ND 12.11.2022: Civil servants find way out from Raab’s return, Ukraine retakes Kherson; other stories

Good morning. Today’s news bulletin is inspired by the front page of the UK’s The Guardian newspaper as seen today on PressReader.

Senior civil servants at the Ministry of Justice were offered “respite or a route out” of the department when Dominic Raab was reappointed last month, amid concerns that some were still traumatised by his behaviour during a previous stint there. It is also understood that Antonia Romeo, the MoJ permanent secretary, had to speak to Raab when he returned to the department to warn him that he must treat staff professionally and with respect amid unhappiness about his return. The claims once again put the spotlight on Rishi Sunak, who made Raab his deputy prime minister and justice secretary just over two weeks ago, with some Conservative MPs already questioning the prime minister’s judgment over some of his cabinet appointments. There has been a renewed focus on unprofessional behaviour in Whitehall this week after the Guardian reported allegations that Gavin Williamson told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat” and “jump out of the window” in what they felt was a sustained campaign of bullying while he was defence secretary. Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “These deeply troubling accusations of bullying and intimidation raise yet more questions about Rishi Sunak’s judgment. The prime minister must come clean on what he knew about these allegations when he reappointed Dominic Raab as deputy prime minister as well as justice secretary, and they must be investigated urgently and independently.” “With each new scandal and grubby deal, it becomes more obvious that he is a weak leader, who puts party management before the national interest.”MoJ staff offered ‘route out’ amid concerns over Dominic Raab behaviour (The Guardian UK edition ~ News – UK politics – Dominic Raab)

Photo by Georg on Pexels.com

Ukrainians painted a picture of a chaotic retreat, with Russian troops ditching their uniforms, dropping weapons and drowning while trying to flee. Ukraine’s defence intelligence agency said Kherson was being restored to Ukrainian control and ordered any remaining Russian troops to surrender to Kyiv’s forces entering the city. A number of Russian soldiers had drowned in the Dnipro river trying to escape and others had changed into civilian clothing, a Kherson official said, advising residents not to leave their homes while searches for remaining Russian troops took place. Earlier, the Russian defence ministry said it had finished its withdrawal from the western bank of the Dnipro river, where Kherson city lies, two days after Moscow announced the retreat. Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov had said on Thursday it would take at least a week for Russian troops to leave Kherson – Ukrainians celebrate soldiers retaking Kherson, Russia’s latest defeat (Euractiv ~ News – Global Europe – World – Russia)

Tim Smith, the operations director at David Austin Roses, said: “We cannot stand still and observe as we see diseases and pests evolve as conditions and climates change, threatening the health and success of some of our most popular varieties.” This means re-trialling all our releases and, in some instances, retiring very popular varieties eg A Shropshire Lad. Whilst these plants may still perform in some conditions, in the long term the changing conditions mean that we recommend alternative varieties that are better suited to the changing environment. Rose growers are now cultivating blooms in countries with more arid conditions, in order to ensure that as climate breakdown causes conditions to change in England, they do not lose their quality. Simon Toomer, the curator of living collections at Kew Gardens, said: “The roses we see in gardens are the products of hundreds of years of plant breeding from wild species. Most of that breeding has been aimed at selecting showy, reliable flowers and scent.” As well as flower quality, selection has always been influenced by resistance to diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew. David Austin Roses recommends particularly disease-resistant plants on its website, including the Dame Judi Dench, an apricot-coloured rose created for the actor in 2017, and the Scarborough Fair, a light pink, old-rose-scented bloom bred in 2003. Guy Barter, the chief horticulturist at the RHS, said: “As well as breeding for climate change there is also the choosing of plants suitable for the site, so very hot, dry sites which are not well suited now for roses will become less so in future and we can expect more tolerant plant species to be chosen.”Why climate crisis means some English roses will bloom no longer (The Guardian UK edition ~ News – Climate crisis – Plants)

To this end, consider Lakes by Yoo, an 850-acre estate surrounded by-you guessed it-lakes, plus meadows and woodland dotted with swanky apartments, lake houses and larger properties. Dinky cottages-these properties are glistening with light, modern and, somehow, incredibly sexy. Whether you are booked into a lakeside apartment or a lakeside cabin, chances are you’ll have breathtaking lake views from almost every corner. A cosy vibe continues throughout, with textured cushions, decorative bowls and beautiful coffee books filling each room, and modern touches keeping things up to date. Throughout April to September you can rent kayaks, canoes or paddle boards to explore the lakes. Post-October, the lakes are technically shut, but there is still a zip wire, climbing wall, fishing, tennis and even axe throwing to be enjoyed throughout the estate. ere, you can cook at “home”, arrange a private chef for a lavish dinner party or simply take a picnic to one of the Lakes – Review: Lakes by Yoo (Vanity Fair ~ STAYCAY IN STYLE)

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