The Pussycat Dolls announce they are REUNITING for a UK tour next year – Daily Mail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7732771/The-Pussycat-dolls-announce-REUNITING-UK-tour-year.html

The Pussycat Dolls have announced they are embarking on a reunion tour next year 10 years after they revealed they were taking a hiatus to pursue solo careers.

However one member of the band – Melody Thornton – won’t be joining them on the road, as it is revealed that they will be touring the UK and Ireland without her.

Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Carmit Bachar and Jessica Sutta will perform for the first time as a five piece during Saturday’s X Factor: Celebrity.

Back together! The Pussycat Dolls have announced they are embarking on a reunion tour next year 10 years after they revealed they were taking a hiatus to pursue solo careers (L-R Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts and Carmit Bachar)

Back together! The Pussycat Dolls have announced they are embarking on a reunion tour next year 10 years after they revealed they were taking a hiatus to pursue solo careers (L-R Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts and Carmit Bachar)

Back together! The Pussycat Dolls have announced they are embarking on a reunion tour next year 10 years after they revealed they were taking a hiatus to pursue solo careers (L-R Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts and Carmit Bachar)

Their reunion was partly inspired by the Spice Girls successful tour earlier this year, as the women claimed that they felt the series of shows was ‘inspiring’.

The tour will kick off in April 2020, more than a decade after they split amid rumours of a rift over Nicole’s dominant role in both the recording studio and on stage.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Ashley said it was ‘amazing and inspiring’ seeing Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Melanie Chisholm back together, but stopped short of saying the Spice Girls had prompted their reunion.

Absent: However one member of the band - Melody Thornton - won't be joining them on the road as it is revealed that they will be touring the UK and Ireland without her

Absent: However one member of the band - Melody Thornton - won't be joining them on the road as it is revealed that they will be touring the UK and Ireland without her

Absent: However one member of the band – Melody Thornton – won’t be joining them on the road as it is revealed that they will be touring the UK and Ireland without her

She said: ‘The Spice Girls – it’s amazing and inspiring that they all – except Victoria – got on stage and had some fun. We have been in the works for years trying to get this together. Really, it was divine timing for us all coming together.’

The Pussycat Dolls attended the Spice Girls’ 2007 show at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles together during the British group’s first reunion.

Carmit, who went on to form the group LadyStation, said: ‘We all went to the Spice Girls’ reunion tour at the Staples Centre in LA. Do you remember that? It was the first time in ages but Robin [Antin] has been trying to wrangle us together for years now.’

First performance: Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Carmit Bachar and Jessica Sutta will perform for the first time as a five piece during Saturday's X Factor: Celebrity (the band pictured with Melody in 2005)

First performance: Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Carmit Bachar and Jessica Sutta will perform for the first time as a five piece during Saturday's X Factor: Celebrity (the band pictured with Melody in 2005)

First performance: Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Carmit Bachar and Jessica Sutta will perform for the first time as a five piece during Saturday’s X Factor: Celebrity (the band pictured with Melody in 2005)

The girl group was formed as a burlesque troupe in 1995 by choreographer Robin Antin, going on to release hits such as Don’t Cha, Buttons and Stickwitu. 

Nicole said the five-piece would thrive in the crowded industry, with Westlife, Steps and the original Sugababes among the raft of bands getting back together.

The X Factor: Celebrity judge said: ‘If we feel any pressure, we love pressure. We are really good under pressure.’

Inspired: Their reunion was partly inspired by the Spice Girls successful tour earlier this year, as the women claimed that they felt the series of shows was 'inspiring'

Inspired: Their reunion was partly inspired by the Spice Girls successful tour earlier this year, as the women claimed that they felt the series of shows was 'inspiring'

Inspired: Their reunion was partly inspired by the Spice Girls successful tour earlier this year, as the women claimed that they felt the series of shows was ‘inspiring’

Ashley also revealed she plans on taking her boyfriend, Italian Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice, on tour with the Pussycat Dolls.

She said: ‘Giovanni is definitely going to come. Honey, yes. He is very excited to see us all up there in our outfits. I didn’t know him 10 years ago. 

‘He was in Italy and was aware of the Pussycat Dolls but it’s a whole different situation now. He is very supportive and, of course, he is going to be there at the shows.’

Split: The tour will kick off in April 2020, more than a decade after they split amid rumours of a rift over Nicole's dominant role in both the recording studio and on stage (pictured 2008)

Split: The tour will kick off in April 2020, more than a decade after they split amid rumours of a rift over Nicole's dominant role in both the recording studio and on stage (pictured 2008)

Split: The tour will kick off in April 2020, more than a decade after they split amid rumours of a rift over Nicole’s dominant role in both the recording studio and on stage (pictured 2008)

The couple met during last year’s series of the BBC show when Giovanni was paired with Faye Tozer and Ashley was paired with Pasha Kovalev. 

Earlier this year, Melody candidly revealed that she struggled during her time in the Pussycat Dolls because she wasn’t able to showcase her singing voice.

The Dancing On Ice star said that she found it challenging that the focus was on lead singer Nicole, who recorded all the vocals for the band.

During an emotive interview with Lorraine, Melody discussed her time with the girl group, which she found ‘tough’ because she couldn’t use her ‘best asset’.

Loved-up: Ashley also revealed she plans on taking her boyfriend, Italian Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice, on tour with the Pussycat Dolls

Loved-up: Ashley also revealed she plans on taking her boyfriend, Italian Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice, on tour with the Pussycat Dolls

Loved-up: Ashley also revealed she plans on taking her boyfriend, Italian Strictly professional Giovanni Pernice, on tour with the Pussycat Dolls

She said: ‘The issue for me stemmed with getting into this group with this girl whose got this amazing Christina Aguilera style ability, thinking “this is going to be great”.

‘But then the gears shifted hard in a different direction. Nicole had been in two groups prior, she had a lot of experience. We were told, Nicole is going to do all of the recording.’

The girls were told they were the dances, and Melody said that it affected her confidence because she wasn’t allowed to sing.

Melody added: ‘It was really challenging, it was tough. i was the worst dancer and people were getting to know me for something i wasn’t trained in.’

The star said she found it especially hard because it was her first gig straight out of high school, and after nailing her first ever audition fame came fast and it was a lot to take in.

Tickets for the Pussycat Dolls’ reunion tour go on sale on Sunday December 1.

Struggles: Earlier this year, Melody candidly revealed that she struggled during her time in the Pussycat Dolls because she wasn't able to showcase her singing voice (pictured in 2009)

Struggles: Earlier this year, Melody candidly revealed that she struggled during her time in the Pussycat Dolls because she wasn't able to showcase her singing voice (pictured in 2009)

Struggles: Earlier this year, Melody candidly revealed that she struggled during her time in the Pussycat Dolls because she wasn’t able to showcase her singing voice (pictured in 2009)

Jan Vertonghen keen on new Tottenham contract – Daily Mail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7733445/Jan-Vertonghen-keen-new-Tottenham-contract.html

Jan Vertonghen ‘keen on new Tottenham contract’ after arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager with deal expiring in summer

  • Jan Vertonghen is out of contract at the end of the current season
  • The Belgian defender reportedly remains keen on discussing a new deal
  • Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout last week 

Jan Vertonghen could be tempted into signing a new deal at Tottenham following the arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager.

The Belgian defender is out of contract at the end of the season and had been widely expected to leave the club.

But, according to Sky Sports News, he remains keen to discuss terms on a new deal and extend his Spurs spell beyond summer 2020. 

Jan Vertonghen reportedly remains keen on signing a new contract at Tottenham

Jan Vertonghen reportedly remains keen on signing a new contract at Tottenham

Jan Vertonghen reportedly remains keen on signing a new contract at Tottenham

Vertonghen (left) was back in the Spurs squad this week after returning from injury

Vertonghen (left) was back in the Spurs squad this week after returning from injury

Vertonghen (left) was back in the Spurs squad this week after returning from injury

Vertonghen will be free to speak to foreign clubs in January and there has reportedly been interest from Roma and Bayer Leverkusen.

Formal discussions have yet to take place between chairman Daniel Levy and the centre-back.

Vertonghen was back on the bench for Tuesday night’s Champions League win over Olympiacos after missing the victory over West Ham through injury.

He has made 294 appearances for Spurs since joining from Ajax in the summer of 2012.

Vertonghen is one of three senior players, alongside Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen, whose deals are set to expire next year. 

Jose Mourinho (left) replaced Mauricio Pochettino as manager last week after a poor start

Jose Mourinho (left) replaced Mauricio Pochettino as manager last week after a poor start

Jose Mourinho (left) replaced Mauricio Pochettino as manager last week after a poor start

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Immunotherapy offers hope for men with prostate cancer – BBC News

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50577728

An illustration of how immunotherapy attacks cancer cellsImage copyright
Getty Images

A major trial of an immunotherapy drug has shown it can be effective in some men with advanced prostate cancer.

The men had stopped responding to the main treatment options.

Researchers found that a small proportion of men, described as “super responders”, remained well even after the trial ended, despite a very poor prognosis before treatment.

Last week it was reported the same drug had proved effective in treating advanced head and neck cancers.

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy uses our own immune systems to recognise and attack cancer cells.

It’s already being used as a standard treatment for some cancers such as melanomas – and being tested on many others too.

What did the study find?

It found that one in 20 men with advanced prostate cancer responded to the drug pembrolizumab – and saw their tumours actually shrink or disappear altogether.

Although a relatively small number, some of them gained years of extra life, the study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found.

A further 19% saw some evidence of improvement.

But most patients in the study lived for an average of eight months on the drug.

The phase II clinical trial, led by the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden, involved 258 men with advanced prostate cancer who had run out of all other options on treatment.

Image copyright
Getty Images

What happens next?

The most dramatic responses were seen in patients whose tumours had mutations in genes involved in repairing DNA.

Researchers are now investigating whether this group might benefit the most from immunotherapy in a larger trial.

But first, a test to pick out who will respond best is needed, so that doctors know which patients to give it to.

What is prostate cancer?

It’s the most common cancer in men in the UK, with around 47,700 diagnosed in the UK each year.

The number of people diagnosed has been rising over the last 10 years.

This is probably because the population is getting older and more people are having PSA tests.

Around 30% of men with advanced or stage 4 prostate cancer survive their cancer for five years or more after diagnosis.

Image copyright
Getty Images

What do experts say?

“Immunotherapy has had tremendous benefits for some cancer patients, and it’s fantastic news that even in prostate cancer, where we don’t see much immune activity, a proportion of men are responding well to treatment,” says Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research.

“A limitation with immunotherapy is that there’s no good test to pick out those who are most likely to respond.

“It’s encouraging to see testing for DNA repair mutations may identify some patients who are more likely to respond, and I’m keen to see how the new, larger trial in this group of patients plays out.”

Professor Johann de Bono, a consultant medical oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, was one of those who led the study.

He said: “We don’t see much activity from the immune system in prostate tumours, so many oncologists thought immunotherapy wouldn’t work for this cancer type.

“But our study shows that a small proportion of men with end-stage cancer do respond, and crucially that some of these men do very well indeed.

“We found that men with mutations in DNA repair genes respond especially well to immunotherapy, including two of my own patients who have now been on the drug for more than two years.”

Last week, a separate trial found the same drug kept some people’s advanced head and neck cancers at bay for an average of two years – five times longer than under chemotherapy.

Both studies are part of a growing body of research suggesting immunotherapy could offer hope to an increasing number of cancer patients.

Hong Kong protests: Trump signs Human Rights and Democracy Act into law – BBC News

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-50581862

Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong holding a tear gas canister on 20 October 2019Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Anti-government protests have been held in Hong Kong since June

US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that supports pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

The Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates an annual review, to check if Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify its special status with the US.

Mr Trump said he signed the law “out of respect for President Xi [Jinping], China, and the people of Hong Kong”.

China’s foreign ministry said it would take “firm counter measures” – accusing the US of “sinister intentions”.

Mr Trump is currently seeking a deal with China, in order to end a trade war between the two countries.

Hong Kong’s government also reacted, saying the American bill would send the wrong signal and would not help to ease the situation.

But a key activist in the Hong Kong protest movement, Joshua Wong, said the US law was a “remarkable achievement” for “all Hongkongers”.

Mr Trump had previously been non-committal about whether he would sign the bill, saying he was “with” Hong Kong but also that Mr Xi was “an incredible guy”.

However, the bill had widespread congressional support, which meant that even if he vetoed it, lawmakers could potentially have voted to overturn his decision.

The president also signed a second bill, which bans the export of crowd-control munitions to the police in Hong Kong – including tear gas, rubber bullets and stun guns.

“[The bills] are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences, leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all,” Mr Trump said.

What does the law say?

The bill was introduced in June in the early stages of the protests in Hong Kong, and was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives last month.

It says: “Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.

“The [annual review] shall assess whether China has eroded Hong Kong’s civil liberties and rule of law as protected by Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”

Among other things, Hong Kong’s special trading status means it is not affected by US sanctions or tariffs placed on the mainland.

The bill also says the US should allow Hong Kong residents to obtain US visas, even if they have been arrested for being part of non-violent protests.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

President Trump said he signed the bill “out of respect for President Xi [Jinping], China, and the people of Hong Kong”

What is the situation in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong’s protests started in June against a proposed law to allow extradition to mainland China but it has since transformed into a larger pro-democracy movement.

The protests have also seen increasingly violent clashes, with police being attacked, and officers firing live bullets.

Protesters have thrown petrol bombs and attacked businesses seen as being pro-Beijing.

The protesters, meanwhile, have accused police of brutality.

On Sunday, Hong Kong held local council elections that were seen as a barometer of public opinion towards the government and the protesters.

The elections saw a landslide victory for the pro-democracy movement, with 17 of the 18 councils now controlled by pro-democracy councillors.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe identity crisis behind Hong Kong’s protests

What’s happening in Hong Kong today?

Police moved into the Polytechnic University campus where a handful of protesters were thought to be holding out.

The campus was the site of a siege, which turned into one of the defining moments of the anti-government protests.

Police moved in with negotiators and psychologists to convince any remaining students to leave – as well as to clear dangerous items and gather evidence.

It’s not clear whether the officers found any remaining students. Over the past week, most protesters have either surrendered or escaped.

Black Friday: US couple charge shoppers to queue – BBC News

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiLGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmJiYy5jby51ay9uZXdzL2J1c2luZXNzLTUwNTcwMzY30gEwaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmJjLmNvLnVrL25ld3MvYW1wL2J1c2luZXNzLTUwNTcwMzY3?oc=5

Alexis Granados and her husbandImage copyright
Alexis Granados

Image caption

Alexis Granados and her husband

A US couple is offering to camp out all night and hold places in the shopping queue for those who want to splurge on Black Friday deals.

“My husband has great ways of thinking when it comes to money,” says Alexis Granados, of her partner Steven Velasquez.

He recently lost his job as a scale operator for a recycling company.

The pair are charging $50 (£38) each to wait outside any store in Upland, California, the night before the Black Friday sales.

Being paid to queue is not new – but part of a growing phenomenon within what is commonly known as the gig economy.

On Task Rabbit and Bidvine, UK sites that advertise services from the self-employed, people can earn between £15 and £20 a time.

Meanwhile, Placer, an app available in the US has been created solely to cater for people who are too busy to queue and willing to pay others to do it for them.

‘Fun’

An estimated 165.3 million people are expected to hit the shops in the US between Friday and Monday, the National Retail Federation says.

The shopping bonanza, which originated in America, falls on the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday – when workers in the US usually have the day off.

And the California-based Granados couple say the work will help them to make ends meet. They are looking for more traditional jobs, but in the meantime say they’re happy to pick up odd jobs where they can.

Neither have done anything like this before, but she says “I’m pretty sure it won’t be our last time. It’s actually easy money when you think about it”.

The couple have a car, where they can warm up during their queuing time.

They are advertising their queuing service on social media and several people have expressed an interest. The duo guarantee a good place in the queue and if their customer is not satisfied they say they will not charge for the service.

“We used to be homeless, so it is not really a pain for us,” says Ms Granados, saying the money means a lot to them.

Currently the young couple, who are in their 20s, have a housing voucher that helped them get off the street. “It was actually a stepping stone for us and helped us grow as adults,” says Ms Granados.

Housing assistance in the US is offered to people with incomes under a certain threshold who need help finding a place to live.

With a housing voucher, people can secure a place in social housing.

Pound Sterling Firms on Euro & Dollar Following Sharp Fall, Key MRP Poll from YouGov to Dominate Coming Hours – Pound Sterling Live

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiT2h0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnBvdW5kc3RlcmxpbmdsaXZlLmNvbS9ldXIvMTI0NTMtZ2JwLXRvLWV1ci1hbmQtdXNkLXlvdWdvdi1tcnAtYWhlYWTSAVNodHRwczovL3d3dy5wb3VuZHN0ZXJsaW5nbGl2ZS5jb20vZXVyLzEyNDUzLWdicC10by1ldXItYW5kLXVzZC15b3Vnb3YtbXJwLWFoZWFkL2FtcA?oc=5

polling UK election

polling UK election

Image © Adobe Images

– YouGov poll confirms 11 point lead for Conservatives

– Pound steadies after poor Tuesday

– Key YouGov MRP poll release is main event for today

The British Pound was seen consolidating recent losses against the Euro, U.S. Dollar and other major currencies in mid-week trade after the latest YouGov poll steadied sliding expectations for a Conservative majority at the looming General Election. With Sterling trading in response to shifting expectations for the outcome of the December 12 General Election, today’s key event could well be the release of a detailed seat-by-seat prediction that in 2017 accurately called the final outcome of the vote.

Sterling has steadied ahead of the release of the seat-by-seat prediction (more on this below), owing in large part to a YouGov poll for the Times out late on Tuesday that showed that the Conservatives continue to enjoy a lead of 11 points over their nearest rivals, the Labour Party. The rule-of-thumb is that any lead of over 10 points will give a comfortable majority to the front-runner.

In a poll conducted on November 25-26, the Conservatives polled on 43% (+1), Labour on 32% (+2), the Liberal Democrats on 13% (-3), The Brexit Party on 4% (+1) and the Greens on 2% (-2).

YouGov pollingYouGov polling

The poll does however confirm a trend being reported by other surveys: that Labour continue to steadily grow in popularity, and this will worry strategists at Conservative HQ who will be reminded of a similar trend in 2017 that ultimately saw Labour shrink a ~18 point deficit at the start of the campaign to just 2 points on voting day.

The Pound had been falling throughout Tuesday as markets saw the odds of a Conservative majority fall back following the release of a Kantar poll that showed the Conservative’s lead had been slashed from 18 to 11 in just a week. Monday also saw the release of a poll by ICM for Reuters that showed the Conservative’s lead over Labour had slipped to just 7%.

Memories of 2017 will remain fresh in the minds of foreign exchange traders, and they will therefore likely remain hesitant to engage in new sizeable bets on the Pound in such an atmosphere.

If momentum remains with Labour it increases the odds of a hung parliament where no one party secures an outright majority, but the YouGov result went some way in calming markets and the Pound has steadied from Tuesday’s wobble.

The Pound-to-Euro exchange rate is quoted at 1.1667, having been as high as 1.1720 the day prior. The exchange rate is trading in the middle of a range that has been in place since the General Election campaign got underway. Robin Wilkin, a cross-asset strategist with Lloyds Bank says the exchange rate is towards the top of the current 1.1730/1.18 to 1.1561 range.

Wilkin expects the Pound to remain capped in this area, “and a broader range to develop into the general election”.

The Pound-to-Dollar exchange rate is quoted at 1.2843, having been as high as 1.2904 the day prior. The exchange rate is towards the bottom of the range it has been trading since the start of the election campaign. “Prices continue to bounce around in a well-defined range between 1.2750/00 and 1.3000/25. Intra-day studies have moved back to neutral, after looking for prices to hold range lows yesterday. Further range trading is likely into the elections,” says Wilkin.

Pound volatilityPound volatility

Above: Sterling volatility vs. the Euro as it tracks the polls and expectations for the General Election outcome.

Sterling is currently tracking the odds of a Conservative majority: the currency spiked on Monday when those odds hit 70%, according to the Betfair Exchange. But, polling out on Monday and Tuesday meant these odds had slid back to 66%, and the Pound obliged and went lower as a result.  “I don’t expect the Labour Party’s popularity to rise significantly over the coming weeks, while the Tories are still comfortably in the lead. Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to succeed in creating an atmosphere of optimism. Thus, the UK pound remains undervalued,” says Marc-André Fongern, G10 FX Analyst at MAF Global Forex.

“A hung parliament would prolong the uncertainty and once again raise the tail risks of both ‘remain’ and ‘no deal’. We expect the heightened uncertainty would essentially reverse the recent inflows and push cable back to 1.25,” says Michael Cahill, an analyst with Goldman Sachs.

David Bloom, Global Head of FX Strategy at HSBC, says a hung parliament would be the most damaging outcome for the Pound, while a small Conservative majority, what Bloom identifies as “the Theresa May thing”, could also leave markets uncertain as to the political outlook.

A hung parliament could well prove that the Brexit question cannot be answered by a General Election, and a hung parliament might presumably not offer a clear route to a second referendum either.

Under such an outcome, “we are back in the mud,” says Bloom, and Sterling then starts trading at roughly 1.20 (vs. the Dollar) because we don’t know where to go, we don’t know what to do, we’re lost in the wilderness.”

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All Eyes on YouGov’s MRP

Wednesday sees the release of perhaps the most comprehensive poll of the campaign: YouGov’s MRP.

The MRP (multilevel regression and post-stratification) poll for this year’s election will be published first by The Times newspaper at around 2200 GMT.

The MRP takes all existing YouGov data from the past seven days and models a seat-by-seat outcome, therefore it does not simply rely on a national sample. It is more granular, and therefore arguably more accurate.

The MRP shocked markets in 2017 by suggesting that Theresa May was unlikely to secure the majority she wanted, and many pundits expected, in the snap election she called to try and secure more seats in Parliament. When the campaign started May’s Conservatives were polling with a lead of around 20 points, and expectations were high that she would secure a large majority.

The MRP poll was accurate in it suggested a hung parliament would in fact be the case.

Expect foreign exchange markets to pay particular attention to the poll release tonight: suggestions the UK is headed for hung parliament territory will unlikely sit well with the Pound.

“The market is likely to place great emphasis on the MRP poll, which was correct last time around,” says Michael Brown, Senior Market Analyst at CaxtonFX. “GBP vulnerable if the model points to another hung Parliament, though should firm if Tory majority looks likely.”

However, suggestions of a comfortable majority could well inject some upside impetus back into Sterling.

“Assuming the Conservatives do win a majority, we expect this to be a further positive for GBP, as it means both reduced political uncertainty as well as Brexit uncertainty,” says Georgette Boele, an analyst with ABN Amro.

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Reminder: YouGov MRP poll for UK election to be published at 2200 GMT – ForexLive

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMibmh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmZvcmV4bGl2ZS5jb20vbmV3cy8hL3JlbWluZGVyLXlvdWdvdi1tcnAtcG9sbC1mb3ItdWstZWxlY3Rpb24tdG8tYmUtcHVibGlzaGVkLWF0LTIyMDAtZ210LTIwMTkxMTI30gEA?oc=5

Another reminder and some final thoughts

UK vote
ForexLive

Just in case you missed the heads up from yesterday (⬆️) but in any case, if you’re wondering why this is one of the more watched opinion polls for the election, you can check out the post above as well for some backstory.

With the pound being so choppy in trading so far this week, perhaps the poll will be able to give more of a direction in trading sentiment in the lead up to 12 December. But just a hint of caution, it may not necessarily do so.

The issue with opinion polls as I have always said is that they are subject to the interpreter’s interpretation. As such, there’s the saying beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

In other words, we all see what we want to see when it comes to the opinion polls.

For the YouGov MRP poll in 2017, there is no further history to the methodology and results of the poll. As such, it is only viewed to be “accurate” because it has a sample size of one.

Common logic will dictate that such a sample size is meaningless so are we all attaching too much significance to the accuracy of this polling data? Perhaps, maybe.

But the more important thing is whether or not markets are attaching any significance to the poll. The answer is that there is quite a strong likelihood the data will be a relevant one in affecting trading sentiment. And that is all that matters.

We can dive deeper into figuring out if and how accurate the poll this time around will be but that’s a another story for a another day.

The other thing to take note is that the release today will come at 2200 GMT. It’s pretty much the time when markets are asleep so just be mindful of thinner liquidity conditions as it may exacerbate any moves and reactions later.

Most expensive service stations named as drivers charged 117% more for same snacks – Mirror Online

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiTWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm1pcnJvci5jby51ay9tb25leS9tb3N0LWV4cGVuc2l2ZS1zZXJ2aWNlLXN0YXRpb25zLW5hbWVkLTIwOTcwODcw0gFRaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubWlycm9yLmNvLnVrL21vbmV5L21vc3QtZXhwZW5zaXZlLXNlcnZpY2Utc3RhdGlvbnMtbmFtZWQtMjA5NzA4NzAuYW1w?oc=5

A new investigation has laid bare the scale of the motorway service station rip-off – as well as the places it’s worst.

Admiral Car Insurance visited stations up and down the country – comparing prices on staples like sausage rolls, wine gums, chocolate and crisps – to find out exactly what they were charging, then compared it to the same items in a normal supermarket.

They found water was the most overpriced purchase – with stations charging an extra £1.85 for a 500ml bottle compared with 44p in a supermarket.

Admiral’s Clare Egan said: “We all expect to pay a little more for convenience, but the amount people are charged at service stations amounts to highway robbery in some cases.”

Beaconsfield Services on the M40 was the 6th most expensive found
Beaconsfield Services on the M40 was the 6th most expensive found
(Image: Alamy Stock Photo)

The average price hike worked out at 117%, with some service stations charging as much as 135% more than buying the same items at a supermarket.

Worst of all was Durham services – where a basket of sweets and savoury snacks plus drinks wold set you back £16.21, compared to £6.89 in a supermarkt.

Lancaster and Woolley Edge services were the joint next most expennsive – charging £16.17 for the same items – followed by Hilton Park and Leigh Delamere services at £16.16.

Leigh Delamere Services on the M4 was ranked in the top 5 for costs
Leigh Delamere Services on the M4 was ranked in the top 5 for costs
(Image: Alamy Stock Photo)

By contrast, Heart of Scotland services was the cheapest –  where motorists would pay £9.31 for the same basket of items motorway fare.

Egan said: “Grabbing the essentials from home or at least a supermarket before setting off could result in some big savings on the overall cost of your journey.

“Given the availability of free water refills at all of the service stations and the push to be plastic-free, motorists don’t need to spend anything on bottled water, let alone a forking out as much as 420% more than in a supermarket.”

Reading West Motorway Services (M4)
(Image: Alamy Stock Photo)

The 10 most expensive service stations Admiral found:

  • Durham Services A1(M) – 135% markup
  • Lancaster (Forton) Services M6 – 135% markup
  • Woolley Edge Services M1 – 135% markup
  • Hilton Park Services M6 – 135% markup
  • Leigh Delamere Services M4 – 135% markup
  • Beaconsfield M40 – 133% markup
  • Bothwell Services M74 – 132% markup
  • Magor Services M4 – 130% markup
  • Birchanger Green Services M11 – 129% markup
  • Reading Services M4 – 128% markup

“Many of us will be making cross-country trips with our families over the coming weeks, and it will be tempting to stop en route for a snack or petrol,” Egan said.

“By planning ahead, you could avoid the hyper inflated service station costs save some money for Christmas and help the environment at the same time.”

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Here are Admiral’s tips to save money on a long car journey:

  • Plan ahead and buy food in from the supermarket before you set off, or even better take a packed lunch and refillable water bottle from home
  • Use an app such as  refill.org.uk   identify places to refill water for free
  • Fill up on fuel before you get onto the motorway to ensure you aren’t paying inflated prices
  • Bring some activities and snacks for the children so you are prepared should they want to stop off to avoid expensive treats
  • Consider pulling off the motorway to a nearby supermarket if you need to re-stock: prices are considerably lower
  • Don’t forget to make sure you carry out all the appropriate vehicle checks before you start a long journey – checking tyre pressure and water levels will mean you travel safely and don’t have the unexpected cost of a broken-down car

West Coast Mainline passengers stranded for seven hours – BBC News

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiOWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmJiYy5jby51ay9uZXdzL3VrLWVuZ2xhbmQtbGFuY2FzaGlyZS01MDU3MjE0OdIBPWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmJiYy5jby51ay9uZXdzL2FtcC91ay1lbmdsYW5kLWxhbmNhc2hpcmUtNTA1NzIxNDk?oc=5

Sign for rail replacement

Image caption

All services running north of Preston have been cancelled until Thursday

Hundreds of passengers on the West Coast Mainline have been stranded for hours after an electric overhead cable snapped.

The cable broke on the route between Lancaster and Preston at about 08:35 GMT blocking both lines in both directions, Network Rail said.

One person tweeted they were on a train for seven-and-a-half hours, another called it “an absolute horror show”.

Stations along the route have become crowded as the delays continue.

West Coast Mainline suspension: latest updates

Network Rail said that section of the line would be closed for the rest of the day.

“Our immediate focus is to fix the cables in time for start of service tomorrow,” a spokesperson said.

Image copyright
Anthony Roberts

Image caption

Passengers have been queuing at stations

It earlier said the stranded passengers would be towed back to their nearest stations at about 17:00 GMT.

Virgin Trains said a rescue locomotive was sent to retrieve two trains and a third was involved in a train-to-train evacuation.

Northern and Trans Pennine Express services in the area have also been affected.

Passengers expecting to use the route have been advised not to travel, and have been warned journey times would be at least three hours longer than usual.

Image caption

Crowds gather at Preston station while the delays to services continue

Simon Mabon was travelling from Macclesfield to Lancaster and said his journey – which would normally take about 90 minutes – took about eight hours.

“We got to Preston and were told the train was cancelled so we were instructed to get on to a different train and we got on to that train and we sat there for about two hours waiting because there was a broken down train in front of us,” he said.

“Then we eventually started moving and we made about 10 minutes’ progress and then it stopped and they said there were some technical issues, that there was no power, that we were stuck here for the foreseeable.”

He said after hearing that announcement at about 11:00 they were stuck on the train for more than three hours with no air conditioning and the toilets “stopped working very quickly”.

He said passengers were given a small bottle of water each but the card machine was not working in the food carriage.

Mr Mabon eventually got to Lancaster at about 15:30, where he said there was “chaos” at the station.

Image copyright
NETWORK RAIL

Image caption

All services between Preston and Lancaster have been cancelled until tomorrow

Phil James, director for Network Rail’s North West route, apologised for the issues.

“Our specialist electrical teams are working to repair the damaged cables. It means the railway is blocked with no trains running at present.”

Network Rail added because of the lack of electrical power in the area it had made towing back difficult.

Queues have formed at Preston station while passengers wait for rail replacement services.

There have also been queues at Oxenholme in the Lake District.

Virgin Trains said the disruption would continue until Thursday.

“We’re very sorry for the experience of customers affected by today’s disruption. We’re working closely with our partners to get customers from the affected trains to the nearest station so they can continue their journeys,” a spokesperson said.

It is not yet known what caused the damage to the 440 yards (400m) of cable.

Virgin passengers can use their tickets on Thursday, the company said.

Have your travel plans been affected? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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House Judiciary Committee sets 1st impeachment hearing

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-judiciary-committee-sets-impeachment-hearing-dec/story?id=67326924

The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first impeachment hearing next Wednesday, Dec. 4, Chairman Jerry Nadler announced Tuesday, following two weeks of high-profile impeachment inquiry hearings by the House Intelligence Committee.

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The Judiciary Committee hearing will include legal experts as witnesses and is titled, “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,” as Democrats decide whether to draft articles of impeachment.

Nadler sent a letter to President Trump, reminding him that he and his lawyers have a right to attend the hearing.

PHOTO: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) attends a news conference, April 9, 2019, in Washington, D.C.Zach Gibson/Getty Images
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) attends a news conference, April 9, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

“As Chairman Schiff indicated yesterday, the impeachment inquiry is entering into a new phase,” Nadler said in a statement, referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. “Our first task is to explore the framework put in place to respond to serious allegations of impeachable misconduct like those against President Trump.”

“I have also written to President Trump to remind him that the Committee’s impeachment inquiry rules allow for the President to attend the hearing and for his counsel to question the witness panel. At base, the President has a choice to make: he can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process. I hope that he chooses to participate in the inquiry, directly or through counsel, as other Presidents have done before him,” Nadler said.

On a background call with reporters, House Judiciary Democratic aides wouldn’t get into whether they expected the House Intelligence Committee to have transmitted its report by then, but emphasized this is a legal hearing that will include evaluating the evidence and the constitutional framework as the committee looks at “high crime and misdemeanors” — one of the phrases included in the Constitution’s Impeachment Clause.

There was no immediate response from the White House.