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The Telegraph Frontpage for Thursday 2023 February 02

Blower cartoon
Danny Boyle By Danny Boyle
Good morning.

Despite more than half of schools being impacted by strike action, support from teachers appeared not to be as significant as feared. Also today, we cover a diversity crisis in the RAF – and today’s expected rate rise by the Bank of England.

RAF diversity ‘discriminated against 160 white men’

All three services of the Armed Forces have been told to improve their diversity. Now the RAF has been accused of discriminating against 160 white men in its effort to meet “aspirational diversity targets”. Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the Commons Defence select committee, told MPs the RAF’s former head of recruitment had identified the cases before she resigned in protest. After the revelation, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, head of the RAF, was asked if he had presided over a “lack of integrity at the top”. Defence sources suggested to The Telegraph that Sir Mike should be considering his position. Defence editor Danielle Sheridan reports that the allegation emerged as the Armed Forces struggle to retain female personnel amid a sex harassment crisis.

Schools closed, but teachers play truant at pickets

It was the most disruptive teachers’ strike in over a decade, with thousands of schools across the country shutting their doors and many pupils returning to online learning. Yet sparse picket lines suggested that the extent of support from teachers for the action was not as significant as feared. More than half of schools in England were fully or partially closed on the first of seven days of strike action planned by the National Education Union in February and March, according to official figures. A survey of head teachers revealed that one in seven children at closed schools received no education yesterday – and that hundreds of thousands of pupils whose schools were closed to some or all year groups were not given any work to do at home. But photos posted to the union’s official Twitter account showed just one lone supporter outside some schools. At others, there were no placards or picketing teachers to be seen at what would have been school drop-off time.

While in Britain parents and guardians are forced to manage their work commitments and plans alongside caring for their children, French schools remain open during strikes that cripple the country. Thousands of teachers were among 1.3 million people who took to the streets in France on Tuesday to protest against Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform. Yet many schools – in particular primary ones – remained open. France correspondent Henry Samuel reports on a 2008 law that aims to keep a bare-bones service in key sectors of daily life despite strike action.

Why your carbonara recipe could get you cancelled

Pasta carbonara, it is said, is one of the most “betrayed” recipes in Italian cooking. So when the New York Times suggested a recipe for a “smoky tomato carbonara”, it had its desired effect – 1.8 million views later, a cooking debate as old as time had been reignited. Eleanor Steafel reports how, since its invention in 19th century Lazio, carbonara must be among the most adapted, twisted and bastardised recipes of all time.

Also in the news this morning

Unemployment | Job coaches are to be stationed in GP surgeries under plans being drawn up by the Government to get unemployed over-50s back to work. Ministers are understood to be considering the proposal as they strive to plug record gaps in Britain’s labour force and boost the economy. Political correspondent Nick Gutteridge reports how the UK is the only major developed country to have suffered a sustained rise in economic inactivity since the start of the pandemic.

Around the world: Girl, 6, rescued from Bakhmut

A girl of six has been rescued from the embattled city of Bakhmut and reunited with her mother in a daring mission by Ukrainian police. Russian sources claimed to have completed the encirclement of the city, the focus of a gruelling offensive for several weeks. But Ukrainian soldiers told Roland Oliphant that the claims were premature and a vital lifeline into the city was still open. Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace refused to rule out sending British fighter jets to Ukraine.
Alina says goodbye to her grandfather in Bakhmut before being driven to her mother.

Alina says goodbye to her grandfather before being driven to her mother. Credit: Reuters

Comment and analysis

Editor’s choice

Oscars | How Andrea Riseborough’s A-list campaign backfired spectacularly
2:22 A Ghost Story, review | ‘Cheryl spirits up new possibilities in gripping debut’
Duvet coat
Fashion | Lisa Armstrong: ‘I’ve realised duvet coats are the best kind you can buy’

Business briefing: Fed chairman warns of ‘more work’

The US economy faces more punishing rate rises even as inflation slows, the head of the Federal Reserve warned. Jerome Powell, the chairman, said the bank had “more work to do” to bring inflation back to its 2pc target despite signs that price rises are slowing. It will raise pressure on the Bank of England and the European Central Bank to keep increasing rates to curb inflation. The Bank is expected to raise rates by another 0.5 percentage points today, but may slow the pace of increases after that.

Here is a selection of articles we think you’ll be interested in today.
Job coaches at GP surgeries to push unemployed over-50s back to work
Opinion – Keir Starmer does a Basil Fawlty on the vexed question of strikes
Starmer siding with ‘extremist protesters and union bosses’, claims Sunak
Opinion – If the IMF is right, the Tories owe Liz Truss an apology
UK can rejoin EU ‘any time’, says Michel Barnier

Also popular on The Telegraph today

NS&I relaunches bonds with highest rates since 2010

Wales bans choir from singing ‘Delilah’ at Six Nations

Ukraine-Russia latest news: Russia slams ‘absurd’ Macron comments over Ukraine

How to spot rare green comet tonight in once in 50,000 years chance

Why your carbonara could get you cancelled

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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