Nearly half of tenants who make complaint face 'revenge eviction' | Money Nearly half of all tenants who make a formal complaint about their housing suffer a “revenge eviction” by private landlords, according to research by Citizens Advice. It estimated that 141,000 tenants have been subject to “complain and you’re out” evictions since 2015. The evictions are possible because section 21 notices under the 1988 Housing Act allow landlords to force out tenants on a no-fault basis. Citizens Advice found that tenants who had received a section 21 notice were twice as likely to have complained to their landlord – and eight times more likely to have complained to an official redress scheme. Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The chance of a family being evicted from their home for complaining about a problem shouldn’t carry the same odds as the toss of a coin. “There are serious question marks over the existence of a power that allows landlords to unilaterally evict tenants without reason.” Some of the comments on Twitter include:
White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a "public relations nightmare," newly disclosed emails reveal. The intervention early this year — not previously disclosed — came as HHS' Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to publish its assessment of a class of toxic chemicals that has contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia. Story Continued Below The study would show that the chemicals endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe, according to the emails. “The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge,” one unidentified White House aide said in an email forwarded on Jan. 30 by James Herz, a political appointee who oversees environmental issues at the OMB. Sen. Sen.
How many of Trump's close advisers have been convicted – and who are they? The guilty plea entered by Donald Trump’s lawyer and the conviction of his former campaign chairman brings the number of presidential aides found to have broken the law to five. Since his election in November 2016, Trump’s campaign chairman, his deputy campaign manager, his national security adviser, his personal lawyer and a foreign policy aide have all admitted crimes or been convicted as a result of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation. Michael Cohen Cohen, 51, began working for Trump in 2006 as a lawyer and a “fixer”, going on to hold the title of executive vice-president at the Trump Organization. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a number of charges, most notably making an “excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign”, ie Trump. Cohen is expected to be sentenced on 12 December. Paul Manafort Manafort, 69, was the president’s campaign chairman for five months in 2016 during a crucial period in the run-up to the election. Michael Flynn Rick Gates
Billionaires v teachers: the Koch brothers' plan to starve public education Arizona has become the hotbed for an experiment rightwing activists hope will redefine America’s schools – an experiment that has pitched the conservative billionaires the Koch brothers and Donald Trump’s controversial education secretary, Betsy DeVos, against teachers’ unions, teachers and parents. Neither side is giving up without a fight. With groups funded by the Koch brothers and DeVos nudging things along, Arizona lawmakers enacted the nation’s broadest school vouchers law, state-funded vouchers that are supposed to give parents more school choice and can be spent on private or religiously affiliated schools. Convinced that the law would drain money from Arizona’s underfunded public schools, these women complained that Arizona’s lawmakers had ignored the public will and instead heeded the wishes of billionaires seeking to build up private schools at the expense of public schools. “We walked outside the Capitol Building, and we looked at each other, and said, ‘What now?”
Costly medicines and pus in milk: a Brexit trade deal that’ll make you sick | Nick Dearden The British public is already scared about a trade deal with the US. They don’t care for chickens washed in chlorine, nor for cows stuffed with hormones. But this week, an epic US document setting out the barriers to foreign trade it would like to remove shows that these concerns are just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do the 400-plus pages detail a stomach-churning list of foods the US would like to import into Britain – more pus in your milk and more pesticides on your vegetables – but they also uncover the US government’s distaste for the way the EU regulates big pharmaceutical corporations generally. So a US trade deal could be both bad for our health, and bad for helping us get better again. The list goes on, with the US unhappy about the EU’s “cautious” approach to approving genetically modified goods, chemical flavourings in food and the amount of pesticide residue allowed in fruits and nuts. The US argues that this is a matter of customer choice.
Sean Hannity cites misleading Obama quote in coverage of Russian election meddling Moments before airing his interview with President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed former President Barack Obama for his pre-election rhetoric on Russia. But Hannity’s remarks were misleading, and the words he attributed to Obama were taken out of context. "We all know that Russian election meddling is not new at all," Hannity said in his opening monologue on July 16. Hannity pointed to Obama’s remarks at a press conference on Oct. 18, 2016, a day after a stump speech in which Trump announced what he believed was evidence in support of his repeated claims about voter fraud in the 2016 election. Hannity quoted Obama as saying: "There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America's elections. Hannity later read an altered version of the same quote as part of a question for Trump about Russia’s election meddling. Hannity is not the first person to pluck out this quote. ....The President Obama quote just before election.
Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not. To afford basic necessities, the federal government estimates that Vanessa’s family would need to bring in $29,420 a year. Vanessa is not even close — and she is one of the lucky ones, at least among the poor. The nation’s safety net now strongly favors the employed, with benefits like the earned-income tax credit, a once-a-year cash boost that applies only to people who work. Last year, Vanessa received a tax return of around $5,000, which included earned-income and child tax credits. They helped raise her income, but not above the poverty line. When life feels especially grinding, Vanessa often rings up Sheri Sprouse, her best friend since middle school. Vanessa received some help last year, when her youngest child, Tatiyana, was approved for Supplemental Security Income because of a learning disability. In America, if you work hard, you will succeed. Americans often assume that the poor do not work.
Scott Pruitt: EPA Chief Faces Mounting Scrutiny For Ethics Violations Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing investigations into his use of taxpayer funds for security and travel along with scrutiny of his ties to industry lobbyists. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption toggle caption Andrew Harnik/AP Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing investigations into his use of taxpayer funds for security and travel along with scrutiny of his ties to industry lobbyists. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is fending off multiple accusations that he misused taxpayer funds and maintained improper ties to companies regulated by the EPA. The scrutiny began months ago — the EPA Office of Inspector General started investigating Administrator Scott Pruitt's travel expenses in August 2017, after reports that he spent thousands of dollars on first-class plane tickets and a 24/7 security detail. Beck's appointment was also emblematic of Pruitt's close ties to the industries he is bound to regulate.