Thursday over Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement for Brexit.

A spokesman for No 10 indicated that Mr Barclay would focus on the domestic preparations rather than negotiations.

The announcement comes after Amber Rudd was named the new work and pensions secretary – replacing Esther McVey, who also resigned over the PM’s Brexit plans on Thursday.

Stephen Hammond will take over from Mr Barclay at the department for health and social care.

The government also announced replacements for two junior ministers who resigned over Mrs May’s deal.

John Penrose will join the Northern Ireland office, replacing Shailesh Vara, and Kwasi Kwarteng will go to the Department for Exiting the EU, replacing Suella Braverman.


Mr Barclay – a former director at Barclays Bank – has also held the posts of City minister and a whip at the Treasury.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said he was not a household name and it was a big promotion for him.

But he also described Mr Barclay as ultra-loyal, having never rebelled against the government.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove is understood to have turned down the role of Brexit secretary following Mr Raab’s departure.

Mr Barclay becomes the third Brexit Secretary since the role was created, after Mr Raab and David Davis – who resigned over Mrs May’s Brexit plans in July.

He has been congratulated on Twitter by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, who said he was “a star” when he worked in her department.

Mrs May agreed a draft withdrawal agreement for Brexit with her cabinet on Wednesday, which had already been signed off by negotiators from both the UK and EU.

But it led to a backlash from some Brexit-supporting MPs, including Mr Raab and Ms McVey.

Around 20 Tory MPs have publicly called for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister, with more thought to have written to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee to call for a vote on her leadership.

But Mrs May responded to critics saying she will stay in No 10 and see the deal through.

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Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle death: ‘Cage bed’ couple jailed

Lauren Coyle and Reece Hitchcott

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Lauren Coyle and Reece Hitchcott were found guilty of child cruelty

A woman and her ex-partner who strapped a toddler face down in a “monstrous cage bed” have each been sentenced to 10 years.

Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle was 19 months old when she died after being restrained in Preston in March 2017.

Her mother Lauren Coyle, 19, and stepfather Reece Hitchcott, 20, were both convicted of causing or allowing her death.

At Liverpool Crown Court, the pair were sentenced to 10 years in youth custody.

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Family handout

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Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle experienced “immense suffering”, the court heard

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Lancashire Constabulary

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Mr Justice Dove described the bed as “quite literally a death trap”

The bed was turned into a “cage” by lashing the slatted sides of a cot to the bed frame before being covered in sheets and towels.

Coyle said the bed had been converted by Hitchcott to help Ellie-May get into the routine of sleeping through the night.

Sentencing the pair, Mr Justice Dove said: “The bed you both created and used, night after night, was quite literally a death trap.”

Coyle and Hitchcott were also previously found guilty of two counts of child cruelty, but cleared of manslaughter.

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The bed was described in court as a “prison” for Ellie-May

The judge said the pair had “extinguished” all the “positive energy and joy” Ellie-May brought into the world.

He said: “On the night of 22 March and 23 March 2017, undoubtedly in escalating distress and agony, Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle succumbed to asphyxiation while she was forcibly restrained in the cage which her toddler bed had been transformed into.”

In a statement read to the court, Ellie-May’s father John Minshull said: “Every day me and my mum think about Ellie and really miss her, we just wish we could give her a big hug and it breaks our hearts deeply.”

On the night of her death, Ellie-May became unsettled and Coyle sent a strongly-worded Snapchat message to a friend suggesting she was irritated.

She then messaged her father at about 06:00 GMT to complain about the toddler crying,

When her father, Sean Coyle arrived at the flat to check on his granddaughter about three hours later, he realised there was a “terrible problem”.

Ellie-May was not breathing and, despite attempts to resuscitate her, she died at Royal Preston Hospital.

‘Selfish reasons’

A post-mortem examination found her death was caused by “forcible restraint by ligatures in a face-down position complicated by hyperthermia”.

The judge said the couple had difficulties getting Ellie-May to sleep but had received good advice from grandparents and health visitors.

Despite the advice, Hitchcott still converted the purple Frozen bed into a “cage”, placing sheets and bedding over the sides to prevent the toddler seeing outside.

The jury heard Ellie-May was also bound to the bed face down and there were marks on her wrists and ankles, suggesting she had been tied to it.

Mr Justice Dove said the pair would have been aware of the “obvious risks” but took them for their own “selfish reasons”.

The couple’s lodger Connor Kirby, 20, was cleared of all of the charges.

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PM May appoints Stephen Barclay as UK’s latest Brexit minister

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Stephen Barclay, a junior health minister who voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum, as her new Brexit Secretary on Friday, her spokesman said.

The spokesman said that May herself would personally oversee the last 10 days of negotiations with the EU on the future framework, and that Barclay would focus on the domestic preparedness for Brexit and getting May’s draft withdrawal agreement through parliament.

Barclay replaced Dominic Raab who quit as Brexit minister on Thursday over May’s draft plan for leaving the EU.

Former interior minister Amber Rudd was appointed as work and pensions minister, replacing Esther McVey who also resigned over May’s Brexit deal.

Reporting by William James, writing by Alistair Smout

Poverty causing ‘misery’ in UK, and ministers are in denial, says UN official

UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, at the West End Foodbank in Newcastle

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UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston travelled the country for his report on poverty

Ministers are in a “state of denial” about poverty, a UN expert has said following a 12-day tour of the UK.

Philip Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty, said despite being in the one of the world’s richest countries he had encountered “misery”.

Levels of child poverty are “staggering” and 1.5 million people were destitute at some point in 2017, the Australian said.

The government rejected his analysis, pointing to rising household incomes.

Prof Alston, an expert in human rights law based at New York University, visited locations including Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, London and Newcastle on a fact-finding mission.

He met people affected by poverty as well as government officials, discussing the impact of austerity, changes to benefits and local government funding.

At a news conference in London, he said he witnessed “a lot of misery, a lot of people who feel the system is failing them, a lot of people who feel the system is really just there to punish them”.

Quoting figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, he said that more than 1.5 million people were destitute at some point in 2017, meaning they lived on less than £70 a week or went without essentials such as housing, food, clothing or heating.

A fifth of the population, amounting to 14 million people, are living in poverty, Prof Alston said.

How is poverty measured?

Prof Alston used a new measure by the Social Metrics Commission to come up with the figure of 14m people in the UK in poverty.

It is a measure of “relative poverty”, meaning it looks at the percentage of people living with less than 55% of the median income, taking into account costs such as childcare, housing, debt and disability.

But the government has preferred to use the measure of “absolute poverty”.

This counts the number of people in households with less than 60% of the median income as it was in 2010/11, so it shows how living standards of low-income households have changed over time.

By that measure, the government says there are a million fewer people in absolute poverty than there were in 2010.

Among experts in the media, think tanks, Parliament and organisations such as the National Audit Office, Prof Alston said there was “close to unanimity” that Britain was not doing enough to combat poverty.

But he said the view from ministers was the opposite.

“Ministers with whom I met told me that things are going well that they don’t see any big problems and they are happy with the way their policies are playing out,” Prof Alston said.

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Bassam Khawaja

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Mr Alston met human rights workers and residents in deprived parts of Belfast

He said the government was preoccupied with reducing welfare dependency but said he could not believe ministers were as happy with the results as they claimed to be.

Prof Alston said: “The era of connectivity and the era of social media makes it much less sustainable to have this dramatic difference between people living the high life, a higher life than has ever been lived before, and at the other end, people who can’t afford a tin of beans, can’t afford the seventh meal of the week.”

The approach to benefits was “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous”, he said.

He gave the example of “draconian sanctions” which shut people out from the benefits system for weeks or months at a time, sometimes for minor infringements such as missing an appointment.

Prof Alston claimed many of the “harsh” policies could be ended “overnight” at little cost.

These included the delay of five to 12 weeks before Universal Credit was paid, the single household payments which give more leverage to controlling or violent partners, and the two-child limit for benefit claimants.

Prof Alston compared this limit to China’s notorious one-child policy and said it was “a perfect way to punish families”.

He warned that the poor would “bear the brunt” of the expected impact of Brexit on the UK economy, and said the fall in the value of the pound had already cost low-income families £400 a year.

“In my meetings with the government, it was clear to me that the impact of Brexit on people in poverty is an afterthought,” he said.

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Jaywick, Essex, pictured in 2015, was one of the towns visited for the UN report

Prof Alston’s report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next year.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We completely disagree with this analysis.”

She said that household incomes have “never been higher”, income inequality has fallen and there are one million fewer people living in absolute poverty compared with 2010.

It is not the first time the UK has been criticised by UN special rapporteurs, who are are independent human rights experts appointed for fact-finding and monitoring missions around the world.

In 2014, urban planning expert Raquel Rolnik said the “bedroom tax”, which meant social housing tenants with spare rooms had to pay more rent or move somewhere smaller, undermined the right to adequate housing.

On that occasion, ministers said her report was a “misleading Marxist diatribe” and made an official complaint to the UN.

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Kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole redefined

Today, in a landmark decision, representatives from 60 countries voted to redefine the International System of Units (SI), changing the world’s definition of the kilogram, the ampere, the kelvin and the mole, forever.

The decision, made at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles, France, which is organised by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), means that all SI units will now be defined in terms of constants that describe the natural world. This will assure the future stability of the SI and open the opportunity for the use of new technologies, including quantum technologies, to implement the definitions.

The changes, which will come into force on 20 May 2019, will bring an end to the use of physical objects to define measurement units.

The definition of the kilogram for more than 130 years, the International Prototype of the Kilogram (IPK), a cylinder of a platinum alloy stored at the BIPM in France, will now be retired. It will be replaced by the Planck constant — the fundamental constant of quantum physics. While the stability of the IPK could only be confirmed by comparisons with identical copies, a difficult and potentially inaccurate process, the Planck constant is ready for use everywhere and always.

“The SI redefinition is a landmark moment in scientific progress,” said Martin Milton, Director, International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). “Using the fundamental constants we observe in nature as a foundation for important concepts, such as mass and time, means that we have a stable foundation from which to advance our scientific understanding, develop new technologies and address some of society’s greatest challenges.”

“Today marks the culmination of decades of work by measurement scientists around the world, the significance of which is immense,” said Barry Inglis, Director of the International Committee for Weights and Measures. “We will now no longer be bound by the limitations of objects in our measurement of the world, but have universality accessible units that can pave the way to even greater accuracy, and even accelerate scientific advancement.”

The new definitions impact four of the seven base units of the SI: the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole; and all units derived from them, such as the volt, ohm and joule.

  • The kilogram — will be defined by the Planck constant (h)
  • The ampere — will be defined by the elementary electrical charge (e)
  • The kelvin — will be defined by the Boltzmann constant (k)
  • The mole — will be defined by the Avogadro constant (NA)

Although the size of these units will not change (a kilogram will still be a kilogram), the four redefined units will join the second, the metre and the candela to ensure that the set of SI base units will continue to be both stable and useful. The revised SI will maintain its relevance by facilitating technical innovations. Just as the redefinition of the second in 1967 provided the basis for technology that has transformed how we communicate across the globe, through GPS and the internet, the new changes will have wide-reaching impact in science, technology, trade, health and the environment, among many other sectors.


You can find more information on the SI units at: www.bipm.org/en/measurement-units/rev-si/

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England women team news: Marlie Packer picked in week of drink-driving case

Marlie Packer (left) and Sarah Hunter (right) combine as England beat France in their World Cup semi-final last year
England women v Canada women
Venue: Castle Park, Doncaster Date: Sunday, 18 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Marlie Packer has been named in the England team to face Canada on Sunday, at the end of a week in which she pleaded guilty to drink-driving.