BBC News
Liberal Democrat, Labour and SDLP MPs have told the BBC they are prepared to vote against triggering Article 50. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said his party would oppose it, unless they were promised a second referendum on the UK’s Brexit deal with EU leaders. Several Labour MPs are also willing to vote against it, despite the Labour Party pledging not to do so. The government says it will stick to its timetable and begin the process of leaving the EU by the end of March. With the support of Conservative MPs and the support or abstention of most Labour MPs, the bill is well placed to pass through the Commons. But the opposition of some MPs is likely to embolden critics in the House of Lords.


NIGEL Farage today flew to the United States vowing to press Donald Trump to make the UK “his number one global priority”. The UK Independence Party interim leader travelled for what is understood to be a private speaking engagement in Florida – a key state in Mr Trump’s shock election victory. Mr Farage hopes while he in America to meet Mr Trump with whom he shared a stage during the presidential campaign and for whom he has indicated he would be pleased to work. While the Ukip leader who has been dubbed “Mr Brexit ” in the US stopped short of wholly endorsing the Republican during the presidential campaign, he also said he would not vote for Democrat rival Hillary Clinton “if you paid me”. Mr Farage said Mr Trump’s affection for Britain boded well for future relations – as he put the boot into outgoing President Barack Obama .

Nigel Farage has branded Barack Obama a “loathsome” “creature” and said the election of Donald Trump is a “big opportunity” for the UK. The former Ukip leader also joked about Mr Trump groping Theresa May while he tried to “schmooze” her for trade deals, telling a radio station: “He loves our country.” Mr Trump was elected on a hard right political platform, pledging mass deportations of undocumented migrants and saying he would ban Muslims from travelling to the United States.

NIGEL Farage has made a shocking joke about Donald Trump groping Theresa May when the President-elect meets the British Prime Minister. Speaking about the new President’s relationship with Britain, he told James Whale on TalkRadio : “I want him to make us his priority so I’m now going to become a diplomat. I’m going to say, ‘come and schmooze Theresa, but don’t touch her for goodness sake’.” Farage – whose joke comes after Trump ‘s campaign was dogged with claims he had sexually assaulted countless women – added: “If it comes to it I could be there as the responsible adult to make sure everything’s OK.” And he said he would give Trump a lesson on British etiquette so he does not try and kiss her on the lips.

BBC News
Downing Street has strongly rejected claims that ministers will be forced to use Nigel Farage as a “go-between” with the new Trump administration in the US. The Daily Telegraph says ministers will have to seek the advice of UKIP’s interim leader because they have no links to the president-elect. But sources close to the prime minister denied the government lacked contacts with Mr Trump’s team. They said Mr Farage, who campaigned for Mr Trump, was an “irrelevance”. The sources told the BBC that Mr Trump, who defeated Hillary Clinton in a huge upset, favoured a relationship with Theresa May as close as that of former UK and US leaders Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Mr Trump invited Mrs May to visit Washington during a phone call on Thursday in which both stressed the importance of UK/US relations.


The European Union’s approach to negotiations on Britain’s departure from the bloc will be “neither aggressive nor naive”, the union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday. Prime Minister Theresa May wants to kick off a two-year exit negotiation by the end of March, setting in motion an unprecedented withdrawal from Britain’s biggest trading partner. “I cannot at this stage comment on the substance of the negotiations … but I can say that our approach will be neither aggressive nor naive,” Barnier told reporters after meeting Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in Bratislava.


The nuclear trigger is now in the hands of maverick who claims his strongest negotiating hand is his “unpredictability” and who has happily boasted about “nuking ISIS”. The election of Donald Trump sent shockwaves through the international community today as they braced themselves for a more ‘dangerous and volatile’ world. Experts warned a Trump presidency has increased the chance of war, left the future of Nato in doubt and threatens to fracture long-standing Western alliances and disrupt global trade deals. There are fears that the nuclear trigger is now in the hands of maverick who claims his strongest negotiating hand is his “unpredictability” and who has happily boasted about “nuking ISIS.” Only one world leader was toasting Trump’s victory : Vladimir Putin.

DONALD Trump yesterday paved the way for beefed-up trade ties with post-Brexit Britain as he held his first talks with Theresa May. Reaffirming the importance of the two nations’ special relationship, the US President-elect, whose mother was Scottish, told Mrs May the UK was a “very, very special place for me and for our country”. In a telephone call before visiting the White House for handover talks with President Barack Obama, he said he would be honoured to welcome her to Washington as soon as possible to discuss a trade deal face-to-face. And he recalled the warm relationship that existed in the 1980s between their predecessors Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Sources said the two leaders confirmed that their nations would remain “close allies” once Britain is out of the EU. A Downing Street spokesman added that the pair agreed “that the US-UK relationship was very important and very special, and that building on this would be a priority for them both”.

A blind mystic who predicted Brexit, 9/11, the rise of ISIS and the Boxing Day tsunami also warned that Barack Obama would be the ‘last US president’. Conspiracy theorists believe prophetess Baba Vanga may have foretold that something will happen to Donald Trump before he is sworn in on January 20, 2017. The Bulgarian – who died in 1996 aged 85 – was known as the ‘Nostradamus from the Balkans’. She is revered in Russia for her 85% success rate when it comes to telling the future – with millions convinced that she possessed paranormal abilities. Now it transpires the clairvoyant made a staggering prophecy about the US election .


The number of patients in England who were medically fit to leave hospital but unable to be safely discharged has reached a new high for the sixth month in a row, increasing pressure on the government to tackle the social care shortage. NHS and council leaders, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), have recently called for action to prop up social care, and the chancellor, Philip Hammond, has been urged to increase funding in the autumn statement on 23 November. The issue of people being fit to leave hospital but not able to be discharged , sometimes called “bedblocking”, costs the NHS £800m a year and the latest official statistics starkly illustrate its impact on patients and hospitals before the start of winter, the service’s busiest time of the year. There were 6,777 patients delayed from being transferred out of hospital on the last Thursday of September, up 29% on the equivalent figure a year ago.

Sky News
The NHS has been told it should pay up to £20m a year to fund a drug to stop thousands of ‘high risk’ people from contracting HIV. The Court of Appeal has told NHS England it is responsible for covering the costs of providing around 10,000 people, deemed at risk because their partners have the infection, with Truvada for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Making the drug available has been described as a “game changer” in the fight against the illness. The Government had appealed against an earlier decision by the High Court forcing the NHS to fund the provision of the drug.

Morning Star
NHS England does have the power to commission a drug treatment that could prevent thousands of people getting HIV, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. Leading charity the National Aids Trust (NAT), backed by the Local Government Association, hailed the decision as an important step in the fight to eradicate HIV/Aids. The latest ruling means that the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug (PrEP) must now be considered by NHS England when funding new treatments. Terrence Higgins Trust chief executive Ian Green called PrEP “a game-changer” and said that “if used alongside condoms, regular testing and treatment, it could be the vital piece of the puzzle to help end the HIV epidemic for good.”

Hackers are targeting vital hospital machines in a bid to extract thousands of pounds in ransom money, experts warn. At least four NHS trusts have been targeted in the so-called ‘ransomware’ attacks this year. A major cyber-security firm yesterday claimed out-of-date hospital computers make it simple for hackers to install malicious software which freezes the entire IT system – including medical machines connected to it. Radiotherapy machines, MRI scanners and other diagnostic equipment can be rendered useless until hospitals pay for a password to unlock the software. All non-urgent operations and appointments were cancelled at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust for two days last month, after a malicious virus infected the IT system.


Sky News
UK border security and the public need to be better prepared for the growing threat from terrorism, one of the country’s most senior counter terrorism officers has said. A year on from the deadly gun and bomb attacks in Paris, Scotland Yard’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said “much more” must be done to protect borders, with an increase in biometric scans and tamper-proof passports. In an interview with the Press Association, he said: “Just in the same way you can smuggle illegal firearms into a country, you can smuggle people into a country. And if one of those happens to be a terrorist, that’s a big problem.

Every person entering Britain should be subject to fingerprinting and iris scans to prevent terrorists sneaking in, a police chief has said. Neil Basu, the new national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said border checks must include fail-safe biometric tests, while passports need to be made tamper-proof. He said ‘much more’ needs to be done to protect the UK, amid growing concern over the number of guns being smuggled into the country. Last month a major security review by Lord Harris of Haringey concluded Britain’s borders were not secure enough to prevent weapons being brought in from mainland Europe. Mr Basu spoke a year on from the atrocities in Paris, when Islamist extremists murdered 130 people in mass shootings and bomb attacks.

An Isis supporter was tricked into meeting an undercover police officer at the British Library to plan a journey to Syria and revealed that he wanted to carry out a terrorist attack in the UK.
Jabed Hussain, 22, who admitted terror offences yesterday at the Old Bailey, flew to Turkey last year in an attempt to reach Islamic State fighters but was intercepted by the authorities there and deported back to Britain. He began planning a second trip, seeking the help of others online, but did not realise he had been ensnared by an undercover officer known as Farooq.


ANGRY Parisians living near the city’s first official refugee camp want to ship the migrants “directly to England”. Residents are furious that the £6million Teletubbies-style centre is on their doorstep. They spoke out after the facility, which houses 400 refugees from Africa and the Middle East, opened its doors.Pensioner Gilles Kateb, who lives nearby said: “They should send them all directly to England. Instead we will have to put up with thousands of unsettled young men living among us while wanting to be somewhere else. Crime will increase and those not let into the centre will carry on living on the streets nearby.” The eight small villages, which each house 50 people, have been built to provide shelter for migrants after the Calais Jungle camp was demolished last month . The new centre will cater solely for men while a separate facility for women and children will be built in the new year. There are fears the camp’s location will spur migrants into attempts to board Eurostar trains. But Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “This centre will not solve everything but we finally have a worthy and humane alternative to the street settlements.”


BBC News
Scotland’s first minister has vowed not to maintain a “diplomatic silence” in the face of any racism, misogyny or intolerance from Donald Trump. Nicola Sturgeon released a statement congratulating Mr Trump after his surprise victory in the US election. But speaking at First Minister’s Questions the following day, she made clear that she stood by her previous criticisms of his campaign. Ms Sturgeon had backed Hillary Clinton ahead of the presidential election. The first minister told MSPs she had faced criticism for breaking the convention that political leaders do not comment on election campaigns in other countries.

BBC News
Teachers fear discriminatory language is becoming more acceptable among some pupils and parents after the Brexit vote, MSPs have been told. Edinburgh University’s Moray House School of Education called for race to be “explicitly back on the agenda” after the referendum in June. Academics from the school said teachers were now “reluctant and anxious” about addressing racism. But they said there had been no spike in recorded hate crime in Scotland. MSPs were listening to evidence being submitted to Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee. The academics said recent discussions with teaching staff pointed to a “growing mood” among some pupils and parents that discriminatory language and views were acceptable.

International trade

BBC News
Chancellor Philip Hammond has described the UK’s relationship with China as “more important than ever”, as he hosted the country’s vice-premier for trade talks in London. He promised a “golden era” of relations, with the announcement of several deals. Vice-Premier Ma Kai added that he wanted to see the UK and EU reach a “win-win” deal over Brexit. Formal talks on the UK’s departure from the EU are due to start next year. As the meeting took place in London’s Lancaster House, it was announced that the Chinese contractor CITIC Construction would invest £200m in the first phase of the £1.7bn London Royal Albert Docks project, headed by the Chinese developer ABP. And the UK will in turn invest up to £40m in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank based in Beijing, for a fund to help developing countries to prepare infrastructure programmes.

China expects Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union will produce a favorable outcome, Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said on Thursday. “The EU and UK are both very important trading partners … for China. We hope (they) conduct smooth and successful negotiations which reach the kind of arrangement which is mutually agreeable and mutually beneficial,” Shi told a news conference in London, through a translator. “We ourselves expect to see that the negotiations produce a very stable and very good outcome for EU and UK. That’s what we want to see.”


ITV News
England could be facing a shortage of up to 19,000 school leaders by 2022 if action is not taken to plug the gap, it has been claimed. A report by three education leadership organisations suggests almost one in four schools across the country could be affected by a lack of headteachers, deputy heads and assistant heads. It argues that an increase in pupil numbers and a rise in school leaders retiring and leaving the profession early along with increasing demand for senior staff to work at academy trusts means that more people are needed to step into top roles. But currently, many schools are experiencing problems in recruiting staff, the report says, adding that while schools are estimated to spend up to £200 million a year on recruitment, many fail to find the quality of candidate they require.

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