Government accused of treating the North ‘like a petri dish’ for local lockdowns as tougher restrictions are considered

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England

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The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times,

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Apple is tougher on predatory lenders than the US government

a close up of a computer: CEO Tim Cook presents the new iPhone 11 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino

© Provided by Quartz
CEO Tim Cook presents the new iPhone 11 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino

If you want to make someone a personal loan through an app on their iPhone, there are rules—notably, a limit of 36% on the annual interest. If you want to make the same loan to someone on the street, you can offer them annual interest rates over 400%.

The difference between the rules adopted by Apple’s app store and those enforced on brick-and-mortar payday lenders by US regulators underscores how unequal access to credit creates an unequal society.

Consumer advocates have long complained that payday lending and associated businesses like auto title lenders aren’t operating the way we expect of credit providers: Their business model is not “profit when a borrower pays back their loan with interest,” but instead “profit when a borrower cannot pay back their loan.” This

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House Democrats discuss tougher antitrust law, some Republicans agree

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel discussed ways to tighten antitrust laws on Thursday, with two Republicans on the Democrat-dominated panel indicating potential support for some changes.

The antitrust subcommittee, chaired by Representative David Cicilline, is expected to release a much-anticipated report into the four big tech companies — Inc <AMZN.O>, Facebook Inc <FB.O>, Apple <APPL.O> and Alphabet’s Google <GOOGL.O> — as soon as Monday.

In the hearing, Cicilline said the tech companies used strategies such as self-preferencing and predatory pricing to grow. “These once-scrappy, underdog startups have grown into the kinds of monopolies we last saw more than a century ago,” he said.

One witness, Bill Baer, who headed the Justice Department Antitrust Division during the Obama administration, argued to the committee that successive court rulings over the years have made it harder to block a merger.

“If courts

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