Trump claims African American communities are in ‘worst shape ever’

Statement joined a list of controversies the Republican fended off Tuesday, including a report that he had used money from his charity for legal settlements

Fending off several controversies on Tuesday, Donald Trump started another when he proclaimed at a North Carolina rally that our African-American communities are in the worst shape theyve ever been … Ever. Ever. Ever.

The plainly inaccurate statement, which was immediately lambasted on social media for failing to consider the long history of slavery and racial discrimination against African Americans, marked the latest misstep by the Trump campaign as the Republican nominee has struggled to harness the terrorist attacks in New York and New Jersey for his political advantage.

A day after the apprehension of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, Trump made his remarks in Kenansville, North Carolina, and repeated familiar themes to crowds at multiple rallies across the swing state. Immigration security is national security, he said, and repeatedly read the lyrics of the The Snake, a 1960s soul song about a woman who finds a dying snake and nurses it back to health. The snake then fatally bites her. To Trump, this was a parable about the consequences of the United States taking in refugees.

The Republican nominee went on to describe Clinton as the vessel for all the global special interests seeking to run our lives and said that the failed political establishment had vested in her all of their money, all of their hopes for another generation of corruption. Trump also argued that the dishonest media had bled this country dry.

But, Trump ran into more controversy when the Washington Post reported that the billionaire converted $258,000 in donations to the Donald Trump Foundation to settle lawsuits against himself. The payments represent an apparent violation of tax laws that could potentially even force the IRS to shut down the Trump Foundation. Trump further stoked controversy by bragging on Tuesday about spending OPM other peoples money.

A child holds a sign as at the Trump rally in North Carolina. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Theres nothing wrong with doing things with other peoples money, said the nominee when talking about his business career.

His campaign also had to deal with criticism after his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr, compared Syrian refugees with poisoned skittles in a tweet on Monday night. The tweet set off a major firestorm and even the candy maker distanced itself from it with a spokesperson saying: Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. Trump Junior followed up on Tuesday morning when he shared an article from a far right wing website that claimed, without evidence, that tens of thousands of British women have been tortured and raped by gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims.

The firestorm caused by the younger Trumps tweet even forced a response from running mate Mike Pence who told NBC Newss Kelly ODonnell in an interview: It is remarkable to me to see the level of outrage about a metaphor used by Don Jr, when Hillary Clintons calling for a 550% increase in the Syrian refugee program.

Trumps comments on Tuesday came against the backdrop of another fatal shooting by police of an unarmed black man, this time in Oklahoma. Video footage released on Monday showed law enforcement in Tulsa fatally shoot Terence Crutcher, 40, as he approached his SUV with his arms raised in the air. The local police chief later acknowledged that no weapon was found either on Crutcher or inside his vehicle.

Pence downplayed the Tulsa shooting on Tuesday, saying that while he supported a thorough investigation of what took place there was no institutional bias within law enforcement.

What I find offensive is when Hillary Clinton and others refer to implicit bias or institutional bias within the ranks of our law enforcement community broadly, Pence told news anchor Brian Williams on MSNBC.

Im proud of our law enforcement community, we stand strongly with them, he added.
Obviously when mistakes are made and tragedy occurs, they should be fully investigated. But enough already of this reference to law enforcement and institutional or implicit bias.
The bulk of public research on the subject provides evidence that black people are more likely to be stopped by police. Young black men were also nine times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than other people, according to data compiled by The Guardian on police killings.

The Republican nominee suffered another potential blow when it was reported that former President George HW Bush would vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Bush apparently told Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the daughter of Robert F Kennedy and former Democratic lieutenant governor of Maryland, that he would be casting his ballot for Clinton. She shared the news in a Facebook post, which the Guardian obtained.

Jim McGrath, a Bush family spokesman, told the Guardian: The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.

Trumps busy day came as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton stayed off the trail in advance of Mondays presidential debate, the first between the two candidate. Although the former secretary of state did a radio appearance and held a conference call with national security advisors, she held no public events. As a result, Trump jibed on Twitter: Hillary Clinton is taking the day off again, she needs the rest. Sleep well Hillary – see you at the debate!

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Silicon Valley is home to the priciest office space in the U.S.

Image: Getty Images

Aydin Senkut started his venture capital firm Felicis Ventures in San Francisco a decade ago. Five funds and more than $430 million later, Senkut is ready to open an office on Sand Hill Road, alongside such Silicon Valley institutions as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital. But hes going to have to pay up.

Located in Facebook Inc.s hometown of Menlo Park, California, Sand Hill Road hasthe most expensive office space in the U.S., even as the startup market moderates, according to data from commercial real estate firmCushman & Wakefield. At an average of $129.91 per square foot annually, its up about $6from last year and exceeds the cost of renting high-end offices inGreenwich, Connecticut, and on New Yorks Park Avenue. It is also far more than the $75.39 for comparable space in San Franciscos south Financial District, which saw a price increaseover the last year similar to its neighbor in the Valley, said Robert Sammons, a regional director at Cushman & Wakefield.

Whilemany VC firms are opening offices in San Francisco, Senkuts move underscores that tech investorsare willing to pay a premium for close proximity to other big firms, the companies that might buy or do business with their startups, and the suburbanhomes of investing partners. What Sand Hill Road lacks is vibrant street life, restaurants, shops or access to major public transportation routes.On either side of the roughly two-mile strip between Interstate280 and Junipero Serra Boulevard, wheremany of the worlds top VCs hang their shingles, sit low-slung woody walk-ups, nestled among trees, rosemary plantsand parking lots.

Felicis Ventures, a backer of clothing startup Bonobos Inc. and satellite maker Planet Labs Inc., is in the process of relocating from its office in downtown Palo Alto, California, the second-most-expensive market in the U.S., according to Cushman & Wakefield. The high prices stem, in part, from the growth of Palantir Technologies Inc., a venture-backed company that has become a major tenant in the area, along with the increasingnumber of venture firms and startups there, including Wealthfront Inc. and Houzz Inc. The San Francisco Business Times reported this month that Cloudera, a data analytics startup,leased 225,000 square feet in the area.

Renton Sand Hill Road is generally costlier, but it can be easier to find larger spaces. Felicis Venturesrecently signed the lease ona 10,000-square-foot officeat 2460 Sand Hill Road, where Senkut plansto host big events for his startups and investment prospects. Hedeclined to discuss how much hes paying for the space.Lets be honest: Its still a high rent, he said.

While the startup world has sobered up a bit this year, with wavering valuations afflictingsome unicorns and fewer investments to go around, it hasnt much affected the economics of venture firms. VCs raised$22.9 billion in the first half of the year, according to the National Venture Capital Association, a trade group. That puts the industry on track for the best fundraising year since 2000. In April, Felicis Venturessaid it raised a$200 million fund, almost double the size of its last one.

Todays rents are still nowhere near what landlords demanded in early 2008 before the financial crisis. Back then, asking pricestopped an average of $170 a square foot on Sand Hill Road, said Cushman & Wakefield.

For architecture lovers, Sand Hill Road doesnt offer much to look at.But the areas blandness is precisely its appeal, providing abrick-and-mortar equivalentto the understated dress code of a blazer and jeans favored by many VCs. Theres a little bit more of a low-profile thing going on, said Jeff Cushman, executive managing director for Silicon Valley at Cushman & Wakefield.

Crucially, an address on Sand Hill Road establishes cachet, saidBrad Van Linge, senior managing director at real estate firm Newmark Cornish & Carey. The entire world looks at that and says, OK, we know youre somebody, he said.

The new digs for Felicis Ventures sit in a complex owned by DivcoWest thatcurrently boasts Sand Hill Roads highestasking prices on the market, according to two brokers, who asked not to be named for fear of jeopardizing rental negotiations and relationships. This newly constructed building is listed at$132 a square foot annually, driven by such amenities as unusually large decks and, in a rare feature for the area, underground parking. Rent for an office of about5,000 square feet, typical in the area, wouldcost as much as $55,000 a month.

Tenants on the other side of the streetat the Stanford University-owned complex next to the clubby Rosewood hotelare currently paying the most in rent, with prices above $140 a square foot annually, the brokers said. That location, home to Andreessen Horowitz and Coatue Management, has no space available, according toStanfords property management group.More from

This article originally published at Bloomberg here

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Facebook acquires hardware startup Nascent Objects

Image: Nascent

Facebook’s old motto was move fast and break things. It just acquired a company that will help it make things fast.

Facebook has acquired Nascent Objects, a startup that streamlines product design and production.

Nascent’s products are also modular, in that they are designed to be repurposed. Fast Company reported that the company believes a kit of 15 parts could build about 80 percent of the gadgets that are sold. Among its products are a water-tracking device that can be turned into a drone or a video camera.

Nascent, founded in February 2014, will join the secretive Building 8, in which Facebook is reportedly working on its most secretive projects.

“Imagine designing, building and delivering a hardware product in just weeks. Instead of months, or even years.”

Baback Elmieh, CEO and founder of Nascent Objects, announced the acquisition in a post on the company’s website.

“People have become used to the idea that with software, you can have whatever you want, whenever you want it,” Elmieh wrote. “We want to make this happen with hardware and we think Facebook is the best place to make this a reality.”

Regina Dugan, head of Building 8, acknowledged the acquisition in a Facebook post and shared a video that provides a look at Nascent.

“Imagine designing, building and delivering a hardware product in just weeks. Instead of months, or even years,” Dugan wrote.

“Together, we hope to create hardware at a speed thats more like software,” she added.

The acquisition is notable in that Facebook has not been particularly active in the hardware space, focusing primarily on its core services as well as acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook’s main hardware interest is in virtual reality. It bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion in March 2014.

Facebook and Nascent did not disclose the financials of the acquisition.

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15 business ideas that you can start today (or tomorrow, or the day after)

Image: Getty Images/Ikon Images

Starting a business today no longer requires months or market research and thousands of dollars to get started. You can simply stay in your pajamas, although I wouldnt recommend that, andstart a successful business from the comfort of your home.

Even if you decide to leave the house, there are more than enough business ideas floating around that require little time and resources to launch.

In fact, here are 15 business ideas that you could start today.

1. Freelancing

Its easy to understand why there are more than 54 million Americans who havejoined the freelance revolution. They have a flexible schedule, can work from anywhere they want, and can make a comfortable living doing something that they either enjoy or are talented at. And,this trend isnt going away anytime soon.

If you have a little bit of experience and are skilled at anything from graphic design to writing to photography to coding, then you can become a freelancer with little more than a computer. Of course, it does take time to build a solid reputation and list of clients, you can still start applying for gigs at any number offreelance job sitesimmediately.

2. Blogging

Whether it’s building your own blog through WordPress or using a website builder like Wix, Anyone can start a blog in just a matter of minutes. Blogging is also affordable since you just have to purchase a domain name and host.

There are also many companies (like our blog) that pay freelancers to write for their blog. This can make you good side income and for some be a full time job.

3. Online retailing

Ive decided to lump several online retailing ideas together since theyre extremely similar.

  • Affiliate marketing. I just mentioned this, so its a great place to start. Essentially, you plug other products or services on your website. Youre provided a unique link so whenever a visitor clicks on that link and make a purchase, you get a commission.

  • eCommerce site. Thanks to sites like Etsy you can sell your handmade crafts.

  • eBay or Craigslist for unloading used items. I’ve even asked neighbors if I can sell their things and take a 50% commission on anything I sell. It’s worked out great at building upcash in myebank.

  • Drop shippingis when you sell other peoples products online, but the items are shipped from the manufacturer’s warehouse.

4. Public Speaking/Teaching/Tutoring

If you want to share you knowledge with others, whether if its how to become a more effective leader in the workplace or the Spanish language, you can make money by teaching online classes,becoming a tutorin your neighborhood, or speaking at libraries, rec centers, or adult education education classes.

5. Consulting/Training

Another way to pass along your knowledge is by launching a consulting or training business. Thats because there are plenty of entrepreneurs and companies looking for talented individuals to teach their employees how to do everything from learning a computer program to becoming an eco-friendly business.

There is also lots ofconsulting for app companies. As there are anestimated5.8 million apps that have been created, the need for countless consultants to maintain their apps persists.

6. Errand Running/Personal Assistant

There are seniors and busy people who need someone to run errands for them, or even become their personal assistant. These tasks could include going to the grocery store, cooking, cleaning, or driving them across town. You can joinTaskRabbitorCare.comto find jobs.

7. Babysitting/Petsitting/Housesitting

Dont fool yourself. These jobs arent just for teenagers. There are a lot of people out there who have made a career out of these types of jobs. Of course, it may take time to build your trustworthiness after receiving word-of-mouth recommendations but you could start asking your family, friends, and neighbors today if they need someone to watch their children, pets, or home.

8. Landscaping

Do you enjoy being outside? Do you also enjoy doing yard work, like mowing and gardening? Then you can start your own neighborhood landscaping. You can even eventually go on to design beautiful garden beds. But, in the meantime, you can start off small. Trust people. A lot of people dread pulling weeds!

9. Catering/Baking

If you have a knack for cooking or baking, then this is an obvious business idea for you to start. You probably already have all the equipment too. Just start going out and inform your network that youve started your own business.

10. Repairman

Whether its computers, furniture, or cars, if youre good with your hands then start offering this service to paying customers.

11. Social Media Management

Brands have realized the importance of having an online presence, and that includes being active and engaging on social media. Thats why theyre willing to pay individuals to manage their social media channels. If you have that talent, then you can start this business today.

12. Event Planning

If youre organized and have the ability to thoroughly plan events, then become an event planner and handle anything from weddings, birthday parties, to retirement parties.

13. Language Translation/Transcribing

Do you know a second language? If so, you can make a living by translating or transcribing this language for others.

14. Referral Service

These types of entrepreneurs essentiallyrefer businesses to customers. For example, you could be hired by an attorneys office specializing in family law to find individuals who may be seeking to divorce their spouse.

15. Local Tour Guide/Relocation Service

Ifyou know your neighborhood like the back-of-your hand then you can either become a local tour guide. But, what if there isnt much to see because you dont live in a historical city like Boston or Philly? You could scout office location for businesses and connect them with local businesses like restaurants that deliver or sell office equipment.

John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur who now focuses on helping people to build amazing products and services that scale. He is founder of the online payments company Due. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivations speaker that helps people find a “Sense of Meaning” in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area.

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Loving 8-Year-Old Opens His Own Bakery To Buy His Single Mom A House

When most of us were eight years old, we were playing pretend with our friends, doing our homework, and watching our favorite cartoons.

Jalen Bailey does all those things, but when he’s not doing that, he’s doing something that very few kids his age can say they do: he’s running his own business.

That’s right. The eight-year-old opened his own bakery, Jalen’s Bakery, right in his home, an apartment he shares with his mom, Sharhonda Mahan in Fresno, California.

He creates peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, banana nut bread, and more. He even saved up for a Kitchen Aid mixer to make the job easier, and the health department has given him the go-ahead to bake to his heart’s content.

And here’s the other cool thing about kids who set off on their own business ventures: they’re not in it for the cash, nor are they in it for the fame. They’re in it because they really want to make a difference.

Just like Mikaila Ulmer, who uses her lemonade business to support bee populations, Jalen is saving up the proceeds of his business for a worthy cause, too: he wants to buy his mom a house.

Learn about Jalen’s Bakery, as well as his mom’s inspiration, below!

[H/T: My Modern Met, Huffington Post]

Meet Jalen Bailey. Not only does he love to bake, but he’s decided to turn what he loves into a business with an inspiring goal: to buy his mom, Sharhonda Mahan, a house.

Right now, the two live in an apartment, where Jalen bakes his goodies for delivery for the Fresno area. And yes, the health department has given him a seal of approval!

The bakery puts out cookies, cupcakes, and much more. Besides saving up for a house, Jalen also bakes “to put a smile on the faces of many.” Because it’s hard not to smile when you have cookies.

Jalen gets his business savvy from his mom. Mahan has been running her own businesses since she was 18 years old, and made it a priority to teach her son about the importance of good management.

She homeschooled him, and taught him all about business and entrepreneurship, and says she’s behind Jalen 100% in his business ventures.

But hearing that he wanted to use his profit to buy her a house was still emotional.

“It was a little overwhelming because it was something I couldn’t do for him,” she says.

But Jalen sees her as an inspiration. To him, a house means “me and my mommy could make more memories in the kitchen…it could be a bigger kitchen, so I could bake more things. I just want one that me and my mom can be happy in.”

Mahan also instilled in Jalen a respect for hard work, saving pennies, and finding passion.

She also didn’t want him to have to live paycheck to paycheck, but have financial stability later in life.

And besides the house, Jalen has a few other things he’d like in the future, including college and a puppy.

In the meantime, though, he’s also learning to save up for quality supplies, like this mixer, so his baked goods can be made even better.

And in Fresno, Jalen is making quite a name for himself. The bakery gets all kinds of requests, and he’s even done a few events.

And he says his mom is the one who inspired him. “My mommy is the best mom on the planet,” he says. “She’s really great.”

And he has some words for the rest of us, too: “Plan big dreams ahead of you,” he says.

If you’re in the Fresno area, you can order some sweets for yourself on Jalen’s website. If you’re not, you can show some support by getting a T-shirt instead. You can also keep up with the latest recipes on Facebook and Instagram.

AndSHAREJalen’s story to help put him and his mom in their dream home!

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Mom Makes Sons Drop Out Of School, Then Takes Them To Live In Foreign Countries

Once Paul and Caroline King realized their 6 and 4-year-old sons didn’t like school, they came up with a solution: don’t go.

They sold their home and belongings, then took their two boys, Winston and Henry, to travel around the world. They believe their sons are more advanced than other children. When the mother was looking for schools for Winston, her oldest, she realized there was no good place for him.

“Well never force the boys to go to school or take an exam. We dont raise our voices to the boys, so why should a teacher be allowed to?” Paul said.

The children have visited Malaysia, the United States, Romania, Dubai, Egypyt, Spain, Indonesia, Boreno and Thailand to name a few. Paul runs his business from his computer so he can work from anywhere. They spend anywhere from weeks to months living in each place.

“Why read about history and cultures in a book when you can experience them first-hand?” Paul added.

The Kings believe in attachment parenting. Caroline breastfed her son Winston until he was 4, and still feeds Henry sometimes. The couple also co-sleeps with their children.

“We didn’t think it was ethical for our children to be forced to go to school when they didn’t want to or were forced to learn things they didn’t want to,” Caroline said.

Caroline said when she was in school she would fall asleep at her desk, but now seeing the places that they onlyspoke of in history class, has made her far more interested in learning. Paul and Caroline provide learning projects to the kids for each country they visit.

If the boys decide they want to go to school, the couple won’t stop them, but they’re not going to make them go either. What do you think of this unique approach to education? Let us know in the comments!

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Real-Life Sherlock: This Man Spent 20 Minutes Scrolling Through Facebook Posts Trying To Figure Out If His Friends Mom Died

Well, if youre a sucker for a good true-life mystery story, get ready for the best one ever! On a normal day, 25-year-old claims analyst Eric Jaffe looks like a far cry from an eagle-eyed ace detective. But that changed last week, when an enigmatic Facebook update prompted Eric to spend 20 minutes scrolling through posts, trying to figure out whether his friends mom had died.

Move over, Sherlock Holmes! A new investigator is officially open for business.

The mystery began when Eric, while skimming his friend Chriss Facebook page, noticed a photograph of Chriss mother accompanied by a brief, cryptic message: One year. From there, Eric kicked it into full-on detective mode, determined to spend the next half hour or so finding out if Chriss mom had passed away.

What began innocuously enough quickly became a whirlwind connect-the-dots-style investigation with a twist at every turn. Scrolling farther down Chriss page quickly yielded another piece of the puzzle: a message reading seems like only yesterday captioning a friendship anniversary video of Chris and his mom.

A clue, perhaps? Or just something that Facebook kind of automatically puts together? With questions piling up, Eric forged ahead.

At one point I clicked on the moms Facebook page, but it was totally blocked so I didnt get much from that, said Eric. Then I saw that Chriss brother was at Lollapalooza last week, which seems kind of weird to do if your mom just died, but maybe he copes differently? I feel like when my grandma died, our family definitely got together on the one-year mark, but I could be wrong on that.

As the case unfolded, it was often one step forward and two steps back for Eric. A text post containing a quote about memories looked like a promising lead until he noticed that Chris had also commented on a parody rap video just minutes later. When a status update of thinking of you yielded multiple frowny-face emojis, Eric thought hed hit pay dirt. But on the very same thread, a message from someone named Lydia read, Call me. Could it be something with Chris and an ex-girlfriend? Nothing seemed to add up.

Faced with a dead end, Eric said he thought about messaging Chris directly, but decided it was too risky. Better to wait it out, stay on the alert, and trust that its only a matter of time before more information emerges to lead him to the truth about what happened to the woman he thinks he remembers meeting once or twice in high school.

Amazing. Whether or not Erics dogged search is even on the right track remains to be seen. However, one things for certain: This office worker by day, super sleuth by night is exactly the right man for the job!

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Tim Farron: Lib Dems would raise taxes to fund NHS – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images

The Lib Dems are prepared to raise taxes to fund an NHS “that meets the needs of everyone”, Tim Farron is to tell his party’s annual conference.

In his closing speech, Mr Farron will say the NHS needs to be put on a sustainable footing to save it “lurching from crisis to crisis”.

He will also call for a merger of NHS and care services to ensure people “don’t slip through the net”.

And on education, he is expected to pledge to abolish primary SATs.

Mr Farron will also seek to put pressure on the government to spell out “what Brexit really means” and demand a new referendum on the terms of the final deal.

‘Hard truth’

Addressing party delegates in Brighton, on the final day of Lib Dem conference, Mr Farron will say more money is needed to put the health service on a sustainable footing and ensure that patients, now and in the future, can get the treatment and care “that they deserve”.

“We need to face the hard truth that the NHS needs more money – a lot more money – not just to stop it lurching from crisis to crisis but so that it can meet the needs and the challenges it will face in the years ahead,” Mr Farron will say.

The party has put together a panel of senior doctors and experts to examine the case for a “dedicated NHS and care tax”.

Mr Farron will tell conference: “If the only way to fund a health service that meets the needs of everyone is to raise taxes, Liberal Democrats will raise taxes.”


By Eleanor Garnier, BBC political correspondent

Tim Farron will seek to use his keynote conference speech to position the Lib Dems as the only alternative to the Conservatives.

The Lib Dems are celebrating a surge in people joining the party.

But that increase hides the huge task they face to rebuild their parliamentary representation at Westminster where they currently have eight MPs.

The Lib Dem leader is expected to recall his own experiences battling for a better home for his grandfather, who had Alzheimer’s, and call for a merger of NHS and care services.

“We all deserve to know that, no matter what happens, we will be cared for properly and treated with dignity and respect,” he will say. “It’s not civilised to let people slip through the net.”

He will add: “If the great Liberal William Beveridge had written his blueprint today, when people are living to the ages they are now, there is no doubt that he would have proposed a National Health and Care Service.

“So let’s today decide to do what Beveridge would do. Let’s create that National Health and Care Service.”

‘No more SATs’

On education, the Lib Dem leader will say the current system is not focused on developing young people for later life but rather “on getting them through the wrong kinds of tests”.

He will say he wants schools to be places “where children are inspired to learn, not stressed out by tests”.

“So I want to end the current system of SATs in primary schools that are a distraction from the real education that professional teachers want to give their children; that weigh heavy on children as young as six and add nothing to the breadth of their learning.”

He will also attack the government’s plans to expand grammar schools in England.

“What are we doing, in 2016, threatening to relegate 80% of our children to education’s second division by returning to the 11-plus?” he will say.

Second referendum?

Mr Farron has made calls for another EU referendum a key part of the Lib Dems’ pitch, and a central theme of its conference, while insisting he respects the Brexit result.

On Monday party members endorsed a proposal for a referendum on the terms of the final Brexit deal negotiated by the government, with the option of remaining in the EU.

Mr Farron will say it is time for Theresa May to “act like a prime minister” and set out the government’s plan for Brexit.

He will add: “The Liberal Democrats have a plan. We know what we want and we know where we want to take our country. When Theresa May does agree a deal with the EU, we want the people to decide.

“If we trusted the people to vote for our departure then we must trust the people to vote for our destination.”

Brexit: All you need to know

UK ‘may begin Brexit in early 2017’

However, former Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, who lost his seat at the 2015 general election, has said holding a second vote “raises a lot of fundamental problems”.

Mr Cable, who voted against the conference motion, told a fringe meeting he understood the anger at the outcome of the Brexit vote but that it was wrong to think it could be reversed.

Mr Cable said he was “not criticising” Mr Farron, but rather he wanted to “see more emphasis on what it is we want from these negotiations rather than arguing about the tactics and the means”.

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Foster care workers vote to form first ever trade union – BBC News

Image caption Fifty-six of the 60 current and former foster carers voted to unionise

A group of foster care workers have voted to form the first ever trade union for the profession.

The carers are concerned about their lack of employment rights, not being listened to when a child is removed from their care and rates of pay.

Their vote at a meeting in Parliament on Monday was supported by shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The Department for Education said it was launching a fundamental review of fostering across the country.

Foster carers can be employed by private agencies but the majority are given work by local authorities.

There are around 55,000 fostering households in the UK which care for some 64,000 children.

Foster carers are paid an “allowance” to cover the cost of the child in their care and a “fee” based on their skill level and time.

Weekly sums for an individual child can range from 150 to 500, depending on factors such as how demanding the child is.

But some foster carers are deeply unhappy about the way they are treated.

‘Unprecedented step’

On Monday 60 current and former carers met in a crowded committee room in Parliament to share their experiences and to take the unprecedented step of voting on whether to unionise.

At the heart of their concerns is their legal status.

They are not classed as employees or workers, because they are not engaged under a contract of employment.

This means that they are not entitled to any of the rights enjoyed by employees or workers such as sick pay, holiday pay, or the national minimum wage. ‘

“I don’t know anyone else who works and doesn’t get a pension, sick pay, holiday pay, or recognition as a professional,” one of the foster carers said.

Image caption Foster carers discussed some of the issues they faced at a meeting in Parliament

Foster caring can be hugely rewarding and fantastically challenging.

Nicola – not her real name – together with her partner has fostered more than 140 children.

Some have stayed with her family for a night or two, others for years.

The majority have been troubled teenagers.

“We had one occasion when a young person in a very high state of distress stabbed a door repeatedly in our home numerous times.

“And following another incident I had to run down the street I was so scared.

“We’ve had lots of times when we’ve had to leave our home and ask for police assistance to re-enter,” she says.

However, Nicola, along with other foster carers, loves the work, especially when troubled children are able to re-enter education.

With pride and pleasure Nicola talks of how one of the children she fostered who has turned her life around is applying to university and remains in close touch.

‘Legal rights’

Another concern at the meeting was the right to due process.

Many foster care workers have complained that children can be removed from their care without their input or consultation.

They claim there is little redress for them in cases of unfair and inappropriate removals.

They are sometimes excluded from the discussion about removal of the child, or removal is based on accusations against the foster carer which he or she is not allowed to defend.

The complaint about lack of due process also applies to decisions of local authorities to “de-register” foster care workers, meaning that they will no longer receive any placements from that local authority.

Some foster care workers told the BBC it is very difficult to become registered with another local authority or private agency.

They claim that de-registration can serve as a sort of black-listing.

Image caption Some foster care workers told the BBC it is difficult to get work if they are de-registered

The Department for Education points out that national minimum standards make clear that investigations into allegations or suspicions of harm should be handled fairly, quickly, and consistently in a way that protects the child, and supports the person who is subject to the allegation.

In addition, foster carers whose approval is terminated or terms of approval are amended have the right to a review by the independent review mechanism

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who attended the meeting to support unionising, said: “Foster caring is an essential role in our society, and these foster carers carry a burden for the rest of our community so they should be properly recognised.

“They have never really been recognised and had legal rights. They should have security of their employment and be properly paid as well, and they should have the support that they need.”

‘History made’

The meeting was organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, a small trade union which has previously unionised low paid migrant workers in London.

Once the discussion was over the union asked the foster carers to vote.

Fifty-six hands shot into the air and a moment of history was made.


They benefit from the highest level of employment protection. There must be a contract between the employee and employer requiring the employee to carry out duties personally, meaning they cannot send someone else to carry out their work.

The employee must also be under the control of the employer in terms of hours, working practices and workplace rules, and be sufficiently integrated into the workplace.

Rights and benefits include holiday pay, national minimum wage, rest breaks, discrimination protection, whistleblowing, deduction from wages, pension contribution from an employer under auto-enrolment, a written contract of employment, unfair dismissal protection, redundancy payment, statutory minimum notice pay, maternity/paternity pay, paid time off for antenatal appointments and a right to request flexible working.


They hold an intermediate position between employees and the self-employed. There must be a contract between the worker and employer requiring the worker to carry out duties personally but the worker is not integrated or subject to as much control as an employee.

If the “employer” is actually a client or customer of any business carried on by the individual, they will not be a worker, but will instead be self-employed.

Rights and benefits include holiday pay, national minimum wage, rest breaks, discrimination protection, whistleblowing, deduction from wages and pension contribution from employer under auto-enrolment.


This status carries the least legal protection. There will be a contract but there is no requirement that the self-employed worker carries out the service personally.

The self-employed usually enjoy maximum freedom as to how to deliver the service and are not subject to workplace rules. Rights tend to be governed by the contract rather than any statutory rights.

Source: Cloisters barristers chambers

Individual foster carers have joined unions in the past, but no group has ever voted to form its own.

Although this may be a very small number, Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, the general secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, believes the vote will mark a real change.

He said: “People who work in foster care, alongside social workers, local authority employees, and others, together form part of a professional network responsible for looking after some of society’s most vulnerable individuals.

“Foster care work is important, demanding, and all too often highly exploitative. Like social workers and others who work in care, foster care workers should be remunerated properly, treated fairly, and have recourse to due process. By voting to unionise this is precisely what they aim to achieve.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We really appreciate the work foster carers do, as we know it is a very rewarding, but at times challenging, experience.

“Foster carers receive financial support to cover the full cost of caring for a child and we’re launching a fundamental review of fostering across the country, which will look at the issues affecting foster carers, including accountability and complaints.”

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What is fashion week for and why is it changing? – BBC News

Image copyright Jigsaw
Image caption Jigsaw was showing at London Fashion Week for the first time

London’s autumn fashion jamboree wraps up on Tuesday, with the last few catwalk shows and presentations.

But this year, as the staff collect up the champagne flutes and stack the chairs, the aftermath is not quite business as usual.

There has been much talk of the new “see now, buy now” trend that upends the traditional system whereby fashion houses showcase their new styles but only deliver them to the market several months later.

So what exactly has changed and why?

What is fashion week for?

London Fashion Week comes around twice a year (in September and February), and, as the people behind it are keen to emphasise, it is about a great deal more than hats and hem lengths.

Image copyright Topshop
Image caption Around half of Topshop’s Unique collection was available for sale immediately after the catwalk show

It is the industry’s trade show: new styles are launched, fashion journalists take copious notes, and buyers put in orders for stock.

According to the organisers, the fashion industry contributes 28bn to the UK economy and is growing, currently providing jobs for 880,000 people.

And in an ever noisier world, it can help let your voice be heard, according to Peter Ruis, chief executive of Jigsaw – showing at Fashion Week for the first time.

He says: “Twenty years ago, there were maybe 300 to 400 brands in Europe.

“Now, there are millions of brands everywhere, so London Fashion Week gives us a chance for four days to be on the top of the agenda.”

So what is new?

In the old days, a designer would show new styles in the autumn that were meant to be worn the following spring.

February’s fashion shows looked ahead to the coming winter.

It gave editors time to publish lots of glossy photos in monthly magazines and allowed the anticipation to build before the clothes arrived in store.

At London Fashion Week this February, Burberry, was the first to introduce the idea of “see now, buy now” or “runway to retail”: showing products and then making them immediately available to buy.

Their collection, on Monday night, was billed as “seasonless” and “immediate”, available globally.

Topshop and Jigsaw followed their example.

Image copyright Burberry
Image caption Burberry was the first major brand to say it was switching to a “see now, buy now” schedule

At New York Fashion Week a few days earlier, Ralph Lauren held its show on Madison Avenue, so once the runway had cleared, guests could be ushered straight into the brand’s flagship store, where all the designs were immediately available to buy.

Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger have adopted the new timetable too.

Natasha Pearlman, editor of Grazia magazine, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that labels had realised it was just too hard to keep people excited about a design while they waited for six months.

“You’re responding to what the consumer wants,” she said.

“The consumer drives the profits… the more people you’re talking to, the more the products are available to them, the more exciting it is.”

But not everyone is keen on the idea.

“Fashion used to be a world of allure, and refinement and scarcity,” says Patrick Grant, creative director of Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons.

“Personally, I felt there was something wonderful about this,” he says/

“Now… there’s fashion spam everywhere.

“And what this has done is turn Ralph Lauren and Burberry into [shopping channel] QVC.

“It’s totally democratised, but my problem with it is, it’s losing its allure.”

What has brought this on?

“Fast fashion” from brands such as Zara and H&M mean that once the big name designers have shown their hand at Fashion Week, ordinary shoppers have to wait only a few weeks before High Street retailers are offering the colours and shapes they are craving.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Not all catwalk styles are easy to wear, but they are now easy to buy

Then there is the internet.

Fashion journalism is also undergoing a revolution as independent bloggers or “influencers” play an ever greater role in telling consumers what is hot and what is not.

If a high-end label waits six months before its lines arrive in the shop, it risks looking dated as the internet and the High Street have long ago been there and done that.

Moreover, as the fashion industry becomes ever more global, the idea of designing for an upcoming “season” stops making any sense.

There is a market for winter coats in Australia just when Americans are investing in strappy summer dresses.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Guests at the Ralph Lauren show at New York Fashion Week were taken straight from the runway into the store

What is not changing?

Some things are not changing.

There is the biannual debate over the influence of super-skinny models and the lack of ethnic diversity on the catwalk.

Designers are still making a splash with outlandish garments – not because they think consumers would ever wear them but because it helps them to establish a brand identity and make them memorable.

And newspapers and magazines, whether in print or online, are as keen as ever to fill their pages with glossy glamorous pictures of which celebrities are sitting on the fashion front rows.

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