Liverpool pile pressure on Everton boss Silva with derby win




Only Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard have scored more goals for Liverpool against Everton than Divock OrigiLiverpool pushed Everton manager Marco Silva closer to the sack and retained their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a crushing win at Anfield which dropped the Toffees into the relegation zone.Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, already missing suspended goalkeeper Alisson and injured Fabinho, still felt able to rest key attacking duo Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino from his starting line-up and win in comfort.Liverpool effectively won the game with four goals in the first half – Sadio Mane creating two early strikes for Divock Origi and the recalled Xherdan Shaqiri.Michael Keane pulled one back for shambolic Everton but Liverpool were soon back in control when Origi controlled Dejan Lovren’s pass for a brilliant third and Mane got the goal he deserved when he crowned a sweeping counter-attack from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inviting delivery.Richarlison took advantage of Liverpool’s own vulnerable defending to make it 4-2 on the stroke of half-time but in reality Everton were never seriously in contention at any point.Both sides missed chances in the second half, with the brilliant Mane and Everton substitute Moise Kean culprits, but Liverpool completed the humiliation for Silva and his team with Georginio Wijnaldum’s low shot for the fifth in the final minute of normal time.The question now, as Everton lie in the bottom three, is how long the beleaguered Silva can survive, with Chelsea scheduled to visit Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime. Silva under siege
Everton have lost three Premier League games in a rowSilva, 42, is suffering a slow, lingering demise as Everton manager – and this dismal showing is only likely to hasten his exit from Goodison Park.This was a Liverpool side nowhere near full strength but the game was up for Silva and Everton once they were two down inside 17 minutes.Silva’s five-man defensive system was ripped to shreds, by Mane in particular, and it was no surprise when he removed defender Djibril Sidibe before half-time to introduce Brazilian attacker Bernard.Everton were a team in chaos at times in the first half, with Sidibe, Mason Holgate, Tom Davies and Keane all arguing among themselves after Shaqiri’s goal then Holgate and Lucas Digne also in animated discussion after Origi put Liverpool 3-1 up.Director of football Marcel Brands cut a concerned figure at half-time, deep in discussion with fellow director Sasha Ryazantsev – and there will surely be more discussions among the Everton hierarchy post-match.Everton did create some chances but never looked like ending a winless Anfield sequence stretching back to September 1999.It is also the first time Everton have conceded four goals in the first half of a Merseyside derby since 1935.Silva now faces an uncertain future – and Everton face what increasingly looks like a relegation fight.Liverpool march relentlessly on
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 18 Premier League games against Everton (W8, D10)Liverpool continue their relentless march towards what will be a first league title for 30 years and this victory was a graphic illustration of the strength at manager Klopp’s disposal.It was Klopp’s 100th Premier League victory – he is the second-fastest manager to reach a century in the competition – and it extends the Reds’ run of 32 matches without defeat, their longest such run in top-flight history.Liverpool, who lost only one Premier League game since the start of last season, were not even at full tilt or full strength and yet eventually overwhelmed their struggling Merseyside neighbours.Salah was able to have the night off and Firmino and captain Jordan Henderson were only introduced as late substitutes as Klopp rotated his resources.Liverpool’s defence was vulnerable but their sheer potency in attack more than compensates, led by the world-class Mane, who tormented Everton all night and only blotted his copybook by missing two chances to make the scoreline even more emphatic.And Origi is fast becoming Everton’s bogeyman, scoring twice in the first half after grabbing that dramatic 96th-minute winner in this same fixture last season.Liverpool were nowhere near their best, not that they needed to be, but this was an impressive demonstration of the power assembled by Klopp that has put them in such a commanding position in the title race.Man of the match – Sadio Mane
Mane assisted twice in a Premier League game for the first time since March 2018 v Watford. He hadn’t recorded an assist at Anfield in all competitions in 40 appearances since that game against WatfordA flashback to 20 years ago – the best of the statsEverton find themselves in the relegation zone after playing at least 15 Premier League matches for the first time since April 1999 (after 32 games).Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 32 Premier League games (W27, D5), their longest ever run without defeat in top-flight history. Klopp has won 100 of his 159 Premier League games, he is the second fastest manager to reach 100 wins in the competition, after Jose Mourinho (142 games). In fact, he is the fastest Liverpool manager to 100 wins in top-flight history. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 18 Premier League games against Everton (W8, D10). It’s their longest ever unbeaten run against a specific opponent in the competition. Silva is the first Everton manager to concede five league goals against Liverpool in a single match since Howard Kendall in November 1982 (5-0 against Bob Paisley’s Liverpool).Since the start of last season, Trent Alexander-Arnold has provided more Premier League assists than any other player (18), with 15 of those coming in 2019.’I loved it a lot!’ – what they saidLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, speaking to Match of the Day: “All the goals were incredible, outstanding. Wonderful goals, sensational passes, super pieces of football. I loved it a lot!”We needed fresh legs and I had to show my respect to the boys in the squad, that’s all. They proved it. It is much more fun making changes, all of the boys are ready to deliver performances like this.”It was a massive moment in my first season when Divock Origi got injured in the derby. It changed his career for a bit.”Everton boss Marco Silva, speaking to Match of the Day: “We cannot concede goals in the way we conceded. We knew everything about them before the match and how they like to play whether with Origi, Salah or Firmino, we know how they would play. There was a lot of mistakes. “I am not the right person to answer about the situation, this question is for different people. We are making some mistakes which put us under big, big pressure. The type of mistakes we are making is because the players are playing under big pressure because of the position in the table.”
Liverpool sit 29 points above rivals Everton in the Premier League tableWhat’s next?Liverpool travel to Bournemouth on Saturday for another Premier League match (15:00 GMT), while Everton host Chelsea in the early kick-off on the same day (12:30 GMT).



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Rashford double sends Mourinho's Spurs to defeat




Marcus Rashford has scored three of his five penalties for Manchester United in the Premier League.Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United condemned former manager Jose Mourinho to defeat on his return to Old Trafford and ended Tottenham’s three-match winning streak under the Portuguese.Rashford beat Tottenham keeper Paulo Gazzaniga at his near post after six minutes after the ball had broken to the England forward off Davinson Sanchez.Then, after a long wait for a VAR check, Rashford kept his nerve to convert a penalty four minutes after the break, once it had been ruled the striker had been fouled by Moussa Sissoko.Dele Alli had equalised with a brilliant goal at the end of the first half but United were good value for their victory after creating a number of excellent chances they failed to take.Rashford was unable to become the first United player to score a league hat-trick since Robin van Persie’s memorable effort against Aston Villa in 2013 but he now has 12 goals in 13 games for club and country, and his nine Premier League goals leave him one short of his season best.Mourinho’s return well-receivedAs expected, Mourinho was well received by the United fans, who never fell out with their former manager and have no particular axe to grind with him.That respect will never match the affection Old Trafford has for Solskjaer though. And the Norwegian used memories from his playing days to get the crowd up for the game by emerging last from the tunnel, triggering a song in his honour and the start of what proved to be a lively atmosphere.Evidence of change at United came with a team that contained only five players Mourinho picked for the corresponding fixture last season. That August night ended in a 3-0 defeat for United and an angry Mourinho demand for the media to show him some “respect” for his three Premier League titles.The first of those triumphs is over 15 years ago now. Mourinho’s task is to show his best days are not behind him. He didn’t make a particularly brilliant job of that in his last weeks in Manchester and, as happened so often then, tonight he spent long periods in his technical area with his hands in his pockets watching his team get outplayed.His substitutes failed to inspire and with eight goals conceded in four games, Mourinho evidently has some work to do defensively. At the end, he moved to shake Solskjaer’s hand before striding purposefully away to try and lift his players.Dele’s delightful goalFor months, there had been a debate about what had happened to Dele Alli.Once one of the golden boys of the English game, he had been reduced in influence and effectiveness and lost his place in Gareth Southgate’s national squad.Who knew the answer was replacing the manager he loved?One of the first things Mourinho did after replacing Maurizio Pochettino was to ask Alli whether it was him or his brother who had been playing for Tottenham in recent times.This is definitely him.His third goal in three Premier League games – he only scored three in his last 17 under Pochettino – was extraordinary. Fred thought he had the situation under control as the ball looped up on the edge of the six-yard box.But Alli leaned into the Brazilian, then rolled round him after a beautiful piece of control before turning a shot past De Gea into the far corner. It was as breathtaking as the Cristiano Ronaldo-esque 35-yard shot Rashford rattled the bar with – and Mourinho loved it.Solskjaer needs helpIn his pre-match press conference, Solskjaer had dismissed as “lies” suggestions he had told his players he would be sacked if United lost against Tottenham, and again at Manchester City on Saturday.The word remains from United that the Norwegian is under no immediate danger of losing his job amid an acceptance from those in senior positions that there will be bumps in the road this season.This was the type of performance that gives credence to Solskjaer’s belief genuine progress is being made. Yet one look at the respective substitutes’ bench shows United are crying out for reinforcements when the transfer window opens next month.Whereas Mourinho had six experienced full internationals to turn to as he tried to change the game in Tottenham’s favour, Solskjaer had two and neither Luke Shaw nor Juan Mata have won a cap for quite some time.At the end, Solskjaer milked the rapturous reception he was given.If Sheffield United and Arsenal fail to win on Thursday, United will stay sixth. In order to stay there, Solskjaer will need more than the crowd behind him.More to follow.



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Matt Baker to stand down as One Show presenter


Matt Baker has announced that he is leaving The One Show after nine years.Baker, 41, who will step down in spring, shared the news on Wednesday’s episode of the BBC One show.In a statement, he said the programme had been “brilliant” at showcasing the “eclectic mix of Britain”.He said he was excited about new opportunities – “but most of all I’m looking forward to having dinner with my family and being able to put my kids to bed”.Baker, who has presented The One Show alongside Alex Jones, will continue to present the BBC’s Countryfile and sports coverage. He said: “I’ve loved that The One Show has been such a big part of my life for the last nine years.”It’s been brilliant to showcase the eclectic mix of Britain, meet incredible people along the way and witness so many lives changed with the annual Rickshaw Challenge for Children In Need.”I’d like to thank all those I’ve worked with over the years and especially you, the viewer, for showing me so much support during my time on the green sofa.”The former Blue Peter presenter joined The One Show on a permanent basis in February 2011, months after coming second in 2010’s Strictly Come Dancing series. He replaced comedian Jason Manford.Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said Baker’s “warmth and wit have helped to create many magical moments on the sofa”.”He has a great connection with BBC One viewers and will continue to play an important role on the channel on Sunday nights in Countryfile and with BBC Sport on our gymnastics coverage,” she added.



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Once-a-month oral contraceptive pill in tests


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Researchers have developed a once-a-month oral contraceptive pill that they say would offer women more choice and control over their fertility. Once swallowed, the pill remains in the stomach for weeks, slowly releasing hormones to prevent a pregnancy.It is specially designed to resist immediate attack by stomach acid.A US team, funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has tested it in pigs and hopes human trials can start within a few years. The researchers say it would be a good option for women who want to take a tablet for birth control, but are worried about remembering to take a daily dose. How effective is the Pill?The conventional Pill or combined oral contraceptive is used by millions of women around the world. It should be 99% effective, meaning fewer than one in every hundred women using it will get pregnant.But studies suggest nearly half of users will miss the odd dose or sometimes take their pill at the wrong time. That makes the pill closer to 91% effective, meaning about nine in every hundred women using it will get pregnant in any given year. There are other longer-lasting contraceptive choices already available – including bi-monthly injections, or patches that need changing weekly – but no once-a-month oral pill. How does the once-a-month pill work?The prototype is a star-shaped drug delivery system packaged into an easy-to-swallow dissolvable capsule no bigger than a regular fish oil tablet. Once it reaches the stomach, the star unfolds like a flower and starts doing its work of steadily releasing contraceptive hormones housed on its six arms. The star is too big to immediately exit the stomach and will remain there for weeks until it has finished its job and can be broken down and excreted from the body. Dr Giovanni Traverso, from Harvard Medical School, who developed the prototype with colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “Our studies suggest there shouldn’t be any problem with blockages or digesting and passing food. We take safety very seriously.”The trial findings are published in the journal Science of Translational Medicine.A biotech company called Lyndra is now developing the star contraceptive pill with more funds from The Gates Foundation. It has already started testing the same star-shaped design in patients, and wants to see if it can safely and reliably deliver other drugs, such as malaria therapies, too. What do experts think?Dr Diana Mansour, from the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, said: “The concept of a monthly oral contraceptive pill is attractive and has the potential to broaden contraceptive choice. “In theory, a monthly pill may be more effective than current oral contraceptives, which women are required to take every day. “However, the development of such a novel contraceptive is still in its early stages. We look forward to further research in this area.”Anatole Menon-Johansson, from the charity Brook, said: “This is an exciting breakthrough for contraceptive options, and expanding the range of methods available is certainly a positive. “However, additional work is required to ensure that the dose can be delivered at a sufficient level to suppress ovulation, and then this approach will need to be tested in humans.”



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Oliver George flashed toy gun at Sandbanks yacht club


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Oliver George’s sentencing hearing was delayed so he could go on a pre-booked holiday to Barbados, the court heard

A man who admitted drunkenly threatening bar staff with a £5.50 toy gun – then had his sentencing delayed so he could go to the Caribbean – has been given a community order.Oliver George, 26, flashed the handle of a fake pistol in the Sandbanks Yacht Club in Poole when he became “annoyed” at being told he was too drunk.He admitted possessing an imitation firearm in a public place in September.But sentencing was delayed so he could go on a pre-booked holiday to Barbados. Poole magistrates sentenced him earlier to 200 hours of unpaid work. ‘Really silly’George, of Panorama Road in Sandbanks, was a regular customer and had been drinking at the club during the afternoon of 10 September, the court heart.Prosecutor David Finney described how George lifted up his cardigan and flashed the handle of the fake gun that was tucked into the waistband of his shorts. In a statement, a member of staff said he was “really scared” at what he had seen. “I felt threatened seeing it – I didn’t know what he would do,” he said.

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George lives on the Sandbanks peninsula in Poole

George left the club and was arrested at his nearby family home a short time later, the magistrates were told. Terry Scanlan, mitigating, said: “Mr George was in possession of a clearly harmless toy gun which he had bought for £5.50 from Amazon for his nephews.”He told the court George admitted he lifted his cardigan up so staff were aware of it and that it was a “really silly thing to do” but did not have a “sinister” intent.George had “significant mental health issues” and was an alcoholic, the court heard.Passing sentence, magistrate David Senior told George: “They believed it was a real weapon and you put people in fear.”In addition to his 18-month community order, he was also ordered to pay compensation of £200 each to two members of staff.



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Clintons strikes deal to avoid pre-Christmas collapse


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Greetings card retailer Clintons has struck a deal that will stop it going bust this Christmas, administrators KPMG have said.The chain will be salvaged through a complex transaction that allows it to be sold back to its existing owners.It means Clinton’s 334 stores can keep trading for now, saving 2,500 jobs.Boss Eddie Shepherd said he was pleased to have secured the firm’s future ahead of the “crucial” Christmas trading period.”Like so many of our fellow High Street retailers, we have worked tirelessly to contend with the maelstrom of issues impacting the sector, from business rates pressures, to fragile consumer confidence and the lack of clarity around the taxation of online retail businesses,” he said. “We are confident that this deal will kickstart a new chapter for our business.”Clintons had initially tried to find a new buyer for its ailing business, but it is thought no acceptable offers were received.
Retailer Clintons in survival talks with landlords
Peacocks set to rescue Bonmarché from collapse
It then explored a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) – a strategy that would have allowed it to shut under-performing stores and cut rents on others. But it was was unable to get the support it needed from landlords.Instead the company has effectively bought itself out of administration. In what is known as a pre-pack process, the firm has removed its debt and secured breathing room to start negotiations with landlords afresh. However, there is no guarantee this will secure its long term future. Clintons, previously known as Clinton Cards, was formed in the UK in 1968, and has been owned by the Weiss Family since 2012. It is the second time in seven years that Clintons has been bought out of administration. Retail downturn A string of retail chains in the UK have closed over the last few years amid a squeeze on consumer spending.News of Clintons’ restructuring comes a month after baby goods retailer Mothercare announced its UK operation was going into administration, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.Others to have gone under include electronics retailer Maplin and discount chain Poundworld, while Homebase, Debenhams and Carpetright have all been forced to restructure.



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Who should I vote for? General election 2019: Compare the party manifestos


* Postpone scheduled corporation tax cut – from 19% to 17% – to save £6bn and no increase to VAT
* £5bn to support getting broadband to the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country
* £3.6bn Towns Fund for 100 towns to improve their local economy
* Review business rates in England – including extending discounts for small shops to 50% – and cut National Insurance contributions for employers by £1,000
* Spending on research and development and scientific research to reach 2.4% of total GDP

* £400bn national transformation fund, including £250bn for energy, transport and the environment, and £150bn for schools, hospitals and housing
* A further £250bn in loans for a new national investment bank and a network of regional development banks – with oversight from devolved governments
* Rail, mail, water and the energy grid taken back into public ownership and free full fibre broadband for every home and business in the UK by 2030
* Create one million more jobs in the UK and a give a 5% increase to public sector workers in first year
* Top 5% of earners to pay more income tax – including a new 50% rate on income above £125,000. Also increase corporation tax to 26%

* £130bn investment in infrastructure, including renewable energy, transport and housing
* Scrap business rates and replace them with a commercial, landowner levy
* Restore corporation tax to 20% and abolish the capital gains tax allowance
* £5bn investment in a new Green Investment Bank to attract private investment for public projects
* £2bn to ensure access to high-speed broadband across the UK

Independent Group for Change

* Flat rate of 30% for pensions tax relief
* International tax avoidance treaty, enforced through a new body at the United Nations
* Stronger government oversight of regulators, and an emphasis on the “public benefit interest” of corporate governance
* Establish a long-term “fiscal trigger” mechanism that would advise governments on the level of stimulus required over the medium and long term

* Borrow £94.4bn a year to pay for capital expenditure – such as building low-carbon homes, upgrading transport infrastructure and creating low-carbon jobs
* An extra £124.4bn a year made from a number of tax changes – including raising corporation tax to 24%
* Invest in and support new technologies to create new green jobs
* Reduce National Insurance contributions for small businesses and set up a network of regional mutual banks to provide funding for start-up companies
* Introduce fines for big businesses that fail to pay small businesses on time

* £200bn spending programme on infrastructure – with money coming from scrapping HS2, not paying the EU divorce bill and halving aid spending
* Reduce VAT to zero on domestic fuel to reduce energy bills
* Abolish inheritance tax
* £10,000 allowance for every UK company before paying corporation tax
* Abolish business rates for shops outside the M25, funded by a “small online sales tax”

* Raise personal tax allowance to £15,000 by 2024
* Abolish inheritance tax
* Remove VAT from domestic fuel, sanitary products and repairs to commercial, residential, historic and listed buildings
* Create free ports – tax-free zones – in the north of England to boost manufacturing and create 150,000 jobs

* Call on the Treasury to raise Wales’ borrowing limit from £1bn to £5bn, to pay for green schemes
* £5bn EU transformation fund for Wales to tackle social inequality
* Devolve powers on corporation tax, air passenger duty and VAT for Wales
* Publicly-owned full fibre broadband by 2025 and 5G mobile signal across Wales
* Double funding for Visit Wales and cut tourism VAT

* Protect Scotland’s “fair and progressive” tax system
* Invest £2bn in Scotland’s economy by establishing a Scottish national investment bank
* Bring a “real” end to austerity
* Secure Scotland’s membership of the European single market and the customs union, protecting access for Scottish business

* Stronger focus on productivity and competitiveness issues
* Investment in skills training through apprenticeships, further education and hybrid apprenticeship degrees
* Strengthening NI’s research base, and combating threats from Brexit
* Simplify the payment and administration of income tax and national insurance
* Increase the tax-free allowance for income tax so that lower-earners keep more of what they earn

Democratic Unionist Party

* A new industrial strategy to enhance local companies’ strength in global supply chains
* Overhaul the non-domestic rates system to make it fairer
* Modernise licensing laws
* Greater support to help small businesses grow their exports
* A new programme to create high-quality business leaders

* Create more “well-paid jobs”, promote regional balance, reduce carbon emissions, and raise productivity
* Foster an open, rights-based society that a range of people want to live, work, and invest in
* Strengthen the all-Ireland economy and align the north with the higher growth rate in the south
* Prioritise rural areas for broadband investment

* Provide regionally balanced investment in infrastructure, job creation and young workers
* Support traditional primary, manufacturing and services sectors while prioritising new sectors where there is potential for growth and exports
* Abolish Air Passenger Duty for flights from Northern Ireland
* Devolve corporation tax powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly

* Cut VAT to 5% for the repair, maintenance and improvement of existing homes
* Cut VAT to 9% for the hospitality sector
* Abolish Air Passenger Duty on flights from Northern Ireland

* UK-wide “shared prosperity fund” to replace EU structural funds post-Brexit
* Full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business in Wales by 2025
* Marches Growth Deal to improve infrastructure supporting the economy on the Wales-England border
* Support for Welsh car manufacturing as the industry changes to building electric vehicles
* Reform business rates in Wales

* A focus on the “foundation” economy – essential goods and services that communities depend on, namely tourism, food, retail and care
* A development bank has been launched
* A “green industrial revolution” to help industries and communities throughout Wales
* Public sector procurement to use Wales-based firms where possible
* Create 100,000 all-age apprenticeships between 2016-21

* Reform the business rates system, prioritising the digital economy
* Support the creation of a Welsh Development Bank

* A “green new deal”, transforming the way the economy works
* Create high-quality jobs and end workplace exploitation
* Tackle wage inequality
* Introduce a universal basic income
* Phase in a four-day week

* £200bn spending programme on infrastructure – with money coming from scrapping HS2, not paying the EU divorce bill and halving aid spending
* Reduce VAT to zero on domestic fuel to reduce energy bills
* Abolish inheritance tax
* £10,000 allowance for every UK company before paying corporation tax
* Abolish business rates for shops outside the M25, funded by a “small online sales tax”

* Stop increasing income tax differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK
* Cut corporation tax from 28% to 19%
* Fund for full fibre broadband to every home by 2025
* Review the alcohol duty on gin and Scotch whisky
* “Transformational” sector deal for the North Sea oil and gas industry to help as the UK moves to a net zero economy

* £100bn of additional resources in Scotland over the next 10 years
8 £20bn in loans for a new Scottish National Investment Bank with lending power to deliver funds to local projects and small businesses
* Rail, mail and the energy grid taken back into public ownership and free full fibre broadband for every home and business in the UK by 2030. Water is already in public ownership in Scotland.
* Ask large corporations to pay more by increasing corporation tax to 26%
* Public sector chief executives to earn no more than 20 times someone on the living wage – meaning a maximum salary of about £350,000

Scottish Liberal Democrats

* Stop Brexit and the “damage” it would do to the economy
* Programme of capital investment to stimulate growth across all areas of the UK
* High speed broadband for every home and business, with a particular focus on rural areas
* Restore corporation tax to 20% – reversing the cut by the Conservatives to 17%

* £200bn spending programme on infrastructure – with money coming from scrapping HS2, not paying the EU divorce bill and halving aid spending
* Reduce VAT to zero on domestic fuel to reduce energy bills
* Abolish inheritance tax
* £10,000 allowance for every UK company before paying corporation tax
* Abolish business rates for shops outside the M25, funded by a “small online sales tax”

* A “Green New Deal” to create 200,000 jobs by 2035 in low-carbon industries – including in renewable energy, retrofitting homes, forestry expansion and decommissioning North Sea oil
* Phase in a four-day working week
* Reduce wealth inequality with a tax on the wealthiest 1%, a land value tax, and limit pay inequality
* Target investment towards communities that depend on fossil fuel extraction

* Where possible “reckless employers” should be taken over by the state to preserve jobs
* Tax the rich more in order to redistribute wealth
* Introduce a progressive local income tax in place of the current rates system
* Oppose privatisation of any public services, including private finance initiative (PFI) projects
* Oppose the reduction of corporation tax in NI

* Wealth tax of 2% per year introduced for the wealthiest 1% of people
* Scrap planned reduction in corporation tax and increase it to 30% for bigger companies
* Introduce a “radical” reform of inheritance tax
* Increase the Northern Ireland block grant from Westminster



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General election 2019: How many 'new' NHS hospitals are Conservatives building?


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Boris Johnson visited Whipps Cross in September

The Conservatives have repeatedly pledged to build 40 new NHS hospitals.The party’s manifesto says they are proud “to have begun work on building 40 new hospitals across the country”.”We will build and fund” them, it adds, “over the next 10 years.”The pledge has been questioned throughout the election campaign. Is it certain that all 40 will be built? Will they be creating new beds and additional capacity or just replacing existing facilities?There will be a £2.7bn investment over five years for the first six hospitals of the 40 pledged. All are existing NHS hospitals and they all have one thing in common – there is no building work happening as yet. For the remainder of the pledge 21 trusts will initially share just £100m to develop the business cases necessary to secure funding for 34 projects.

Conservative leader Boris Johnson recently told LBC radio that he would think of an existing hospital being knocked down and rebuilt – even if it is in the same place – as a “new hospital”.Siva Anandaciva, chief policy analyst at health think tank the King’s Fund, says: “The phrase ‘six new hospitals’ might suggest the NHS will see its stock of hospitals grow with six brand new, fully staffed hospitals that offer a full range of services.”But – in reality – the promised investment is likely to pay for new facilities on existing hospital sites and the redeployment of existing staff.”So, looking at the first six hospitals, how far along are they and how much is new? More or Less examines election pledgesLeeds General InfirmaryLeeds Teaching Hospitals Trust is being given funding towards a major building project. The £650m development will sit on the current site of Leeds General Infirmary. It is planning to move out of the older buildings and to keep one modern building. Then the plan is to construct “two state-of-the-art new hospital buildings” – one for adult services and one for children’s care. The outline planning documents say this would “consolidate and centralise” their services.

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Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

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How the proposed redevelopment at Leeds General Infirmary might look

A previous bid of £410m was declined in early 2019 under an existing NHS scheme, according to an analysis by the Health Service Journal (HSJ). Whipps Cross Hospital, LondonBarts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is also proposing a major building project, described as “a new hospital with a full range of acute health services… built on a fraction of the land now occupied”.

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Barts Health NHS Trust

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An artist’s impression of what the Whipps Cross redevelopment could look like, from a September 2019 consultation document

The trust has told the BBC that it does not know the final amount it is getting from the government. A previous bid of £343m was declined in early 2019 under an existing NHS scheme, according to an analysis by the HSJ. The current plan for Whipps Cross, says that “using the site for homes could release funding to support the building of a new hospital, but the money raised would be nowhere near enough to pay for a new hospital.”Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow

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Google

The trust says it is going “to rebuild a new hospital”, so is that rebuilding or a new hospital?The trust says the plan is for a new hospital as that is what the government has told them. It says, however, it does not know whether this is a whole new hospital to house all its current services, or a new facility for some of its services.”The details around the funding and the timeframe are being finalised and we are completing our full business case,” according to the hospital’s chief executive.Epsom and St Helier Universities Trust

The trust describes its plans as both a facility and a hospital. It is in line for “hundreds of millions of pounds” to consolidate acute care in a new £500m project on one of its current sites, merging the two A&E services which it is currently struggling to staff.The BBC was told 85% of the existing services would remain in the same place. The new building will be located at one of the three current sites – in Epsom, Sutton or St Helier.

University Hospitals of LeicesterThe trust says it has been allocated £450m to fund a refurbishment with possible extensions of existing buildings. It will upgrade facilities at its three sites, including: maternity and children’s services at Leicester Royal Infirmary; and a “treatment centre” for planned operations at the Glenfield site. West Hertfordshire HospitalsThe trust says it is being given £400m by the government to “redevelop its buildings and facilities,” – this means refurbishment, with a small amount of new building. But there’s been a big row about the fact that this is not a new hospital. Local campaign groups have been fighting for a new hospital for years, claiming that proposals don’t meet the future needs of the wider West Hertfordshire area. One of them, the New Hospital Campaign, has recently taken the trust to court to challenge its plans for refurbishment of existing buildings. It has crowdfunded enough to take the matter to a judicial review, for which it has been granted permission.New hospitals or not?We contacted the Conservatives for more detail about the status of these six hospitals. A party spokesman told us: “Some will be whole new hospitals and some will be whole new rebuilds.”The overall plan to deliver 40 new hospitals is actually part of a 10- to 15-year project to overhaul health infrastructure, he added.Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’ve made a manifesto commitment to build and fund 40 hospitals over the next decade, and a Conservative majority government will deliver on that commitment.”What about the other 34 hospitals?Six of the trusts are developing cases for multiple hospitals. In the case of Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, that means “potentially 12 community hospitals”.Some of the hospitals sharing the £100m seed funding to develop their business case have been exploring proposals for a number of years, or have previously made bids for capital funding through previous schemes.In the prime minister’s own constituency, a master plan for the Hillingdon Hospital site began in October 2015.Stage one was completed in June 2016 and the preferred option identified as a new facility on a new site at Brunel University. University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay Trust – in its Five Year Strategic Plan 2015-20 – outlines a scheme for Royal Lancaster Infirmary that “will allow all clinical activity to be located for the first time into a single modern building on the site, with peripheral buildings vacated and demolished or sold”. This has yet to be undertaken.



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Women's Champions League: Group stage to be introduced from 2021-22 season




England’s Lucy Bronze helped Lyon defend their European title last termThe Women’s Champions League will feature a group stage for the last 16 from the 2021-22 season onwards, after Uefa confirmed changes to the format.The changes mean that three English teams will qualify – an increase on two existing places.The top six countries by ranking will all receive three qualification spots.Since 2009, the competition has used groups in the qualifying rounds but from the last 32 onwards, has used a two-leg, knockout format.The new format will see four groups of four in the last-16 stage, with teams playing each other home and away before the top two sides in each group qualify for the quarter-finals.Some clubs will have to progress through two rounds to reach that group stage, depending on where they finish domestically, but the champions from the top three rated divisions in Europe – including the WSL – would progress straight to the last 16.To ensure clubs from a minimum of 10 countries reach the last-16 groups, there will be mini tournaments and then a knockout round for qualifiers before that stage.The format for the 2020-21 campaign will remain the same as the existing structure, which has seen Arsenal and Scottish champions Glasgow City progress to March’s quarter-finals.Speaking in November, Gunners boss Joe Montemurro said: “In the Champions League, in my opinion, you want to see a lot of the top teams playing against each other more regularly.”We want the top three teams from England competing in the Champions League. We want the big games. We want the top three teams from France to be there, to showcase the level of the game and how fantastic the women’s game is at the moment.”‘The time is right’Announcing the changes on Wednesday, Uefa said the move was “designed to boost competitiveness and increase exposure of women’s club football”.Director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti added: “There is a clear increase of interest in the women’s game. We see it from everywhere.”It’s been a long process. The talks about changing the format and creating a group stage started several years ago. We pushed it back because we felt the conditions were not yet met.”But now we see that, with the investment of Uefa and the investment of the national associations and the investment of the clubs, the game is growing. Certainly, there is more interest also from the market and the media.”So we think the time is right to do for women what we did for men many years ago.”BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.



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General election 2019: Ulster Unionists 'want hung parliament'


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UUP leader Steve Aiken (bottom centre) was speaking at the party’s election manifesto launch

The Ulster Unionist Party wants a hung parliament so its MPs can “exert their influence” and stop Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, its leader has said.Steve Aiken was speaking as he launched the UUP’s general election manifesto.He said the party wants “to see Parliament come back in such a way that neither (Conservatives or Labour) has an opportunity to form a government”.He added this would make any UUP MPs “very influential” in ensuring Mr Johnson’s deal is taken off the table.The UUP backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum but, after the result, said the decision to leave should “be respected” and that Northern Ireland should exit the EU on the same basis as the rest of the UK.However, the party has rejected the Brexit deal negotiated by Mr Johnson and claimed it creates “a border down the Irish Sea”, meaning Northern Ireland would become “a place apart”.’No unionist could support Johnson’Launching the manifesto, Mr Aiken described the decision to leave the EU as “the biggest political earthquake” the UK has experienced since World War Two.He added that, faced with Mr Johnson’s deal, the party would prefer to remain in the EU than leave under his agreement.

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Referring to the deal, Mr Aiken said: “Northern Ireland will be torn away from its most important economic market – Great Britain.”The new UUP leader also said “no unionist could support Boris Johnson going forward” and criticised Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, describing him as “unfit to be prime minister”. The party is standing in 17 seats across Northern Ireland, but is not running in North Belfast, where the party has stepped aside to support the DUP’s Nigel Dodds.The decision to step down came after a U-turn by the party leadership – originally Mr Aiken said the UUP would stand, leading to threats being issued against party staff.Range of pledgesThe DUP has stepped aside in Fermanagh and South Tyrone to support UUP candidate Tom Elliott. Mr Elliott, a former party leader, lost his seat in the 2017 general election along with the party’s other MP Danny Kinahan. The manifesto, entitled “Northern Ireland Needs Change – Let’s Change Together”, was launched at a Belfast hotel in front of journalists, candidates and party members.The party’s programme includes a wide range of pledges including:
Introduction of direct rule if there is no deal for a return of power-sharing at Stormont by mid-January
Lowering of the voting age to 16
Declaration of a healthcare emergency in Northern Ireland
Promise to never support the proposed Historical Investigations Unit
Support for a new Environmental Protection Act
Support for free TV licences for over 75s
Support for a single state education system
This is Steve Aiken’s first election as leader after he took over the party reigns in October following the resignation of Robin Swann.

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