EU

Express
THE EUROPEAN Union is set to face a collapse on a similar scale to the Soviet Union, a well respected academic from the London School of Economics has predicted according to reports. Gwythian Prins has warned the elite trade bloc will crumble within a generation because it has become too big, sighting Brexit as proof of its decline. The Professor has described how anti-EU sentiment is rising across the continent as voters become increasingly frustrated with the actions of the supranational body. He said: “The EU ‘project’ is 61 years old this month. “Absence of cultural reproduction suggests that, like its older sibling (the Soviet Union), it should not expect to outlast a human lifespan.

Immigration

Express
THERESA May’s allies fear Cabinet Ministers will force her to take a weaker stance on immigration control in the Brexit negotiations, allowing EU workers to continue flooding to the UK after leaving the Brussels group in exchange for a better trade deal, it has been reported. Mrs May has long wanted to see the number of people arriving from the European Union significantly reduced after the UK leaves the bloc on Friday 29 March, 2019.  However, it is believed Mrs May is outnumber by eight to three on the Cabinet’s Brexit negotiations committee and Downing Street is braced for heavy pressure from them to allow EU workers to continue coming to the UK in similar numbers to today.

Sun
THERESA May’s allies fear Cabinet ministers will force her to weaken tough immigration controls after Brexit in exchange for a better trade deal. The PM is a long-standing immigration hawk who wants to see arrivals from the EU significantly reduced after Britain’s exit. But she is heavily outnumbered by ‘doves’ on the Cabinet’s 11-strong Brexit negotiations committee, by eight to three, The Sun has been told. Downing Street is braced for heavy pressure from them to allow EU workers to keep coming to the UK in similar numbers to today. Concessions expected to be pushed on the PM include allowing all Europeans to come if they have a firm job offer, and abandoning the longheld target to reduce new arrivals to below 100,000 a year.

Express
BREXIT will make it easier for EU migrants to stay in the UK, despite the government’s promises to “take back control” of our borders, an immigration document has revealed. The sensational policy paper suggests the government wants to remove requirements dictating permanent residency applicants must show they have sickness insurance and work that is “genuine and effective”. Now Theresa May plans to enact “a presumption to grant rather than refuse” settled status in the UK – and officials expect immigration numbers to rocket as a result.

International trade

Times
Australia is preparing to demand that Britain accepts hormone-treated beef as the price of a symbolic early Brexit trade deal. Liam Fox has identified a deal with Australia as an early “win” and informal discussions have been taking place for the past 18 months. But in return, Britain will be told to scrap a European Union ban on the sale of meat from cattle treated with growth hormones. The practice can increase their weight gain by more than 10 per cent a day, cutting the time it takes to fatten the animals for market. The EU claims that at least one of the hormones used is carcinogenic and their use has been banned since 1981.

Independent
Japan is more focused on a securing major trade deal with the European Union than pursuing an agreement with a post-Brexit Britain, a senior minister has said. Shinichi Iida, minister for public diplomacy and media, said his country’s “first and foremost priority” was rubber-stamping its historic trade agreement with Brussels – the largest the EU has ever signed – before work could begin on establishing lucrative free trade deals with the UK. As one of the UK’s major investors, Japan has been outspoken in its concerns over Brexit, with its ambassador warning Theresa May earlier this year that its firms could leave Britain if a chaotic exit makes it “unprofitable” for them to remain. Car giants Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi are among more than 1,000 Japanese firms operating in Britain, employing 160,000 workers in areas such as Sunderland.

CPS

Telegraph
The head of the Crown Prosecution Service will this week announce that she is standing down after the Government declined to extend her contract following a string of controversies. Alison Saunders will end her term as Director of Public Prosecutions in the Autumn after five years amid intense criticism from Tory MPs and ministers following the collapse of a series of rape trials. It comes as every rape case in the country is under review after the collapse of four rape trials in the space of two months when critical evidence was disclosed just days before cases were due to be heard in court.

Mail
The Director of Public Prosecutions is to leave her job when her contract runs out this autumn. Alison Saunders, who has been the head of the Crown Prosecution Service since 2013, was said by one source to be stepping down after the Government did not renew her contract. However, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office said the DPP herself had not asked ask for her five-year contract to be extended when it ends in October. Over her tenure Mrs Saunders has attracted increasing controversy over a series of failed rape prosecutions. ‘It was felt a clean break was needed,’ a Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph.

NHS

Express
BRITAIN paid European governments nearly £565million more last year to treat UK citizens abroad than the government got back from them to care for their nationals, official figures have shown. Evidence of what some dub a “health tourism gap” sparked demands for Britain to stop being such a soft touch – and for a fairer system after Brexit to ensure fairness. Under EU “reciprocal” rules, UK citizens can get health care in other European countries’ state systems with the bill going back to Britain to be settled. European citizens in the UK can get treatment on the NHS, which is then supposed to recoup the cost from the patients’ homeland. Some of the disparity is blamed on there being far more British ex-pat pensioners living on the Continent than there are European OAPs living in Britain.

Times
A lack of natural killer cells means the flu vaccine cannot work in many older people, scientists have found. The effectiveness of winter flu jabs in over-65s has become of increasing concern to public health chiefs. While statistics for this winter are unavailable, in 2016-17 the flu vaccine did not provide any protection to over-65s at all. Researchers from Reading University believe that they have found the reason for such poor performance. Studying 58 people aged 18-35 and 54 aged 60-85, they found that the older people generally had fewer active “natural killer” (NK) cells, white blood cells that respond to infection. When they separated the older people into two groups, they found that those with low activity failed to respond to the vaccine.

Mail
Health bosses used taxpayer-funded credit cards to pay for helicopter lessons, go-karting and five-star hotels. Despite the NHS facing an unprecedented funding crisis, officials have been using the cards to splurge money on luxuries, bars and restaurants. They have racked up £5.8million worth of spending in the past two years alone. The ‘government procurement cards’ were introduced by Labour in 1997, supposedly to enable senior staff to easily fund office supplies and travel costs. But a Daily Mail investigation found senior officials in the largest health bodies have been using them in Wetherspoon’s pubs, cocktail bars, bowling alleys and McDonalds.

Independent
The NHS winter crisis is now a year-round problem with bed pressure and delays during the summer “respite” likely to be as bad as in the depths of December two years ago, according to a new analysis. The British Medical Association (BMA) has said NHS staff now work flat-out all year round and summer months that used to bring extra bed and staff capacity are spent managing the fallout of “massive spikes in demand”. After the worst winter in recorded history, where senior doctors warned patients were “dying prematurely” in corridors, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said every year these issues “stretch further into spring”. “We cannot accept that this is the new normal for the NHS,” he said.

Telegraph
Statins are not being prescribed to hundreds of thousands of patients at high risk of heart disease, Public Health England data reveals.  Four in five people who attended the government’s flagship NHS Health Check scheme in the last five years and were found to need the cholesterol-lowering drugs went home empty handed, equating to approximately 162,000 patients a year, the figures show.  Health leaders have responded by questioning the value of the £32 million a year “world-leading” Health Check programme, launched in 2009 to stave off cardiovascular diseases (CVD), principally in people between 40 and 74 who have not yet presented any symptoms.

Mail
Diagnosing prostate cancer could be revolutionised thanks to a pioneering British study that aims to catch the disease early. The research could pave the way for a national screening programme that saves lives and spares thousands from unnecessary invasive treatment. Scientists will be testing a method of diagnosis that uses MRI scans and advanced blood and urine tests. If successful, all men over 45 could be tested early in the same way that all women are offered mammograms to test for breast cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common type in men and one in eight will develop it in their lifetime. The disease kills 11,800 men in the UK each year.

Times
Doctors have warned that NHS performance this summer is expected to be as poor as in recent winters. Up to 774,000 patients will wait more than four hours at A&E, according to analysis from the British Medical Association, as winter pressures extend throughout the year. Even under the “best-case scenario” predicted by the union’s health policy unit, 613,000 people will wait longer than four hours. Performance against the target of dealing with 95 per cent of patients within that time will be between 87.5 and 89.6 per cent, they forecast. The target has not been met since July 2015. While there are more attendances at A&E in summer than winter, the warmer months usually offer some respite.

Human rights

Guardian
A British government guidance paper that is intended to prevent the country’s intelligence officers from becoming involved in human rights abuses is being rewritten in secret, much to the alarm of civil liberties groups. Rights activists are deeply worried that the UK government may be tempted to water down the guidance at a time when the US president, Donald Trump, has said he hopes to restore waterboarding – “and a hell of a lot worse” – and has nominated Gina Haspel as the next head of the CIA. Haspel reportedly oversaw a secret CIA prison in Thailand, where a terrorism suspect was tortured.

Labour Party

Telegraph
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of hiding his links to anti-Semitism after he deleted his personal Facebook page. The Labour leader deleted his account this morning after it emerged he was a member of five groups which contained anti-Semitic posts. Mr Corbyn was an active user of his Facebook account before he became Labour leader. He used it to express support for an anti-Semitic mural, which sparked an outcry last month when it was brought to public attention by Luciana Berger, a Labour MP.

Independent
Jeremy Corbyn has deleted his personal Facebook account as pressure over the handling of antisemitic abuse within Labour threatens to engulf the party. The Labour leader’s account has been removed from the social media site, party sources confirmed, which follows claims he had belonged to several supporters’ groups that contained antisemitic comments. Mr Corbyn’s official page remains active.  Labour sought to distance itself from a string of pro-Corbyn Facebook groups, as the leadership struggled to quell the growing crisis over anti-Jewish sentiment within the party.

ITV News
Jeremy Corbyn is under intensifying pressure to take action to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. As fresh claims of abuse by Mr Corbyn’s supporters emerged, one of Labour’s biggest donors left the party, accusing the party leadership of failing in its response to “the most blatant acts of anti-Semitism”. Sir David Garrard, who has donated about £1.5 million since 2003, told ITV News: “I find that the party’s posture, particularly the leadership’s posture, to anti-Semitism to be wholly unacceptable and I think every excuse that I’ve heard and every protestation the party doesn’t permit is a hollow promise.”

Times
More than 17,000 Labour members have quit the party in the past three months as disputes over antisemitism and Russia erode Jeremy Corbyn’s support base. The Times understands that internal membership figures show the party has lost about 3 per cent of its paying supporters since the start of the year. Last week hundreds of members resigned from the party and more than 3,000 did not renew their direct debits, insiders said. Mr Corbyn shut down his personal Facebook page yesterday after he was accused of belonging to groups in which people had posted anti-Jewish content.

Telegraph
The exposure of anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party disproves the claim, made by many despairing Tories after the last election, that Mr Corbyn’s extremist associations can do him no harm. I had numerous arguments with such people who told me that “young people” don’t care about his links with Islamist anti-Semites and terrorists, and had never heard of the IRA. It was true that such attacks against Mr Corbyn got nowhere in 2017. But the key electoral point I tried to make in reply was that voters of all ages in that election did not trouble much with these questions because hardly any of them thought Mr Corbyn’s Labour would win.

Child abuse

Times
The Archbishop of York and four other Church of England bishops are under police investigation over allegations that they failed to respond properly to a report of clerical child abuse. Matthew Ineson, a former priest, alleges that he was raped at the age of 16 by a vicar, the Rev Trevor Devamanikkam, in the 1980s. He claims that he reported the abuse in 2012 and 2013 to senior clergymen including the Most Rev John Sentamu, who as Archbishop of York is the church’s second most senior member of clergy, and alleges that they failed to follow proper procedures and did not advise him to tell police.

Sun
THE family of a victim of child grooming in Telford was told her abuser would not be prosecuted because she “consented” to sex – despite her being aged between 13 and 15 and the time. The Crown Prosecution Service wrote a letter to the father saying she had consented to sex even though “she may not have wanted sexual intercourse”. Prosecutors feared a jury might say the alleged abuser had a “reasonable belief” the girl was 16 and had consented. The girl had been groomed by a gang in Telford, Shropshire and did “not have the capacity to consent, her local Conservative MP Lucy Allan said.

Times
An alleged victim of a brutal spanking by a barrister linked to a Christian charity has urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to be “brave” in reforming the church after receiving a personal apology for his suffering. Andrew Morse was among more than 20 boys allegedly beaten by John Smyth, QC, in his garden shed or at Christian summer camps. Mr Morse, 57, has complained that he was ignored by the Church of England when he first reported that he had been abused but said the Most Rev Justin Welby had since written to him saying: “I am so sorry you have had to suffer in the way you have.”

Australia

Mail
Prince Charles has voiced his support for Australia claiming autonomy from the British monarchy and becoming its own republic, according to former prime minister Paul Keating. Keating claims to have raised the issue of Australia’s constitutional future with Charles, with the prince allegedly expressing the view that Australia was logically destined for independence, The Australian reports. ‘I have no doubt he believes Australia should be free of the British monarchy and that it should make its own way in the world,’ said the former Labor prime minister. ‘Why would he or any one of his family want to visit Australia pretending to be, or representing its aspirations as its head of state?’

Express
PRINCE Charles, who is next-in-line to the throne wants Australia to become a republic says a former Prime Minster as the royal gets ready to visit for the Commonwealth Games this month, it has been reported. Former Australian Prime Minster Paul Keating has claimed the next-in-line to the throne wants Australia to be independent of the British Monarchy. Mr Keating said: ”I have no doubt he believes Australia should be free of the British monarchy and that it should make its own way in the world. “Why would he or any one of his family want to visit Australia pretending to be, or representing its aspirations as, its head of state?”

World Cup

Mail
ISIS are reportedly planning on dropping bombs on players and fans at the World Cup in Russia by using drones. Shocking photos and videos posted on encrypted app Telegram appear to detail the plans and explain how the terror group intend to carry the attacks out. The propaganda is believed to show extremists arming the drones with explosives, in preparation for unleashing them at the football tournament in June. One of the photos apparently shows a drone carrying anti-tank rockets with the collection also showing extremists returning from Syria and Iraq to work with the drones.

Russia

Times
Russian attempts to fuel dissent and spread disinformation have been exposed by a cache of leaked documents that show what the Kremlin is prepared to pay for hacking, propaganda and rent-a-mob rallies. Hacked emails sent by Moscow-linked figures outline a dirty-tricks campaign in Ukraine, which was invaded on the orders of President Putin in 2014. Experts said that they exposed the dangers faced by Britain and its allies because Russia used the same weapons of disinformation, bribery and distortion to attack the West.

Times
Some of Britain’s biggest companies have been urged to boycott Russia’s main annual business summit in St Petersburg next month, amid growing political tensions triggered by the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive; Ben van Beurden, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell; and a number of other UK executives attended the St Petersburg International Economic Forum last year. The event, hosted by President Putin, is due to be held this year on May 24-26, three weeks before the country hosts the football World Cup.

Star
Britain and Russia remain locked in a diplomatic nightmare as tensions reach heights not seen since the Cold War over the attempted murder of the MI6 double agent in Salisbury. Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found collapsed on a bench in the town after being poisoned with military grade nerve agent Novichok. UK officials have pointed the finger at the Kremlin, saying it is “highly likely” that Putin was behind the attempt of the spy’s life. Putin’s top diplomat in Britain has now outright claimed the UK may have staged the attack on Skripal to rally support against Russia.

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