As the cocktail of long-term austerity, rising living costs and a slumping post-Brexit economy hits, what’s really frightening is the crisis that is brewing but is barely being noticed. Look at this week’s finding that one in four families now have less than £95 in savings. That’s staggering, not simply because it gives an insight into how large swaths of families in Britain are clinging on financially in a climate of low wages, cut benefits and high rents, but also because it offers us a warning of how little it will take to push them over the edge. There are now 19 million people in this country living below the minimum income standard (an income required for what the wider public view as “socially acceptable” living standards), according to figures released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) this month. Around 8 million of them could be classed as Theresa May’s “just about managing” families: those who can, say, afford to put … [Read more...] about Melissa and millions like her are just one unpaid bill away from the abyss
1 million climate jobs
“This whole area wants to be a wood,” says Edward Milbank, sweeping his arm across the former hill farm in Northumberland. Small saplings of birch have invaded the cleared ground, but many more trees are being pushed into the soil by hand. The bracken and rhododendron that had overrun the hillside took heavy machinery three months to rip out. “When you disturb the soil, it becomes a wood very quickly,” says Milbank. “But the Forestry Commission forced us to put in Scots pine as well. The entire area could be birch without spending a penny, but you have to be seen to be doing something to justify the [planting grants].” This former sheep and cattle farm, Doddington North, is being converted into England’s largest private new woodland in 30 years, with 680,000 trees being planted over the 350 hectares. Moving down the hill, Milbank points and says: “The reason we were able to raise the investment is that – sitka spruce.” The … [Read more...] about Reforesting the UK: ‘Trees are the ultimate long-term project’
France wrapped up two months of citizen debates Friday aimed as an immediate salve to the ongoing "yellow vest" demonstrations. But the biggest challenge lies ahead, analysts say: finding concrete solutions to a raft of long-held public grievances that go well beyond the protest movement. For President Emmanuel Macron, who launched the "great debate" mid-January, the immediate takeaways have been largely positive. Up to half-a-million French people participated in 10,000 meetings nationwide to discuss preset topics, from taxes and pubic services to democracy and the environment. Organizers also received more than 1.4 million online public comments, outlining other issues of concern, including jobs and immigration. Just as importantly, Macron has seen a significant bounce in once-dismal poll ratings, even as public support for the yellow vests continues to erode. His approval rating jumped eight points by early March, to reach 28 percent. But how the crisis plays out for both … [Read more...] about France’s ‘great debate’ is over — so what comes next?
Edward Enninful’s career in fashion began when, as a 16-year-old taking the tube to school, he was stopped by the influential stylist Simon Foxton and asked if he’d thought about modelling. Almost three decades later, the journey that began on the Hammersmith and City line has brought Enninful to the very pinnacle of the fashion world, after British Vogue announced he had been appointed its new editor-in-chief. As “one of the most talented and accomplished fashion editors in the world”, Enninful was “supremely prepared” to take over from the outgoing editor, Alexandra Shulman, the magazine’s publisher, Condé Nast, said in a statement on Monday. The 45-year-old, a former contributing editor at US and Italian Vogue, has been creative and style director at W magazine, based in New York, since 2011. Highly influential and well-liked in the industry, Enninful has proved a popular choice for the Vogue top job, with news of his appointment … [Read more...] about British Vogue appoints Edward Enninful as new editor
US President Donald Trump says the US Federal Reserve should be more accommodating of his economic policies, in his latest criticism of the US central bank. During his presidency, Trump has broken with the long-established presidential convention of abstaining from criticizing the Federal Reserve, and in his latest comments to the news agency Reuters, he repeated earlier criticisms regarding interest rate hikes. "I'm not thrilled with his raising of interest rates, no. I'm not thrilled," he said, referring to Fed chief Jerome Powell. Suggesting that other countries are benefitting from central banks acceding to their governments' wishes during an era of trade tensions, Trump said: "We're negotiating very powerfully and strongly with other nations. We're going to win. But during this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated," he said. Read more: Central banks and the question of independence Watch video 01:31 Share US … [Read more...] about Trump criticizes Federal Reserve again