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Egyptians turn to unlikely source

As reported earlier today, Iran has followed Egypt in blocking access to online news sources such as the BBC, Reuters and Yahoo News. However, Egyptians are getting their news from an unlikely source- The Thorpe-Apps Report. 

The Thorpe-Apps Report was founded by Andrew Thorpe-Apps in January 2011 and has become popular with young internet surfers. 

The emergence of such sites makes it nearly impossible for national governments to effectively censor information on the web.

The Thorpe-Apps Report can be found at thorpe-apps.blogspot.com

Reflections on the revolution in Europe

Mass immigration into Europe in the past 50 years has profoundly changed the continent and is likely to change it even more over the next half century. Yet it is a subject so immersed in fear and wishful thinking that it often seems we still don't have a proper language in which to discuss it.
It is partly for this reason that Christopher Caldwell's new book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, will seem rather shocking. He asks some unusually direct questions: can you have the same Europe with different people? Why did mass immigration happen when so few people actually wanted it? Immigrants want a better life but how many of them want a European life? Why is minority ethnic pride a virtue and European nationalism a sickness? Is political correctness just fear masquerading as tolerance?
This 2009 work investigates the impact of mass immigration on Europe. Caldwell argues that the mass immigration by Muslims to European countries' cities is altering the culture of Europ…

Essex Police fill budget gap with more fines

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Police in Essex will have to make devastating cuts of 50million over the next four years as part of the Govern-ments spending review. The figure is 5million more than Essex Polices Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle predicted the force would have to slash when he spoke on the issue earlier this year. The saving the Essex constabulary will have to make equates to the salaries of 19,230 frontline police constables. 

The police budget in Essex will be cut from the current 267million to 217million by 2014/15. 
The force has yet to announce how it will make the savings. Andy Bliss, Essex Polices deputy chief constable, said it was inevitable jobs will be axed. He said: We will study these figures in order to understand the exact consequences for the Essex Police budget. Together with the Essex Police Authority we will tailor our plans for savings to fit with the budget we are given. 

The Chief Constable has said before we will have to make major changes to the way we organise policing in the …

Spending cuts not radical enough

Whatever happened to the tough decisions? It could hardly be a tough decision to trim universal benefits for the well-off so spending in universities could be maintained and kids could still get a reasonably priced education.

But it was clearly too tough for the Government. As a result, even if they actually deliver on all their promises to cut spending and stick with it through to 2015, the state will have shrunk only to the size it was in Blair's first administration. Radical, it is not.

The reality is in fact that this squeeze is the same old stuff we had in 1976, in 1982 and in 1993, in other words on each of the previous occasions the government finances tipped over the edge, albeit delivered with more professional spin. 

Simon Ward, an economist with Henderson, the fund management group, made that point succinctly enough yesterday afternoon. He noted that “total managed expenditure”, the ultimate measure of spending, would decline by 3.3% in real terms by 2014-15. 

Hardly unprec…

Michael Gove pledges to increase school spending

Education Secretary Michael Gove has told MPs that real terms school spending will increase over the Spending Review period.

Mr Gove responded to an urgent question from shadow education secretary Andy Burnham on the government's £7bn "fairness premium" package, announced last week by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. "This money will be invested in accelerating social mobility," he told MPs. 

The package announced by Mr Clegg will include 15 hours a week of free nursery education for the poorest two-year-olds, at a cost of £300 million a year by 2014/15, and a "pupil premium" with funds handed to schools to help pupils eligible for free school meals - a measure of poverty - which will eventually be worth £2.5bn per year. 

A "student premium" to help the poorest teenagers to go to university will also be set up, at a cost of at least £150m per year by the end of the Spending Review period. 

Mr Gove said that the government had "inherited a …

Business leaders back spending cuts

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Leaders of 35 of the UK's biggest companies, including BT and Marks and Spencer, have expressed their support for the government's planned spending cuts.
Writing to the Daily Telegraph, the bosses said there was no reason to believe Chancellor George Osborne's approach would undermine any recovery. They write it would be a "mistake" for Mr. Osborne to water down his programme for reducing the budget deficit in Wednesday's Spending Review.

They said: "Addressing the debt problem in a decisive way will improve business and consumer confidence.Reducing the deficit more slowly would mean additional borrowing every year, higher national debt, and therefore higher spending on interest payments. The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost in the public sector."

In Wednesday's Spending Review, Mr Osborne will outline which areas of Whitehall's budget will be hit the hardest, as the government attem…

Boris Johnson's lead narrows to 2% over Livingstone

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Boris Johnson's lead over his opponent, Ken Livingstone, has narrowed to just two percentage points less than a month after his arch-rival was confirmed as Labour's mayoral candidate for the 2012 London election, according to a YouGov survey released today.
The polling, conducted during the week of the Conservative conference at the beginning of the month, bodes ill for Johnson ahead of the drastic coalitionspending cuts to be announced on Wednesday.

Livingstone has made protecting Londoners from the cuts a key feature of his campaign, and has urged the capital's voters to "punish" Johnson for cuts imposed by his Tory ministerial colleagues.

A sample of 1,271 Londoners questioned during the week of the Tory conference, when Johnson held a re-election rally following his decision to stand again in 2012, showed 46% would vote for the incumbent, while 44% would vote for Livingstone. Just 4% said they would vote for the Lib Dem candidate, who has yet to be selected, and…