General Electric drops out of Dow index


GE workerImage copyright
Getty Images

General Electric is losing its place on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after more than 100 years in a move that reflects a fall in the firm’s fortunes and changes to the US economy.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is to take its spot on the financial index, which tracks shares of 30 companies deemed representative of the US economy.

The change takes effect on 26 June.

The firm that runs the index said the change is meant to reflect the growth of the healthcare sector.

“Today’s change to the [Dow Jones Industrial Average] will make the index a better measure of the economy and the stock market,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The move follows a difficult period for General Electric.

The firm’s share price has fallen by more than 50% over the last 12 months and it has replaced its chief executive and announced a series of cuts in an effort to reposition itself.

‘Stronger, simpler GE’

General Electric said it is focused on executing the plan it has laid out to improve GE’s performance.

“Today’s announcement does nothing to change those commitments or our focus in creating… a stronger, simpler GE.”

General Electric, one of the original companies included on the Dow, traces its roots to Thomas Edison’s light bulb business in the 1890s.

It grew to become one of America’s biggest companies, an industrial conglomerate that also owned the NBC Universal media company and operated a major finance division.

Over the last decade, the firm has sold off a number of business units, including NBC, GE Capital and its appliances division, responding to losses triggered by the financial crisis and poor performance against competitors.

The firm, which employed more than 300,000 people globally at the end of last year, is seeking to sell its light bulb business. Last month the company announced a deal to offload its railroad division.

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Getty Images

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Walgreens has been expanding rapidly

The committee that oversees the Dow, which is run by a division of S&P Global, reviews the composition of the index regularly.

It replaced AT&T with Apple in 2015.

Walgreens, founded as a neighbourhood pharmacy in 1901, has been rapidly expanding in recent years.

It leapt onto the global stage in 2012 when it acquired a stake in Alliance Boots, taking full ownership in 2014. The firm, based in Illinois, also acquired more than 1,900 stores from Rite-Aid last year.

Commons set for Brexit vote showdown


Brexit protesters at WestminsterImage copyright
PA

The row over how much of a say MPs should get in the Brexit process returns to the House of Commons later.

On Monday, the House of Lords again defeated the government over giving MPs a “meaningful vote” on the outcome of negotiations between the UK and the EU.

MPs now have to decide whether they agree with the Lords or with the government.

With several Tories threatening to vote against the government, numbers in the Commons are expected to be tight.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 and negotiations have been taking place over the terms of its departure.

The tussle between the Commons and the House of Lords, known as Parliamentary ping-pong, focuses on what happens if the UK government cannot or does not reach a deal with the EU.

The change to the EU Withdrawal Bill put forward by the Lords would give MPs a greater say in these scenarios.

Labour has urged its MPs to support the Lords’ amendment, describing it as the “last chance” for Parliament to guard against “a no-deal Brexit” which it says would damage the economy.

But the government says giving Parliament the power to intervene in negotiations would bind Theresa May’s hands in the talks.

Haven’t MPs already voted on this?

Yes – last week the Commons overturned a differently-worded House of Lords amendment on the same subject, after would-be rebels who support giving Parliament a greater role agreed not to vote against the government.

But the would-be rebels were unhappy at the government’s subsequent offer to meet their concerns, describing it as a “slap in the face”.

On Monday the government was defeated by 119 votes in the Lords, who tabled a new amendment which would mean MPs have to “approve” whatever the government decides to do if there is no Brexit deal.

MPs will debate and vote on these two rival amendments later when the bill returns to the House of Commons.

Theresa May’s Conservatives do not have a majority in the House of Commons, and ministers will be hoping Tory MPs unhappy at what has been offered so far do not decide to rebel this time.

As well as what the would-be Tory rebels choose to do, the number of Labour MPs voting with the government could also be a key factor.

The sticking points

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House of Lords

The debate centres on what happens in three Brexit scenarios:

  • If MPs vote down the UK-EU Brexit deal
  • If Theresa May announces before 21 January 2019 that no deal has been reached
  • If 21 January passes with no deal being struck.

Under these circumstances, the government has said, a minister will make a statement in Parliament, setting out the proposed next steps.

MPs will then vote on this statement. According to the government, this vote should be “on neutral terms”, with MPs simply noting what has been said.

But the Lords’ amendment goes further, saying MPs should have to “approve” the minister’s statement.

‘A sensible compromise’

One of the leading Tory rebels, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, has said he hopes Downing Street will take note of the Lords vote and that the two sides can resolve their differences in a way that “honoured” the trust that he and other MPs had placed in Theresa May following their meeting with her last week.

“I am hopeful the government will listen to what has come back from the Lords and we may be able to achieve some form of sensible compromise,” he said on Tuesday.

“The differences between us is not very great, but it is a significant difference.

“It is absolutely right Parliament cannot micromanage the government’s negotiating.

“To be absolutely clear, if this amendment was carried in the Commons, it would not force the government to do something.”

EU has ‘serious’ differences with UK

Meanwhile, the EU has said there are “serious divergences” with the UK on a key issue in the negotiations – what happens to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit.

The UK and the EU have published a joint statement outlining the progress that has been made in the talks so far.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, praised the “dedication and commitment” of the negotiating teams, and said progress had been made in “separation issues” like customs, VAT and the European nuclear agreement, Euratom.

Repeating his call for a “fully operational backstop” to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland, he added: “Today marks a step forward in these negotiations. but a lot more work needs to be done before October.”

Legalising cannabis: What you need to know


Cannabis plantsImage copyright
Getty Images

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The government has said it will review the medicinal use of cannabis

The government has said it will review the use of medicinal cannabis, although recreational usage will still be illegal.

What is cannabis?

Cannabis is the most widely-used illegal drug in Britain, according to drugs advice service Frank.

It comes from the cannabis plant and contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which affects the mind and mood.

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Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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Cannabis comes from the cannabis plant

The THC can give users a “chilled out” feeling but it can also cause hallucinations and make people feel paranoid and panicked.

It is normally smoked but can also be eaten and comes in three main forms:

  • Hash – a lump of resin
  • Marijuana – the dried leaves and flowering parts of the female plant
  • Oil – a thick honey-like substance

What does the law say?

Cannabis is a class B drug meaning it it is illegal to possess.

Anyone found with the drug could be imprisoned for up to five years while supplying it can be punished with a 14-year jail sentence or an unlimited fine.

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Lewis Whyld/PA.

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Supplying cannabis can lead to a 14-year jail term or unlimited fine

The penalty depends on the amount of the drug, the person’s criminal history and other aggravating or mitigating factors.

Police can also issue a warning or an on-the-spot fine of £90 to someone found with cannabis.

Alternatively, officers could issue a cannabis warning which goes on a person’s record but is not revealed by a standard criminal records check.

Of the 16,101 convictions for cannabis possession in the UK in 2016, 292 were jailed.

The legality of recreational use is not up for debate, the government has said.

What is medicinal cannabis?

Cannabis also contains cannabidiol (CBD) which scientists are investigating as a medical treatment.

CBD-based treatments have shown some promising results for reducing seizures in children with severe epilepsies.

Medical trials have largely focused on pharmacological preparations, but some parents of children with epilepsy have been buying oils containing CBD and THC.

The mother of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell has reignited the debate about legalising the drug after saying it helps calm her son’s seizures caused by severe epilepsy.

Charlotte Caldwell, from County Tyrone, had been to Canada to buy her son cannabis oil but it was confiscated upon her return to the UK.

The Home Office then returned the drug to Ms Caldwell and her son, who had been admitted to hospital, under a special 20-day licence.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCannabis oil row: Mother calls for drug to be legalised

There is currently little scientific evidence on the safety and effectiveness of these oils as a treatment for epilepsy, although they do contain the same active ingredients.

Meanwhile, Sativex, a cannabis-based spray, has been able to be legally prescribed since 2006.

It is licensed to treat muscle stiffness and spasms in people with multiple sclerosis and although it is available throughout the UK, only in Wales can it be got for free on the NHS.

Doctors could, in theory, prescribe it for other things outside of this licence, but at their own risk.

Another licensed treatment is Nabilone.

It contains an artificial version of THC and can be given to cancer patients to help relieve nausea during chemotherapy.

What are the effects of cannabis?

Regular recreational cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, according to the NHS.

This risk is higher if it is used by teenagers and younger people as the drug interferes with development of the still-growing brain.

Long-term use can also affect the ability to learn and concentrate.

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PA

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Recreational cannabis is often smoked

Effects of using the drug can include a feeling of happiness and relaxation but it can also make users feel sick, faint and sleepy and cause memory loss.

About 10% of regular users of cannabis become addicted to the drug, the NHS said.

Withdrawal symptoms can include mood swings, restlessness and difficulty sleeping.

In recent years, various stronger types of cannabis, grown for their higher concentration of the main active ingredient THC have invaded the street market.

It’s argued that cannabis with high levels of THC can lead to people developing psychiatric issues.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, there is sufficient evidence to show that people who use cannabis, particularly at a younger age, such as around the age of 15, have a higher than average risk of developing a psychotic illness, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

The two-part government review will be looking at how cannabis-based treatments will work.

Firstly, it will make recommendations on which cannabis-based medicines might offer real medical and therapeutic benefits to patients.

In the second part, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will consider whether changes should be made to the classification of these products after assessing “the balance of harms and public health needs”.

Why are some calling for a law change?

More than 25,000 people signed a recent petition calling on the government to legalise cannabis for both recreational and medicinal uses.

The petition’s founders said banning the drug failed to reduce its use and it was “hypocritical” of the government to allow the sale of alcohol and tobacco but not cannabis.

They also said selling the drug in licensed shops would limit the access of young people to cannabis and also regulate the THC level.

The campaigners said cannabis has “shown promise” in reducing seizures and “is far safer” than other painkillers.

It has also been argued that licensing and selling cannabis could net up to £3.5bn for the government.

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Reuters

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Campaigners want cannabis legalised in the UK

The government said fully-tested medicinal cannabis products can already be licensed for sale in the UK, such as Sativex, and it is open to further applications.

Former Conservative leader Lord Hague has called for a “decisive change” in the law on cannabis saying “any war” against the drug had been “irreversibly lost”.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said said the case of Billy Caldwell was an “illuminating moment” which revealed government policy to be “inappropriate, ineffective and utterly out of date”.

In response, the government said it had “no intention” of reviewing cannabis’ classification.

It said: “There is strong scientific and medical evidence that cannabis is a harmful drug which can be detrimental to people’s mental and physical health.”

It added that any debate about the medicinal benefits of cannabis-based medicines did not extend to illicit possession.

What do other countries do?

Many other countries, including much of the US, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, have legalised the use of medicinal cannabis.

On Monday, Canada’s House of Commons voted to legalise recreational cannabis.

Uruguay legalised the recreational use of cannabis in 2013 with people allowed to grow up to six plants at home for personal use.

In Spain, it is legal to use cannabis in private places and cultivate plants for personal use.

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Getty Images

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Canada’s House of Commons has just voted to legalise cannabis

Cannabis use in the Netherlands is technically illegal but possession of up to 5g (0.2oz) for personal use is decriminalised, although police can confiscate the drug.

Use is accepted at certain coffee shops.

Recreational use is also decriminalised in several other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica and Luxembourg.

Tent of dreams


SaraImage copyright
Paddy Dowling

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Sara’s home has been a tent for the past three years, since being forced from Syria by war

At the age of just 11, Sara’s plans for the future are already clear.

“I will become a surgeon,” she says firmly.

It’s a noble ambition, shared by youngsters the world over.

But unlike many of her peers, Sara has more hurdles to overcome to achieve her goal.

Because Sara, along with her parents and three little brothers, Ali, Deeb and Hadi, currently lives in a two-room tent in an informal settlement in the Zahle District in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon.

‘Lost generation’

They are refugees from Syria.

The youngster is one of millions of children around the world who are currently displaced due to conflict, violence and war – and whose plight is highlighted on World Refugee Day.

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Paddy Dowling

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Sara is attending school and wants to have a career when she grows up

These young people have often been dubbed the “lost generation” – at risk of missing out on the basic entitlements of a happy, peaceful childhood – such as an education.

Sara could be considered one of the lucky ones – she is attending primary school, and talks about her school experiences with pride.

With the aid of an interpreter, Sara explains how she takes a bus each day to an elementary school in Taalabaya, Beqaa Valley.

She has classes in Arabic, English, maths, science, geography, sports and arts.

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Getty Images

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Millions have been displaced from their homes in Syria by the destruction of war

School is enjoyable; her favourite things she says, are “the school and teachers, friends and classes”.

And her favourite subject is English “because I love the teacher”.

Homework in a tent

Outside of school, she helps at home, and plays with her brothers.

While adulthood is still some years away, Sara’s eye is on her future career.

“I will become a surgeon, a doctor, in the future,” she says, her reason simply “because they take care of people.”

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Getty Images

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Syria’s refugees are making a new kind of family in camps scattered across the region

The youngster says she knows she will have to study hard, and believes her school is helping her on the path to success – science is a “good subject” for her, she says.

Her homework is done in the main room of the family’s tent, built by her father Ghassan, for $1,000 at $100 a month.

It has been the family’s home for the last three years.

‘A safe place’

Sara and her family moved to Lebanon five years ago, after their home in Syria was attacked and partially collapsed, leaving neighbours fearing they had died in the blast.

By this point, they had already been displaced several times due to the conflict, and Sara was around six years old when the family were forced to leave the country.

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Getty Images

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There have been worries about Syria’s “lost generation”

In their homeland, Ghassan was a tailor – he now takes on any kind of work to provide for his family.

His wife, and Sara’s mother, Fatima, was a kindergarten teacher in Syria, but differences in the curriculum between the two countries means she is not currently working.

The youngster says she misses her family and house in Syria, and that in Lebanon they live a very “different life”.

She has hopes that the family will be able to live somewhere else, saying: “The tent is very hot in summer and very cold in winter.”

Asked where she would like to live in the future, she has a very simple wish: “A place there is no violence. In a safe place.”

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Getty Images

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A displaced family in northern Syria now living inside a vehicle

Sara’s education has been provided by a partnership between the UN agency, UNRWA, which works with Palestinian refugees, and the Education Above All Foundation (EAA).

The partnership is providing primary education to out-of-school Palestinian refugee children who have had to leave Syrian schools due to the conflict.

By working together, they have reached more than 66,000 primary-level children across Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

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Getty Images

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Refugees can spend years in camps

The Foundation itself has committed to providing education for more than 10 million children who do not have access to good quality schooling, with 6.6 million youngsters already enrolled.

Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, executive director of Educate A Child, one of EAA’s programmes, says that Sara’s story “illustrates the fundamental importance of education in transforming the lives of children who have been displaced”.

“Every child should have the opportunity to enjoy school in the way Sara does, regardless of their difficult circumstances,” she says.

She adds: “As a global community we have a responsibility to reach every single out of school child”.


More from Global education

The editor of Global education is sean.coughlan@bbc.co.uk


Amazon Echo comes to Marriott hotels


Amazon Echo by a bedside tableImage copyright
Amazon

Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa will be installed in some US Marriott-owned hotels, following a partnership between the two firms.

Its functions will include ordering room service, housekeeping and providing concierge advice, the firm said.

The Wynn Resorts chain in Las Vegas installed the Amazon Echo in around 5,000 hotel suites in 2016.

Marriott is reported to have considered both Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

A spokesperson told the Financial Times the deal with Amazon was not exclusive.

“This was not a direct comparison with Siri,” said Tracey Schroeder, Marriott’s vice-president of global consumer public relations.

In 2016 Aloft Hotels, which is owned by Marriott, introduced voice-activated hotel rooms controlled via Siri, and a custom-built app on an iPad.

“Today’s early adopter, hyper-connected global traveller wants a level of personalisation unlike ever before, and that means being able to control their hotel experience with the sound of their voice,” said global brand leader Brian McGuinness at the time.

However the latest news was not welcomed by all.

“I will pay a premium for any hotel room that does not have one of these devices in it,” tweeted journalist Kate Allen.

“Alexa. Can you err leave the room?” responded Natalie de Freitas.

If You Want to Be Speaker, Mr. Crowley, Don’t Take Voters for Granted


When asking New Yorkers for their vote, most candidates would begin by showing up.

Not Representative Joseph Crowley. No, Mr. Crowley, a 10-term Democratic congressman who reportedly has ambitions of serving as House speaker, chose to skip a debate Monday night with his primary challenger, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He sent a surrogate instead, former City Councilwoman Annabel Palma.

This is the second primary debate in which Mr. Crowley was a no-show. A spokeswoman for Mr. Crowley said he had scheduling conflicts that wouldn’t allow him to attend the two debates, inevitably leaving voters to wonder — what are we, chopped liver?

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Joseph Crowley sent a surrogate, former City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, left, to debate his primary challenger, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.CreditSheikh Musa Drammeh/Parkchester Times

Indeed, the snubs should be galling not only to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Mr. Crowley’s constituents in New York’s 14th Congressional District, in Queens and the Bronx, but also to anyone who cares about the democratic process.

Meet Kamille: The stockbroker who writes hits for Little Mix and Jess Glynne


KamilleImage copyright
Virgin EMI

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The singer-songwriter has penned four UK number one singles to date

You don’t get many pop stars with a degree in economics… but that’s just one of the things that makes Camille Purcell unique.

The South London singer quit a lucrative job as a City stockbroker six years ago to try her hand at songwriting.

Her first song, What About Us, gave girl group The Saturdays a number one. Since then, she’s become Little Mix’s go-to songwriter, composing hits like Black Magic and the Brit award-winning Shout Out To My Ex.

“Camille knows us so well,” says the band’s Perrie Edwards. “She knows what we want to write about, she knows what sound we’re going for. She’s incredible. She’s so talented.”

Purcell also wrote this week’s number one single, Jess Glynne’s I’ll Be There, while another of her compositions, Clean Bandit’s Solo, looks set to replace it on Friday.

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old just released her own song, Emotional, under the stage name Kamille.

We caught up with her at The Great Escape festival last month to chat about finance, heartache and the advice she got from Simon Cowell.

Hey Kamille. You’re doing pretty well at the moment, huh?

I’m so happy! When I started songwriting, I walked out of my job and I had nothing. My parents were always big on education, and we fell out. They were like, “What are you doing with your life?”

So for it to go 360 and put me in a position where it’s going really well, it makes me so happy.

Did you enjoy working in the city?

I thought it was great. It’s literally a place where you can strive and be successful. But I was too musically inclined.

People in finance often work ridiculous hours… How does music compare?

I don’t go home in this job either, so there’s some similarities there, but the dress code’s easier. I can be wearing tracksuit bottoms instead of a three-piece suit.

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Getty Images

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Purcell was born and raised in Streatham, South London before studying economics at university

When you were starting out, you worked as a vocal coach on X Factor. Did Simon Cowell ever offer you any advice?

Yes! His best advice has been to give the audience what they want. Don’t try and over-think it and be too clever – because the audience know what they want to listen to. That’s the best advice.

What’s it like working with Little Mix?

I’ve seen the girls cry, laugh… everything in front of me. I feel like their big sister, if I’m honest, through the lyrics.

I think that’s why we’ve been working together so long, because I’m in love with those girls. I stalk them!

The new album – you just wait. They are going to slay.

When you see how hard they work, is there a part of you that thinks, ‘I’m happier over here in the background’?

I know what you mean – you’d think it would put you off, but when I see them on stage I really want to be up there so bad.

I went to see them at the O2 last year and they did eight of my songs. I was watching it from the wings and thinking, ‘This is just out of control!’ I couldn’t have been prouder.

What can you tell us about writing with Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne?

I love that Clean Bandit track. We only wrote that a month ago and it’s out already. Super-fast.

And Jess Glynne… Oh my gosh! Me and her went through break-ups at the same time and she would call me in the middle of the night and make sure I wasn’t crying. I’ll always have a soft spot for that song. It makes me feel really emotional when I hear it.

How do you know when a song is for you and not for, say, Little Mix?

A lot of the time I get invited into a [writing] session by the label, so I’m writing for that artist specifically.

We always get to know each other at the start of the session because you can’t just write a song cold. You’ve got to have a bit of convo. And you tend to find out things about them – break-ups, if they’re happy, what they’re going through. Once I’m on the piano and writing, something they’ve said will come into my mind.

My own songs tend to be a lot more free, lyrically. I’m not holding myself back. Those songs couldn’t be for anybody else.

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PA

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Little Mix won a Brit Award for Shout Out To My Ex, which they co-wrote with Purcell

On last year’s My Head’s A Mess EP, you seemed to be singing a lot about your ex.

Oh Lord! Let’s not even get into that! I’ve just got over it. It was a tough break-up and it made me write a lot of songs about being hurt and wishing someone could see how much you love them.

Now I’m in a much, much better place [and] singing those songs gives me a lot of strength and makes me feel empowered.

Your solo material is much more soulful than the pop tunes you’re known for. Have you deliberately separated the two branches of your career?

What I’m intending to do is show all sides of me. I’m Jamaican and Cuban and that’s the kind of music that was going on in my household growing up.

Every song you’re going to hear from me will be something different. I’m more interested in creating a playlist for people, as opposed to sticking to a [musical] theme.

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Media captionKamille premieres her single Emotional on DJ Target’s 1 Xtra show.

Ten years ago, a record label would have advised you to stick to one genre. What’s changed?

I think nowadays fans are listening to a whole range of things on Spotify and Apple Music. They aren’t listening to one genre any more, they’re listening to what fits their mood.

Someone who does that so well is Drake. Every song he has can fit a different situation – whether you’re in a car or at a barbecue or feeling sad or you want to have sex.

Could you do all three? Is there a sad sex barbecue song waiting to be written?

You could so have a sad sex barbecue song! I’ve actually got a term called “sexual sadness”. It started with a song with The Script, called Rain, where the whole idea was you’re standing in a club and you want to have sex but you’re heartbroken: sexual sadness.

And that’s kind of what I did with [Clean Bandit’s] Solo as well. I wanted to write about that feeling where you’ve broken up with someone and you’re not ready to move on but you’re really horny. So I think sad sexual barbecue should be the next craze.

I can picture the video now.

That would be brilliant! What is wrong with us? That is all kinds of wrong!

Kamille’s single Emotional is out now on Virgin EMI.

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Seven shootings in the history of rap


The death of XXXTentacion – one of the biggest names in SoundCloud rap, who was loved by his fans but reviled for violent domestic abuse – has shocked hip hop followers.

With the murder of another US rapper, Jimmy Wopo, reported just a few hours after XXXTentacion’s killing, here are some major hip-hop artists killed or seriously injured in shootings and violence.

June 2018
Jimmy Wopo

The 21-year-old Pittsburgh rising star was killed on the same day as XXXTentacion, in a drive-by shooting in the town where he grew up and had earned a large fan base.

He started rapping as a child to earn money from adults in his neighbourhood, according to interviews, and flourished in a studio run by his local church. His most successful track was Elm Street, on which he documented life in Pittsburgh.

Fellow rappers Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, who are from the same US town, posted tributes to Wopo after his death.

Wopo has been shot twice before – and has told journalists that the first time it happened he sought revenge, but that later he changed his perspective and had more hope for his own life.

June 2018
XXXTentacion

The 20-year-old, real name Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was murdered on Monday.

Detectives say they are searching for suspects after he was shot in the front seat of a luxury sports car in Florida, in what they suspect could be an armed robbery.

Combining elements of emo and hip-hop in his music, XXXTentancion was perhaps the leading star in the SoundCloud rap genre and tracks like SAD! had upwards of 250 million Spotify streams.

He was also the perpetrator of shocking violence.

He was jailed in 2015 for domestic abuse of his then-pregnant girlfriend – who described being kept prisoner, strangled and severely beaten by her partner – and he has spoken openly about attempting to kill a cellmate in a homophobic attack while he was in prison.

Despite this, his first album secured SoundCloud rap its first Billboard number 1 and praise and grief followed his death.

Kanye West tweeted: “rest in peace… I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here.”

October 2002
Jam Master Jay

Olel Right (L) and Lionel Frazer (R) look at a wall of flowers and cards outside a music studio in Queens, New York 31 October, 2002 where former Run DMC member Jason Mizell, who was also known as DJ Jam Master Jay, was shot and killed late 30 October. There was no immediate word on the motive for the shooting of Jam Master Jay who was in his studio in New York's Queens neighborhood with another man. The other unidentified man suffers from a wound in the arm. AFP PHOTO/Mat

Killed in Queens, New York, at the age of 37, Jam Master Jay is remembered as a pivotal figure in the rise of 1980s hip hop.

Real name Jason Mizell, he was the DJ for Run-DMC, a group that since its 1981 formation had pioneered East Coast hip hop and scratch, and that became famous for tracks like It’s Like That and Walk This Way.

NEW YORK - AUGUST 29: (FILE PHOTO) Jason Mizell, 'Jam Master Jay' of Run DMC, arrives at Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs and Guy Osery's 'The Greatest Party Of All Time' presented by RBK at Cipriani August 29, 2002 in New York City. Jam Master Jay, whose given name is Jason Mizell, was shot and killed inside a Queens, New York studio October 30, 2002, according to a group representive. Police, who say two unidentified men were shot around 7:30 p.m. local time, have confirmed that one man was dead on arriv

The band toured with the Beastie Boys, made their album Raising Hell one of the biggest selling in hip hop of all time, and helped bring the genre into the mainstream.

At the time of his death Mizell had been focusing on Jam Master Jay records, the label he founded and which is best known for signing 50 Cent and Onyx.

His murder remains unsolved. In the aftermath, Run-DMC officially disbanded – and rap star Ice Cube said the reputation of hip hop suffered: the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music was later created in his name by his wife and closest friends.

October 2001
The Game

The Game is now considered an instrumental force in West Coast rap, and crucial to its revival in the 2000s.

He was signed by Dr Dre and, in the course of a tumultuous relationship with G-Unit and figures including 50 Cent, created widely celebrated albums including The Documentary and LAX.

His best known tracks include How We Do and 100, featuring Drake.

He wasn’t a rapper when he was shot in 2001, however. Then, he went by the name Jayceon Taylor and was a drug dealer in the California city of Compton. He slipped into a coma for three days after being gunned down at his home – and decided to become a rapper during his recovery period.

He also now runs a 60 days of fitness programme which offers workout and meal plans for subscribers.

May 2000
50 Cent

The shooting and surivial of rapper 50 Cent is one of the best known stories of recent rap history.

US rapper Curtis '50cent' Jackson speaks at the launch of his headphone range from SMS audio at the 52nd edition of the 'IFA' trade fair in Berlin on August 30, 2012. IFA, the world's largest consumer electronics and home appliances fair opens to the public from August 31st to September 5, 2012.AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

50 Cent – real name Curtis Jackson – was shot nine times in the Queens neighbourhood of New York while his grandmother planted flowers in the garden nearby. He was shot in his hands and face, and legs, which were broken in three places.

“It doesn’t hurt as much as what people imagine it hurts,” he told Oprah in an interview in 2012. He believes the man who shot him died shortly after the incident, and another man who paid him was jailed.

Jackson was dropped by his label during the five months it took him to recover, but later went on to become one of the world’s biggest rappers.

March 1997
The Notorious B.I.G.

At the age of 24, The Notorious B.I.G. – real name Christopher Wallace – was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.

His death was an explosive development in the ongoing West Coast-East Coast feud in hip hop. Biggie – as he was known – created hits including Mo Money Mo Problems and Hypnotize, on albums including Life After Death and Ready To Die.

He’s praised for both a smooth, funky sound and lyrics about lawlessness and struggle in tough inner city circumstances, and worked closely with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.

The circumstances around killing are still shrouded in mystery: Biggie had previously spoken of deep paranoia around “getting [his] brains blown out” and reportedly slept with a gun under his mattress.

Wallace married singer and songwriter Faith Evans in 1994, and was survived by two children. His family have filed a lawsuit holding Los Angeles Police responsible for his murder, but officers have claimed a feud between rival record labels is to blame.

September 1996
Tupac Shakur

A wall dedicated to the memory of US rapper Tupac Shakur is seen on May 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Twenty years after his death, Tupac still reigns. Other rappers have succeeded him in stardom, and promotional efforts around Tupac have been haphazard, but the artist who died at age 25 on September 13, 1996, in Las Vegas, maintains a hold that is among the most enduring in recent times. / AFP / VALERIE MACON / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Shaun TANDON, '20 years on, Tupac reigns as potent gl

Tupac Shakur was a trailblazer in West Coast hip hop, famous for hits including Dear Mama, Changes and California Love – on the iconic album All Eyez on Me – which tackled issues like street violence, inner city poverty and race.

Moving from Baltimore to California, he quickly became a star of West Coast rap and later became a key player in the West-East coast rivalry, with an enduring conflict with The Notorious B.I.G.

Records he made during a career of just five years have sold more than 75 million worldwide.

Tupac was killed in 1996 at 25 years old, in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, where he was watching a Mike Tyson fight with Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight.

He left a legacy in music and culture that shows little sign of dimming. That the murder is still unsolved – all we know is that he was shot several times by gunman in another car – has proved fertile ground for speculation that Tupac isn’t dead after all.

GCHQ chief stresses UK role in stopping European attacks



GCHQ has played a vital role in stopping terror attacks in at least four other European countries in the last year, the head of the intelligence agency has said.

Speaking after meetings at NATO’s Brussels headquarters, Jeremy Fleming cited GCHQ’s involvement in disrupting terrorist activity on the continent in a bid to highlight the importance of UK-EU security links.

The comments will be viewed in some quarters as a pointed intervention in the Brexit debate, coming hot on the heels of remarks by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier about the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

He said Britain will be forced to leave the EAW, which allows EU member states to issue warrants for criminals across the continent without bureaucratic extradition negotiations between countries.

Mr Fleming said Britain would continue to work with the EU post-Brexit, adopting a familiar refrain that Britain is “leaving the EU but not Europe”.

“This visit comes at a pivotal time of course as the UK leaves the EU and as we agree a treaty on security to ensure that the UK and EU member states continue to work together to keep us all secure in the future,” he said.

“We’re leaving the EU but not Europe.

“And after Brexit the UK will continue to work with the EU and the EU member states.

“We have excellent relationships with intelligence and security agencies right across the continent.

“For example, in the last year we’ve played a critical role in the disruption of terrorist operations in at least four European countries.

“Those relationships, and our ability to work together, save lives.

“That will continue after Brexit, for the benefit of the UK and for Europe.”

Mr Fleming said that no country was able to defend itself against the different threats – Islamic State, cyber attacks and “aggressive foreign powers” – alone.

It requires a “pooling of resource, expertise and critically data so that we can investigate and disrupt our adversaries”.

Home secretary Sajid Javid has warned Brussels against any “unnecessary reduction” in co-operation.

Prime Minister Theresa May called in February for a new security treaty with the EU to outline its relationship with Britain post-Brexit.

She said both sides had to do “whatever is most practical and pragmatic” to protect citizens, and warned against “deep-seated ideology” from Brussels.

How to Win the World Cup


After centuries of colonization and exploitation and decades of dashed hopes on the pitch, I want to see an African country get an equal place on the world stage.

Musa Okwonga

By Musa Okwonga

Mr. Okwonga is a writer, poet and football fanatic. He has published two books on the sport.

CreditIllustration by Leif Parsons / Photo by Robert Zuckeman/Warner Brothers

This is part of Offsides, a newsletter on the broader issues and hidden stories around the World Cup. You can sign up here to receive it in your inbox.

The World Cup is well underway. I know because I’ve been gorging myself on a visual diet of several games a day. Maybe you have, too. They’ve been pretty exciting, since many of the teams expected to sail toward the next round have instead been stumbling: Germany, the defending champions, fell to Mexico; France just barely edged past Australia; Spain, Brazil and Argentina all tied in their first matches.

But there’s been one thing that’s disappointed me: This surge of the less-favored countries hasn’t included any from Africa. The first four to compete — Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria — all lost. It was always a long shot, but now the dream of an African team holding this trophy aloft seems further away than ever.

I was born and raised in Britain but I’ve often shared that dream. Whenever England is eliminated from the World Cup, my affections go next to the best African team. That’s not just because my parents moved to England from Uganda. It’s also because Africa, having suffered centuries of colonization and exploitation, has so long been denied an equal place on the global stage.

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There are several reasons no African country has ever got past a quarterfinal. One is that, well, this is the World Cup. Most of the teams are good; this is serious competition. As Al Pacino’s character says in his famous speech in the 1999 movie “Any Given Sunday,” the difference between glory and failure is “inch by inch, play by play.” (Yes, I know the movie is about the other “football.”). In 1990, Cameroon was just seven minutes away from reaching the semifinal, when England scored and dashed their hopes; in 2010, Ghana would have gone to that stage, too, if only the team had scored a last-minute penalty against Uruguay.

But as always with this tournament, there’s more going on than what you can watch on the pitch. Let’s remember world history: Most of Africa was at some point colonized by Europe’s empires, which subjugated these societies and stripped them of their resources.

This legacy has left many of the countries of Africa poor and politically fractured — not exactly fertile ground for intense training and football greatness. And then there’s the issue of migration and lost talent: After independence, many Africans migrated to the richer countries of Europe. Several of their children have ended up playing for the European countries where they were born or spent their formative years. Some of them — like France’s Patrick Vieira, who was born in Senegal, or Portugal’s legendary striker, Eusebio, who was born in Mozambique — are among the greatest players the World Cup has ever seen. Sometimes I take this train of thought further: How many of Brazil’s five titles does the country owe to the descendants of enslaved people who came from Africa?

Naturally, there are contemporary problems, too. Some of Africa’s leading football nations have, I’m sorry to say, compounded historical setbacks with modern-day mismanagement of their players and resources. (I’m thinking of Nigeria and Ghana especially.) But as France, Germany and Spain have recently shown, the path to World Cup victory these days relies on patient investment in the national team over the course of several decades, and then a substantial helping of luck.