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California wildfires close Sequoia national park and prompt evacuations

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A complex of lightning-sparked wildfires burning in California’s Sierra Nevada has exploded in size, prompting evacuations and the shutdown of Sequoia national park, where the fire is burning close to the park’s names...

Only 10 Tory MPs vote against plan for national insurance rise

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Only 10 Tory MPs rebelled against the government’s introduction of a manifesto-busting tax increase to fund social care reforms and the NHS backlog caused by Covid. Il 1.25 percentage point national insurance hike fo...

‘It’s not sustainable’: overcrowding is changing the soul of US national parks

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On a two-lane road leading to Acadia national park’s picturesque Bass Harbor head lighthouse, traffic has come to a standstill. A row of cars wait to enter the parking lot, with one local turning around altogether to ...

A national anthem law may have finally silenced the NBA’s most outspoken owner

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As a Texas law that amounts to a near-total ban on abortion continues to make shockwaves around the world, another measure in the state goes largely unnoticed. Effective as of last Wednesday, it requires any Texas pro...

If national insurance must fund social care, at least make it fair

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The government could generate almost double the £12bn it expects to raise for health and social care if the national insurance system was made fairer, according to a group of economists. Ministers could fix the system...

Boris Johnson wins Commons vote on national insurance hike

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Plans to hike national insurance contributions (NICs) to fund £12bn for the NHS and social care have been passed by the Commons, with Boris Johnson spared a mass Tory rebellion. After springing a vote on MPs with just...

UK government orders national security review of graphene firm’s takeover

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Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has ordered a national security review of a takeover by a Chinese academic of a small Welsh manufacturer of graphene – the thinnest and lightest “supermaterial” known. In a rare move,...

Zero extinction target for NSW national parks welcomed by environment groups

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The NSW government has set a target of zero extinctions of native wildlife in the state’s national parks estate, the first time an Australian government has set the goal. The environment minister, Matt Kean, said the...

Keir Starmer rules out supporting national insurance rise

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The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has ruled out supporting an increase in national insurance contributions to fund the social care crisis, joining a chorus of critical voices that include Tory grandees opposed to the h...

UK politics: Starmer says Labour will not back plan to raise national insurance to fund social care – live

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Labour leader says increasing national insurance ‘hits low earners, young people and businesses’

Using national insurance to fund social care is regressive and unfair

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If fairness is the criterion by which to judge a tax (Editoriale, 3 settembre), we would never really have introduced national insurance. It’s both an income tax and an employment tax; it’s regressive; it’s not paid by...

National Trust could vote to ban trail-hunting on its land

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The National Trust could ban “trail-hunting” on its land when members vote on the hugely divisive issue next month. The charity has granted licences for the practice – in which hounds and riders follow a scent path la...

Tory plans to raise national insurance are regressive. There’s a better way

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The Conservative government is reported to be considering an increase of up to 1.25p in the pound in national insurance contributions from 26 million people in work to help cover the costs of patching up Britain’s cru...

Raising national insurance to fund social care is fraught with political risk

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After months of havering, the government is poised to make two big announcements in the coming weeks. Both break manifesto pledges, both are fraught with political danger. Primo, perhaps as early as next week, comes t...

Empty shelves are the only way Britain’s underpaid workers can grab national attention

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In the mid-noughties, I was economics producer at the BBC, working with the then economics editor, Evan Davis. He had just begun presenting a new programme called Dragons’ Den, and had noticed something odd about the ...

National Trust reports 383% rise in online donations during Covid crisis

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The National Trust has reported a 383% increase in online donations during the pandemic year when most of the charity’s venues were “put into hibernation”. Figures from the charity showed that online donationswere mor...

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