UK's best and worst locations for broadband speeds revealed

Despite pledges by the Government to ensure a bare minimum connection speed of 10 Megabits per second, 12 local authority areas are failing reach this level
Households across the UK are still lumbered with substandard broadband and Scotland is the worst-affected region for slow internet connections, new research has found.
The consumer group Which? has revealed the best and worst performing areas of the country and the bottom three – the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and the Highlands – are all north of the border.
Tamworth in the West Midlands took the top spot for fastest average internet connection, followed by Reading, Adur in West Sussex, Enfield and Dundee.
Read more Welsh village completely cut off from the web finally gets broadband Despite pledges by the Government to ensure a bare minimum connection speed of 10 Megabits per second, Which? found that 12 local authority areas are failing reach this level.
Most of the local authority areas with the slowest connections..

Number of zero hours contracts rises by 100,000 in 2017, says ONS

There were 1.8 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum numbers of hours in the year to November 2017. The equivalent number in November 2016 was 1.7 million
The number of zero hour contracts in the UK labour market rose by around 100,000 last year according to the Office for National Statistics.
The agency reported that in its latest survey of firms there were 1.8 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum numbers of hours in the year to November 2017. The equivalent number in November 2016 was 1.7 million.
Read more The Taylor review fails to address underlying workplace problems However, as a share of all contracts, the proportion of zero hours contracts was unchanged at 6 per cent.
The ONS also said that the survey that collected the data changed from being voluntary to compulsory between the two periods, meaning that the year-on-year comparison should be “treated with caution”.
The highest number of zero hour contracts recorded by the survey was 2.1 milli..

Capita shares jump as it unveils plans to raise £701m from shareholders to restructure

Rising costs and contract problems have hit the company hard over the past year
Outsourcing group Capita’s shares rose at the open despite the firm reporting widening losses as it unveiled plans to raise £701m to fund a restructure.
The company, which carries out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the government and also runs the London congestion charge scheme, posted a 4 per cent drop in revenue to £4.12bn from £4.27bn in 2016.
The pre-tax loss widened to £513m from a loss of £90m the year before, and the operating loss also widened to £420m, from £16m. The firm slashed its dividend by 65 per cent to 11.1p, compared with 31.7p in 2016.
Read more Here's what Capita does and what you need to know about the firm The group put its widening losses down to contract difficulties and increased costs, and said it “does not expect to be able to offset these challenges through the benefit of cost actions and new business wins”.
Instead, the group will restructure to “bec..

By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe

By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe Photo Undocumented immigrants arrested last year by Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces. The European Union has made the country a nerve center for an effort to counter human smuggling, but many migration advocates say the moral cost is high. Credit Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters ABU JAMAL, Sudan — At Sudan’s eastern border, Lt. Samih Omar led two patrol cars slowly over the rutted desert, past a cow’s carcass, before halting on the unmarked 2,000-mile route that thousands of East Africans follow each year in trying to reach the Mediterranean, and then onward to Europe.
His patrols along this border with Eritrea are helping Sudan crack down on one of the busiest passages on the European migration trail. Yet Lieutenant Omar is no simple border agent. He works for Sudan’s feared secret police, whose leaders are accused of war crimes — and, more recently, whose officers have been accused of torturing migrants.
Indirectly, he is al..

State and Local Jobs Under Siege as a Middle-Class Gateway

State and Local Jobs Under Siege as a Middle-Class Gateway
OKLAHOMA CITY — The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has helped reshape the American political map and topple longstanding policies on tariffs and immigration.
But globalization and automation aren’t the only forces responsible for the loss of those reliable paychecks. So is the steady erosion of the public sector.
For generations of Americans, working for a state or local government — as a teacher, firefighter, bus driver or nurse — provided a comfortable nook in the middle class. No less than automobile assembly lines and steel plants, the public sector ensured that even workers without a college education could afford a home, a minivan, movie nights and a family vacation.
In recent years, though, the ranks of state and local employees have languished even as the populations they serve have grown. They now account for the smallest share of the American civilian..

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain Photo Gary Gensler, a senior lecturer at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, at the M.I.T. Media Lab. Mr. Gensler, once one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, will teach a class on the blockchain in the fall. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO — Gary Gensler was one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, the finance chief for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and, before both of those jobs, a partner at Goldman Sachs.
Now, like many other big names from business and government, he is plunging into the world of the blockchain, the data-tracking technology introduced by Bitcoin.
Mr. Gensler, 60, has recently gone to work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will write and teach about the potential he sees for blockchains to change the financial world.
He will also use his position to warn about how many of the current projects..

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company Photo President Trump’s attacks on the Amazon and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, have opened the door for the company’s critics. Credit Jason Redmond/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images One of Amazon’s antagonists seized the moment last month with an unusual newspaper advertisement addressed to President Trump. The ad, from a nonprofit that advocates less government, attacked a Defense Department technology contract that Amazon intends to bid on, calling it a lucrative handout for the company.
A top think tank critic of Amazon’s market power also credited Mr. Trump on Twitter this month for blasting the internet retailer’s relationship with the United States Postal Service. And the head of a leading labor union said more Americans in both parties should speak out, as Mr. Trump has, about Amazon’s harmful effect on jobs.
As Mr. Trump has become Amazon’s basher in chief with his frequent Twitter attacks on the company an..