Technology 

Facebook to check Indian political ads in build-up to vote

A Facebook logo is pictured at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski NEW DELHI/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian advertisers wanting to run political ads on Facebook will have to confirm their identity and location to help prevent abuse of the system in the build-up to national elections, the company said on Thursday. Facebook Inc – under increasing scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica scandal – said it would start verifying ads from Thursday and, from next year, show a disclaimer on all political ads giving…

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Reality Check: Legal advice on the Brexit deal

Image copyright Reuters The government has been forced to publish the legal advice given to Prime Minister Theresa May by the Attorney General on the proposed backstop plan, to avoid a hard border in Ireland under all circumstances. The backstop, or guarantee, appears in a “Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland”, which forms part of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. It would only come into effect if a UK-EU trade agreement keeping the border open is not ready by the end of a post-Brexit transition period. Much of the advice…

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Reality Check: Are these councils defying the cuts?

Image copyright Alamy Councils are in trouble – this much we know. They are cutting services, spending more than they planned and dipping into their rainy-day funds. Perhaps the more pertinent question is not which councils are facing financial problems but are any managing to buck the trend. Pretty much no local authority in Britain has escaped the cuts. The only councils not to have made any since 2010 are the City of London and the Isles of Scilly, which have very small populations. But some have made smaller cuts…

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Is the shopping centre ready to check out?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham was built in 1964 In the 1960s shopping centres offered a vision of the future – large shiny complexes which looked to bring the ease and glamour of US suburban malls to UK town and city centres. From the 1970s to the 1990s they were followed by out-of-town shopping centres, often built on land which had recently housed Britain’s vanishing heavy industries. In the past decade there has been a 21st Century renaissance in the original concept…

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Reality Check: Where does your train fare go?

Image copyright PA Millions of commuters will be paying an extra 3.1% for their train tickets next year, following an announcement by the Rail Delivery Group – which represents the train operating companies. The decision to raise fares comes after months of disruption following problems with new timetables in May. But operators say the vast majority of fare income is invested back into the network. In fact for every £1 spent on a ticket, the Rail Delivery Group says 98p goes back into the railway. So how is it worked…

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Reality Check: Is Trump right about the Brexit deal?

“Sounds like a great deal for the EU,” is a pretty broad statement. But President Trump was talking in particular about the prospects for future trade agreements. “Right now, if you look at the (Brexit) deal,” he said, “they (the UK) may not be able to trade with us, and that wouldn’t be a good thing.” Of course, that shouldn’t be taken literally – it doesn’t mean no trade at all. But as long as the UK remains in a transition period after Brexit, or in a temporary customs union,…

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Reality Check: Theresa May’s Brexit letter

Image copyright AFP The prime minister has reported back to the House of Commons on the outcome of the EU’s Brexit summit in Brussels and urged MPs to vote in favour of the “best and only” available deal. Many of her arguments echoed those in a “letter to the nation” released by Downing Street over the weekend. BBC Reality Check has pulled out some of the key lines in the letter. Immigration Theresa May: “We will take back control of our borders, by putting an end to the free movement…

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Reality Check: What are the rules on building skyscrapers?

Image copyright DBOX for Foster + Partners A skyscraper measuring more than 300m high is planned for London – one of hundreds in the pipeline. So what are the rules for high-rise buildings? There’s already a Shard, not to mention a Walkie-Talkie, a Cheesegrater and a Gherkin. Much of London’s cityscape is filling up with colourfully named and nicknamed high-rise buildings. And the architect Lord Foster has put in planning permission for another. Known as the Tulip, it would be 305.3m (1,000ft) tall, consisting of a stem structure leading up…

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How to check if Black Friday deals really are cheaper

Image copyright Getty Images It’s time for that seasonal debate once again: Are so-called Black Friday bargains all they are cracked up to be? Research from the consumer group Which? suggests that most products are actually cheaper at other times of year. But the website Trusted Reviews said that Black Friday can indeed be the best time to buy many products, particularly tech items. As a result it is advising consumers to download their own price-trackers. Such trackers can show the history of prices charged, and whether they have been…

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Reality Check: Can you be ’employed’ for one hour’s work?

Image copyright Getty Images Just how many hours do you need to work to be officially classified as “employed”? Steve Garner, a sociologist, recently tweeted about how his son had repeatedly turned up to work at a warehouse only to be regularly told he wasn’t needed. Skip Twitter post by @SteveGarner5 My son’s new job: he gets up before 5 to walk 45 mins for 6.00 shift in a warehouse. No buses. So far he’s been sent home 4 times out of 8 because they already have enough ppl. They…

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