Posted by Andrew Sparrow

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

The Labour MP Chris Bryant has come top in the ballot for private members’ bills. Twenty MPs were selected in the ballot, but only the top seven can be assured that their bill will get to go first when private members’ bills are debated on a Friday (meaning only their bills will have a decent chance of getting passed second reading).

The full list of MPs selected, in order, is here.

Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, will make a Commons statement about her decision on the 21st Century Fox bid for Sky. She is also taking culture questions first, but presumably she will dodge any questions she gets about the bid during that session and tell MPs to wait for her statement.

One statement today from Karen Bradley on proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky.
No Urgent Questions. More details to follow.

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Posted by Associated Press in Little Rock

Michael Tate Reed accused of defacing monument after video appears to show driver ramming into it shouting ‘Freedom!’

A man shouting “Freedom!” has crashed a vehicle into a newly erected Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas.

The privately funded granite slab had been in place outside the state capitol in Little Rock for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces.

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Posted by Nils Pratley

The City regulator must resist the lobbying backlash and follow up its call for reform of the fund management industry

The fund management industry has become an elaborate exercise in siphoning savers’ capital for the benefit of insiders, critics have grumbled for years, with strong justification. Now the Financial Conduct Authority finally agrees – roughly speaking.

The regulator’s language is softer, but many of its findings support familiar complaints about opaque fee structures, conflicts of interest and inadequate governance oversight. Price competition is “weak in a number of areas” to the point where average profit margins are 36% for asset managers and fees for active funds haven’t changed in 10 years. There is no relationship between charges and performance. Investment objectives aren’t communicated clearly. Benefits of scale aren’t passed onto retail investors. The charge sheet is long.

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Posted by Angela Monaghan

The pound made further gains on Thursday after comments by Bank of England governor Mark Carney prompted market speculation of a rise in interest rates

The Bank of England has just published its latest consumer credit and mortgage approvals figures.

Consumer lending rose by £1.7bn in May, following a £1.5bn rise in April. UK economists were predicting a slowdown in lending to £1.4bn.

UK banking shares are benefiting this morning from developments in the US, where banks passed the second round of the Federal Reserve’s stress test.

It opened the door to higher payouts to shareholders, and boosted confidence about the general health of the sector.

Banking stocks jumped on the open after regulators in the US gave the greenlight to higher dividends and buybacks, whilst the hints of a shift in tone from central bankers towards tightening is spurring hopes of higher interest rates again.

HSBC led the FTSE 100, rising nearly 4% at the start of play. Standard Chartered rose 2%, while Barclays, Lloyds and RBS were all up more than 1%.

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Posted by Gwilym Mumford

Biopic of disability rights activist Robin Cavendish, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, will receive its European premiere at October event

Breathe, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, has been selected as the opening film of this year’s BFI London film festival.

Starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, Breathe is based on the true story of Robin Cavendish, who was diagnosed with polio while in Kenya and given months to live, only to survive and become an advocate for the rights of disabled people. Foy plays Diana, Cavendish’s wife, who helped him come to terms with his illness, while Hugh Bonneville appears as scientist Teddy Hall, who aided Cavendish in developing a revolutionary wheelchair. Tom Hollander, Stephen Mangan and Diana Rigg also appear in the film.

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A designer sculpts her hair into beautiful shapes

21-year-old Laetitia KY is a 21-years old fashion designer from the Cote d'Ivoire and she takes "good hair day" to a whole new level by sculpting her natural hair into whatever she feels like. When asked by Teen Vogue, where did she get her inspiration, she explained: ""Generally, the ideas come spontaneously.What really inspired me to sculpt my hair was an Instagram album I saw a year ago. It presented the hairstyles that women wore long ago in some African tribes that were really impressive and artistic. It made me want to use my hairstyle as one of my means of expression."

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Tagged: hair , art , designer
sparowe: (Glory)

Let God Define Good

Today's MP3

Nothing in the Bible would cause us to call a famine good or a heart attack good or a terrorist attack good. These are terrible calamities, born out of a fallen earth. Yet every message in the Bible compels us to believe that God will mix them with other ingredients, and bring good out of them. But we must let God define good. Our definition includes health, comfort, and recognition. His definition? In the case of His Son, Jesus Christ, the good life consisted of struggles, storms, and death. But God worked it all together for the greatest of good: His glory and our salvation.

At some point we all stand at this intersection. Is God good when the outcome is not? Do you want to know heaven’s clearest answer to the question of suffering? Take a look at Jesus!

From You’ll Get Through This

Posted by Smithy

The government has won a vote to prevent public sector pay rises for front line workers after nurses selfishly refused to guarantee Theresa May a more stable majority in the house of commons.

Posted by Andrew Sparrow

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

The Queen’s speech debate finally ends today. Last night the Labour amendment opposing the public sector pay cap was defeated by 14 votes. In an unusual move, MPs will vote on another frontbench Labour amendment today. It essentially summarises the Labour manifesto. It says:

At end add ‘but respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to end austerity in public services, to reverse falling living standards and to make society more equal; further regret that it contains no reference to an energy price cap and call on the government to legislate for such a cap at the earliest opportunity; call on the government to commit to a properly resourced industrial strategy to increase infrastructure investment in every nation and region of the UK; recognise that no deal on Brexit is the very worst outcome and therefore call on the government to negotiate an outcome that prioritises jobs and the economy, delivers the exact same benefits the UK has as a member of the single market and the customs union, ensures that there is no weakening of cooperation in security and policing, and maintains the existing rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU; believe that those who are richest and large corporations, those with the broadest shoulders, should pay more tax, while more is done to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion; call for increased funding in public services to expand childcare, scrap tuition fees at universities and colleges and restore education maintenance allowance, maintenance grants and nurses’ bursaries; regret that with inflation rising, living standards are again falling; and call on the government to end the public sector pay cap and increase the minimum wage to a real living wage of £10 per hour by 2020.’.

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Posted by Simon Burnton

Today’s fluff came to the party on my own

The front page of this morning’s L’Equipe carries a large picture of Olivier Giroud cupping a hand to his ear. “Giroud,” reads the headline, “Le chant de retour.” He is hearing, they say, a siren song that is leading him back home, where Lyon and Marseille both hope to complete what would be “un superbe coup pour la Ligue 1”. The paper explains that the French domestic championship has become increasingly attractive given the number of highly-rated coaches currently working there. “All that remains is to launch the second stage of the rocket,” they write, “by attracting the players capable of propelling Ligue 1 to rarified heights. And what better signal than to bring Olivier Giroud, the international team’s centre forward, back home?”

Like L’Equipe, the Mill can think of no better signal than that. Other than buying a younger and/or better player instead, obviously. The French paper also write that Arsenal want Monaco’s Thomas Lemar “at any price”, which isn’t much of a negotiating position but should, in the end, let them get their man. The Telegraph had reported that the failure of their initial offer had prompted the Gunners to look again at Riyad Mahrez, but it sounds like the Algerian shouldn’t get too excited just yet.

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Posted by Guardian sport

• Fast bowler ruled out of Royal London final and Test with knee strain
• Jake Ball expected to be out of action for two weeks

Jake Ball has been ruled out of England’s first Test against South Africa next week with a knee strain, his Nottinghamshire coach Peter Moores has confirmed. He will also miss Notts’ Royal London One-Day Cup final against Surrey at Lord’s on Saturday.

The seamer felt pain in his knee when bowling during the second innings of Nottinghamshire’s County Championship match against Kent at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

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Posted by Reuters in Jerusalem

Olmert, serving 27-month term for corruption, could be freed as early as Sunday after parole board reduces sentence

Ehud Olmert, the former Israel prime minister serving a 27-month prison term for corruption, has been granted parole, one of his lawyers said.

Israel Radio reported that Olmert, 71, could be freed as early as Sunday after a parole board reduced his sentence by a third, a common practice for prisoners who have committed non-violent crimes.

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Posted by Angela Monaghan

The pound made further gains on Thursday after comments by Bank of England governor Mark Carney prompted market speculation of a rise in interest rates

It’s been a mixed start for European markets this morning. The FTSE is leading the risers, boosted by the banking and mining sectors.

The scores so far:

The government is due to announce today whether or not it will give the go ahead to 21st Century Fox’s proposed £11.7bn takeover of Sky.

Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, is expected to make the announcement later this morning.

Related: Fox’s £11.7bn bid for Sky ‘should be referred to competition authorities’

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Posted by Piotr Kozak in Santiago

Many Haitians and Dominicans are moving south for jobs and opportunities – and some are receiving a less than sympathetic welcome after a 3,000km trek

Digna Batista was promised she would be heading to paradise when she paid people smugglers to take her from the Dominican Republic to Chile. Instead, she found herself walking across a desert minefield to encounter a less than sympathetic welcome in a society that is struggling to accommodate a growing number of migrants from the Caribbean.

Discrimination, labour abuse and outdated immigration policies have made adjustment difficult for many among the more than 50,000 Haitians and 15,000 Dominicans who are part of an economic migration story that is quickly moving up the political agenda before a presidential election later this year.

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Posted by Joris Luyendijk

Who would sacrifice EU citizenship for life in a country we now know could turn on us at any moment? It makes sense to get ahead of the returning herd

It will not happen in spectacular ways, so do not expect TV footage of hordes of well-heeled EU nationals making for Heathrow airport or the Channel tunnel. Rather it will be a steady, inexorable drip-feed. It has already started and as the true implications of Brexit sink in the number will swell. Call it the Brexodus: well-educated EU nationals with the global job market at their feet turning their back on a country they had thought of as a good and safe place to make their homes.

Related: I’m an EU citizen in the UK. Theresa May’s offer leaves us in limbo | Tanja Bueltmann

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Posted by Denis Campbell Health policy editor

Health service’s financial regulator waters down proposal for 14 areas in England after warnings that patient care would suffer

NHS bosses have been forced to backtrack on controversial plans to impose “brutal” cost-cutting measures that involved delaying operations, denying patients treatment and closing hospital wards.

NHS Improvement (NHSI), the service’s financial regulator, has watered down proposals it drew up alongside NHS England after doctors, health charities and senior NHS staff in the 14 affected areas of England reacted with anger, amazement and warnings that patients would suffer.

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Posted by Robert Kitson in Wellington

The selection of both Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton signal positive intent from the Lions coach and we can expect a more assertive approach in Wellington

This has already proved an eventful British & Irish Lions tour in all kinds of ways but the most gripping 80 minutes may still be to come. If Warren Gatland’s team-sheet for the second Test carries no guarantee of success there is at least a genuine can-do feel about it. Gatland has clearly promised himself that, whatever transpires, he will give this series a real go.

And, glory be, the 2017 Lions are going for it on Saturday. By pairing Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell at 10 and 12 they have sent the plainest of messages to Steve Hansen and the All Blacks: you ain’t seen nothing yet. Gatland and his coaches have long known that what might have worked in the first Test of a major series is not necessarily the best answer the following weekend. Hansen will look at this selection and conclude the Lions are not quite done yet.

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Posted by Jacob Mikanowski

Full of surprising details, this study delves into what society-transforming technology really signifies. Steve Jobs comes out badly

In most areas of my life I behave well enough, but put a smartphone in my hand and I become your typical glazed-eyed imbecile, poking, swiping and typing in a sweaty frenzy. For better or worse, smartphones tap into something base in us. Most adults use their phones in the way that babies treat their pacifiers. Break one, and we turn into those australopithecines at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey, smashing our fists into the dirt in frustrated rage; take them away, and we become Gollum without his ring.

Related: The iPhone only exists because Steve Jobs 'hated this guy at Microsoft'

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Posted by Angela Monaghan

The pound made further gains on Thursday after comments by Bank of England governor Mark Carney prompted market speculation of a rise in interest rates

The government is due to announce today whether or not it will give the go ahead to 21st Century Fox’s proposed £11.7bn takeover of Sky.

Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, is expected to make the announcement later this morning.

Related: Fox’s £11.7bn bid for Sky ‘should be referred to competition authorities’

Some UK corporate news now.

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