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Society | The Guardian

  • Cost of developing new drugs may be far lower than industry claims, trial reveals

    Exclusive: MSF calls for transparency after its bill for a trial of TB treatment came to a fraction of the billions claimed by pharmaceutical companies

    Doctors have for the first time released details of their spending on a major clinical trial, demonstrating that the true cost of developing a medicine may be far less than the billions of dollars claimed by the pharmaceutical industry.

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is challenging drug companies to be transparent about the cost of trials, which has always been shrouded in secrecy. Its own bill for landmark trials of a four-drug combination treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis came to €34m (£29m).

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  • Thursday briefing: How Michael Gove’s ‘new deal’ for renters went sour

    In today’s newsletter: The renters’ reform bill was meant to address a spiralling housing crisis, but as a watered-down version finally passes, we look at the ways a great hope has become a crushing disappointment

    Sign up here for our daily newsletter, First Edition

    Good morning, and if you are a landlord, congratulations on another successful day! Last night, housing secretary Michael Gove’s renters’ reform bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons – and despite its name, it isn’t great news for tenants.

    After years of promises of a bill that would sharply improve things for those living in expensive rental properties with inadequate guarantees on housing quality and the constant threat of eviction hanging over them, the final bill was so diluted that it lost the support of the charities that once had high hopes for it. The National Residential Landlords Association, on the other hand, said that it was “a fair deal”.

    Railways | Labour has said it will fully nationalise the train network within five years of coming to power, with a pledge to guarantee the cheapest fares as part of “the biggest reform of our railways for a generation”. The party says it will bring passenger services into public ownership as contracts with operators expire. Read Gwyn Topham’s analysis.

    UK news | A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after three people were stabbed at a school in south-west Wales. Two teachers and a pupil were taken to hospital with injuries described as not life-threatening.

    Ukraine | The era of peace in Europe is over, Ukraine’s foreign minister has warned western allies, as he said that a new $61bn US aid package must now be followed by increased arms production. In an interview with the Guardian, Dmytro Kuleba said that while the new round of US assistance was welcome, “no single package can stop the Russians.”

    London | Four people have been taken to hospital after several military horses broke loose during a morning exercise and bolted through central London, colliding with vehicles. Astonished witnesses described “total mayhem” as the runaway horses, including one white horse covered in blood, ran through the streets at rush-hour.

    Art | Claudette Johnson has been nominated for this year’s Turner prize for work including a portrait of the African-American slavery abolitionist Sarah Parker Remond, commissioned as part of the Guardian’s award-winning Cotton Capital series. Colonialism, migration, nationalism and identity politics are key themes in the 40th edition of the award, which returns to Tate Britain for the first time in six years.

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  • UK has worst rate of child alcohol consumption in world, report finds

    Study by World Health Organization shows more than half of children in Britain had drunk alcohol by age 13

    The UK has the worst rate of child alcohol abuse worldwide, and more than half of British children have drunk alcohol by the age of 13, according to a report.

    The study, one of the largest of its kind by the World Health Organization (WHO), looked at 2021-22 data on 280,000 children aged 11, 13 and 15 from 44 countries who were asked about alcohol, cigarettes and vape usage.

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  • From birds, to cattle, to … us? Could bird flu be the next pandemic? – podcast

    As bird flu is confirmed in 33 cattle herds across eight US states, Ian Sample talks to virologist Dr Ed Hutchinson of Glasgow University about why this development has taken scientists by surprise, and how prepared we are for the possibility it might start spreading among humans

    Read more Guardian reporting on this topic

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  • Deprivation linked to higher second cancer risk among England breast cancer survivors

    Cambridge study finds those from poorest areas have 35% higher risk of second non-breast cancer

    Female survivors of breast cancer living in the most deprived areas have a 35% higher risk of developing second, unrelated cancers, compared with those from the most affluent areas, research shows.

    Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, with about 56,000 people being told they have it each year. Improved diagnosis and treatments mean that five-year survival rates are now 86% in England.

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Community Care


Social Care Network | The Guardian

  • 'Don’t expect a survivor to tell you her experience of undergoing FGM'

    Specialist social workers explain how they support women and girls affected by the practice

    When social worker Sam Khalid [not her real name] first began working with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), she found there wasn’t much awareness of the brutal practice in the UK.

    She was in her first year at university, in 2011, on a placement with a Women’s Aid team. “The service I was placed in was just starting its FGM unit, and I learned about the practice and met and spoke to many survivors,” she says.

    This article was amended on 12 December 2018. An earlier version referenced statistics from a recent Guardian article which was taken down after the Guardian was notified of a fundamental error in the official data on which it was based.

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  • We want to attract the right people with the right values to social care | Caroline Dinenage

    New government recruitment campaign will raise the image and profile of the sector

    This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, but we must not forget that adult social care is also marking 70 years. The National Assistance Act 1948 that created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS act.

    In the NHS’s birthday month we have heard many stories of the dedicated nurses, doctors and support staff who have been saving and transforming lives across its seven decades. While these staff are rightly seen as the backbone of the NHS, hardworking care workers, nurses, social workers, managers and occupational therapists are, likewise, the foundation of the adult social care sector – and they have been on the same 70-year journey as colleagues in health. They are two sides of the same coin – inseparable and essential to each other.

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  • The UK project giving refugees another chance at childhood

    Young refugees face unspeakable trauma to get here. But a cross-charity initiative is helping them to rebuild their lives

    It is hard to be an adult when you feel like you haven’t had the chance to be a child.

    This simple statement has stayed with me over the last 12 months of working with young refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, a 17-year-old boy forced to sleep in a railway station for months; and another who witnessed the killing of his brother and father and escaped from his home country in fear of his life.

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  • UN: spend an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle global 'care crisis'

    Report highlights risk of rising inequality against women worldwide

    The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn (£5.3tn) on care by 2030.

    Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

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  • Theresa May got it wrong with her cash boost for the NHS. Here's why

    Assessing what the health service needs is essential before giving it more money to meet demand

    Four key things were missing from Theresa May’s announcement of extra money for the NHS.

    There was no admission that there is an NHS crisis that needs tackling. Or that money is needed now for both the the health service and social care. Without this emergency cash injection, there will be insufficient time and resource to make the necessary preparations to avoid a repeat – or indeed worsening – of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS and social care with the trail of waits, delays, suffering and extra deaths that accompanied it.

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Opinion | The Guardian

  • Fair to say America isn’t gripped by Liz Trussmania. Here's what she can learn from Mr Bean | Emma Brockes

    Our former PM has a dire warning and a book to sell, but it isn’t really cutting through. A bit more Brit-style bumbling might help

    ‘I know the name,” texts a friend when I ask if she knows who Liz Truss is, but like most Americans can’t quite put her finger on why. “Like 8%,” guesses another when I ask her to put a number on how many of her countrymen she imagines know of Truss. The standard response, in my extremely unscientific poll of Americans as to whether or not they know of Truss, however, was: “No, should I?” – the answer to which, of course, depends entirely on whether you want to understand why the Tory party is polling around 20% or whether you happen to be Liz Truss.

    Truss, the only one of us to suffer that particular misfortune, was in Washington DC this week trying, like so many minor British celebrities before her, to catch the eye of the Americans. At the Heritage Foundation, a rightwing thinktank that hosted the launch of Truss’s book Ten Years to Save the West, she came bearing a “warning”. Not an ideal ice-breaker, perhaps, but one clearly tailored to an audience receptive to the frisson of the term “forces of the global left”.

    Emma Brockes is a Guardian columnist

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  • Frank Field saw benefit in the Lib Dems. In this election year, Labour would be wise to do the same | Martin Kettle

    The late elder statesman understood the need for a progressive realignment of British politics. That prize shouldn’t be lost

    David Marquand and Frank Field, both of whom died this week, never sat on the Labour benches together. The professor of politics and the long-serving backbench MP had very different temperaments too, one searchingly academic, the other a bold moraliser. They also disagreed about many of the big issues in British politics, the European Union above all.

    But they also had some hugely important things in common. Both started as free-thinking Labour MPs – Marquand in 1966 and Field in 1979. Both possessed a rare degree of intellectual and spiritual hinterland. Both then went on lifetime political journeys. These took them increasingly away from Labour, though they always remained in Labour’s orbit.

    Martin Kettle is a Guardian columnist

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  • Smacking a child is just an act of violence. Why do England and Northern Ireland still allow it? | Frances Ryan

    It is perverse that adults are legally protected from violence, yet striking a child can be defended. Calls for a ban are getting louder

    When a child is scared of their parents, they can spend a long time plucking up the courage to talk. I learned this during a decade of volunteering as a Childline counsellor. There is a 20-second period, in between saying your name and waiting for them to share theirs, that is the most silent the air can ever be. You could hear a pin drop or just a caller’s breath echoing on the receiver. In that moment, a young girl who has been slapped by her father is deciding whether to ask for help or to hang up and try again to form the words in a week or two.

    I thought of this silence as I read calls from leading doctors to ban parents from smacking their children in England and Northern Ireland. Unlike in Scotland and Wales – where over the past four years the Victorian-era law that allows it has been overturned – it is still legal for a parent or carer to hit, smack or slap their child if it is a “reasonable” punishment.

    Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist and author of Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation of Disabled People

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  • Lies, confections, distortions: how the right made London the most vilified place in Britain | Aditya Chakrabortty

    Our capital has many problems, but it is time to push back against attacks from those who neither know nor understand it

    I have been reading about the most abysmal place. It is a land where children, red-faced with their own radicalism, march alongside bearded Islamists to make the streets a no-go zone, while nodding-dog liberals curse the Brexiter masses for inflating the cost of their arugula. It boasts an infinite array of pronouns; multimillion-pound townhouses whose residents demand you check your privilege; a thousand rainbow flags, but not a single St George’s cross. It is rife with criminal behaviour, which extends far beyond the prices charged by pub landlords. Hieronymus Bosch, put down your paintbrush: this place truly is Hell.

    It also happens to be my home.

    Aditya Chakrabortty is a Guardian columnist

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  • A grownup debate, not game-playing, is the only way to address the refugee crisis | Letters

    Colin Montgomery, Daniel Fenton, Federico Moscogiuri, Alwyn Jones and Martin Coult on small boats, deaths in the Channel and the passing of the safety of Rwanda bill

    Daniel Boffey’s account of those desperate souls attempting to cross the Channel – where five people drowned this week – was one of the most powerful pieces of journalism I’ve read for a long time (‘England is hope’: some say they will try again – despite Channel deaths, 23 April). That it was published on the same day as Rafael Behr’s equally incisive take on the matter (Starmer must drain the poison from the immigration debate – it’s what the public wants, 24 April), as viewed through the prism of domestic politics and attitudes towards immigration here in the UK, seemed all too fitting.

    These two articles are two sides of the same coin yet worlds apart, reflecting a toxic duality that seems to be the defining characteristic of this issue – both for those who seek to come here and for those in their prospective new home. Hope and horror coexist – intertwined yet strangers to each other. Ditto pragmatism and principle, feelings and facts, hate and humanity.

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