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Brexit: PM urged not to let Eurosceptics 'dictate' talks

Theresa May has been urged not to allow Eurosceptic MPs in her party to “impose their own conditions” on negotiations amid signs of fresh Tory infighting. Nineteen Tory MPs who back a “soft Brexit” have written to her saying it is “highly irresponsible” for anyone to dictate terms which may scupper a deal. It follows some Tories backing the DUP’s decision to oppose a draft deal on the future of the Irish border. The PM has spoken to the DUP’s Arlene Foster to try to break the deadlock. The DUP…

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Asthma sufferers urged to wear scarves in cold to stop attacks

Asthma sufferers are being encouraged to wear a scarf over their nose and mouth to prevent asthma attacks this winter. Breathing in cold, damp air can make the airways tighten and trigger an attack in three out of four people, charity Asthma UK says. This can leave people coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath. The charity’s #Scarfie campaign says “a scarf can save a life” but it’s not a replacement for asthma medicines. Four million people with asthma in the UK say that breathing in cold winter air makes their…

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Schoolies urged to look after their mates

Partying Year 12 graduates are being urged to stay safe and look after their mates as Schoolies officially gets under way on the Gold Coast. About 22,000 students are expected to arrive on the Glitter Strip this weekend after more than 53,000 Queenslanders graduated from Year 12 on Friday. Partying Schoolies are being urged to stay safe and look after their mates. Photo: ABC The Queensland Ambulance Service’s Justin Payne said the demand for services was 19 per cent higher than normal during last year’s Schoolies. The Gold Coast’s senior operations…

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Government urged to act over computer science GCSEs

More than half of England’s secondary schools, 54%, did not offer GCSE computer science in 2015-16, a report from the Royal Society has found. It urged the government to increase spending on computer education tenfold over the next five years to ensure youngsters can “unlock the full potential of new technologies”. The biggest issue was the lack of skilled teachers, the report found. The Department for Education said more pupils were choosing the subject. “We want to ensure our future workforce has the skills we need to drive the future…

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Action urged over Westminster abuse claims

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has been asked to make an urgent statement about tackling sexual harassment amid a series of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by MPs. Theresa May has already called for tougher procedures to deal with MPs accused of harassment. In a letter to Commons Speaker John Bercow, the PM said the Commons’ disciplinary regime needed reforming. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has offered to meet the PM to discuss it. Mrs May also called for an independent mediation service, as she said the current regime lacked “teeth”. Sir Alistair…

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NHS staff urged to get flu jabs to protect patients

NHS leaders are urging nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers to have a flu vaccination to protect their patients this winter. Vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women and older people are also reminded to have their free jab. Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, told the BBC he was worried about how staff would cope with a major flu outbreak. He said the NHS was under “severe and unrelenting” pressure. His comments come following reports of a much higher incidence of flu in the Australian winter and the…

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Sports 

Premier League urged to rethink Christmas Eve plans

The Premier League has been urged to reconsider reported proposals to stage matches on Christmas Eve. Tom Watson MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has written to the league’s chief executive Richard Scudamore. Reports suggest Leicester v Manchester United, Arsenal-Liverpool and West Ham-Newcastle could be moved for live TV. Watson writes that he is concerned fans will be “forced to choose between their loved ones and their team”. The Labour MP’s letter to Scudamore, obtained by BBC Sport, adds: “There’s a real danger that some…

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