General election: Lindsay Hoyle extends lead in Speaker ballot, but still short of 50% of votes needed – live news – The Guardian


A majority of voters think Jo Swinson should be included in the ITV leaders’ debate featuring Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, a YouGov poll suggests.


By 53% to 26% Brits say Jo Swinson should be invited to take part in the live TV debate happening between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn

November 4, 2019

That’s all from me for tonight.

My colleague Kevin Rawlinson is now taking over.


Harriet Harman withdraws from election for Speaker



Lindsay Hoyle extends his lead after second round of voting, but still short of 50% needed



Sturgeon says Sky plan to exclude SNP from three-way leaders’ debate ‘outrageous’



More than 400,000 EU citizens living in Britain applied for settled status in the last month, in a huge surge reflecting the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

The number of total applications has now passed 2.2m, up from 1.8m in September, the Home Office has said, with around 17,000 applications per day. The new total represents 64% of the estimated 3.4m EU citizens living in the UK.

The rise in applications in the last four weeks reflects concerns among EU citizens that they would be left in legal limbo if the UK had crashed out of the EU as threatened by Boris Johnson on 31 October.

A spokesman for the Home Office said 1.8m had received either settled status (given to those in the country for five years or more) or pre-settled status (given to those in the country for fewer than five years).

Some 400,000 applications are still being processed.

EU citizens and their family members have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply whatever the outcome of Brexit. If the new prime minister seals a deal that deadline will be extended to June 2021.



Wales is on course for a fundamental transformation in its political landscape with Welsh Labour’s dominance under threat, the first opinion poll of the campaign in the country is suggesting.

The YouGov poll for ITV-Cymru Wales and Cardiff University has the Tories level with Labour in Wales while the Brexit Party is in third place and the Lib Dems have lost ground.

Here are the voting intention figures (with changes on the last poll conducted last month in brackets).

Labour: 29 (+4)

Conservatives: 28 (-1)

Brexit party: 15 (+1)

Liberal Democrats: 12 (-4)

Plaid Cymru: 12 (no change)

Greens: 3 (-1)

Others: 1 (no change)

In a blog Prof Roger Awan-Scully, head of politics and international relations at Cardiff University, cautiously suggests this could lead to Labour losing 10 seats in Wales, and the Conservatives gaining nine.



Can anyone now beat Lindsay Hoyle?



Lindsay Hoyle clear winner in first ballot, but short of 50% of votes needed





Pro-remain independent unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon will hardly be punching the air with relief over Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald’s endorsement of her in the forthcoming general election. (See 1.29pm.)

North Down is a solidly unionist seat which is unique in being the only pro-union constituency in Northern Ireland that voted to remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

However, many remain unionist voters remain solidly pro another union as well as being Europhile – the one between Northern Ireland and Britain.

The most affluent parliamentary constituency in the region is also home to a large cohort of retired police officers and ex-military who admired Lady Hermon’s late husband, the combative, often highly controversial former Royal Ulster Constabulary Chief Constable Jack Hermon.

One veteran RUC detective whose own family were split down the middle between leave/remain in the Brexit referendum today described Sinn Fein’s backing for Hermon as a potential “kiss of death” for the North Down MP.

Whichever single unionist candidate stands against her in the campaign will use Sinn Fein’s support for her throughout the weeks ahead in their bid to unseat her, he said.

Whether he is right or wrong most long term observers of the Northern Irish political scene would agree that this was one endorsement Lady Hermon could have done without.

British Airways owner IAG agrees £864m deal to buy Air Europa – Sky News

The owner of British Airways has agreed a €1bn (£864m) takeover of Spain’s third-largest airline, Air Europa.

International Airlines Group (IAG) already owns Spanish carrier Iberia and low-cost airline Vueling.

The Air Europa purchase marks the latest consolidation in an industry suffering the effects of intense fare competition and surging fuel bills.

The company said the all-cash deal aimed to close by the middle of next year, subject to regulatory clearances.

Willie Walsh is chief executive of IAG
Willie Walsh said the deal represents a ‘strong strategic fit for the group’

IAG said the move would reestablish its position as a leader in European air travel to the Latin America and Caribbean markets and bolster Madrid’s hub airport status as it battles Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle.

Air Europa flies to 69 destinations.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Acquiring Air Europa would add a new competitive, cost effective airline to IAG, consolidating Madrid as a leading European hub and resulting in IAG achieving South Atlantic leadership, therefore generating additional financial value for our shareholders.

“IAG has a strong track record of successful acquisitions, most recently with the acquisition of Aer Lingus in 2015 and we are convinced Air Europa presents a strong strategic fit for the group.”

IAG shares were trading more than 1.5% higher in response to the news.

The company told shareholders the acquisition would be expected to generate cost synergies across selling, general and administrative expenses, procurement, handling and distribution costs.

Just days ago, IAG blamed strike action at its British Airways arm for a hit to its latest earnings.

European airlines are looking to the west to achieve growth as fares are held back in the tougher market.

Low-cost operator Norwegian Air signed a partnership last month with JetBlue Airways to enable European passengers to book straight through to around 100 US cities.

Lancashire pubs to change hands in £45 million deal – Lancashire Post

Nine Lancashire pubs will change hands as part of a £45 million deal between two rival pub chains.

The deal will see Marston’s offload 137 pubs, including nine in Lancashire, to Admiral Taverns.

The Hoghton Arms in Blackburn Road, Withnell, near Chorley is one of 30 Marston pubs in Lancashire. It has not been confirmed whether the pub is part of the 45 million deal. Pic: Google Street View

The Hoghton Arms in Blackburn Road, Withnell, near Chorley is one of 30 Marston pubs in Lancashire. It has not been confirmed whether the pub is part of the 45 million deal. Pic: Google Street View

The pub groups have not confirmed which nine pubs will change hands, but Marston’s said the pubs “would be smaller wet-led leased, tenanted and franchised pubs”.

The deal is expected to be completed before the end of November.

Marston’s currently operate 30 pubs in Lancashire, including the Ribble Pilot at Preston Docklands, The Hoghton Arms at Withnell and the Bobbin Mill in Buckshaw Village.

The deal, worth £44.9 million, was confirmed this morning (November 4). Marston’s said the sale is part of its plans to reduce its debt through the disposal of “non-core assets”.

Ralph Findlay, Martson’s chief executive officer, said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reduce our net debt by £200 million by 2023 in part through the disposal of non-core assets.

“We are encouraged by the level of market interest that this portfolio of pubs has attracted.

“This further underpins our confidence in achieving the accelerated £70 million disposal proceeds target that we have set ourselves for the current year.”

Chris Jowsey, chief executive of Admiral Taverns said: “This is another exciting acquisition for our business, building on the strong momentum established over the course of the year and on behalf of the entire team I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new licensees and colleagues to Admiral.

“We remain fully committed to the leased and tenanted model and through this acquisition have been able to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs.”

READ MORE: Mothercare has announced plans to put its UK retail business into administration

It follows Admiral Tavern’ acquisition of 150 pubs from Star Pubs & Bars in October 2019.

Microsoft’s Azure Synapse Analytics bridges the gap between data lakes and warehouses – TechCrunch

At its annual Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, Microsoft today announced a major new Azure service for enterprises: Azure Synapse Analytics, which Microsoft describes it as “the next evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse.” Like SQL Data Warehouse, it aims to bridge the gap between data warehouses and data lakes, which are often completely separate. Synapse also taps into a wide variety of other Microsoft services, including Power BI and Azure Machine Learning, as well as a partner ecosystem that includes Databricks, Informatica, Accenture, Talend, Attunity, Pragmatic Works, and Adatis. It’s also integrated with Apache Spark.

The idea here is that Synapse allows anybody working with data in those disparate places can manage and analyze it from within a single service. It can be used to analyze relational and unstructured data, using standard SQL.

Screen Shot 2019 10 31 at 10.11.48 AM

Microsoft also highlights Synapse’s integration with Power BI, its easy to use business intelligence and reporting tool, as well as Azure Machine Learning for building models.

With the Azure Synapse studio, the service provides data professionals with a single workspace for prepping and managing their data, as well as for their big data and AI tasks. There’s also a code-free environment for managing data pipelines.

As Microsoft stresses, businesses that want to adopt Synapse can continue to use their existing workloads in production with Synapse and will automatically get all of the benefits of the service. “Businesses can put their data to work much more quickly, productively, and securely, pulling together insights from all data sources, data warehouses, and big data analytics systems,” writes Microsoft CVP of Azure Data, Rohan Kumar.

In a demo at Ignite, Kumar also benchmarked Synapse against Google’s BigQuery. Synapse ran the same query over a petabyte of data in 75 percent less time. He also noted that Synapse can handle thousands of concurrent users — unlike some of Microsoft’s competitors.

McDonald’s Brit boss Steve Easterbrook has ‘been a naughty boy’ brother-in-law says after his sacking for work – The Sun

THE brother-in-law of the Brit McDonald’s boss sacked for having a fling with an employee has said “he’s been a naughty boy”.

The fast food giant said chief executive Steve Easterbrook, 52, who was paid £12 million last year, had demonstrated poor judgement.

 McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook has been sacked after having a relationship with an employee


McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has been sacked after having a relationship with an employeeCredit: McDonald’s

McDonald’s forbids bosses from having consensual romantic relationships with subordinates, regardless of whether they directly manage them.

Watford-born Easterbrook is divorced from ex-wife Susie and has three children.

His brother-in-law Mark Baxter, 55, told the MailOnline: “Looks like Steve has been a naughty boy.

“We heard on Sunday that he had been fired. We don’t know any other details. My wife keeps in contact but we have not seen him for a while.”

Mr Baxter is married to Easterbrook’s sister Joanne and owns a 400-acre farm near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire.

He said the former McDonald’s boss divorced in 2015, around the time he moved to America to become the company’s CEO

In an email to employees, Easterbrook acknowledged he had a relationship with an employee and said it was a mistake.

“Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on,” he said.

 The McDonald's boss split from his wife Susie. pictured, in 2015


The McDonald’s boss split from his wife Susie. pictured, in 2015Credit: Facebook
 Easterbrook at a McDonald's launch event in New York with model Chrissy Teigen in 2017


Easterbrook at a McDonald’s launch event in New York with model Chrissy Teigen in 2017Credit: Getty Images – Getty
 The chief even donned an apron behind the counter for the event


The chief even donned an apron behind the counter for the eventCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Easterbrook joined McDonald’s in 1993 as a manager in London and worked his way up through the ranks of the company.

He left to become the boss of Pizza Express in 2011 and then Wagamama before returning to McDonald’s in 2013 after which he became the global boss of the company.

Scrutiny of executives and their treatment of employees has intensified amid the #MeToo movement, which highlighted sexual harassment in the workplace and abuse of power by male executives.

In June 2018, Intel boss Brian Krzanich resigned after he had a consensual relationship with an employee that breached company policy.

According to Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, Easterbrook’s sacking is sign of the influence of MeToo#.

“Other companies don’t always act on that kind of information or fire their CEO for that, and so it seems like they trying to enforce a pretty strict policy in this situation,” he said.

 McDonald's board of directors voted on Easterbrook's departure Friday after conducting a thorough review.


McDonald’s board of directors voted on Easterbrook’s departure Friday after conducting a thorough review.Credit: Getty Images – Getty

McDonald’s has itself faced sexual harassment charges and in May said it was enhancing training and offering a new hotline, after workers filed dozens of complaints against the company.

Fight for $15, the group which filed the charges, said McDonald’s response to its sexual harassment complaints has been inadequate, and “the company needs to be completely transparent about Easterbrook’s firing and any other executive departures related to these issues”.

McDonald’s board of directors decided on Easterbrook’s departure on Friday and details of his severance package will be released today.

Under his leadership the company’s shares nearly doubled in value while sales at its US restaurants stagnated.

He was responsible for expanding delivery and mobile payments as well as bringing in digital ordering kiosks.

The board of directors named Chris Kempczinski, who joined the company in 2015 and recently served as president of McDonald’s USA, as the new CEO.


Apple rejecting Electron apps from Mac App Store due to private API usage – 9to5Mac

On iOS, all apps must go through the App Store. On macOS, the Mac App Store is just one method of distribution and developers are free to publish their apps independently on their own website. This means app rejection policies on macOS are not as painful as with iPhone or iPad, but they are nevertheless significant.

Developers are reporting that apps made using Electron (which is a framework that allows companies to ship web apps in a native app wrapper) are now being rejected by the automated Mac App Store review process.

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The apps in question are getting flagged because of their usage of private API calls. These API calls are not in the app itself, but part of the underlying Electron framework.

The detected private API symbols include:


Apparently, the Electron framework has used these APIs for years. What has happened is that Apple has upgraded its server-side app review processes to detect more violations of its App Review guidelines, and now this private API usage is being identified.

Individual Electron app makers are a bit helpless as the issue can only really be fixed by pushing changes in the Electron code itself. It does not appear that Electron is doing anything extreme, certainly nothing malicious. App Review doesn’t care about why an app is using private API, it’s a hard and fast rule (at least in theory).

At a surface level, it seems like it should be relatively straightforward for Electron to remove the API references and use alternative approaches. It’s just that the work hasn’t been done yet which means people depending on Electron are currently in a bind.

The rise in Electron rejections is being interpreted by some as a crackdown against Electron in the wake of the introduction of Apple’s Catalyst framework, which helps developers quickly port native iPad apps to the Mac. It’s a nice conspiracy theory but it doesn’t really make sense. Apple doesn’t really have an incentive, financial or otherwise, to force developers to use Catalyst.

If Mac developers do not want to submit their apps to the App Store, they can publish apps independently. However, as of macOS Catalina, apps must still be notarized using a registered developer account so that they can appease the Gatekeeper security model and are allowed to run on customer’s machines.

Notarization is mostly about making a digital signature of the app so that it cannot be tampered with and can be identified by the system later. It is not a mini app review process so it doesn’t check for things like private API usage.

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PlayStation 5 price leak suggests Sonys 2020 console will be affordable – Mirror Online

There’s still more than a year to go before Sony finally unveils its PlayStation 5 console, but despite this timeline, rumours are already flying left, right and centre about the device.

The latest rumour from Pushsquare gives us a hint about the PlayStation 5’s price, and indicates that it may not be as expensive as previously expected.

Pushsquare points to a recent Sony financial briefing, in which the tech giant claimed that it’s focusing on ‘market penetration and market acceptability’ with the PS5.

While this doesn’t exactly say much about the price, Pushsquare claims that Sony ‘wants to set a price that consumers will accept.’

Is this the PlayStation 5?
(Image: Playstation)


It explained: “This is going to prove a balancing act: the system sounds like an absolute beast with very little compromise on specifications, so it’s not going to be cheap.

“Affordable, though – that appears to be the aim.”

The rumour comes shortly after Sony finally confirmed the name and launch date for its next generation console.

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PlayStation 5 rumours

As expected, the console is called the PlayStation 5 , and will launch in time for ‘Holiday 2020.’

In a blog about the news, Jim Ryan , President and CEO of SIE, said: “Since we originally unveiled our next-generation console in April, we know that there’s been a lot of excitement and interest in hearing more about what the future of games will bring.

“Today I’m proud to share that our next-generation console will be called PlayStation 5, and we’ll be launching in time for Holiday 2020.”

Android users warned to delete app that secretly buys premium content –

Android users have been warned to delete this app (Getty)
Android users have been warned to delete this app (Getty)

Security researchers have uncovered a malicious app that secretly signs users up for premium content without their knowledge.

The app has been downloaded tens of millions of times by Android users, despite being removed from the Google Play Store back in June 2019.

It’s called ‘a.i type’ and is a keyboard app that lets you customise the on-screen keyboard of Android phones like those made by Samsung, Motorola or Huawei.

However, in the background it is signing up – and paying for – various premium services that the user may not even be aware of. That’s the message from Secure-D, a team of security specialists from Upstream Systems. They found a huge amount of suspicious mobile transactions and traced it back to the app.

‘Ai.type’s popularity and useful features have been used to disguise systematic and worrying activity,’ the team explained in a comprehensive report.

‘This happens in the background without the user being aware and includes fake ad views and attempted digital purchases. While the activity is partly targeted at advertisers, it affects users in the following ways:

‘Subscribes users to premium services depleting their mobile data and adding charges that eat into their pre-paid airtime. In many emerging markets, using pre-paid airtime is the only way to pay for digital services.

Women using a smartphone in the display and technology advances in stores. Take your screen to put on advertising.
The malicious app ran processes in the background (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

‘Reduces battery life, even when the device is not in use, due to the unseen background activity. May overheat the device and affect its overall performance.’

Naturally, the advice is to delete this app if you’ve got it installed on your phone. But the team concluded it was part of a larger problem of mobile ad fraud run through freely available apps.

‘To avoid falling victim to data theft and unwanted purchases or subscriptions, Android users should immediately check their phones to see if they have any suspicious app installed,’ the authors wrote.

‘In most cases, Google Play is a safer source of Android apps – but even apps from legitimate sources can be compromised. Before any installation, users should check the app’s reviews, developer details, and list of requested permissions, making sure that they all relate to the app’s stated purpose.’

Watch out, the Pokémon Sword and Shield leaks are everywhere –

With just over a week left until Pokmon Sword and Shield’s release, all sorts of juicy Pokmon information is now leaking like a Sobble across the internet.

We won’t discuss the latest – and very extensive – leaks in detail, but if you do want to see them for some reason the information is easy enough to find – such as in this ResetEra thread which details everything found so far. (It’s worth noting there are no immediate spoilers when you click on that link, and each leak is separated into sections – so if you want to see the new Galarian forms but not the full list of Gen 8 Pokmon, you’re safe.)

And if you don’t want to see anything, it’s worth clicking away now and shutting off your internet for another week.

Interestingly, this latest information only serves as further confirmation of the notable Pokmon Sword and Shield leak from earlier this year. The ‘Affleck Leak’ (named for the image of Ben Affleck posted alongside it) actually dates back to May, where an anonymous 4chan user posted a bunch of information that, at first, seemed a little Farfetch’d.

However, with each new trailer it’s become apparent the Affleck leak was indeed accurate – the reveal of Team Yell, for example – and now the latest leaks are corroborating it further.

Below is a screenshot of the original 4chan post – which includes details which have now been confirmed as well as some information yet to be officially announced, so scroll down at your own risk (there’s only text here though, no leaked images of new Pokmon, promise).

We’re not providing a link to this post as it initially tried to redirect us to the darknet. The Pokmon leaks go deep, apparently.

Pokmon Sword and Shield releases for Nintendo Switch on the 15th November, but these are the only leeks I personally want to see until then.

Faze Clan’s Jarvis gets Fortnite permaban for using aimbots –

FaZe Clan member Jarvis Kaye
Will Jarvis be banned for good?

Epic Games has given Jarvis from FaZe Clan a lifetime ban on Fortnite, after he posted videos showing how to cheat in Battle Royale.

YouTuber and FaZe Clan member Jarvis Kaye has apologised to his 2 million subscribers for using aimbots in Fortnite Battle Royale, after he revealed he’s earned a permeant ban from Epic Games.

Rather than cheating during a competitive match he uploaded videos showing him using aimbots (which fire automatically at opponents) in both solos and playground modes.

Kaye argues that he only made the videos as entertainment and never had any intention of using aimbots competitively.

Using aimbots, or hacking Fortnite in anyway, is expressly forbidden by Epic Game’s terms & conditions, but some have argued that Kaye’s punishment has been unfairly harsh.

Many fans have started using the hashtag #FreeJarvis, pointing out that many people have done the same thing and only earned a ban of a couple of weeks.

Xxif and Ronaldo were both caught cheating in the Fortnite World Cup qualifiers and yet were only banned for two weeks, and were still allows to compete in the rest of the World Cup.

The counter-argument is that Epic Games has actually sued YouTubers before, for promoting hacking software, which is essentially what Kaye was doing it, and that rather than a one-off offense his videos could’ve encouraged many others to cheat as well.

Whether their decision will remain final is unclear though and fans are hoping that they’ll allow Kaye back, following his apology.

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