A privatised Queen’s head, Eurosceptics back to the trenches and schools out for the youngby Prospect Team / September 12, 2013 / Leave a comment
Putin appeals to the American public
Vladimir Putin has made a personal appeal to the American public in a New York Times Op-Ed on the Syria crisis ahead of US-Russia talks in Geneva on Thursday. In the opinion piece, he warns that any military action in a country fraught with sectarian conflict could “unleash a new wave of terrorism.” Putin added that he was not protecting the Syrian government but international law. “It is dangerous for any country, including America, to see itself as exceptional,” he writes.
Government to float Royal Mail on stock exchange
The government is set to float the Royal Mail on the stock market “in the coming weeks,” the BBC reports. The sale of the 497-year-old postal service will be the most ambitious since John Major privatised the railways two decades ago. The Communications Workers Union has expressed strong opposition to the “great British flog-off.” CWU’s general secretary, Bill Hayes, said postal workers will not “sell their souls” for such a meager stake in the business. CWU plans to disrupt the sale process, which is due to last four to six weeks and could value at up to £3bn, by holding a strike ballot on 20th September.
José Manuel Barroso riles the Tories
The president of the European Commission has sparked a row with the Conservatives by accusing them of adopting UKIP policies and insinuating that Nigel Farage’s party will become Britain’s “first force” in Brussels, according to the Independent. A spokesman for David Cameron retorted: “Rather than try to second guess where the British electorate might come out, I think the right thing to do is focus on the importance of this need for fundamental change – a flexible, adaptable, open European Union.”
Formal schooling should be delayed, experts warn
Traditional schooling should be delayed for up to two years, a lobby of almost 130 experts warns, says The Telegraph. Formal education at an early age could cause “profound damage” to children, amid fears that authorities have promoted an educational culture of “too much, too soon,” it is claimed. In a letter to The Telegraph, academics and teachers call for a fundamental reassessment of national policies on primary education. A spokesman for education secretary Michael Gove said that the signatories were “misguided,” and implied that their proposal promoted a “devaluation” of the current system and promoted the “culture of low expectations in state schools.”
North Korea suspected of restarting Yongbyon nuclear reactor
North Korea appears to have restarted its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, according to a US official, the Guardian reports. The white steam seen rising from the facility suggested that the reactor was in or nearing operation, said the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Pyongyang vowed that it would restart its main reactor which is capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium in April amidst growing tensions on the peninsula. Relations have since improved, with South Korea announcing on Wednesday that their joint industry complex at Kaesong would reopen on a provisional basis on Monday.