Majority of Bangladesh garment factories ‘vulnerable to collapse’

Survey conducted in wake of Rana Plaza factory collapse reveals three-fifths of such buildings are cause for concernThree-fifths of garment factories in Bangladesh are vulnerable to collapse, according to a survey by engineers in the country.Last month concrete pillars supporting the eight-storey Rana Plaza building on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, gave way. More […]
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Too many MPs are wrapped in the tentacles of the lobbyists | Andrew Rawnsley

The Patrick Mercer affair is just one small symptom of a much bigger and insidious subversion of democracyWhenever another one of them is caught, there is a temptation to sigh: will they never learn? Two decades have passed since the original cash-for-questions affair and one thing that some MPs have still not absorbed is this: […]
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Ministers who misuse statistics to mislead voters must pay the price | Peter Wilby

Politicians resign for fake expenses or receiving favours, but not for making false statements. They should be punishedSome years ago, I talked to Andrew Dilnot, then principal of an Oxford college, now head of the UK Statistics Authority. He picked up a copy of the Guardian front page, jabbed his finger at the figure $25bn, […]
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Patrick Mercer the military man turned Tory politician

MP split his career between the army, press and politics – from which he has now resignedBefore entering parliament in 2001, Patrick Mercer OBE, who has resigned over allegations he broke rules on lobbying, spent 25 years as an army officer with the Sherwood Foresters, following in the footsteps of his father, who had served […]
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On Europe, David Cameron is in danger of making himself a laughing stock | Tim Bale

After Michael Gove’s intervention, the question of an EU referendum has never been more serious for CameronAccording to his biographers, David Cameron “chillaxes” over the weekend by playing a spot of tennis, messing about on his iPad and having friends over for a moderately boozy Sunday lunch.Whether, however, he’s managed to do anything like that […]
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Queen’s speech: consumer bill of rights to cover faulty apps or downloads

Business ministers want to consolidate consumer rights and extend them to non-traditional internet or online purchasesConsumer rights covering products such as cars and white goods are to be extended to apps and music downloads in a consumer bill of rights to be unveiled in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday.Jo Swinson, the consumer minister, said the […]
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Independent booksellers deliver Amazon taxation petition to No 10

The petition, asking the PM to make Amazon pay UK corporation tax, had over 150,000 signaturesSupported by Stephen Fry, Margaret Hodge and Charlie Higson, independent booksellers Frances and Keith Smith delivered a petition calling on David Cameron to take “decisive action [to] make Amazon pay its fair share of UK corporation tax” to Downing Street […]
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Co-operative skills: what are they and why do we need them?

A co-operative development worker explains how to deal with some common skill shortagesMeetings that never seem to end or dissolve into frequent arguments; members leaving; frequent disputes; difficulty in retaining people on your board or management committee.Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may have a co-operative skills deficit.What do I mean by […]
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