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The latest local and national UK and International news.

Parliamentary sketch 11th Feb – HMRC it’s easier on HSBC

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Mexican drug cartels, terrorist organisations and now dodgy party donors. It’s a wonder HSBC had time to sell PPI insurance to us mere mortals, but they did…bless them. Hours before today’s PMQs there were revelations about political benefactors (mainly Tories), peers and a high profile MP who held accounts in Switzerland with HSBC. It appears the world’s local bank – for the super-rich – is an office in Zurich. This was Ed’s chance to finally...

Chilcot: The Trial of Tony Blair

By Simon Bartram Tony Blair was arguably one of the boldest and most talented politicians of the late 20th and early 21st century. Domestically he is widely credited with delivering vast swathes of progressive legislation across the country, introducing the minimum wage, allowing civil partnerships, and strengthening employee rights. Britain's social values radically changed during his time in office - the values of the older generation were swept away and a new morality gained greater acceptance. Whether legislation was the...

Parliamentary sketch 4th Feb – I’ll chuckle if you cut my hedge for 47 million

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor While watching PMQs last week, I was so frustrated with Miliband’s refusal to answer whether he had said he was “weaponising the NHS,” I stuck two pencils in my nose and prepared to head-butt the desk, but at the last minute I thought, “They are not worth it” Well today Miliband used all his questions to ask the PM about his tax cuts to hedge funds. The PM failed to answer the question once. I...

Deep Practice and Its Promise for Math Education

By Robert Sun It’s not often that an inner-city American school rises to the top of national rankings in academics, and yet Baldi Middle School in Philadelphia has beaten the odds— not just once, but multiple times. Its track record reveals some important insights for anyone concerned with improving the learning experience for children. In a nationwide online maths competition involving 6,000 schools in 45 states, Baldi ended the latest school year ranked #1, as students solved almost 20 million...

Parliamentary sketch 28th Jan – Weaponising the NHS and a major incident

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor I remember being at school and being caught throwing some chalk at a fellow pupil (that shows my age and level of rebelliousness). I denied it even though I had done it and everyone knew I’d done it. The more they asked the more I refused to take the blame and the worse it got. Well that is what happened to Ed today. It isn’t the initial problem, it’s the lying that makes it worse....

28/01/2015 – Cumberbatch, Emma Watson and Chris Brown

By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @TLE_Lifestyle Benedict Cumberbatch shows off his posh credentials  Whilst discussing the lack of opportunities for non-white actors in Hollywood, recently, Benedict Cumberbatch referred to black actors as ‘coloured’. It couldn’t have come at a more inopportune moment, given the context of the discussion, but it happened. Obviously he apologised post haste and rightly referred to himself as an ‘idiot’and that he ‘hopes this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is...

FRACKING: Government faces public rejection despite U-turn “victory”

By Elsa Buchanan, International Politics Correspondent  A Tories U-turn vote on fast-track fracking is being dubbed a ‘huge victory’, but campaigners say now is not the time to celebrate. The government made a major U-turn on plans to fast-track UK fracking after accepting Labour proposals to tighten environmental regulations on Monday (26 January). Campaigners welcomed the changes, describing the vote as “mark a huge loss for the fracking industry”. “This is a win for the people-powered anti-fracking campaign,” said Martin...

Parliamentary sketch 21st Jan – Obama’s care received by PM

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor I’m quite paranoid and believe the whole world is a conspiracy (against who, I’m not certain), but I am sure there was a very elaborate planned “joke,” during today’s PMQs. The sting began with Robert Jenrick, Con, who said of Miliband’s economic policy, “to be blunt” “James Blunt!” his partner in crime sitting beside him, chipped in, “he would send the UK back to bedlam,” he finished. Then Robert Redford (played by the PM) stepped...

Parliamentary Sketch 14th January – “If your name’s not down you’re not getting in.”

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor I was brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne and watching pub fights escalate was a common occurrence. Surprisingly the two leaders reminded me of one of these skirmishes, albeit it in an Oxbridge, educated duel way, rather than a bottling on Shields Road, Byker. After watching a number of these confrontations, the violence tends to only escalate once the door staff have broken it up, then both parties can really throw insults at each other,...

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