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UK

Baby boomers are blocking ways of solving the housing crisis facing the young because they ‘live in another world’, Sajid Javid said yesterday.

Older people oppose development projects and unfairly accuse millennials of spending on ‘nights out and smashed avocados’ instead of saving for deposits, the communities secretary claimed.

He said boomers ‘who have long since paid off their own mortgage’ are ‘not facing up to the reality of modern life’.

Figures released yesterday showed 217,000 homes were completed last year — up 27,000 on 2015.

But charity Shelter warned that the proportion of new properties within the reach of young househunters had fallen to one fifth.

Mr Javid’s latest comments come after he urged Philip Hammond last week to borrow up to £50billion to fund new housing. metro.news
The Grenfell Tower fire took the lives of 71 people, police have said, after recovering what they believe to be the last of the bodies.

Officers investigating the disaster said on Thursday they had identified the final two people who died as 71-year-old Victoria King and her 40-year-old daughter, Alexandra Atala.

“We were devastated to hear of our sister Vicky’s fate and that of her daughter, Alexandra, in the Grenfell Tower tragedy,” their relatives said in a statement.

“Some comfort can come from the knowledge that she and Alexandra were devoted to one another and spent so many mutually supportive years together.

They died at each other’s side and now they can rest together in peace. We will remember them always.” theguardian.com
Scotland is set to become the first country in the world with a minimum price for alcohol sales after the UK’s highest court rejected an appeal from Scotch whisky manufacturers.

Supreme Court justices unanimously dismissed the appeal brought by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other drinks manufacturers, who argued that the policy was “disproportionate” and illegal under European law.

It brings to a close a five year legal struggle over the Scottish Government’s plan to introduce a 50p minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol, in a bid to curb harmful drinking of cheap, super strong alcohol.

The judgement, handed down by justice Lord Mance, said that increasing alcohol price by an excise duty or Vat increase would not be "equally effective” at targeting cheap alcohol.

“The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses the appeal - Lord Mance gives the judgement, with which the remaining six justices agree," the ruling said.

"The 2012 Act does not breach EU law, minimum pricing is a legitimate means of achieving a legitimate aim.” independent.co.uk
Parliament is to be given a take-it-or leave-it vote on the final Brexit deal before the UK leaves the EU.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the terms of the UK's exit, such as money, citizen rights and any transition must become law via a new Act of Parliament.

Labour welcomed a "climbdown" but some MPs warned of a "sham" if ministers could not be asked to renegotiate.

Sources have told the BBC some Tory rebels were unimpressed, with one saying the promise was "meaningless".

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the announcement was significant because it represented a big concession to potential Tory rebels and Labour MPs at a highly important moment in the Brexit process.

It comes as MPs prepare to debate key Brexit legislation later this week with the government facing possible defeat on aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will convert EU law into UK law. bbc.com
Prince Charles led the annual ceremony to honor Britain's war dead on Sunday, laying a wreath on behalf of 91-year-old Queen Elizabeth to mark Remembrance Sunday as she watched the service from a balcony.

The queen and her 96-year-old husband, Prince Philip, watched from the balcony of the nearby Foreign Office.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers said the queen had slightly stumbled during last year's service.

"One of the most important things with the queen as she gets older is not to put her in any situation where she might be uncomfortable or things might be difficult," he told Reuters, "it requires a certain amount of standing around and then it involves the queen carrying something quite heavy and walking backwards."

But he rejected the notion that it symbolized something more significant, saying it was "another step that we realize that we have an ageing monarch, and it's very important that we should not put too much pressure on her".

The head of state has been gradually reducing her workload and younger royals, including the 68-year-old Charles, have been taking up some of her duties. usnews.com
Dementia is now Britain’s biggest killer, overtaking heart disease for first time new figures have shown.

Some 70,366 people died from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia last year compared to around 66,076 deaths from heart disease.

In 2015 heart disease was the biggest killer with 69,785 death, while 69,182 people died from dementia.

The switch is being driven by the ageing British population, combined with improvements in heart health, as more people are prescribed statins and beta blockers to cope with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Charities have called on the government to double its annual £132 million dementia research funding over the next five years. Projections suggest that 1.2 million will be living with dementia by 2040.

The new figures combine data released last year from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with new mortality statistics from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, giving a full picture for Britain.  telegraph.co.uk
CCTV will be made compulsory in all animal slaughterhouses under new government plans announced today.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, said that, from next spring, all abattoirs where live animals are present will be forced to install cameras in an attempt to clamp down on mistreatment.

The footage from the cameras will be accessible to official vets working for the Food Standards Agency, who will highlight cases in which animals have been poorly treated.

Those responsible could then lose their license or face prosecution.

Slaughterhouses will have to give vets unrestricted access to the last 90 days of footage.

It follows a number of disturbing videos appearing online showing slaughterhouse staff abusing animals. Last year, footage obtained by The Independent showed the dirty and cramped conditions endured by hens on battery farms that supply major UK supermarkets. independent.co.uk
Another blow for Uber’s UK business: The company has lost its appeal against an employment tribunal ruling which last year judged that the Uber drivers who brought the case should be classified as workers, rather than self-employed contractors — meaning they are entitled to benefits such as holiday pay and the UK’s National Minimum Wage.

Uber’s appeal against the ruling was heard in September, but the Employment Appeal Tribunal has now upheld the original verdict — denying a first appeal.

And while the original employment tribunal ruling only applies to the group of individuals who brought the case it sets a legal precedent for other Uber drivers to mount challenges over their own employment status.

The company has previously said that if it had to provide all the ~50,000 ‘self-employed’ Uber drivers on its platform in the UK with workers’ rights it would cost the company “tens of millions” of pounds.

In its appeal, Uber had sought to argue that it merely acts as an agent on the driver’s behalf — likening its operation to that of a traditional minicab operator.

Clearly the tribunal was not swayed. techcrunch.com
The number of British-made bombs and missiles sold to Saudi Arabia since the start of its bloody campaign in Yemen has risen by almost 500 per cent, The Independent can reveal.

More than £4.6bn of arms were sold in the first two years of bombings, with the Government grant increasing numbers of export licences despite mounting evidence of war crimes and massacres at hospitals, schools and weddings.

The United Nations says air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition are the main cause of almost 5,295 civilian deaths and 8,873 casualties confirmed so far, warning that the real figure is “likely to be far higher”.

It has condemned the “entirely man-made catastrophe” leaving millions more on the brink of famine and sparking the world’s worst cholera epidemic, while blacklisting Saudi Arabia for killing and maiming children.

There is also fresh concern over the Kingdom’s attempt to shut all air, land and sea ports into Yemen, which it said was to stop the flow of weapons but will also halt aid imports.

British-made bombs have been found at the scene of bombings deemed to violate international law but the UK has continued its political and material support for Riyadh’s campaign. independent.co.uk