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Train fares rise by an average of 2.3% Image copyright PA Rail passengers are facing higher fares across the UK as average price increases of 2.3% are introduced on the first weekday of the new year.

Train fares rise by an average of 2.3%

The increase covers regulated fares, including season tickets, and unregulated, such as off-peak tickets. Campaigners said the rise was a "kick in the teeth" for passengers after months of widespread strike disruption. Help Refugees: a lifeline for teenagers living in seedy Athens squats. When Karim’s father sent him, aged 17, from Kabul to find safety in Europe, he hoped to get work in his uncle’s supermarket in Germany.

Help Refugees: a lifeline for teenagers living in seedy Athens squats

This month he was selling drugs on the streets of Athens to make money for food. He considers himself relatively lucky, since other teenagers from Afghanistan have turned to prostitution in the nearby park to earn money to survive, but he concedes that this is not what his father, an academic, had in mind for him. Andy Burnham: Labour wrong to put single market ahead of immigration. Andy Burnham, Labour’s candidate to become the mayor of Greater Manchester, has accused his party of getting its priorities over Brexit wrong by placing single market access at the top of the list ahead of controlling immigration.

Andy Burnham: Labour wrong to put single market ahead of immigration

The former shadow home secretary suggested the referendum result was not about putting the economy first, as the party leader, Jeremy Corybn, and a string of senior Labour colleagues have suggested, but instead a clear vote in favour of ending free movement across Europe. Writing in the Guardian, Burnham said Labour’s “collective failure” to tackle concerns over jobs, wages, housing and schools linked to migration had contributed to the loss of the referendum. But he claimed that politicians were still scared to speak out over the issue because, even in the wake of the Brexit vote, they knew they might face a hysterical reaction. “Accusations of ‘pandering to Ukip’, xenophobia or even racism are thrown around quite freely. BBC helpline sees 26,000 people seek domestic abuse advice. Almost 26,000 people sought advice about domestic abuse from the BBC over the phone and online in 2016, driven by a gripping storyline on The Archers and the BBC1 documentary Behind Closed Doors.

BBC helpline sees 26,000 people seek domestic abuse advice

Helen Titchener’s abuse by husband Rob in The Archers also covered issues including sexual abuse, emotional distress and self-harm, and culminated in her being acquitted of attempted murder. It prompted 635 people to call the Action Line service, almost three times the largest number of calls for any single storyline on a programme between 2012 and 2015. RBS investors call for governance changes to improve transparency. About 160 investors are calling for the Royal Bank of Scotland to shore up corporate governance by creating a shareholder committee to sniff out “poor stewardship”.

RBS investors call for governance changes to improve transparency

The aim is said to be to avoid a rerun of the bank’s near-collapse in 2008. The change would prevent a repeat of the chain of events that triggered the RBS’s crash during the financial crisis, according to the investor groups ShareSoc and the UK Shareholders’ Association (UKSA). Mark Northway, chairman of ShareSoc, said shareholders deserved a new approach that gave more effective input. “One objective is to stop the events that took place at RBS from ever happening again,” he said. “A dominant CEO, concealing the true financial position of the company from investors, proceeding with a reckless acquisition, and then publishing a rights prospectus which concealed the problems faced by the company. Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways under training shakeup. Learner drivers will be allowed to practise on motorways for the first time under government plans to improve road safety.

Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways under training shakeup

Under current rules, drivers are permitted on motorways only after they have passed their test, though there is no mandatory training for the 70mph roads. The transport minister, Andrew Jones, announced the plans on Friday, which would allow approved instructors to take “competent” trainees on motorways in dual-controlled cars. The RAC director, Steve Gooding, and Neil Greig, policy director at the IAM RoadSmart charity, backed the proposal. Gooding said: “The casualty statistics tell us that motorways are our safest roads, but they can feel anything but safe to a newly qualified driver heading down the slip road for the first time to join a fast-moving, often heavy, flow of traffic.

Carney warns about popular disillusion with capitalism. Image copyright Reuters The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned that people will turn their backs on free and open markets unless something is done to help those left behind by the financial crisis.

Carney warns about popular disillusion with capitalism

In a speech, he said: "Globalisation is associated with low wages, insecure employment, stateless corporations and striking inequalities. " In many advanced economies there are "staggering wealth inequalities," he added. Mr Carney was speaking in Liverpool. Austria far-right candidate Norbert Hofer defeated in presidential poll. Image copyright AFP Far-right candidate Norbert Hofer has lost Austria's presidential election.

Austria far-right candidate Norbert Hofer defeated in presidential poll

On Facebook, he described himself as "infinitely sad" and congratulated Alexander Van der Bellen, former head of the Greens, on his victory. Scheme to place 'elite teachers' in struggling schools scrapped after a year. Train fares to rise by average of 2.3% Image copyright PA Train fares in Britain will go up by an average of 2.3% from 2 January, the rail industry has announced.

Train fares to rise by average of 2.3%

The increase in regulated fares, which includes season tickets, is capped at July's RPI inflation rate of 1.9%. Unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can go up by as much as the train companies like. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said the industry was working to simplify fares and improve services. Tim Farron: Is it all over for this classical liberal wing of the Lib Dems? - Jane Merrick - Commentators - The Independent.

Remember when orange really was the new black?

Tim Farron: Is it all over for this classical liberal wing of the Lib Dems? - Jane Merrick - Commentators - The Independent

In the summer of 2004, a group of radical Lib Dem MPs and parliamentary candidates contributed to a collection of essays designed to drag their party to the centre ground and make it a grown-up, credible partner in a government by proposing greater choice and market solutions in public services. It was The Orange Book and its authors included Nick Clegg (not then an MP) and Vince Cable. Six years later when David Laws, one of the book’s editors, brokered the deal with the Conservatives to form a coalition, the project was complete. But now that Tim Farron has defeated Norman Lamb, the candidate who came closest to The Orange Book mission, is it all over for this classical liberal wing of the Lib Dems? Labour pledges to keep pensions triple lock. Labour says it will keep the "triple lock" protecting the state pension throughout the next Parliament. Pensions currently rise by the highest of inflation, average earnings or 2.5%.

There have been warnings over the cost of the lock, and the government says it will review it after 2020. Executive pay: Companies told to justify rates. The government has outlined its plans to make companies justify high levels of executive pay. Among the measures under consideration are pay ratios, which would show the gap in earnings between the chief executive and an average employee. Shareholders would be handed more powers to vote against bosses' pay, but the government will not force companies to put workers on boards. Prime Minister Theresa May has made tackling corporate excess a priority.

Her Conservative government is "unashamedly pro-business", but big firms must earn and keep the public's trust, she said in the consultation plans. Chief executives of FTSE 100 firms now have a median pay package of £4.3m, which is 140 times that of the average worker, according to the High Pay Centre.