Grenfell review will not call for ban on combustible cladding in buildings
A government review of reforms to building regulations will not recommend a ban on the combustible cladding and insulation used in the building of Grenfell Tower. Survivors of the disaster and fire experts have called on the government to support an outright ban on the building materials. The report, due today, will reportedly impose tougher fire safety tests and make it harder for buildings to be deemed safe. Sources claim that these new measures will render combustible cladding effectively unsafe, and so unusable in constructions.
Maximum betting machine stakes lowered to tackle gambling addictions
The maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals will be lowered to £2 in a bid to diminish the number of people addicted to gambling. The current maximum stake for many machines is £100, and a government report found that these terminals are a main form of gambling for a high proportion of addicts seeking treatment. Sports minister Tracey Crouch said the move will reduce harm to vulnerable gamblers, but bookmakers are worried the reduced limit will lead to the closure of stores and the subsequent loss of jobs.
Oxfam boss to quit over charity’s cover-up of sexual exploitation in Haiti
Chief executive of Oxfam, Mark Goldring, is to quit his role at the end of the year after it emerged the charity had covered up the Haiti sexual exploitation scandal. Earlier this year it was revealed that Oxfam had sacked or allowed to resign a number of employees who had paid vulnerable Haitian women for sex while on a relief assignment. In his resignation speech in front of the Commons international development committee, Goldring apologised “for the damage Oxfam has done”.
Mothercare to close 50 stores amid financial difficulties
Maternity and childrenswear retailer Mothercare has made plans to close 50 stores and reinstate its former chief executive in an attempt to save the company from closure. Mark Newton-Jones, who was sacked just last month, will return to his former position ahead of plans to raise £28m from investors. Earlier in the year, Mothercare admitted it was in financial crisis due to poor trading so severe that the company was in danger of breaching the terms of its bank loans.
Meghan Markle’s half-sister injured in car crash after an altercation with paparazzi photographer
Samantha Grant, Meghan Markle’s half-sister, has allegedly been taken to hospital in Florida after her car hit a concrete barrier after swerving to avoid hitting a paparazzi photographer. Speaking to gossip site TMZ, Grant’s husband said she hit the windscreen and sustained a broken ankle and a fractured knee. The news comes after Markle’s father was paid by a paparazzi photographer in exchange for photos of him shopping. The future royal’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jnr, said the family’s lives “have been changed forever” since Harry and Meghan’s engagement.