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News Why World Change is Necessary

'Fat cat' Network Rail boss at centre of rows over punctuality and bonuses quits his job (and will walk off with £1m in pay and perks)

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The Network Rail boss at the centre of bitter rows over fat cat executive bonuses, poor punctuality and overcrowded trains is to quit. Chief executive Sir David Higgins intends to leave next year, and is likely to walk away with a severance pay and bonus pot worth up to £1million. Senior Whitehall sources insist he was not ‘pushed’ and stressed that Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin was disappointed at the departure of the ‘highly regarded’ boss. However, union sources hinted at internal squabbles suggesting that Sir David had simply ‘had enough’ with the politics and constant public rows over large bonuses and poor performance of the railways.

We're just like pop stars and footballers, claims Nationwide boss who says bankers' pay is 'too hard to understand' for the common man

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Nationwide chairman Geoffrey Howe compared bankers to pop stars and footballers and said they were worth their massive bonuses. Mr Howe, who is paid £300,000 a year for working less than three days a week, said it was a ‘society problem’ that people find it ‘hard to understand’ why finance chiefs earn so much more than them. His remarks followed angry scenes at Nationwide’s AGM as members attacked as ‘morally obscene’ the £7.9million – or nearly £1.6million each – in pay and bonuses received last year by five executive directors. This was a 16 per cent rise on the previous year – at a time when many workers are seeing their income fall in real terms. Nationwide chief executive Graham Beale received a £2.3million package.

The stress factor that's costing the UK £10billion a year: Eight million Britons suffer from an anxiety disorder

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Stress, panic and anxiety related to modern-life costs Britain almost £10billion a year, it has emerged. A study by leading psychiatrists found that more than 8million men, women and children suffer from anxiety disorders a year – at a cost to the country of £9.8billion. Cambridge University researcher Barbara Sahakian said that anxiety problems and depression can be exacerbated by the stresses and strains of modern life. Worries about debt and job security can make matter worse.

Fast-living trio of British boiler room fraudsters who sold worthless shares to 2,300 victims in $130m racket jailed for up to 25 years by Florida court

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The $130 million dollar - or £85 million - scam, a so-called boiler room fraud where unsuspecting investors hand over cash for worthless shares, was one of the biggest of its kind ever uncovered in the UK. You had people that had lost all their life savings, people that have lost properties and had to down scale, people that have lost in relation to their futures, in planning for their children to go to university, their marriages breaking down. 'I don't think people realise the impact that fraud can have, and just what these individuals have done. 'Some of the victims have died and will never see an end to what was going on.

Osborne insists £130bn in mortgage guarantees will not be used for second homes but critics warn against 'mad' plan

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House builders plan a massive expansion in the number of new homes after George Osborne unveiled details of a plan for the taxpayer to guarantee £130billion in new mortgages. The Chancellor said he wants to help people who 'aspire to own a home' but can only scrape together a five per cent deposit to get on the property ladder. But critics warned 'the world must have gone mad' because the government should be focused on increasing housing supply not demand for homes.

RIP, American Dream? Why It's So Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead Today

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This is how the American Dream ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper of elite school applications by poor kids. Like it or not, the Ivies and other top schools are our conduit to the top, and far too many low-income students who should be there are not. As David Leonhardt of the New York Times points out, only 34 percent of high-achieving, low-income students attend a selective college versus 78 percent for high-achieving, high-income students. This has to be the most boneheaded way we as a society perpetuate the people at the top. The deck is already more than stacked against kids growing up in low-income households -- their parents often aren't as involved or even around -- and we're not helping the ones who do succeed to succeed more.

Clegg's £1bn plan to get jobs for 160,000 young people has so far helped just 4,600

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Nick Clegg’s Youth Contract promises to pay employers up to £2,275 for taking on an 18 to 24-year-old who has been out of work for at least six months. But latest figures show that the wage incentives, claimed after someone has been in work for six months, have been paid for more than 4,690 young people. ‘This flagship scheme is on course to miss its target by more than 92% - no wonder there are still almost a million young people out of work. ‘The welfare revolution we were promised has fallen apart. The Work Programme doesn't work, Universal Credit is disappearing into the sunset, and now we know that the Youth Contract has been a disaster.’

Fury in Australia after government publishes 'creepy' pictures of distraught asylum seekers who have found out they're about to be deported

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The Australian government has sparked fury after it published photographs of asylum seekers weeping as they await deportation to Papua New Guinea - hours after arriving on a rickety boat from Iran. Immigration Department acting regional manager Steven Karras, who broke the news to the groups, told the Sydney Morning Herald: 'I'm sure they’re now thinking about whether it was wise to come in the first place. 'From now on, any asylum-seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees,' Mr Rudd said in Brisbane at a press conference with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. 'If they are found to be genuine refugees they will be resettled in Papua New Guinea - an emerging economy with a strong future, a robust democracy which is also a signatory to the United Nations refugees convention.

Olympics bosses receive £2.8million in golden goodbyes despite knowing their jobs would be axed after 2012

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Taxpayers' money has been wasted on payouts that were entirely avoidable had staff contracts reflected the fact that working on the Olympics was quite obviously a temporary role. 'The utter disregard shown for value for taxpayers' money by Olympics chiefs is both shocking and worrying, especially as the government are holding up the Olympics as an example of how to manage big infrastructure projects.' Dennis Hone, the ODA chief executive, received £929,000 in pay, bonuses and pensions during just two years in the job. He left with a pension pot worth £1.9million. He was made redundant at the end of March, with a golden goodbye worth £80,000, as well as an immediate pension of £373,000.


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Yemen's gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find themselves unable to say no to bride-prices in the hundreds of dollars for their daughters. More than a quarter of Yemen's females marry before age 15, according to a report in 2010 by the Social Affairs Ministry. Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation.

Proof Mugabe buys elections: Astonishing documents show evidence of 'neutralising' of voters, millions paid for systematic rigging and smuggling of blood diamonds - to ensure tyrant, 89, clings to power

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The documents explain how ‘unfavourable voting outcomes’ for the ruling Zanu-PF party will be ‘countered’ for a multi-million-pound fee to an Israeli company that has been helping the dictator for a decade. They also show how Mugabe’s desperate bid to retain power in the nation he has ravaged during 33 years of repressive misrule is being aided by the Chinese government, fellow African dictators and secretive diamond mining firms.

Fury over MPs' plan to sell Britain's blood stocks to U.S. private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney

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The Department of Health plans to sell the state-owned Plasma Resources UK to Bain Capital, the company co-founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a £230million deal. Critics say the move could put blood supplies at risk of contamination because the private equity firm may not carry out such rigorous safety checks. In the 1980s as many as 10,000 patients with the blood-clotting disorder haemophilia contracted HIV or Aids after being given contaminated plasma supplies.

Now banks face £1billion bill for mis-selling credit card fraud insurance

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The City watchdog found many debit and credit card customers were duped into buying these policies which offered unnecessary cover if you lost your credit card or were victim to identity fraud. These policies, which together cost £120 a year, promised cover of up to £100,000 if crooks went on a wild spending spree with a stolen card. But banks already cover customers for this for free.

The British cash cow: Fury as UK money helps Argentina fight £66bn debt

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Even as Argentine President Cristina Kirchner tries to strangle the Falkland Islands’ economy, the International Monetary Fund – part-financed by the UK – is set to back Buenos Aires in a battle with US hedge funds. IMF boss Christine Lagarde wants to petition the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that Argentina must pay up.

Detroit Becomes Largest US City to File for Bankruptcy

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On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Orr, who is paid $275,000 a year, has hired a new police chief and chief financial officer. The city is in the midst of privatizing its garbage collection and outsourcing its publicly run electric department for street lighting. Mr. Orr is contemplating leasing the city's island park and its regional water and sewer system. He is also weighing a takeover of at least one of the city's pension funds, which are under investigation by the city's auditor general for possible mismanagement.

Pay your debts, Greece warned as parliament approves new austerity measures including thousands of public sector job cuts

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Germany's finance minister has warned Greece it must stop lobbying for its debts to be written off. Wolfgang Schaeuble, an unpopular figure in the debt-ridden country, made the comments as the Greek parliament narrowly approved further austerity measures yesterday. The cuts, which were demanded by the country’s eurozone and IMF creditors in return for bailout loans, include thousands of public sector job losses. Around 12,500 staff will be subject to involuntary transfers, while 15,000 layoffs are likely by the end of next year. Protests were banned and the centre of Athens closed for Mr Schaeuble’s visit, which followed days of unrest.

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