BBC Four Documentary: Jacques Peretti explores how public bodies utilise their resources and asks whether taxpayers are getting value for money. [slyt]
BBC: Rushcliffe Borough Council said rough sleepers had been "causing a nuisance" in West Bridgford, a suburb of Nottingham nicknamed Bread and Lard Island because of its large houses. Campaign group Liberty said the fines were "cruel" and called on the government to scrap powers allowing them. Rushcliffe Borough Council said the fixed penalties were a "last resort". If people fail to pay the initial £100 fixed penalty notices they may be prosecuted, with the maximum fine being £1,000. [more inside]
"The Story of Skinhead" is a Don Letts documentary detailing the origins of the Skinhead movement as a fusion of West Indian Black Reggae culture with Working Class white London culture, and how it then changed to become part of football hooliganism, the NF, punk, and Oi. Warning: this video contains strong language, violence, and Gary Bushell. Originally shown on BBC 4.
BBC: "Sam Allardyce has left his post as England manager by mutual agreement with the Football Association after one match and 67 days in charge. It follows a newspaper investigation claiming he offered advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers. Allardyce, 61, is also alleged to have used his role to negotiate a deal worth £400,000 to represent a Far East firm." Alan Shearer: "England a Laughing Stock."
The man who squeezes muscles - "Across the North West, Akinwale Arobieke has become a modern-day bogeyman and an internet sensation, and now a court order that curtailed his activities has been lifted ... For years, stories about this bogeyman swirled around Merseyside. The tales varied, but they agreed on certain key details - that he was huge and that he liked to feel young men’s muscles. Sometimes he would measure them too. Parents would tell their children not to stay out after dark or Aki would get them. " [BBC - Apologies for the format, I know some people on here don't like it - if so, complain to the BBC!]
BBC: Awarding the Olympic Games to the Brazilian city of Rio in 2009 was viewed as a gamble by some critics. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) saw it as the perfect opportunity to re-emphasise its core message of taking the spirit of sport to as many people as possible. IOC president Thomas Bach maintains it was a risk worth taking. "The Brazilians were great hosts and really united behind these Games," he said. "They turned this great competition into a party for everybody."
BBC: "There are strong social divisions in how young people use digital technology, according to international research from the OECD. The economics think tank found that in many countries wealthy and poor pupils spent similar amounts of time online. But richer youngsters were much more likely to use the internet for learning rather than games. The study argues that even with equal access to technology a "digital divide" persists in how the internet is used.""
BBC: Theresa May set to be UK PM after Andrea Leadsom quits - "Theresa May is set to become the UK's next prime minister after Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the contest to become Conservative Party leader. The timing of the handover of power from David Cameron is currently being discussed, but could be within days." And over at Labour.... BBC: "Labour leadership: Angela Eagle says she can unite the party" - "Angela Eagle has said she can provide the leadership "in dark times for Labour" that Jeremy Corbyn cannot, as she launched her leadership challenge." [more inside]
BBC: Commemorations are taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme in World War One. Guns were fired in central London ahead of a two-minute silence at the time the battle commenced at 07:30 on 1 July 1916. Ever wondered what life would have been like for you 100 years ago?, Why was the first day of the Somme such a disaster? [more inside]
BBC - Cheryl James: Deepcut soldier's death was suicide, coroner rules - "The death of an army recruit from a gunshot wound to the head at Deepcut barracks was suicide, a coroner has ruled. The head of the army has apologised “unreservedly” to the parents of Pte Cheryl James as he vowed the service would be sure to learn from the inquest into her death at Deepcut barracks. Pte Cheryl James, 18, was found dead with a bullet wound to the head in 1995. She was one of four recruits to die at the base in seven years. Coroner Brian Barker QC said the wound was "self-inflicted" and Pte James fired the gun intentionally. Her father said the family did not believe evidence led to verdict."" [more inside]
BBC: "Pro-Remain MPs are considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market if there is a vote for Brexit, the BBC has learned. The MPs fear a post-Brexit government might negotiate a limited free trade deal with the EU, which they say would damage the UK's economy. There is a pro-Remain majority in the House of Commons of 454 MPs to 147. A Vote Leave campaign spokesman said MPs will not be able to "defy the will of the electorate" on key issues."
Documentary about the making of the Sex Pistols seminal album. Also discusses how the band came together, signing to EMI/A&M/Virgin, the Grundy Scandal and resultant publicity, and some footage shot by their tour manager of them in Berlin by the wall. Warning: contains Malcolm McLaren. [more inside]
BBC: "The revelations, made in the [UK] Sunday Times newspaper, are based on an interview with ex-CIA agent Donald Rickard shortly before he died. Mr Mandela served 27 years in jail for resisting white minority rule before being released in 1990. He was subsequently elected as South Africa's first black president."
The BBC must put "distinctive content" at its heart, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has said. It is part of a major overhaul of how the BBC is run, which has been unveiled by the government. The licence fee will continue for at least 11 years and will be linked to inflation - and viewers will need to pay it to use BBC iPlayer. Mr Whittingdale made clear he was "emphatically not saying the BBC should not be popular". [more inside]
BBC: "Ever since the Victoria and Albert Museum opened, textiles and how they're used has been a primary focus. But it's taken until now to organise a whole exhibition about underwear. The curator says more than any other clothing, underwear is a mix of the alluring and the utterly practical." [V&A]
BBC: "David Cameron has defended a government pro-EU membership campaign, amid criticism that £9m of public money is being spent on "one-sided propaganda". The PM said the government was "not neutral" in the referendum and the cost was "money well spent". The 16-page leaflets will be sent to 27 million UK homes from next week." [more inside]
BBC: "At least 69 people have been killed and scores injured in an explosion at a public park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, officials say. The park was crowded with families, some celebrating Easter. Many victims are said to be women and children. Police told the BBC it appeared to be a suicide bomb. A Pakistan Taliban faction said it carried out the attack. Pakistan's president has condemned the blast and the regional government has announced three days of mourning."
BBC: It's been a ratings smash, caused meltdown on social media and an online leak of the last episode has made global headlines. But is the success of the TV adaptation of John Le Carre's The Night Manager down to its star names - or the enduring appeal of the spy? [There are no actual spoilers in this piece, although there are a couple of images from later episodes.]
Brussels explosions: Many dead in airport and metro terror attacks BBC: "Many people have been killed or seriously injured in terrorist attacks at Brussels international airport and a city metro station, Belgium's PM says. Two explosions hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, and another struck Maelbeek metro station an hour later. The government has not confirmed casualty numbers. Brussels transport officials say 15 died at Maelbeek and media say up to 13 died at the airport. Belgium has now raised its terror threat to its highest level. The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive in the Paris attacks, was seized in Brussels."
BBC: David Cameron says a deal struck with EU leaders will give the UK "special status" and he will campaign with his "heart and soul" to stay in the union. The PM said the agreement, reached late on Friday after two days of talks in Brussels, would include a seven-year "emergency brake" on welfare payments. He added the deal included changes to EU treaties and would be presented to his cabinet on Saturday at 10:00 GMT. EU exit campaigners said the "hollow" deal offered only "very minor changes". [more inside]
After more than 100 women and girls came forward with reports of sexual assault and robbery by gangs of men in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve, Cologne's police chief has been removed from his post. [more inside]
A German Christmas card with just "England" on the envelope has reached the right address in Gloucestershire.
BBC Arts::Photography - "Billy Name was the in-house photographer at Andy Warhol's Factory studio, where he lived from 1964-1970. A newly published book, Billy Name: The Silver Age, collects his work to tell the story of that heady time." [more inside]
BBC: "If you're white, male and poor enough to qualify for a free meal at school then you face the toughest challenge when starting out in life. That's what the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) has said in "the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality in Britain"."
Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter has suggested there was an agreement in place for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup - before the vote took place. The 79-year-old told Russian news agency Tass of a "discussion" in 2010 about future World Cups.
BBC Four Presents three programmes about the psychedelic era of British pop: Psychedelic Britannia, 60s Psychedelic Rock at the BBC, Arena - Magical Mystery Tour. Tune in, turn on, chill out.
"A growing number of people on low incomes are now living in shared housing - known as "houses in multiple occupation" - where each room is rented separately. But there's concern that many tenants are living in poor conditions." [SLBBC]
BBC: George Osborne has launched his spending review with a call for £20bn cuts to Whitehall budgets. Each unprotected department has been asked to come up with savings plans of 25% and 40% of their budget. The chancellor said departments had also been asked to help meet a target of 150,000 new homes on public sector land by 2020. The NHS and per-pupil schools budgets will be protected in the review, which will be published on 25 November. Mr Osborne, who is currently giving evidence to MPs, said that "with careful management of public money, we can get more for less".
BBC: "Thirteen million UK families will lose an average of £260 a year due to the freeze in working-age benefits, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)." BBC: Benefit Changes, who will be affected? "Hundreds of thousands of UK families will be affected by cuts of £12bn in the UK's welfare budget announced by the chancellor." BBC: Budget Calculator.
BBC: "A clampdown on "taxpayer-funded subsidies" for "higher earners" living in social housing is to be announced by the chancellor in Wednesday's Budget. Local authority and housing association tenants in England who earn more than £30,000 - or £40,000 in London - will have to pay up to the market rent, George Osborne will say. The move is expected to raise up to £250m a year by 2018-19. It is thought that this could affect 340,000 households." George Osborne said: "the Budget would "reward work over welfare" and allow people to keep more of the money they earned."
Elite firms are sidelining the UK's bright working-class applicants in favour of privileged, "polished" candidates, a report says. The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission says these firms draw from a small pool of graduates, who probably went to private or selective schools. This version of talent can be "mapped to middle-class status", it adds.
Nicky Crane: The secret double life of a gay neo-Nazi: He was the British extreme right's most feared streetfighter. But almost right up to his death 20 years ago, Nicky Crane led a precarious dual existence - until it fell dramatically apart. [BBC]
At 6.55pm on December 26th the BBC screened an adaptation of David Walliam's children's novel "The Boy In The Dress." Reaction on Twitter was mixed, but the reviews were more positive. 13 year old actor Billy Kennedy who starred in the programme has written a blog post about working with all the famous people in it, and the Radio Times asks its online readers what they thought of it.
"Astronauts on the International Space Station have used their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in an email. It is the first time hardware has been "emailed" to space. Nasa was responding to a request by ISS commander Barry Wilmore for a ratcheting socket wrench."
A fascinating BBC Radio
Seven Four xtra audio documentary about life and events in the UK in the run up to World War One. Written and narrated by Michael Portillo, but don't let this put you off. Starts with "The long summer." If you are not in the UK, you may need to spoof your IP address to listen to them.
"German company ThyssenKrupp is proposing a self-propelled lift that can travel both horizontally and vertically through large buildings and skyscrapers." Includes short animated video demonstration.
Premier Foods, one of the UK's biggest manufacturers, has been asking its suppliers for payments to continue doing business with the firm.
British intelligence agencies have policies allowing staff to access confidential communications between lawyers and their clients, official documents have revealed. The guidance was disclosed for the first time at a tribunal which examines complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
A BBC Sport study into prize money found 30% of sports reward men more highly than women. The biggest disparities in prize money were found in football, cricket, golf, darts, snooker and squash. [more inside]
Robert Peston, BBC : "Well you may recall that the Office for National Statistics recently recalculated the size of our national income to take account of unreported or under-reported parts of the economy, such as research and development, illicit drugs and prostitution. So thanks in part to the inclusion in the official economy of our productive sex workers, our EU membership fee has been augmented." - The BBC's economic editor's take on the UK's new, increased (by £1.7 billion) EU subscription. [more inside]
BBC: Vatican family review signals shift on homosexuality - "Senior clerics taking part in a review of Catholic teachings on the family have called on the Church to adopt a more positive stance on homosexuality. A preliminary report written by bishops during a Vatican synod said homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer"."
This is Duncan Campbell's BBC documentary series Secret Society which shows the never broadcast episode on secret groups, committees and societies that operate silently within British government. The first episode about secret cabinet committees features author Peter Hennessy, Clive Ponting and MP Clement Freud amongst others. It also contains the infamous Zircon spy satellite epsode. [Warning - Vimeo - alternative links for four of these are at Archive.org.] [more inside]
As the last of the African teams exits at the Round of 16, filmmaker and columnist Farai Sevenzo looks at the state of African football, bedevilled by the perennial problems of poor organisation, tactical indiscipline and rows over money. [BBC]
BBC re-reports: Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The Sunday Times has obtained millions of secret documents - emails, letters and bank transfers - which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.
The BBC assesses the World Cup Groups: Group A/ Group B/Group C/Group D/Group E/Group F/Group G/Group H. [more inside]
"Britain's richest people are wealthier than ever before, with a combined fortune of almost £520bn, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The total wealth of the richest 1,000 individuals, couples or families jumped 15% in a year, the survey said. Wealth expert Philip Beresford, who compiled the list, said he had never before seen such a "phenomenal" rise in personal fortune... Mr Beresford said: "The richest people in Britain have had an astonishing year. While some may criticise them, many of these people are at the heart of the economy and their success brings more jobs and more wealth for the country." - The total figure for the Rich List is equivalent to a third of the UK's gross domestic product."
Four women have had new vaginas grown in the laboratory and implanted by doctors in the US. "A tissue sample and a biodegradable scaffold were used to grow vaginas in the right size and shape for each woman as well as being a tissue match. They all reported normal levels of "desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction" and painless intercourse. Experts said the study, published in the Lancet, was the latest example of the power of regenerative medicine. "
Short BBC report about a small study where people with depression were given small doses of ketamine: "A team at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust gave patients doses of ketamine over 40 minutes on up to six occasions. Eight showed improvements in reported levels of depression, with four of them improving so much they were no longer classed as depressed. Some responded within six hours of the first infusion of ketamine. Lead researcher Dr Rupert McShane said: "It really is dramatic for some people, it's the sort of thing really that makes it worth doing psychiatry, it's a really wonderful thing to see. He added: "[The patients] say 'ah this is how I used to think' and the relatives say 'we've got x back'.""
A man who served as UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman for a year is the former leader of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan, BBC Newsnight can reveal. Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto's gang were behind a high-profile kidnapping in Karachi in 2004 and he then took a £56,000 ransom payment in Manchester. In 2005, Bhutto, of Leeds, admitted being the gang's "boss" and was jailed for seven years by a UK court. UKIP said Bhutto, 35, had "recently" resigned his party membership.
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