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Plans to ban leaseholds on new-build homes in England

“Unfair charges” levied on buyers of new-build homes could be banned in England under a proposed crackdown. Leaseholds on new builds would be outlawed, while ground rents could be dramatically reduced, under government plans subject to public consultation. Ground rents can double every decade, crippling home owners and in some cases making a property impossible to sell. “Enough is enough. These practices are unjust, unnecessary and need to stop,” said Communities secretary Sajid Javid. The proposals, which are subject to an eight-week consultation, apply only to England. Builder sorry in…

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UK plans age verification for porn websites from 2018

People in the UK will have to prove they are 18 before being allowed to access pornography websites from next year, the government is to announce. Websites will be legally required to install age verification controls by April 2018 as part of a move to make the internet safer for children. Users may be asked to provide credit card details, as gambling websites do. Companies breaking the rules set out in the Digital Economy Act face being blocked by their internet provider. Under the plans, firms supplying payment and other…

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Georgia elections chief plans changes after security issues

Georgia’s top elections official stood out by refusing help from the Department of Homeland Security last August amid national concerns about the integrity of U.S. elections. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp called it an attempted federal takeover and insisted his office was already protecting Georgia’s vote from hackers. That stance earned him national media coverage ahead of his campaign for governor. But Kemp’s assurances threatened to become a liability after new details emerged last month about major security mistakes at the center managing Georgia’s election technology. It turns out…

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Bupa data breach affects 108,000 medical insurance plans

A Bupa employee inappropriately copied and removed customer information relating to around 108,000 international health insurance plans, the company has said. The data included names, dates of birth, nationalities, some contact and administrative information but not financial or medical data. The private healthcare company said it is contacting people who were affected. It added that protecting customer information was “an absolute priority”. In an online statement, Bupa explained that the insurance plans in question belonged to customers whose policy numbers begin with “BI”. Customers with domestic health insurance have not…

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'Cheaper' Heathrow airport third runway plans proposed

A wealthy businessman has submitted plans for a third runway at Heathrow which he says would be £5bn cheaper than the airport’s current scheme. Hotel tycoon Surinder Arora has put his proposal to the government’s public consultation on Heathrow. Ministers have expressed a preference for the airport’s plans for a new runway and terminal costing £17.5bn. Heathrow said it was already considering some of the ideas, and wanted to lower the cost too. Aurora Group’s proposals include changing the design of terminal buildings and taxiways, and reducing the amount of…

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Arlene Phillips plans dance gala in aid of Grenfell Fire victims

Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips is arranging a special dance gala to raise funds for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Stars from Strictly Come Dancing, the Royal Ballet and Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company will take part in Gala for Grenfell on 30 July. Phillips said the disaster had made her “wonder if there was a way I could help [and] maybe make a small difference”. Tickets for the event at the Adelphi Theatre in London go on sale on 7 July. Akram Khan, Adam Garcia and…

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Paul Clement EXCLUSIVE: Swansea City boss on John Terry snub, transfer plans and more

Paul Clement says John Terry snubbed a move to the Premier League as he didn’t want to play against his beloved Chelsea next season. The Swansea City boss was among a host of top-flight bosses keen to land the ex-England captain on a free transfer this summer following his departure from Stamford Bridge. But Terry has opted to drop into the Championship to join Aston Villa and Clement, who enjoys a close relationship with the 36-year-old dating back to his time on the coaching staff at Chelsea, fully respects his decision. Speaking exclusively to Jim White…

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