Russia and its allies have warned the United States that its missile attack on a Syrian government airbase crossed “red lines” and to expect a strong response to any further interventions. Russian state media turned on the US president yesterday. “Trump has made a 180 degree turn and he is no longer the person who inspired good feelings among many people,” said Dmitry Kiselev, the presenter of Russian state television’s flagship current affairs show Vesti Nedeli. “The Kremlin see clearly a change for the worse in the words and actions of the new administration.” President Putin and President Rouhani of Iran have called for an independent investigation into Tuesday’s deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
Russia is directly complicit in the bloodshed taking place in Syria and must act immediately to help bring an end to the country’s long-running conflict, the UK defence secretary, has said. Russia must “show the resolve necessary to bring this regime to heel”, said Michael Fallon in remarks that came a day after Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, cancelled a trip to Moscow after a chemical attack on civilians in Idlib province and the subsequent US missile strike against the Syrian regime. “The Russians have influence in the region,” Fallon wrote in the Sunday Times. “They helped broker the original deal to put chemical weapons out of commission. This latest war crime happened on their watch. In the past few years, they have had every opportunity to pull levers and stop the civil war.”
Russian and Iranian forces last night warned Donald Trump they would retaliate with military action if he launched more airstrikes on Syria. In an ominous threat raising the prospect of war, they said the US President had crossed a ‘red line’ with his surprise missile bombardment on Bashar al-Assad’s forces. ‘From now on we will respond with force to any breach of red lines and America knows our ability to respond well,’ the military chiefs said in a joint statement with militant group Hezbollah. The Russian Embassy in London suggested on Sunday night there could be ‘real war’ if Moscow is presented with an ultimatum over Syria. But UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will lead a push on Monday for Russia to face tough new sanctions unless it withdraws its support for Assad.
BORIS JOHNSON tonight declared America was willing to strike Syria again – as the Russians warned of ‘real’ war against the West. Speaking exclusively to the Sun, the Foreign Secretary said the US had “delivered a clear and united message” from the West in bombing Syria last week. And on the eve of a critical G7 Summit expected to threaten Russia with new sanctions, he said: “Crucially – they could do so again”. Mr Johnson praised US President Donald Trump for showing “a resolve and willingness that has been sadly missing in the last few years”. He said: “We cannot miss this moment. It is time for Putin to face the truth about the tyrant he is still propping up.” Russia, Iran and other allies of the Assad regime accused the US of “crossing red lines” over airstrikes in response to a chemical attack on a rebel-held village.
TORY Defence Secretary Michael Fallon blamed Russia yesterday for “every civilian death” caused by the chemical weapons attack in Syria widely blamed — without evidence — on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Fallon claimed that the government of Vladimir Putin was responsible “by proxy” for killing 87 civilians because it has been Mr Assad’s “principal backer.” He was referring to a strike on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, allegedly using the sarin nerve gas, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Writing in the Sunday Times, Mr Fallon said Moscow must be part of the solution. “If Russia wants to be absolved of responsibility for future attacks, Vladimir Putin needs to enforce commitments, to dismantle Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal for good and to get fully engaged with the UN peacekeeping process,” the Defence Secretary said.
Russia and Iran has threatened military retaliation against the US, accusing Donald Trump of crossing “red lines” by ordering a cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base. The two military allies of Syria said the US bombardment had violated international law and, in a statement, added: “From now on we will respond with force.” The warning came after the Russian embassy in the UK suggested that British and American attempts to deliver an ultimatum to the Kremlin this week could result in a “real war”.
Britain is pushing western nations to impose new sanctions on Russia if it fails to cut ties with President Assad as the conflict over Syria escalates. Russia and Iran warned jointly yesterday that they would “respond with force” if there were further US attacks in Syria. The Russian embassy in London suggested that if Moscow received an ultimatum from western powers this week it could lead to “real war”. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, is demanding that western nations draw up “very punitive sanctions” in response to last week’s chemical attack on a rebel-held area, in which up to 90 people were killed. A paper on sanctions has been prepared for a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Lucca, Italy, which starts today.
Boris Johnson will today lead calls for Russia to face ‘complete international ostracisation’ unless Vladimir Putin removes his support for the Syrian regime. At a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Italy, the Foreign Secretary will demand the Kremlin is slapped with sanctions unless it agrees to the removal of Bashar al-Assad within months. Mr Johnson at the weekend faced claims he was Washington’s poodle after he agreed to pull out of a planned visit to Moscow following discussions with the US. The trip was cancelled so the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and America – can agree a joint plan, which will then be delivered by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson instead.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has demanded Russia rein in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, claiming that Moscow is “responsible for every civilian death” in last week’s chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhun. Sir Michael said the attack had happened “on their watch” and that Vladimir Putin must now live up to previously made promises that Mr Assad’s chemical weapons have been destroyed. The cabinet minister’s intervention comes as the West unleashes a new diplomatic drive on the back of the retaliatory missile strikes launched by Donald Trump’s US administration. Later this week US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Moscow, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will garner support at a G7 summit of foreign ministers.
DONALD Trump is risking all out war with North Korea – and doesn’t even seem to know it. That’s the analysis of one expert, who says the US has dramatically upped the ante under Trump. North Korea has been warned that all options are on the table by Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. And the President has proved he’s willing to flex more muscle than Barack Obama by bombing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Now Chris Ogden, who lectures on Asian security at The University of Andrews in Scotland, says Trump risks unleashing a “maelstrom”. He told Daily Star Online: “Before President Trump, the tone was much more conciliatory … there was never any kind of provocation of ‘we’ll do anything.’ “For North Korean leaders, who think that they’re still at war with the South and by extension still at war with the Americans, I think that could be seen as highly threatening.”
THERESA May is being urged to adopt a five-year freeze on unskilled migrants and impose a 50,000-a-year cap on all new arrivals. Brexit group Leave Means Leave says the measures will help migration back to levels last seen in the 1990s and finally hit the failed Tory target of tens of thousands. The group, backed by former Cabinet ministers as well as 15 Tory MPs, says Brexit provides a “golden opportunity” to stem immigration at last. It is particularly concerned about unskilled labour which pressure group Migration Watch claims makes up 80 per cent of existing EU incomers. The blueprint for “fair” immigration has been drawn up by former UKIP leadership candidate Steven Woolfe. He wants to see the introduction of a “British working visa system” and have Parliament vote each year on a figure for net migration.
A hardline pro-Brexit group backed by more than 20 Conservative MPs has called for net migration to be cut to 50,000 a year, with work visas limited to those earning at least £35,000 a year, a plan criticised by opponents as likely to damage the economy and harm the NHS. The proposal by Leave Means Leave – whose Tory backers include Owen Paterson, Dominic Raab, John Whittingdale and Gerald Howarth – marks something of a rearguard action by strong Brexit supporters over immigration numbers. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, has said immigration levels could still rise after Britain leaves the EU, while Theresa May used an interview on the day article 50 as triggered to say she could not guarantee it would be “significantly lower”. The immigration plan, written by former leadership contender Steven Woolfe, would involve a five-year freeze on all unskilled immigrants, with those allowed in needing to pass a points system and be sponsored for a well-paid job.
Senior Conservative MPs are demanding Theresa May impose a five-year ban on unskilled immigrant visas, arguing the focus should be on young, unemployed UK citizens. Leave Means Leave, a hardline pro-Brexit group that wants to leave the EU single market and “take control” of the UK’s borders, is advocating a new points-based immigration system, combined with work permits, to bring down net migration to 50,000 per year – half the Government’s current target. The group, which includes at least 30 Tory MPs and Lords including Owen Paterson, Dominic Raab and Gerald Howarth, said in a statement: “Brexit is not about splendid isolation – it’s about re-engaging with the world, without our wings clipped by the European Union.”
Unskilled migrants should be stopped from moving to Britain for five years to help reduce net migration, a report by a pro-Brexit group has said. Leave Means Leave, which is backed by senior Tory backbenchers, says the measure would help get net migration below 50,000. It is currently running at 273,000 a year. Anti-Brexit campaigners said such a move would cause skills shortages that would damage business and the NHS. Leave Means Leave wants to combine the Australian points-based system with plans for work permits which would come into force after the UK has left the European Union. The report is authored by independent MEP Steven Woolfe, who quit UKIP following an altercation with a colleague that left him in hospital.
Britain will be able to increase its exports to India by more than £2 billion per year after Brexit by cutting EU red tape, a new analysis has found. The UK currently faces significant tariffs on its trade with India because of the European Union’s failure to agree a free trade deal. The deal has been held up for a decade by European Union regulations on intellectual property and data protection, with which India is refusing to comply. But after Britain leaves the EU, the deal can go ahead because British trade negotiators regard the disputed EU rules as unnecessary.
Doctors who trained in Bangladesh are 13 times more likely to face competence investigations than those who qualified in Britain, analysis of official figures has found. Doctors from every other country except South Africa were more likely to be investigated than those from Britain, researchers from University College London concluded. Those trained in Egypt and Nigeria were the next most likely to be investigated. Poor training, language barriers and cultural problems could all explain the problem and patients could be prejudiced against foreign staff. Age and gender could also play a role.
Locum doctors have been warned that they could be struck off if they cancel shifts in an attempt to extort more money from the NHS. The General Medical Council (GMC) has issued guidance after agency medics were accused of an “organised campaign” to hold the NHS to ransom as pressures mount. The crisis stems from new rules – introduced last week – which attempt to clamp down on tax avoidance. NHS trusts are now supposed to subtract tax and national insurance from pay packets at source from workers supplied to them via agencies or personal service companies. Some doctors say the changes will mean a drop in income of up to 30 per cent. But others say earnings will only be reduced if workers were paying too little tax in the first place.
Medical locums have been warned that they face disciplinary action for “unreasonable” hospital boycotts in a worsening tax dispute. The General Medical Council said that refusing shifts without enough notice could put patients at risk and would be in breach of doctors’ professional duty, in an intervention which has infuriated locums. Temporary doctors and nurses are refusing to work over rules introduced last week that ban hospitals from paying them through personal service companies, insisting tax and national insurance must be deducted at source. Hospitals claim that doctors have demanded pay rises of up to 50 per cent to compensate, but locums insist they have refused such rates because they do not want to be taxed as permanent employees.
The NHS is in talks with hedge funds about borrowing up to £10 billion to repair hospitals and beef up GP care. Health chiefs believe that low interest rates mean the NHS has a “golden opportunity” to raise money for infrastructure without relying on the chancellor. The Times has learnt that health officials have reached the outline of an agreement with one or two hedge funds, as well as other investment companies. However, no deal can be signed without Treasury approval. Jim Mackey, chief executive of the financial regulator NHS Improvement, is to meet Treasury officials today to urge them to sign off a round of private borrowing to create a central NHS infrastructure fund to which local services can apply.
The Prime Minister of Sweden has vowed his country will ‘never go back’ to recent levels of mass immigration after it emerged the terrorist who killed four people in a truck attack was a failed asylum seeker. Stefan Löfven pledged to change his country’s liberal attitude, insisting the massive influx allowed during the 2015 migrant crisis would never happen again. Rakhmat Akilov, from Uzbekistan, hijacked the lorry and deliberately drove into pedestrians on central Stockholm’s main shopping street on Friday afternoon. It was a copycat of the attack carried out in London last month, when Khalid Masood killed four pedestrians and injured dozens more with a Hyundai 4×4. Swedish police said there were clear similarities.
CHRISTIANS have sensationally claimed Jesus Christ is set to return this Easter and bring forth an apocalypse. According to Steve Fletcher, who runs blog A Trumpet for My People, the signs are right in front of us in the Bible. The 49-year-old American says the world will be completely destroyed by April 18 – the day after Easter Monday. In a viral YouTube video, viewed 20,000 times, he sets out 25 signs in the Bible, saying: “This is it and we need to be watching. “2017 is the end of the great tribulation and will herald in the Second Coming of Christ. “The upcoming window of Passover [Easter for Christians] is most likely the time of our deliverance.” He points out signs including the theory that human life was created 6,000 years ago as interpreted in Genesis 6:3. He then works out, with some crazy maths, that Adam and Eve were created in 3983 BC – 6,000 years before 2017. This involves adding the various ages of biblical characters named in Genesis and the reign of kings.