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Councils ‘running out’ of reserve cash
BBC analysis has identified 11 English councils that risk using up their entire funding reserves – the cash usually saved for emergencies – within four years, if they don’t top up the funds. The Local Government Association says “chronic underfunding” from Westminster has presented authorities with “a choice between using reserves to try and plug funding gaps or further cutting back local services in order to balance the books”.
The government argues that councils have had access to extra funding this year and are responsible for their own finances. Remind yourself which services local authorities are legally bound to deliver, via our Reality Check, then get your head around how this has been affected by a spending squeeze since 2010 through our seven key charts.
John Bercow plans to stay on as Commons Speaker
He’s crossed swords with ministers and angered Brexiteers, gaining a cult following across Europe in the process, but it seems Commons Speaker John Bercow is not – as some thought – leaving his chair any time soon. With “momentous events” taking place and “great issues to be resolved”, he tells the Guardian it “doesn’t seem… sensible to vacate the chair”.
He’s talking about Brexit. It’s a matter over which some Conservatives have accused him of bias, with one trying to have him removed. In March, our parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy wondered if we had reached “Peak Bercow” and there was manoeuvring by potential successors. Perhaps it was all a bit premature…
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Huawei: US ban sets ‘dangerous precedent’
The row between Chinese technology giant Huawei and American authorities rumbles on, with the firm’s top legal officer suggesting a US move to put it on a trading blacklist “sets a dangerous precedent”. Song Liuping complains: “Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company.” Check out our in-depth profile to understand why the company is so controversial, and remind yourself of where the UK stands on security concerns.
The preachers getting rich from poor Americans
By Vicky Baker, BBC News
Televangelist Todd Coontz has a well-worn routine: he dresses in a suit, pulls out a Bible and urges viewers to pledge a very specific amount of money. “Don’t delay, don’t delay,” he urges, calmly but emphatically. It sounds simple, absurdly so, but Coontz knows his audience extremely well. He broadcasts on Christian cable channels, often late into the night, drawing in viewers who lack financial literacy and are desperate for change.
“I understand the laws that govern insurance, stocks and bonds and all that is involved with Wall Street,” he once said, looking directly into the camera. “God has called me… as a financial deliverer.” Crucially, he always refers to the money as a “seed” – a $273 seed, a $333 seed, a “turnaround” seed, depending on the broadcast. If viewers “plant” one, the amount will come back to them, multiplied, he says.
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What the papers say
The Mail describes a “day of shame” for Labour, after the UK’s human rights watchdog said it would investigate claims of anti-Semitism in the party. It came as ex-spin doctor Alastair Campbell was expelled for revealing he voted Lib Dem in the European elections, and the i says he will fight the decision in court. Meanwhile leader Jeremy Corbyn will back a further EU referendum after the party was “trounced” in last week’s polls, the Mirror says. Tory leadership rivals also make headlines, with the Times suggesting Michael Gove’s bid was boosted by a “flip-flop” from Jeremy Hunt on a no-deal Brexit, and the FT saying Matt Hancock has criticised frontrunner Boris Johnson. Meanwhile, Mr Gove’s wife – Mail columnist Sarah Vine – declares on the front page he’s unable to “load the dishwasher”.
Anti-corruption Probe into how foreign official afforded £80m London homes
Football finance Real Madrid ‘most valuable club in Europe’
Harassment University accused of “silencing” sex abuse complainants
Plastic Malaysia to send back imported waste
If you see one thing today
Growing crops in the shadow of Fukushima
If you listen to one thing today
My Name Is: I’d rather not say, but for the benefit of the recordings you can call me Courtney
If you read one thing today
The man who lost a brother, father & uncle to biking, but races on
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10:00 Migration Advisory Committee due to provide updated details of which occupations should be on the Shortage Occupation List and open, without numerical limits, to workers from outside the European Economic Area.
20:00 Chelsea and Arsenal contest the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan.
On this day
1984 Forty-one police officers and 28 striking miners are injured during clashes outside the Orgreave coking plant, near Sheffield, as police use riot gear for the first time since the miners’ strike began in March.
Britain has never been more European (Politico)
It’s not just zealous men who want to control women’s bodies – we’re doing it to each other (Telegraph)
‘I plugged my nebuliser into a riot van’: what is it like being disabled at a festival? (Guardian)
Barack Obama and the secret history Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal (HuffPost)