Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inbox Get our free View from Westminster email It’s finally happening. On 1 April, Twitter will begin removing its “legacy” verification ticks. It’s the most fundamental of all the visible changes in Elon Musk ’s new “ Twitter 2.0”, and rewires the grammar of the platform itself. Organisations can apply for a new “gold” (it’s actually yellow) tick, while individuals must pay for a Twitter Blue subscription, costing £11 a month for a selection of new tools – longer ( much longer) tweets, the ability to edit posts, higher weighting in the prioritisation algorithm, and one of those blue checks (which are actually white with a blue background). The intention, according to Musk, was a new democratisation of Twitter. To him, the old blue tick was a “lords and peasants” system , an in-built class structure. Under the new plan, having a verified tick doesn’t make … [Read more...] about Twitter is removing blue ticks – so who are the real ‘lords and peasants’ now?
Banks drag European markets lower amid Deutsche Bank woes
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Banks suffered another poor session on Friday as Deutsche Bank became the latest financial firm to start putting traders on edge. Europe’s biggest markets all dropped in value as uncertainty once again rippled through. It came after particular worries about Deutsche Bank caused shares to drop by more than 14% before midday on Friday and credit default swaps – which are used by Deutsche’s bondholders as insurance should it fail – soared. Shares in the company reduced their losses slightly as investors suggested another Credit Suisse scenario was not of the horizon, but sentiment remained dented. Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: “It looks like the banking crisis isn’t solved. Recommended Charity boss speaks out over ‘traumatic’ encounter with royal aide … [Read more...] about Banks drag European markets lower amid Deutsche Bank woes
Retail consultant Mary Portas warns John Lewis it has ‘let go of the soul’
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Retail consultant and broadcaster Mary Portas has sent an open letter to department store John Lewis warning that it has “let go of the soul”. Ms Portas published the letter on the networking site LinkedIn following the news John Lewis was considering ending its employee-owned business structure in order to attract investment. The retail giant has also recently warned of potential job cuts and told staff it would not hand out a bonus for only the second time since 1953. In her open letter, addressed to chairman Sharon White and chief executive Nish Kankiwala, Ms Portas wrote: “You are not simply chair and chief exec. You are custodians of one of the most valued, loved and trusted retail brands this country has.” Recommended Charity boss speaks out over ‘traumatic’ encounter with royal … [Read more...] about Retail consultant Mary Portas warns John Lewis it has ‘let go of the soul’
Deal sees Post Office workers offered 9% pay rise and up to £3,000 lump sums
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Post Office workers will vote on a deal their union said includes a 9% pay rise, “substantial” lump sum payments and additional benefits. After negotiations, an agreement has been reached to include the wage increase from April, lump sums of between £1,925-3,000 and benefits like an increase in paternity pay, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said. The deal, endorsed by the union’s postal executive, will be put to a ballot of members. Post Office workers staged a series of strikes and other forms of industrial action last year. Recommended Charity boss speaks out over ‘traumatic’ encounter with royal aide Ukraine war’s heaviest fight rages in east - follow live CWU deputy general secretary Andy Furey said: “We would like to thank our Post Office members for their support … [Read more...] about Deal sees Post Office workers offered 9% pay rise and up to £3,000 lump sums
Snowfall, heavy rain in Afghanistan kill at least 3
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Snowfall and heavy rain killed at least three people in Afghanistan, including a child, a government spokesman said Saturday. The severe weather hit nine provinces in different parts of the country on Friday and Saturday: Balkh , Zabul, Faryab, Uruzgan, Nimroz, Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan, and Laghman. The snow and rain injured seven people, partially or completely destroyed more than 750 homes, and ruined farmland, according to Shafiullah Rahimi, a spokesman from the Ministry of Disaster Management. He said government departments are providing families with basic necessities, such as food, tents and blankets. Teams will visit the affected areas to survey the damage. Rahimi also said there was no change in the death toll from last Tuesday’s 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck much of Afghanistan and … [Read more...] about Snowfall, heavy rain in Afghanistan kill at least 3
Emil Bocek, last Czech RAF pilot during WWII, dies at 100
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Emil Bocek, the last living Czech pilot who fought the Nazis while serving with Britain 's Royal Air Force during World War II, has died at age 100. A community center for war veterans in the Czech Republic city of Brno , his hometown, said Bocek died on Saturday. The Czech Defense Ministry confirmed his death. No further details were given. “General Bocek was fighting for our country to be democratic, free and independent,” Prime Minister Petr Fiala said. Born Feb 25, 1923, Bocek fled Czechoslovakia in 1939 at age 16 following the country’s occupation by Germany. He fought the Nazis in France and then moved to Britain, where he served as a technician in the air force's No. 312 Squadron before joining the RAF’s No. 310 Squadron as a pilot in 1944. Both fighter squadrons had Czechoslovak pilots. … [Read more...] about Emil Bocek, last Czech RAF pilot during WWII, dies at 100
Elon Musk changes Twitter algorithm so his tweets get seen by ‘1000 times’ more people than normal, report claims
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Elon Musk allegedly threatened to fire Twitter ’s engineers after his tweets during the Super Bowl attracted less engagement than president Joe Biden ’s. During the Sunday game in which the Philadelphia Eagles faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs, Mr Biden tweeted a video of first lady Jill Biden supporting the Eagles, while Mr Musk also showed support for the same team in a now-deleted tweet. While the US president’s tweet garnered about 29 million impressions, Mr Musk’s post got around 9 million, according to Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer and Casey Newton. Following this, the Twitter chief reportedly ordered the company’s remaining engineers to make changes to the platform to ensure his tweets got better engagement. Citing sources close to the matter, Platformer reported that Mr Musk flew to … [Read more...] about Elon Musk changes Twitter algorithm so his tweets get seen by ‘1000 times’ more people than normal, report claims
The Budget will bring ‘a lost decade for living standards’ – haven’t we already had one of those?
Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inbox Get our free View from Westminster email The success of a Budget is measured in how long it takes to collapse. Some arrive pre-collapsed, others collapse in real time. In recent years, success has been if they haven’t collapsed by the time the Office for Budget Responsibility publishes its analysis, revealing in very clear detail all of the horrific things the chancellor deliberately chose not to say. Kwasi Kwarteng ’s mini-Budget didn’t suffer this fate, because he and Liz Truss wisely chose to block the Office for Budget Responsibility from analysing it, and just to be doubly careful, they also sacked the head of the treasury department, who they probably deep down knew was going to tell them that it was going to collapse with pyrotechnic effect but they’d rather not hear. A very successful Budget is one that is still vaguely intact by the time economists, … [Read more...] about The Budget will bring ‘a lost decade for living standards’ – haven’t we already had one of those?
‘Love Is Blind’ Season 4 cast: All the singletons and their Instagrams
Love Is Blind is back for a fourth season, with 30 new singletons having signed up for the chance to look for love in the show's famous pods. The new installment of the Netflix dating show, hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey , is set in Seattle, and will follow singles who want to be loved for who they are, not what they look like. First, the cast will date in the pods where they can't see who is on the other side, before some will choose someone to marry without ever meeting the person in the flesh. Love Is Blind will then follow the newly engaged couples as they move in together, plan their wedding and find out if their physical connection matches the strong emotional bond they developed in the pods. When their wedding day arrives , will real-world realities and external factors push them apart, or will they marry the person they fell blindly in love with? Love Is Blind creator, and founder of production company Kinetic Content, Chris Coelen, revealed last year … [Read more...] about ‘Love Is Blind’ Season 4 cast: All the singletons and their Instagrams
“It’s a good investment”: Young couple buys and renovates old laundromat
One couple's journey to renovate a tired laundromat has captured viral attention as they finally opened their new and improved community hub. Erin Carpenter, 30, and her husband Jonathan, 33, have been renovating properties for years, and while on the hunt for their next project stumbled on a laundromat in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. "A laundromat was never really on my radar personally, but Jon is a very smart entrepreneur and businessman, he's always been interested in the concept of a laundromat," Carpenter told Newsweek . Married in June 2020, the couple had their own experience of using laundromats during their 4-month honeymoon living on the road in an RV: "We worked remotely, so we sometimes needed to work from laundromats. We took so many photos of them," said Carpenter. "They were places we spent a lot of time and there aren't a lot that are cozy and comfortable." In July 2022, the couple purchased the building in Charleston which had been a … [Read more...] about “It’s a good investment”: Young couple buys and renovates old laundromat