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News Daily: Aid sector abuse and North Korea missile reports

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Aid sector under fire
A damning report by MPs has concluded that sexual abuse and exploitation is "endemic" across the aid sector, and charities have demonstrated "complacency verging on complicity" in response to it. The International Development Committee launched an investigation after the Times revealed senior staff at Oxfam had paid survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti for sex - more on how that scandal unfolded here. Reports later emerged about abuse involving Save the Children too, and recently, the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme heard from whistleblowers who said aid workers at charity Medecins Sans Frontieres used local prostitutes while working in Africa.Committee chairman Stephen Twigg said organisations knew that vulnerable recipients of aid, some desperate for food or escaping conflict, were being targeted as far back as 2002, but they had put their reputations ahead of dealing with the issue. Given that failure of self-regulation, the MPs conclude, an independent ombudsman should now be set up, along with a global register of aid workers to keep track of abusers.Charities have welcomed the report. Oxfam said it was taking steps to improve but had "further to go".
North Korea 'building missiles'
Relations between the US and North Korea have warmed in recent months, culminating in the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un last month. However, despite that diplomatic thaw, according to reports today Pyongyang appears to be continuing its weapons programme. Unnamed US officials told the Washington Post that spy satellites had captured evidence of activity at sites known to produce ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US.
It's unclear how far any of this activity has gone, but it will reinforce the view of those who criticised President Trump for making concessions without securing any firm commitment from Mr Kim to end its nuclear and missile programmes. And despite Mr Trump's reassurance that the threat from North Korea is over, these aren't the first reports that have cast doubt on Pyongyang's sincerity - we've taken a closer look at others.
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Child literacy pledge
It's a "scandal" that some children still begin school unable to speak in full sentences or read simple words, according to the education secretary. Damian Hinds said the home learning environment was "the last taboo in education policy", but more must be done to help parents who don't feel able to give children the support and resources they need - or who don't realise the importance of them. Mr Hinds is promising to halve the number of pupils starting school behind by 2028.
A look at fashion's 'dirtiest open secret'
By Kelly-Leigh Cooper, BBC NewsAt a time when our waste and our environmental impact is firmly under the spotlight, news in early July that fashion brand Burberry had burned almost ?30m of stock has caused outrage. The company admitted destroying the unsold clothes, accessories and perfume instead of selling it off cheaply, in order to protect the brand's exclusivity and value. It added that it had captured the energy from the burning to try and make the process more environmentally friendly. But how widespread is stock destruction at this level?Read the full article
What the papers say
There's broad welcome for Monday's ruling making it easier to remove food and water from a patient in a persistent vegetative state. The Independent calls it a "brave and clear" decision which moves the law on. The Guardian's editorial says arguments that this is a "slippery slope" have some force, but "this judgement comes with crampons". However, Times columnist Melanie Phillips fears "a cash-strapped hospital" might well pressure a distressed family into withdrawing care. In Brexit matters, the Financial Times says EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warmed to Theresa May's plan for financial services - but only after it was clarified that Brussels would ultimately control the City's access to EU markets. Finally, the Daily Telegraph criticises the project to install smart meters in homes across the country after claims they will lead to energy prices increasing at peak times.
Daily digest
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Lookahead
0700 Half-year results from Centrica, the parent company of British Gas - falling oil prices have hit profits and customers have been leaving for new suppliersToday First day of "Glorious Goodwood"
On this day
1998 UK government announces a total ban on the use of landmines
From elsewhere
Network Rail is selling off Britain's railway arches - small businesses could pay the price (City Metric)Why are women still excluded from the Tour de France? (The Pool)Behind the spectacular collapse of a private equity titan (Bloomberg)Bridget Jones's staggeringly outdated diary (Longreads)
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