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News Why World Change is Necessary

Four MORE African nations that get billions in aid from Britain join the space race

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The row over aid spending intensified yesterday when it emerged Britain is pumping more than a billion pounds into oil-rich Nigeria which has plans to put a man in space. But taxpayers are also funding aid programmes in South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya – all of which have their own space agencies. Many are in their early stages, but include ambitious and expensive plans for satellites and even rockets.

Wind farms paid £30 million a year to stand idle because the grid can't cope with all the energy they produce

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Wind farms are being given around £30million a year in compensation to switch off or slow down their turbines because nearly half the electricity they make is not needed. The cash, which comes from household bills, is paid when the National Grid is unable to cope with the extra power produced during high winds or periods of low demand. Known as ‘balancing’, the arrangement is intended to compensate firms for energy they are unable to sell.

Disgraced former minister Chris Huhne lands energy job paying £100,000 for just two days a week

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Mr Huhne has been given the job as the company’s European chairman despite leaving his post as Lib Dem Energy Secretary only last year, and potentially having a detailed knowledge of sensitive Government dealings. However, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, a public body that considers applications for new jobs from former ministers, is believed to have given permission for him to take the role.

A-level students shun universities for work in bid to avoid debt after hike in tuition fees

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The trebling of tuition fees, which went up to £9,000 last year, has left thousands of teenagers and parents questioning the benefit of courses that leave them with massive debts and, in many cases, no job. After picking up their A-level results next Thursday, many will instead turn to school-leaver training programmes that could help them earn a salary and gain a qualification.

Top Lacoste salesman is fired after posting his paycheck on Instagram

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Wade Groom, from Brooklyn, New York, told Gothamist that he was merely 'expressing his frustration' with the expensive cost of living in New York, not with Lacoste in particular, when he shared a zoomed-out image of his pay slip. 'I was making as much as $1,500 a week selling shirts, but I'm not able to give my kids a better life, even if I'm working my butt off,' he told the newspaper, explaining that he made $15 an hour and received a three per cent commission during his three months on the job.

Eurocrats accused of 'bribery' by spending £6million of public money hosting a pro-EU Youth Camp days before MEP elections

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The European Parliament is to spend £6million on a 'youth camp' to promote Brussels days before crucial elections. Eurocrats are accused of ‘nothing short of bribery’ by organising the event for 5,000 16 to 30-year-olds ahead as voters prepare to go to the polls to elect new MEPs. The bizarre event includes role play games, concerts and ‘idea labs’ to debate youth unemployment in the European Parliament’s Strasbourg headquarters.

Britain's brightest trapped on the zero-hour treadmill: How graduates are forced to sign contracts with NO guaranteed work or pay

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A zero-hours contract means that a company need not guarantee staff any work. If none is available, the employer simply tells them not to bother turning up and doesn't pay them a penny. The employee receives no guaranteed salary, no sick pay or holiday pay, and doesn't know how much money he or she will earn from one week to the next. With no guaranteed income, mortgages and overdrafts - which allowed previous generations to take their first step on the property ladder - are unobtainable.

How university social engineering has failed: Despite millions spent, private schools tighten grip on top places

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Private school pupils are winning more places at top universities despite vast sums of money being spent to try to increase the number of state school children taking degrees. Independent schools sent 64 per cent of their sixth formers to the top third of universities in 2010-2011, compared with 24 per cent of state schools – a gap of 40 percentage points. Three years earlier the gap was 37.

A suicide survivor: the life of a Chinese worker

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The accumulated effects of endless assembly line toil, punishing work schedules, harsh factory discipline, a friendless dormitory and, rejection from managers and administrators, compounded by the company's failure to provide her with income, and then her inability to make contact with friends and family, were the immediate circumstances of her attempted suicide. Her testimony reveals how she was overwhelmed, ‘I was so desperate that my mind went blank’.

Honduras: Where the Blood Flows and the Rivers are Dammed

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Indigenous communities have been objecting to the illegal sale of their territory to transnational companies who seek to extract profits by harnessing and privatising communally-owned water. Yet in September 2010, the Honduran National Congress awarded 41 hydroelectric dam concessions, during a time when the government of Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo’s legitimacy was still questioned by the majority of Latin American governments.

'Putting profits before welfare': The party-loving sons of Red Army officer making millions from misery with infamous Ask.fm website

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Yesterday, brothers Mark and Ilja Terebin, who are pictured with one of their tech-savvy partners, were in hiding, each refusing to discuss their website’s role in Hannah Smith’s suicide on Friday. But a whistleblower who worked at the site’s headquarters in Riga, Latvia’s capital, claims his former bosses are aware of the harm caused by Ask.fm but are more interested in the £5million a year they are making in advertising revenue.

New Zealand's green claims are pure manure: Country's food scares and poor environmental record at odds with '100% Pure' slogan

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For a country that markets itself to the world with the slogan '100% Pure', New Zealand's environmental credentials are not as impeccable as many would think. The majority of its rivers are too polluted to swim in. Its record on preservation of natural environments is among the worst in the world on a per capita basis. And it is the only OECD country that does not produce a regular national report on its environment.

Charities accused of bringing good causes 'into disrepute' after it is revealed 30 bosses earn more than £100,000

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Thirty executives at the country’s 14 leading international development charities now earn more than £100,000, it emerged last night. The Charity Commission, the sector’s watchdog has accused the of ‘bringing the charitable world into disrepute’. Conservative MP Priti Patel, pictured, says taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent. Despite falling donations, 11 bosses at the 14 charities which make up the Disasters Emergency Committee are now paid more than the Prime Minister’s £142,500.

Higher stamp duty hits 25% of buyers: Thousands forced to pay more than £7,500 when buying a home

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Hundreds of thousands of first-time buyers and hardworking families are losing out to the tune of more than £7,500 when they move home, the TaxPayers’ Alliance study found. The pressure group launched a Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign calling for a cut in the ‘punitive’ levy, which raised £4billion for the Treasury in 2012/13 - some £3.6billion of which was collected at rates of 3 per cent or more.

Our seaside town dumping grounds: Faded resorts filled with workless cost £2bn in benefits

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Declining seaside towns have become ‘dumping grounds’ following the destruction of their economies by cheap foreign travel, a report warns today. Once-thriving resorts are now heavily populated by welfare claimants, those with substance abuse and mental health problems and patients leaving the care system, it claims. Unemployment is twice or even several times the national average – with working age benefits costing almost £2billion per year.

The Business of Mass Incarceration - by Chris Hedges

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The United States has spent $300 billion since 1980 to expand its prison system. We imprison 2.2 million people, 25 percent of the world’s prison population. For every 100,000 adults in this country there are 742 behind bars. Five million are on parole. Only 30 to 40 percent are white. The intrusion of corporations and private contractors into the prison system is a legacy of the Clinton administration. President Bill Clinton’s omnibus crime bill provided $30 billion to expand the prison system, including $10 billion to build prisons. The bill expanded from two to 58 the number of federal crimes for which the death penalty can be administered. It eliminated a ban on the execution of the mentally impaired. The bill gave us the “three-strikes” laws that mandate life sentences for anyone convicted of three “violent” felonies.

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