EU

 

Express
THE European Union could deal a deadly blow to Remainers’ chances of staying inside the bloc by rejecting appeals to extend Article 50 beyond March. Brussels and the European Union’s 27 member-states could humiliate British Remainers by insisting on the UK’s March 29th deadline for leaving the EU. The European Union bombshell comes amid growing momentum among campaigners to scrap Article 50 and stay inside the EU. Others have urged the Government to extend the Article 50 process to allow a second referendum to take place. However, Spectator’s James Forsyth claims that delaying Article 50, which mandates Britain to leave the EU in March 2019, was not as simple as it seemed. Speaking to The Week In Westminster, the political correspondent said: “I think if there is a delay, it will be only be a matter of weeks.

 

Express
BRITAIN has teamed up with the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain to block engineering giants Alstom and Siemens from creating a mega French-German rail merger. Siemens and Alstom agreed last year to merge their rail operations, creating a company with £13.5million (€15billion euros) in revenue and a workforce of 62,000. The pair argued that the main purpose of the project was to establish a European champion to challenge the advance of China’s state-owned CRRC and Canada’s Bombadier Transportation.   But regulators have raised concerns over the deal, claiming it could block competition by effectively dominating the rail sector across Europe. The Competition and Marketing watchdog joined national regulators in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain to express their opposition to the merger. In a scathing letter to European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, the four nations claimed governments would have “little bargaining power” to protect against price rises.

 

Express
POPULIST Government emerging across the European Union will foil the plans of further European integration Jean-Claude Juncker devised during his leadership of the European Commission, economist Alan Winters claimed. The European Commission will struggle to promote plans for further integration among European Union member states because of the rise of populist movement across the bloc. Prof Alan Winters forecast the bloc will face “a hard time” as countries like Hungary and Italy solidify their defiant stance against decisions taken in Brussels. The British economist also suggested the EU will focus on protecting the single market from the aftermath of Brexit.

 

Telegraph
As Remainers try to keep us in as close a relationship with the EU as possible, apparently led by the Prime Minister, ironically a crisis is brewing in Italy that could yet end up with that country leaving the euro. Admittedly, this would not necessarily imply an Italian exit from the EU and/or an existential crisis for the union. But this could well happen eventually. After all, the euro is the EU’s largest project to date and the whole edifice rests on it. Moreover, Italy is a founder member of both the euro and the EU. Italy’s difficulties with the euro are a long-running story. But this week sees a crisis point.

 

Express
FRENCH police shockingly levelled live firearms at so-called Yellow-Vest demonstrators protesting over Emmanuel Macron’s austerity measures showing just how deeply France is descending into anarchy. The nation was in the grip of a sixth Saturday of chaos at the weekend as violence erupted around the north of the capital on a so-called ‘Act VI’ Day of rage. Riot police used tear gas and baton charges, and at least one police officer pulled a gun on Yellow Vest protestors. The demonstrators, who are named after the high visibility jackets they wear, were depleted in number from last Saturday which saw 66,000 people protesting across the country but a massive 38,000 took to the streets to signal to Macron that this protest is not going away any time soon. And Saturday saw yet another death as a result of street protests – bringing the total to 10 in six weeks of action.

 

Gatwick

 

Telegraph
Police investigating the chaos and disruption at Gatwick Airport have admitted there may never have been a drone at all. More than 140,000 passengers were affected by last week’s shutdown of Britain’s second busiest airport, which was ordered after almost 70 drone sightings were reported in the space of a few hours. But after two people were released without charge following three days in custody, a senior Sussex detective said it was possible the sightings had simply been false alarms but denied the investigation was “back to square one”.

 

Express
SUSSEX Police have admitted the drone which brought chaos to Gatwick airport and ruined Christmas for more than 140,000 may never have existed at all. The startling claim came as investigating officers released two people without charge and insisted they were not back to square one. However, when pressed on whether there may not have been a drone at all an officer admitted that was a possibility. Now police have been forced to defend their investigation amid suspicions the 67 reported drone sightings were all false alarms. Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said: “We are not back to square one. “Whilst these two people have been in custody, we have a number of lines of inquiry and persons of interest.” When asked if there may not have been a drone, he added: “Of course, that’s a possibility.

 

Times
The Gatwick airport investigation descended into farce last night after police said it was possible that no drones had been there in the first place. The officer leading the inquiry caused confusion after nearly 70 public sightings of the devices led to flights being grounded for three days, with the travel plans of more than 140,000 people disrupted and the military deployed. Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said there was “always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place” because the police were relying on human sightings. His comments came as the airport offered a £50,000 reward through Crimestoppers for the arrest of the culprits and the police released a couple after 36 hours.

 

Sun
GATWICK drone cops have been slammed for holding a married couple without charge over the airport chaos – before admitting ‘there may never have been a drone attack’. Paul Gait, 47, and wife Elaine Kirk, 54, spent more than 36 hours being quizzed by detectives over the device which brought the airport to its knees.  They returned to their home in Crawley, Sussex today after friends and family insisted they weren’t the ‘eco warriors’ behind the attack. As the culprit remains at large four days after the attacks, police have been criticised for their “appalling investigation”.

Det Ch Sup Jason Tingley said there was “no available footage and they are relying on witness accounts.” Asked about speculation if there was never a drone, he said: “Of course, that’s a possibility. We are working with human beings saying they have seen something.”

 

Brexit

 

Sun
COMMONS leader Andrea Leadsom last night insisted MPs who want to block a No Deal Brexit will have to vote for Theresa May’s plan. She warned politicians lining up to block efforts to take the UK out of the EU in March that without an alternative, no-deal was the “legal default position”.  Her comments in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph came after she spoke in support of a “managed No Deal”. She said it could be a possible alternative to the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement should it fail to pass the Commons in January’s planned vote. Some MPs have tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill to stop the Government implementing No Deal plans without the explicit consent of Parliament. But Mrs Leadsom indicated ministers would “continue” to plan even if the amendment was implemented and the Commons voted to halt provisions for leaving without a deal.

The PM’s Withdrawal Agreement will need to pass the Commons in January

She said: “The Government will have to, as a competent Government, continue to prepare for all eventualities.

 

Westmonster
Cabinet Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom has once again reiterated that the UK will leave the European Union on 209th March 2019, deal or No Deal.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, she has again made clear: “The legal default position is that if there isn’t a deal then the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.” It comes after a petition in favour of a No Deal Brexit surges towards 300,000 signatures, showing clear public support for a clean break with the EU that allows the UK to take back full control and autonomy.

Leadsom also responded to moves by Remainer MPs to block the UK leaving with No Deal, saying: “Parliament can always of course express a view, but in order to avoid a No Deal Brexit, Parliament does need to vote for a deal.”

And of the back of news that the government are finally ramping up for No Deal, Leadsom explains: “The government will have to, as a competent government, continue to prepare for all eventualities. That is government policy.”

 

Sun
MINISTERS will stage emergency border control exercises to prepare for No Deal, it emerged last night. The plans to test Border Force control systems for checking passports were unveiled at a Cabinet meeting last week.

One minister told the Sunday Times: “We’ll be testing the border from end to end”. It came as Theresa May’s de fact number two, David Lidington, suggested No Deal planning should now be the “principal operational focus” of the Government. Cabinet ministers agreed other manifesto commitments should be shelved in the meantime. Mr Lidington’s intervention was a compromise between Brexiteers who wanted them to be the “central planning assumption” of the government and Remainers who only want contingency planning as a last resort. Chancellor Philip Hammond is also said to be returning to plans floated earlier this year about turbo boosting Britain’s economy in the event of No Deal.

 

Labour Party

 

Times
Jeremy Corbyn faced a backlash from pro-EU Labour supporters last night for saying the party would continue with Brexit if he won a snap election. A shadow minister questioned Mr Corbyn’s stance while some members threatened to resign from the party. One said she had voted for Mr Corbyn twice as leader and fought and campaigned for the party but would be “damned” if she’d campaign for a Labour election manifesto offering Brexit. Clive Lewis, a shadow Treasury minister, described the woman as a solid comrade adding: “She’s not the first member to say this to me and it’s becoming a genuine concern.”

 

Health

 

Sun
A RISE in cases of a rare and incurable disease that can paralyse children has led to a probe by health officials. Acute flaccid paralysis affects the nervous system, causing one or more of the limbs to become weak or floppy and can look similar to polio.  A total of 28 cases of AFP have been reported in the country this year, according to official figures. That is more than the previous nine years combined and there were only 25 cases between 2009 and 2017. Public Health England has now begun investigating the spike in outbreaks of the condition, which mainly affects children. Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisations at PHE stressed that that the disease is “very rare”.

 

Breitbart
Officials from Florida’s Department of Health confirmed the state’s first case in 2018 of the polio-like illness acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) on Saturday. State health officials did not provide specifics about the case, but the case is the first confirmed case of AFM in the state for this year, adding to a growing number of cases since 2014—when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) first began monitoring the spread of the illness, the Miami Herald reported. The nervous system disorder is a rare illness which has many symptoms similar to polio—including sudden weakness in the arms, loss of reflexes, and loss of muscle tone—and mostly affects children between two and six years old, according to the CDC.

 

Disability

 

Times
New shopping centres, stadiums and theme parks could be required to provide extra large disabled lavatories with specialist equipment. The government will hold a consultation on making it mandatory to provide so-called Changing Places facilities in new large buildings open to the public.  The cubicles are larger than standard disabled toilets and include extra equipment such as showers, adult changing benches and hoists. Without them, disabled people say that they limit what they drink to avoid needing the lavatory when they are out. That increases the risk of dehydration or a urinary tract infection. Others say that they spend less time out of the house, which restricts their social life.

 

Tsunami

 

Guardian
The spokesman for Indonesia’s natural disaster agency has said the country must develop a new tsunami early warning system, as the death toll from Saturday’s tragedy rose to more than 280. Hundreds of military personnel and volunteers spent Monday scouring debris-strewn beaches in search of survivors as experts warned of more tsunamis following the volcanic eruption that caused the deadly wave in western Java. On Monday morning, the nation’s disaster agency said 281 people had died and at least 1,016 people were injured. More than 600 homes were damaged, as well as 60 shops and 420 vessels. The tsunami was believed to have been caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano, which partially collapsed, creating an underwater landslide.

 

BBC News
Coastal residents near Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano have been warned to keep away from beaches amid fears it could trigger a new tsunami. On Saturday, giant waves crashed into coastal towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java, killing at least 281 people and injuring 1,016.

It is thought that volcanic activity set off undersea landslides which in turn generated the killer waves. Anak Krakatau erupted again on Sunday, spewing ash and smoke. Video shot from a charter plane captured the magnitude of the volcanic event in the Sunda Strait, between Sumatra and Java.

 

ITV News
Hundreds of people have been searching debris-strewn beaches for more victims from a deadly tsunami that smashed into houses, hotels and other buildings along an Indonesian strait. The waves that swept terrified people into the sea on Saturday night along the Sunda Strait followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands. At least 281 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. Dozens are missing from the disaster areas along the coastlines of western Java and southern Sumatra islands, and the numbers could increase once authorities hear from all stricken areas. The Indonesian Medical Association says it is sending more doctors and medical equipment and that many of the injured are in need of orthopaedic and neurosurgery expertise.

 

Reuters
The death toll from a tsunami triggered by a massive underwater landslide on an Indonesian volcano rose to 281 on Monday, as rescuers using heavy machinery and their bare hands searched through debris in the hope of finding survivors. Indonesia’s meteorological agency confirmed the collapse of part of Anak Krakatau, a volcano midway between Java and Sumatra, caused a tsunami 2-3 metres (6-10 feet) high that hit the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday. At least 1,000 people were injured and nearly 12,000 coastal residents forcibly evacuated to higher ground, with a high-tide warning extended to Wednesday. Anak Krakatau, which means child of Krakatau, has been spewing ash and lava for months.

 

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