Daily Archive: August 4, 2017

Aug
04

Netanyahu: fraud investigation is ‘background noise’ – video

The Israeli prime minister dismisses a statement by Israeli police that names him as a suspect in two cases of alleged fraud. During a televised address on Friday, Benjamin Netanyahu describes the legal development as ‘the inevitable scandal-of-the-week’

Israeli police confirm Netanyahu is suspect in fraud investigation
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Aug
04

Ten years on, we’re getting into another debt crisis | Deborah Orr

The early signs of the 2007 credit crunch are back. With wages stalled and prices rising, more and more are turning to loans and plastic cards to make ends meet

We are 10 years on from the start of the financial crisis, and unsecured consumer debt has reached more than £200bn for the first time since 2008. It’s up 10%, year on year. The best that can be said of the matter, as compared to the pre-crash debt boom, is that at least there are worries about it.

The Bank of England and the credit ratings agency Moody’s are among those who have warned that the situation could be problematic. Which seems like an understatement. These guys are talking about big-picture risks to the economy, which generally adores debt. But at street level, the Financial Conduct Authority warns that one in six people with debt on credit cards, personal lending and car loans is in trouble. That’s 2.2 million stressed-out individuals.

Related: Bank of England warns of complacency over big rise in personal debt

The welfare state is used to punish people for being dependent, forcing them into debt – because they have no choice

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Aug
04

With political will, we could easily solve our transport problems | Letters

Readers share their thoughts on electricity generation, cars, cycling, trains and garden cities

George Monbiot makes some useful points in his article bemoaning the influence of the lobbying power of the motor industry (We must break the car’s chokehold on Britain, 2 August). He proposes a modal transport shift to more coach travel and investment in nuclear power plants to power our electric cars. He ignores completely, as usual, the solar option with smaller electric cars and electric bikes and charged by photovoltaics on homes, at work and in public places. In 1993, I bought Hannibal, the 750kg fibreglass Kewet El Jet electric car that we used for a decade to take the children to school, go shopping and to train and bus stations. This first British solar car was largely powered by the 4kWp PV roof on my Oxford ecohouse. Monbiot also ignores the huge trend towards using electric bikes that can be easily solar charged at home or work. We love our cars and bikes, but the trick is to make them much smaller, lighter and solar powered, used locally and to connect with public transport systems for longer distances, so decrying any need for building inevitably toxic new nuclear power stations at all. Car size does matter now if we, as a society, are serious about surviving safely into the 22nd century, so let’s have less of Jeremy Clarkson on TV and more solar-powered Good Lives. It’s the mindset that has to change first, then the hardware.
Emeritus Professor Sue Roaf
Oxford

• George Monbiot and several of your readers (Letters, 28 July and 31 July) have drawn attention to the folly of the government’s 2040 initiative. It does not need 2020 hindsight to see that the demands on electricity generation will rocket in order to support a nation using only electric cars. Where will this electricity come from and at whose expense?

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Aug
04

Israeli police confirm Netanyahu is suspect in fraud investigation

Court document reveals for first time that prime minister is subject of inquiries into alleged ‘fraud, breach of trust and bribes’

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been named as a suspect in two investigations into allegations of “fraud, breach of trust and bribes” with his former chief of staff signing a deal with prosecutors to testify against him.

The moves mark the most serious political crisis for the Israeli leader, the only prime minister to rival founding father David Ben-Gurion for longevity in office.

Related: Netanyahu’s New York travel bill included $1,600 for hairstyling

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Aug
04

Donald Trump mural appears on wall in West Bank – video

A mural has been painted on the West Bank barrier in Bethlehem, Israel, depicting Donald Trump. It shows the US president hugging a watchtower and stroking the wall, with a thought bubble saying ‘I’m going to build you a brother’, possibly referring to Trump’s proposed plan for a border wall with Mexico

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