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Education Secretary calls for tuition fee 'variety'

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:15Sun, 02/18/2018 - 14:30
This might be heralded as taking an axe to tuition fees in England, but in practice it sounds more like prudent pruning.
This might have been heralded as taking an axe to tuition fees, but in practice it sounds more like prudent pruning.
Damian Hinds has signalled that university fees and student debts are much higher than anyone really expected when the current system was introduced in 2012.
Damian Hinds has signalled that university fees and student debts in England are much higher than anyone really expected when the current system was introduced in 2012.
The review will look for ways to push down the cost - either through lowering interest rates, restoring maintenance grants or pushing down fees for some courses.
The forthcoming review will look for ways to push down the cost - such as lowering interest rates, restoring maintenance grants or reducing fees for some courses.
The most definite impact is likely to be that fees will be frozen indefinitely at £9,250.
The most definite impact for students is that tuition fees are not going above £9,250 any time soon, and the freeze on fees could continue indefinitely.
But there is no sign of any radical cutting of the headline figure or pressure for a fundamentally different system.
But there is no sign of any radical cutting of the headline figure for fees or pressure for a fundamentally different system.
And he seemed to play down suggestions of different fee levels for sciences, arts and humanities.
And Mr Hinds seemed to play down suggestions of any intervention from ministers to set different fee levels for sciences, arts and humanities.
He's supportive of grammar schools - but don't expect any new ones to be opened.
He's supportive of grammar schools - but there are no plans for any new grammars to be opened.

The mystery of Toronto's gay village killings

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 00:50Sun, 02/18/2018 - 14:10
All the victims appear to have some connection to the Gay Village, although some of them were not out to their family. One of the victims, Dean Lisowick, was homeless and a sex worker. No-one ever reported him missing.
All the victims appear to have some connection to the Gay Village, although some of them were not out to their families. One of the victims, Dean Lisowick, was homeless and a sex worker. No-one ever reported him missing.
McArthur himself was no stranger to the Village community. The grandfather and father of two had came out later in life but had been a neighbourhood regular since the late 1990s. At Zipperz, one of the bars frequented by many of his alleged victims, he could often be found sitting at the bar, having a drink or chatting up a fellow patron.
McArthur himself was no stranger to the Village community. The grandfather and father of two had come out later in life but had been a neighbourhood regular since the late 1990s. At Zipperz, one of the bars frequented by many of his alleged victims, he could often be found sitting at the bar, having a drink or chatting up a fellow patron.

Israel's Netanyahu attacks 'dangerous Iranian tiger'

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:05Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:15
Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck".
Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck".
Mr Netanyahu drew a parallel between the 1938 Munich Agreement, seen as a failed attempt to appease Nazi Germany, and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
In a moment of drama, he brandished what he said was a piece of an Iranian drone shot down in Israeli territory.
He said the deal had only "unleashed a dangerous Iranian tiger".
Iran's foreign minister later dismissed the speech as "cartoonish" and not worthy of a response.
"We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves and we will act if necessary," he said, "not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us but against Iran itself".
  
Mr Netanyahu accused Iran's foreign minister and representative in Munich, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is due to address delegates later on Sunday, of being the "smooth-talking mouthpiece of Iran's regime... [who] lies with eloquence".
  
He said Iran was falsely denying that it sent a drone into Israeli territory last week which was shot down by Israeli forces.
  
Holding up a remnant of what he said was the destroyed drone, he addressed Mr Zarif directly: "Do you recognise this? You should, it's yours. You can take back a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel's resolve."
  
Israel shoots down Iranian drone, then attacks Syrian targets
  
Israel warns Iran after launching major raids in Syria
  
  
Israel shoots down Iranian drone, then attacks Syrian targets
  
Israel warns Iran after launching major raids in Syria
  
In his speech, Mr Netanyahu drew a parallel between the 1938 Munich Agreement, seen as a failed attempt to appease Nazi Germany, and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
  
He said the deal had only "unleashed a dangerous Iranian tiger", against which "we will act without hesitation to defend ourselves".
  
Holding up the remnant of drone, of which Iran denies ownership, he addressed Mr Zarif directly: "Do you recognise this? You should, it's yours. You can take back a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel's resolve."
  
Speaking later, Mr Zarif called for a new security arrangement for the nations of the Gulf region, warning that without this there would be turmoil.
  
He insisted that Iran was "not devouring the entire region - we don't believe that's in our interest or even possible. So we need to start talking instead".
  
He deflected a question about whether Iran could recognise Israel, accusing Israel of using "aggression as a policy against its neighbours" and the Palestinians, and saying it was "trying to escape responsibility for its criminal policies".
  
As for the nuclear deal, he insisted "we will not be the first ones to violate an agreement which we did everything to achieve - despite Mr Netanyahu's efforts".
After the attack, Mr Netanyahu said Iran had "brazenly violated Israel's sovereignty" and vowed that Israel would defend itself.
  
Israel is a vocal opponent of the 2015 deal struck between Iran and six world powers which lifted crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.
Israel is a vocal opponent of the 2015 deal struck between Iran and six world powers which lifted sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.
Mr Netanyahu will be followed on to the stage in Munich by Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif and it is a moot point who will be the more welcome guest, says the BBC's Jonathan Marcus.
It is a debatable point whether Mr Netanyahu or Mr Zarif was the most welcome guest in Munich, says the BBC's Jonathan Marcus.
He is likely to direct his Munich appearance as much at his domestic audience as to the wider international community, our correspondent says, insisting that he remains the essential leader for Israel at a time of growing regional competition.
He is likely to have directed his Munich appearance as much at his domestic audience as to the wider international community, our correspondent says, insisting that he remains the essential leader for Israel at a time of growing regional competition.

Sacred Tibetan monastery in Lhasa hit by fire

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:30Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:00
Devastating news from Lhasa of the Jokhang temple on fire. pic.twitter.com/LXiIlvc7V5
  
End of Twitter post by @RobbieBarnett
  
#Jokhang fire: sources in Lhasa claim police have threatened anyone distributing pictures or unofficial news about the fire; locals afraid to talk. Official information extremely limited, raising concern about extent of damage. Access to area round temple said to be restricted.
  
End of Twitter post 2 by @RobbieBarnett