Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed a narrow victory in Sunday’s referendum on whether to give him sweeping new powers, but Turkey’s opposition said they would contest the result over fears of voter fraud. In a dramatic finish to the bitterly-fought referendum campaign, the state-run news agency said Mr Erdoğan’s Yes camp had won around 51 per cent while the No campaign took 49 per cent with 98 per cent of the vote counted.  Mr Erdoğan claimed victory in a low-key speech in Istanbul in which he appealed for unity.  “This is a historic decision, not an ordinary event,” he said. “We are carrying out the most important reform in the history of our nation.”

ITV News
Turkish President Erdogan has declared victory in the country’s referendum, with 51.3% of the vote and a high turnout of 80%. The Turkish prime minister’s office will abolished as a result of the decision, and replaced with a presidential system. The country’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this was the birth of a “truly new Turkey”. “There will be stability and trust in the new Turkey,” he added. The vote was controversial and divisive, and three people died after a fight outside a polling station earlier in the day.


Calling international politics a “battlefield”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told newspaper Magyar Időkthat Hungary’s sovereignty is under constant attack from foreign interests and the powerful left wing activist George Soros. Adding that mass migration threatens the future of Europe, he urged for the preservation of Christian civilisation. “Today we live in a time when international politics is a battlefield,” Prime Minister Orbán said on Easter Sunday. “The independence and freedom of European nations are at stake. And at the centre of the battlefield is migration.” “This is what our future stands or falls on,” he said, “the fate of Europe. The question is whether the character of European nations will be determined by the same spirit, civilisation, culture and mentality as in our parents’ and grandparents’ time, or by something completely different.”

International trade

BRITISH businesses could find it easier to export and import after Brexit – if the Government starts work now on designing new systems, a new report said today. Leave Means Leave said the analysis destroyed the “myth” pedalled by Remain supporters that leaving the European Union will inevitably mean queues at the border once Britain is out of the free trade Single Market and customs union. Co-chairman John Longworth, former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said his “blueprint for frictionless trade” could avoid future problems and streamline existing procedures to help British firms trade around the world. He urged the Government to start work quickly on ensuring the right procedures are in place to ensure trade continues smoothly after Britain’s expected departure from the EU in spring 2019.


The Attorney General has launched a legal bid to throw out an attempt to haul Tony Blair to court over the war in Iraq. Tory MP Jeremy Wright, the government’s top law officer, intervened after a judge ruled last November that the ex-Prime Minister had ‘immunity’ from criminal prosecution over the 2003 conflict and that any case would involve disclosing details under the Official Secrets Act. The district judge, Michael Snow, threw out a bid by General Abdul-Wahid Shannan ar-Ribat, former chief of staff of the Iraqi Army, to convict the former Labour premier for the crime of ‘aggression’. The former senior officer, who is now living in exile, also wants then foreign secretary Jack Straw and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general at the time, tried in a British court. He is seeking a judicial review of the judge’s decision and access to legal aid funding.

The government’s top law officer is going to court to demand the rejection of an attempt to prosecute Tony Blair over the Iraq war, the Guardian has learned. The planned intervention by the attorney general comes after a judge ruled the former Labour prime minister had immunity from the attempt to bring a criminal charge against him and that pursuing a prosecution could “involve details being disclosed under the Official Secrets Act”. The private prosecution relates to the 2003 Iraq war and seeks the trial in a British court of then prime minister Tony Blair, the foreign secretary Jack Straw, and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general at the time.  It seeks their conviction for the crime of “aggression” and is based on the damning findings of last year’s Chilcot report into the British decision to join the invasion of Iraq, under the false pretext that the Saddam Hussein regime had weapons of mass destruction.

ITV News
The Attorney General is looking to block a bid to prosecute former prime minister Tony Blair over the Iraq war, according to reports. Tory MP Jeremy Wright QC, the government’s top law officer, has formally requested to join hearings to oppose such a move against Mr Blair, the Guardian has said. A spokeswoman for the Attorney General would not reveal whether Mr Wright would oppose the attempted prosecution, but told the Press Association: “He is seeking to intervene in this case because it raises issues about the scope of criminal law. “It is not unusual for the Attorney General to intervene in these sort of cases in order to represent the public interest.

North Korea

China and Russia have dispatched spy vessels to shadow a US aircraft carrier group heading to North Korean waters, Japanese media said, amid rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. Beijing sought Russian help in averting a crisis over North Korea last week, as concerns grow in China that Donald Trump is seeking to confront North Korea over its weapon’s program. The US president sent a navy group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson into the region, in what is being seen as a signal to Pyongyang. Mr Trump described the force as an “armada” and said that submarines were being sent which were “far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.”

President Trump increased the pressure on China yesterday to end North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons after a build-up of US forces in the region failed to deter the rogue regime from conducting a missile test. General HR McMaster, the US national security adviser, said that the launch of a missile that exploded seconds after take-off was part of “a pattern of provocative and destabilising and threatening behaviour”. That pattern “just can’t continue”, General McMaster said, adding that China and the US were working on a “range of options” against Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator. Mr Trump was backed by “an international consensus” on the issue.

DONALD Trump appears to have backed out of a war with Kim Jong-un – as his top military advisor rules out military action. The US president has pushed the globe to the brink of World War 3 by promising to “deal with” North Korea and sending a fleet of warships to the region. But General HR McMaster – Trump’s top national security advisor – has hinted America is NOT considering military action. The military chief said America would “undertake all actions we can – short of a military option”. Instead, the US hopes to choke the communist regime off with new sanctions – and pressure China to sort out its volatile neighbour. McMaster said: “It’s time for us to undertake all actions we can – short of a military option – to try to resolve this peacefully.


GPs are being paid millions by the NHS to ration referrals for operations, scans and even cancer tests, an investigation reveals today. Family doctors are being offered the financial incentives in a bid to slash the number of patients they send to hospital for a variety of procedures. The incentives mostly cover non-urgent referrals for hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, hearing tests and abdomen scans. But two health trusts have included urgent cancer scans in their schemes, and another two covered heart tests. Patient groups said the payments were ‘profoundly wrong’, while one MP likened them to ‘bribes’. Doctors’ leaders are also deeply opposed to the schemes, branding them an ‘offensive slur’ on GPs’ medical judgement.


Stress at work is leading some teachers to become increasingly reliant on caffeine, alcohol and prescription drugs, while a number have seen relationships breakdown, it has been suggested. A new poll indicates that more than four-fifths of school staff (83 per cent) think that their job has had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing in the last 12 months. Given a list of issues and symptoms they may have experienced, some 84 per cent of those polled by the NASUWT teaching union said that they have lost sleep due to their work, while three in four (54 per cent) have experienced anxiousness and a similar proportion (74 per cent) reported low energy levels.

All teachers lie to Ofsted when their schools are inspected, a union conference was told yesterday. Jacqueline Moore, a teacher in Bedfordshire, told the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers: “I’ve filled out Ofsted surveys and I’ve learnt, to be honest, that we all lie to Ofsted. “We don’t tell them the truth. We don’t tell them the truth because we don’t want to be the one that hands them the stick that they can then beat our school with.” She said that she had been through five Ofsted inspections in her ten-year career and that four of the inspections had been related to schools deemed unsatisfactory or requiring improvement.

Son of God

THE “Son of God” Jesus Christ wasn’t just part of the Bible but existed and performed miracles, according to experts. Many people believe the evidence that Jesus lived 2,000 years ago is mainly from second and third-hand accounts of his life in the Bible. However, experts claim there is a wealth of archeological and documented proof of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Academic Lawrence J Mykytiuk, of the University of Purdue, wrote an article for Biblical Archeology in which he highlighted much of the evidence. He has referenced an account written by ancient Roman senator Tacitus, who explicitly mentions Jesus when discussing the Roman Emperor Nero. Tacitus wrote in his major work Annals: “[N]either human effort nor the emperor’s generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered [by Nero].

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