Criminal evidence

Times
The scale of the failure by police and prosecutors to disclose vital evidence in criminal cases is exposed today in documents showing that such behaviour is routine and deliberate. A dossier seen by The Times reveals a commonly held view that the defence is not entitled to see all the evidence. It discloses the tactics used to stop it being handed over, with officers in at least one force apparently trained in how to avoid making available material that might undermine their case. The file draws on the reports of 14 focus groups with the police, and others with prosecutors and judges, as well as a survey of prosecutors.

EU

Times
The EU is to set out measures to curb the spread of disinformation online ahead of next year’s elections. Sir Julian King, the European commissioner for security, has demanded a “clear game plan” to govern how social media companies are allowed to operate during election campaign periods. He has written to Mariya Gabriel, the commissioner for the digital economy, calling for more openness from online platforms about the algorithms they use to promote articles amid concerns about fake news, according to the Financial Times. Limits on the amount of personal data that can be collected for political purposes and changes to force technology companies to disclose who is paying for sponsored content were also proposed by Sir Julian.

Breitbart
Brussels is planning a crackdown on social media companies accused of “fake news” in the wake of a so-called scandal in which Facebook was allegedly used to help populist campaigns. According to the 
Financial Times, the European Commission has warned that Eurosceptic “disinformation” threatens to “subvert our democracy” after it was claimed the harvested data of social media users helped boost Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign via targeted messaging. European security commissioner Jonathan King has ordered the creation of a “clear game plan” on how social media companies will operate during election periods, calling for information on algorithms used to promote stories, disclosure of content sponsors and restrictions on the harvesting of personal data for political purposes.

Brexit

Express
TONY Blair has sensationally claimed that Europe must reform after admitting his struggles in protecting the bloc against Brexit during his time as Prime Minister. The staunch Remainer was answering questions about his record in Government from students at King’s College London. Mr Blair, who led the country for a decade until 2007, maintained he strongly made the case for European reform, particularly during his reign as EU President in 2005, but without much success. He said: “In my 10 years I defended it as much as I possibly could, but there is a serious point here. “For many politicians there are things about Europe you don’t want to defend, because they’re not very defensible. “One of the things I did argue for very strongly, particularly when I had the presidency of the EU in 2005, was that Europe had to reform.

Labour Party

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn attended an event last night hosted by a far-Left group that has called for the destruction of Israel. He celebrated Passover with a group known as ‘Jewdas’ which dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a ‘cynical manipulation’. Leaked audio revealed that Mr Corbyn was present at the event in his constituency where guests allegedly booed the names of mainstream Jews. 
The Labour leader is already under pressure following a steady stream of revelations of an anti-Semitism issue within Labour. But last night, Labour MPs and campaigners expressed incredulity that he would meet with the controversial group during the Jewish Passover festival.

BBC News
Momentum, the Labour movement backing Jeremy Corbyn, has said that anti-Semitism in the party is more widespread than it had understood. It said in a statement: “Accusations of anti-Semitism should not and cannot be dismissed simply as right-wing smears.” It acknowledged the “upset and despair” of the Jewish community and the party’s “failure” to deal with anti-Semitism. The move came as the Labour leader promised “watertight” investigations into allegations of anti-Semitism. The Labour leader told Channel 4 News: “We are not tolerating anti-Semitism in any form in the Labour Party.” He said the first task of the party’s new general secretary, Jennie Formby, would be to appoint an in-house lawyer and ensure effective procedures were in place to deal with allegations of anti-Semitism.

Independent
Antisemitism is more widespread within the Labour Party than was thought and complaints cannot be dismissed as right-wing smears, the leadership of the Jeremy Corbyn-backing Momemtum movement has said. Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (NCG) released a statement acknowledging the anger of Britain’s Jewish community at the “numerous” cases of antisemitism within Labour and the party’s failure to deal with them “in a sufficiently decisive, swift and transparent manner”. The move came as Mr Corbyn vowed he would not tolerate any antisemitism in the party. The Labour leader told Channel 4 News: “There is genuine concern and we are dealing with that concern … By investigating every case that is brought to our attention and if the person has committed an antisemitic act, in any way, then they are suspended and usually expelled from the party as a result of that. “We are not tolerating antisemitism in any form in the Labour Party.”

Sky News
Jeremy Corbyn has been plunged into a new anti-Semitism row with Labour MPs after attending an event with members of a left-wing group hostile to mainstream Jewish organisations. The Labour leader’s office confirmed he attended a gathering in his Islington North constituency organised by a radical Jewish group called Jewdas to mark the religion’s feast day of Seder. His attendance at the event was immediately condemned by some Labour MPs and came only hours after he said in a TV interview he would not tolerate any anti-Semitism in the party. It also followed a statement by 
the left-wing Momentum group which declared anti-Semitism was more widespread in Labour than was thought and complaints could not be dismissed as right-wing smears.

Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for attending a Passover event with a leftwing Jewish group highly critical of mainstream Jewish communal bodies, including describing the protests against the Labour leader as “faux-outrage greased with hypocrisy and opportunism”. Corbyn attended a Passover seder, the traditional meal of the Jewish festival, in his Islington constituency run by Jewdas, which last week accused the Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Labour Movement of “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives”. The group – which runs alternative Jewish parties, events and a satirical website – said in a statement last week over the Enough Is Enough protests that much of the furore over antisemitism in Labour was “the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative party and the right wing of the Labour party”.

Guido
Jeremy Corbyn attended an event tonight hosted by a far-left group that has called for the destruction of Israel, dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a “cynical manipulation” and labelled Corbyn’s Jewish critics “non-Jews”. A leaked audio recording obtained by Guido reveals Corbyn was present at a Seder held by “Jewdas” in Islington, where guests shouted “f*ck capitalism” and booed the names of mainstream Jews. At the height of Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal, Corbyn chose to mark Passover alongside a fringe group that despises and is despised by mainstream Jews.   Jewdas  describes itself as a “radical” group that “opposes capitalism” and w ants to “overthrow the state”. It has  tweeted that “Israel is itself a steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of”; It is viciously critical of mainstream Jewish groups. Last week it  attacked the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council response to the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives”; It dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a “bout of faux-outrage” 

Mirror
Jeremy Corbyn has become embroiled in a fresh row over relations with the Jewish community after attending a meeting with radical left-wing group called Jewdas. Mr Corbyn marked the ritual feast of Seder with Jewdas, which has criticised mainstream Jewish organisations for their protests over alleged Labour anti-Semitism, Guido Fawkes reported . It comes on the day Labour’s new general secretary takes office with a brief to improve the handling of anti-Semitism  allegations. In a statement last week, the group accused the Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Labour Movement of “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives”.

NHS

Times
Hundreds of urgent cancer operations were cancelled during the NHS winter chaos, putting patients at risk in defiance of orders from health chiefs. At least 500 cancer procedures were delayed as hospitals struggled with bed shortages during one of the worst winters on record, figures show. Health chiefs have apologised for the “entirely unacceptable” cancellations but campaigners said that such delays could cut patients’ chances of survival. The figures are the latest sign of how the NHS struggled during a winter in which senior doctors warned that patients were dying in corridors because hospitals were so full. Wards were more than 95 per cent occupied as record numbers of elderly patients arrived needing beds.

Guardian
Hundreds of cancer operations were cancelled by English NHS trusts during winter, prompting a warning that delays to procedures could affect a patient’s chance of survival. A poll of 81 acute NHS trusts by the Health  Service Journal (HSJ) found more than half were forced to cancel at least one operation between December and February, with 530 scrapped in total. Macmillan  Cancer  Support said the delays to some procedures could have affected the survival chances of patients. Hospitals across England were instructed to delay pre-planned operations and routine outpatient appointments throughout January due to severe winter pressures. At the time, NHS England said cancer operations and time-critical procedures were exempt and should go ahead as planned. However, the HSJ survey found 43 trusts cancelled operations, including some diagnostic procedures such as biopsies.

Mirror
The dire state of NHS finances means the winter  crisis  will extend into the summer, doctors have warned. The British Medical Association predicts hospitals will remain under severe pressure throughout the next few months. It says the summer months normally see an easing on waiting times, admissions and A&E attendances. But the BMA says that in the worst case scenario this July, August and September could be as bad as the winter crisis of 2016. Using data from NHS England, it says there could be 6.2 million attendances at A&E over the period, along with 774,000 people waiting for more than four hours to be seen.

Mail
‘One-stop shops’ for cancer diagnoses are being trialled by the NHS. In a pilot scheme, GPs are able to refer patients suffering from ‘vague’ cancer symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss and fatigue, to assessment centres where they can undergo multiple tests for different forms of the disease. The initiative aims to ensure a quick diagnosis in those not showing ‘alarm’ signals for a specific form of cancer, according to  NHS  England, which is co-ordinating the scheme alongside Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. Certain patients are expected to be able to receive a diagnosis, or the all clear, on the day of testing, while others may require further examinations but should still have their results within two weeks.

Social care

Mail
More than a million older workers may have to start paying National Insurance to avert ‘disaster’ in England’s social care system, a key Government adviser has warned. Those still working beyond the state pension age – currently 64 for women and 65 for men – are exempt from paying the levy. But Sir Andrew Dilnot, a senior member of the committee advising Jeremy Hunt on social care, told MPs older workers could pay more to help plug the financial black hole. The economist said the present system was ‘creaking’, leaving families ‘terrified’ and the middle classes forced to pay exorbitant care home charges. An alternative system would be to introduce a cap on the amount people have to pay for their care, with older people paying the cost through NI. There are currently more than 1.2million still working past retirement age.

Trade deals

Times
Only four major trade deals have been struck in less time than Britain has to set up new agreements after Brexit. Analysis of the free trade deals agreed by Australia, New Zealand, India, China and the United States shows that each took more than four years on average to reach. The only deals struck in less than the 21 months the UK has under the Brexit transition period were New Zealand’s with Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong; and Australia’s with Singapore. The research was carried out by the anti-Brexit Open Britain group, which said promises of opportunities to replace trade with Europe were probably illusory.

Climate change

Times
Antarctica has lost an area of ice the size of Greater London since 2010 as warmer ocean water erodes its floating edge, a study has found. The underwater point at which floating ice shelves meet land-based ice, known as the grounding line, has retreated by five times the normal rate in some parts in the past seven years. The findings suggest that melting glaciers on the continent could add significantly to long-term sea level rises, with severe implications for thousands of coastal towns and cities. Global sea levels have been rising by about 3mm a year, mostly caused by the melting of smaller glaciers and the expansion of ocean water as it warms.

Ivory

Independent
The trade of items made from ivory will be banned in the UK in a bid to help protect elephants, ministers have announced. The ban, which the government said will be the toughest in Europe and one of the toughest in the world, will cover items of any age, not just those containing new ivory. Under plans announced by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, anyone who continues to illegally trade ivory will face an unlimited fine or a jail sentence of up to five years. The ivory trade is a major cause of declining numbers of wild elephants, as poachers continue to hunt endangered species for their valuable tusks. The number of wild elephants has dropped by almost a third in the last decade alone and around 20,000 are still being slaughtered for their tusks each year.

ITV News
A British ban on Ivory will be one of the toughest in the world in a bid to protect elephants for future generations, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has said. The robust measures, which will see perpetrators face a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail, will cover ivory items of all ages, not just those produced after a certain date. The announcement comes after a consultation on the issue, in which 88% of the 70,000 responses backed a ban. Wildlife campaigners claim around 20,000 elephants a year are slaughtered for their ivory. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says that reducing global demand for elephant tusks is essential to ending the carnage.

Russia

Times
Moscow has said that relations with the West are now worse than during the Cold War in the aftermath of the  Skripal poisoning. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, claimed that unwritten codes of conduct between the Soviet Union and the western powers during an era of mutually assured nuclear destruction no longer applied, suggesting that the modern relationship was more volatile and unpredictable. Speaking in Moscow, he said that there was “a lot of talk about a ‘cold war’, about the situation being worse than it was during the classic Cold War, because then there were some rules, and some decency was observed”.

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