American bomb

Telegraph
The United States has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat. The 21,000 pound device was dropped on an Islamic State cave tunnel complex in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan. It’s official name is the Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb but it is widely known in the US military as the “Mother Of All Bombs”. It was the first time the bomb has been used against an enemy.

Times
The United States dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat last night, hitting an Islamic State tunnel complex in Afghanistan. President Trump made good on a pledge to escalate the fight against the terrorist group by using the Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, also known as a Moab, or “mother of all bombs”. It fell at 7.32pm local time, targeting a large Isis cave and tunnel network in the east of the country, close to the Pakistan border. The blast was heard 30 miles away, according to locals. Afghan officials said at least 36 Isis fighters had been killed and that no civilians had been harmed, although these claims have not been independently verified.

Mail
The United States dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon on Thursday after it targeted an ISIS network of caves and tunnels in eastern Afghanistan. U.S. forces used a 30-foot long, GPS-guided GBU-43 bomb, at around 7.30pm local time in the Nangarhar Province. The weapon weighs a staggering 21,600 pounds. It is known as the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ – a play on ‘MOAB,’ an acronym that stands for ‘Massive Ordnance Air Burst.’   A crater left by the blast is believed to be more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) wide after it exploded six feet above the ground. Anyone at the blast site was vaporized. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that he was ‘very, very proud’ and called the operation ‘really another successful job. We’re very, very proud of our military.’

Mirror
The final, unanswered question at tonight’s White House press briefing hung particularly heavy in the air: “Did the President not know about the MOAB strike?” At his first briefing after Friday’s missile strike on Syria, Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a detailed ‘tick tock’ – an account of Donald Trump’s movements and decision making process leading up to the launch. But despite being asked several times for the same kind of information about the President – which is usually the remit of the White House Press Secretary – Spicer refused, deflecting any questions on detail to the Department of Defence. And later, in a separate press pool event, the President himself appeared to admit he didn’t specifically authorise the use of the biggest non-nuclear explosive ever dropped.

ITV News
A US strike on so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan using the “mother of all bombs” killed at least 36 militants, the country’s defence ministry has said. The Pentagon confirmed the GBU-43 was dropped on caves in Nangarhar Province, very close to the border with Pakistan, on Thursday. Its nickname is based on the acronym used by the US Air Force, which calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. The White House confirmed the “large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon” was dropped around 7pm local time. Afghan defence minister spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in the strike, a claim that has not been independently verified. “No civilian has been hurt and only the base which Daesh used to launch attacks in other parts of the province, was destroyed,” Waziri said.

Sun
THE US has dropped the military’s largest non-nuclear bomb – which can kill everyone within 300 metres – on ISIS caves in Afghanistan. The GBU-43/B, containing 11 tons of explosives, was deployed for the first time in combat to destroy a complex of caves and tunnels hiding ISIS fighters. The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, nicknamed “Mother Of All Bombs”, which was used to “reduce IS obstacles and maintain the momentum against jihadists in the region”. Today US President Donald Trump hailed the mission “very, very successful.” It was the first time the United States has used this size of bomb against an enemy. The MOAB was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by IS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the border with Pakistan. It left behind a crater thought to be more than 300 meters wide after it exploded six feet above the ground.

Brexit

Sun
SUPPORT for Brexit is as strong as ever after a new poll revealed a majority of Brits still think we were right to leave the EU. Data shows that 46%of those asked think the UK made the right decision on June 23 last year – while 42% think we were wrong. Support was unsurprisingly strongest among Ukip voters, with a whopping 91% backing the decision of the EU referendum. In the YouGov poll, which asked “In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?”, the lowest number to say we were right were Lib Dem voters at 10%. The survey was conducted last week, and sees support for Brexit up two percentage points since Theresa May triggered Article 50.

EU

Express
THE European Union (EU) is divided over what to do with the gaping hole left when Britain’s 73 MEPs leave Brussels for the final time. Some Europhiles want them replaced with pan-European politicians to the cost of the taxpayer. But critics said the EU is already unpopular enough without funding positions for more politicians. It would create the coveted “more Europe”, which Jean-Claude Juncker has mentioned on numerous occasions, at a time when anti-European sentiment is growing within the general populous. Paulo Rangel, a member of the EPP from Portugal, said the pan-European lists would “create more Eurocracy” at a time when “the mood is not very pro-European”. The idea of a pan-European list first reared its head in 2011 when it was floated by Andrew Duff MEP, but despite making it through the constitutional affairs committee it was deemed too integrationist and was never adopted.

Westmonster
Pro-EU forces are trying to find any advantage they can as Britain quits the failing bloc. Now they’re trying to decide how to carve up the 73 European Parliament seats occupied by British politicians. Europhiles are attempting to resurrect an old idea as they push for pan-European representatives – a suggestion first put forward in 2011 when it was attacked for being too integrationist. Establishment French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is also in favour of the idea. Criticism of the plan has been resurrected now with Portuguese MEP Paulo Rangel saying that “the mood is not very pro-European” and the suggestion would be seen to “create more Eurocracy”. Another MEP pointed out that “electing MEPs without roots, without any marked out territory, would be contrary to our efforts to get citizens closer to European lawmakers”.

Breitbart
Turkish politician and former parliamentary deputy Ümit Özdag claims Europe could see three million migrants arrive on the continent as the EU-Turkey migrant agreement breaks down. Özdag made the claim this week, according to Austrian politician and migration expert Efgani Dönmez. Dönmez told Austrian media that Turkey was looking to send three million migrants, mostly Afghan nationals, to Europe. He said that the migrants are already amassing on the borders of Turkey and they could arrive in Greece and other European Union countries as early as in the next few days, OE24 reports. According to Dönmez, pressure put on the Turkish-Iranian border has made the Aegean route attractive for migrants again.

Express
LIAM Fox has told the EU that Britain will press ahead with trade talks with other countries now that Article 50 has been triggered. His bold statement comes in defiance of demands by vindictive EU bosses that Britain can do nothing until it has left the EU. And the international trade secretary has also warned that any effort to exclude the UK from EU business while it is still a member will not be tolerated. Dr Fox was responding to suggestions that Britain should be kept out of the EU’s trade talks with other countries while it is still a member. And in a separate move spiteful Brussels bureaucrats also want to stop Britain from being part of the European space project despite the UK sinking many millions into the project.

French elections

Breitbart
CNN has said the similarity between the French presidential election and the U.S. presidential election is “frightening” as they predict Marine Le Pen’s polling numbers could be much higher than current polls indicate. The U.S. presidential election in 2016 saw more than its fair share of twists and turns, ultimately leading to an electoral college victory for President Donald Trump. CNN claims the French election is looking similar in many ways as establishment candidates like Republican François Fillon and Socialist party Benoit Hamon are pushed out of the race. The piece, which was written by David A. Andelman, claims that French media is behaving much like U.S. media did in the run-up to the election, “effectively baptising one of the two leading candidates the winner even before the first ballot is cast”.

Cancer drugs

Times
Staff at one of the world’s leading drug companies discussed destroying supplies of life-saving cancer medicines in a battle to impose massive price rises across Europe, The Times can reveal. The proposal was raised at Aspen Pharmacare during a dispute with the Spanish health service in 2014 over attempts to increase the price of the medicines by up to 4,000 per cent. The company, which runs its European operations from Dublin, began a continent-wide effort to drive up the price of five cancer medicines after buying the rights from the British company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The price rises meant that the cost of busulfan, used by leukaemia patients, rose from £5.20 to £65.22 a pack in England and Wales during 2013.

NHS

Mail
Locum doctors are being paid up to £3,600 a shift – sparking accusations they are putting their ‘pockets before patients’. The rate is seven times that earned by the most senior full-time staff doctors and far more than a Government cap on locum pay. The figures were disclosed to the Daily Mail by NHS Improvement, the hospitals watchdog. It said its most recent data showed one hospital regularly paid a locum £360 an hour, or £3,600 for a ten-hour shift. Another doctor was charging £357 per hour while four others elsewhere are each demanding rates of £260 an hour. Officials fear rates may rise even further over this Easter weekend, as staffing agencies make the most of staff shortages to try to get as much as they can. Agency websites have already been encouraging doctors to ask for ‘market busting rates’, telling locums they can work ‘where you want, when you want’.

Morning Star
ALMOST 200,000 emergency patients were forced to wait more than four hours for treatment last winter, which is the worst winter average on record, figures showed yesterday. Official health service data showed that a total of 195,764 A&E patients waited for admission beyond the NHS standard of four hours to be admitted between December 2016 and February 2017. The figure is the highest since records began and a sharp increase on the previous winter, when the four-hour target was missed for 134,576 patients. Extreme waiting times shot up to a record level, with nearly 2,000 patients forced to wait at least 12 hours, compared to 375 the year before. The NHS data reflects a crisis in demand as A&E departments were forced to close their doors to 478 ambulances this winter, compared with an average of 249 over the previous three winters.

Sky News
Nurses will vote on whether to take strike action over pay after being awarded a below-inflation increase of just 1% – a real-terms cut that unions say compounds years of underpayment. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is canvassing the views of its 270,000 members across the UK following the pay award, announced at the end of last month. The RCN said that Government pay restrictions on the NHS since 2010 amount to a 14% real-terms pay cut for nursing staff that has contributed to tens of thousands of unfilled nursing posts. In an online poll, members will be asked if they wish to go on strike and they will be given the option of pursuing measures that fall short of industrial action. The results will be announced in May at the RCN’s annual congress and a further formal strike ballot will be required before industrial action can be taken.

BBC News
The Royal College of Nursing is assessing the mood for strike action in protest over pay. The largest nursing union is asking 270,000 members across the UK whether they want to strike before deciding whether to issue a formal ballot. It says a combination of pay freezes and caps on pay rises since 2010 have effectively led to a 14% pay cut due to the rising cost of living. The Department of Health said “affordable” pay was protecting jobs. The news comes as A&E performance figures in England for February show an improvement from their record low with 87.6% of patients admitted, transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours. The figure for January was 85.1%, but the target is 95%.

Mail
The NHS has endured its worst ever winter crisis, with waiting times, cancelled operations and bed-blocking running at, or near, record levels. Official figures yesterday illustrated the scale of the scale of the turmoil to engulf the health service in the face of unprecedented pressures. Bed-blocking due to a lack of social care places is at a record high with more than 2,500 health patients prevented from leaving hospitals each day – specifically because there is nowhere for them to go. Yesterday’s statistics from MHS England report also revealed nearly 200,000 patients waited at least four hours in A&E between the winter months of December to February – a five-fold increase from just 41,000 five years previously.

Children’s playgrunds

Independent
Hundreds of children’s playgrounds have been closed by local authorities across England thanks to “unprecedented budget constraints” introduced by the Conservative government. At least 214 facilities have been closed since April 2014, according to Freedom of Information Requests filed by the  Association of Play Industries (API), while at least 234 more are set to close by the end of 2018. And the real figures are likely to be higher still, with a third of councils still working out their latest response to years of funding cuts. By the end of the decade, authorities will have faced real-terms cuts of up to £30 billion  since 2010.

Guardian
Hundreds of children’s playgrounds have been closed or are being closed by cost-cutting local authorities across England, with councils blaming “unprecedented budget constraints” for the decision to get rid of parks and sports facilities. A series of freedom of information requests to local authorities found that 112 playgrounds were closed in the 2014-15 financial year, and a further 102 in 2015-16. Councils also revealed that they had 80 more closures in 2016-17, followed by plans for 103 in the current budget period and at least 51 closures planned for 2018. But the more recent figures most likely understate the number of closures, because around a third of councils said they had not yet finalised their plans, according to the Association of Play Industries, which submitted the FOI requests.

Biblical prophesy

Star
A BIBLICAL prophecy claims the world will end once Syria’s capital city Damascus is destroyed, it can be revealed. Bone-chilling scriptures found in verses of the books of Isaiah, Revelation and Jeremiah foresee armageddon raging in the Middle East following a huge war – leading to the deaths of two billion people. Writings suggest Damascus – one of the world’s oldest cities – will be flattened in a battle involving Russia and the west. The stark outlook has never been more prevalent after US President Donald Trump launched airstrikes on Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime last week. It came after the Syrian government was blamed for a devastating chemical gas attack carried out on its people, killing nearly 80. Russia spoke out condemning the strike – leading to the lowest level of trust between east and west in generations.  Now it’s feared mankind could be heading to a flashpoint in history – and it’s all in the Bible.

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