Brexit

Mail
Britain will send hundreds of civil servants to Brussels to hammer out a trade deal by October after David Davis won a battle inside Whitehall.
The Brexit  Secretary has been wrestling with civil servant Olly Robbins, Theresa May‘s chief Brexit adviser, over what can be achieved in trade talks. Mr Robbins had agreed with the EU‘s position that the best Britain can hope for this year is a broad statement of principles that can be turned into a trade deal later. The dispute centred on whether sending hundreds of officials to fight for a more ambitious conclusion would endanger the chances of getting a deal at all. But Mr Davis has won the case that Britain and the EU can get ‘pretty substantively close’ to an overall deal,  The Times revealed today. 

Times
Thousands of EU citizens could inadvertently become illegal residents in the UK after Brexit, a report warns.
Domestic abuse victims, children and the elderly are among those at risk of losing their right to remain in Britain despite meeting the required criteria to stay, according to experts. This could be because they struggle to provide documentation and complete a registration process, or do not realise they need to apply to continue living in the UK legally. The potential gap was highlighted in a paper by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.

Mirror
Thousands of EU nationals could accidentally become illegal residents in the UK after Brexit , a new report warns today.
Domestic abuse victims, children and the elderly are among those at risk of losing their right to remain in Britain despite meeting the required criteria to stay, experts say. Some could end up in the situation because they struggle to register and provide documentation, it’s claimed. But for others, they may not realise they need to apply to continue living in the UK legally. The potential gap was highlighted in a paper by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.

Mail
Canada‘s prime minister says Britain can negotiate an ‘even better or larger’ trade deal after Brexit.
Justin Trudeau said he would be happy to open talks with Britain ‘the day after’ Brexit next year and said he believed ‘the best trade deals are the win-win trade deals’. Speaking to the Times, he said the EU’s free trade agreement with Canada should be seen as the starting point for negotiations with the UK. He said: ‘The rolled-over or specific Ceta arrangement between Canada and the UK is just the floor, or the first step.  After that, we very much look forward to negotiating an even better or larger or more impactful deal to encourage the deepening of trade ties between Canada and the UK.

Mail
The boss of Germany‘s national bank today admitted  London will remain Europe’s biggest financial hub after  Brexit.
Bundesbank leader Andreas Dombret said there is widespread ‘reluctance’ among bankers living in the capital to move abroad. And he said the Square Mile will remain the continent’s ’eminent financial centre’ after Britain quits the bloc. His words come as political leaders across Europe compete to try to lure London’s lucrative financial services away. French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a glittering offensive – dubbed Operation Le Seduction – to move bankers to Paris.

Syria

Mail
Russia has vowed to shoot down any US missiles aimed at Syria using its lethal anti-aircraft system amid mounting tensions between Moscow and Washington.
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime is protected by fearsome S-400 defence missiles in a ‘ring of steel’ around the country provided by the Kremlin. The most advanced of Russia’s terrifying S-400 systems is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground objectives, according to Russia.

Telegraph
Donald Trump’s promise to carry out US strikes against Syria despite Russian warnings could result in a show-down between two of the world’s most sophisticated weapons systems. American military action against Bashar al-Assad’s military and chemical weapons capability will almost certainly come in the form of a hail of Tomahawk missiles, the $832,000-a-pop sea-launched weapons that were used against a Syrian airbase in April last year.
But that strike could be significantly disrupted, if not entirely thwarted, by Russia’s state of the art but previously untested S-400 air defence system.

Sky News
The Prime Minister will convene a special “war cabinet” on Thursday as the UK prepares to join tripartite military action against the Syrian regime, following its apparent use of chemical weapons.
The Cabinet is expected to be asked to approve a form of British participation in action led by France and the US, aimed at Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s chemical weapons infrastructure. It comes after a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma, eastern Ghouta, reportedly killed 70 people and injured 500 at the weekend. The US military is preparing options for Donald Trump to strike Syria, after the President warned Russia to “get ready” because missiles “will be coming”.

Mail
Theresa May was poised last night to defy calls for a Commons vote on military action in Syria.
The Prime Minister summoned ministers back to London to seek their support for joining an American-led attack on the Assad regime within days. Clearing the way for action, she declared the use of chemical weapons could not go unchallenged and said ‘all the indications’ suggested that Bashar Assad’s forces were responsible for Saturday’s atrocity near Damascus. Military chiefs are said to have ordered British submarines armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles to move within range of Syria. 

Independent
Theresa May has not ruled out committing the UK to join a coordinated military intervention in Syria without consulting MPs, after insisting that chemical weapons attack on Douma “cannot go unchallenged”.
The prime minister will discuss the next steps with her cabinet colleagues on Thursday, after summoning them to an emergency meeting. Downing Street sources said they would take “one step at a time”, but with the US president, Donald Trump, pressing for urgent action, they did not rule out bypassing the convention that parliament is offered a vote before military action. Some ministers are privately warning that they still need to be convinced of the evidence against the Syrian regime.

BBC News
The prime minister has summoned the cabinet to discuss the government’s response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Ministers will consider the options for backing military action threatened by the United States and its allies. Theresa May is prepared to take action against the Assad regime in Syria without first seeking parliamentary consent, sources have told the BBC. The allies want to prevent a repeat of an apparent chemical attack in Douma. Mrs May has said “all the indications” are that the Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad, which denies mounting a chemical attack, was responsible.

Mirror
The world is braced for war tonight after Theresa May reportedly ordered submarines to move within missile range of Syria.
The Prime Minister will summon top ministers to Downing Street on Thursday to discuss Britain’s response to the Syria chemical attack. She convened the urgent meeting of the Cabinet four full days before Parliament returns from its Easter break. And today Mrs May gave her strongest statement yet laying the blame for a deadly chemical attack at Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s door. Donald Trump demanded Assad’s Russian backers “get ready” for missiles – while the White House refused to rule out direct conflict with Russia.

Telegraph
President Donald Trump has warned Syria and its ally Russia that missiles “will be coming” as Theresa May made preparations for Britain to join US airstrikes against the Assad regime.
The US President used his favoured medium of Twitter to announce his intentions, saying: “Get ready Russia” for missiles that would be “nice and new and ‘smart!’” The Daily Telegraph has learnt that Mrs May has ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness for strikes against the Assad regime that could begin as early as Thursday night.

Times
Theresa May has cleared the way for Britain to join a US-led military attack on Syria within days after national security advisers presented new evidence blaming President Assad for the “barbaric” gas attack in Douma.
The prime minister is recalling cabinet ministers from their Easter break to seek approval today. She is set to defy calls, including from Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, to follow recent convention and allow MPs a vote. Polling for The Times indicates that only a fifth of voters believe that Britain should launch missiles on Syrian military targets. More than two fifths oppose action, with the remainder undecided.

Westmonster
A totally unscientific poll of Westmonster’s followers on Twitter found 80% against Britain taking military action against the Assad regime.
It comes amid heightening tensions, with President Trump and the Russian authorities increasingly outspoken after the Syrian regime was accused of unleashing chemical weapons on civilians. After unpopular missions in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere, it’s little wonder that there is such little appetite for another foreign intervention. As Nigel Farage has pointed out, regime change usually leads to chaos and an advantage of bloodthirsty jihadists.

Breitbart
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has urged the UK to not intervene in the Syrian conflict, claiming it will only spread “chaos” in the region and benefit Islamic State terrorists.
Whilst making it clear he regards President Bashar al-Assad as a “bad guy”, Mr. Farage compared Syria to Libya and Iraq to argue that the removal of Arab tyrants usually leaves a power vacuum that even worse forces fill. “This is the same British establishment who lined up and formed a pretty big consensus over Iraq,” he blasted on his LBC radio show, mocking Tony Blair’s claims about “weapons of mass distraction”.

Labour Party

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn will today launch another bid to woo young voters by promising them free bus travel.
He will pledge to offer up to 13million under-25s free bus passes at an estimated cost of £1.4billion. Mr Corbyn will say that young people ‘deserve a break’ and the offer will allow them to ‘travel to work, to study and to visit friends’. But last night the Tories called the offer a ‘bribe’ and claimed it would cost up to £13billion. The money will initially come from the budget used to maintain Britain’s roads, which have been described as being in the worst condition for years and riddled with potholes after the winter storms and snow.

Independent
Under-25s would be given free bus travel under Labour plans announced by
Jeremy Corbyn today. The party said it would scrap fares for 13 million young people to help them save money and encourage them to use public transport. The policy could save each young person up to £1,000 a year, Labour said, and will be funded through revenue raised by Vehicle Excise Duty. Free travel would only be offered in areas where councils agree to either take bus services under public ownership or introduce a franchising model similar to that which already exists in London.

EU

BBC News
The UK has until the end of 2020 to change its mind about leaving Europe’s single market, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has said.
Michel Barnier said that if the UK changed its “red lines” during the post-Brexit transition period, the EU would also change its position. Theresa May says the UK will quit the EU single market and customs union. She says this is needed to ensure the UK has the power to control borders and do trade deals with other countries.

Express
FURIOUS Conservative MPs have told Michel Barnier, the European Union’s Chief Brexit negotiator, to stop meddling in UK politics after he said the UK could reverse its position on leaving the single market and customs union up until the end of the transition period in December 2020.
The top EU official gave Theresa May until December 31 2020 to change her mind on Britain’s departure from the Brussels club, and said that the the EU would reconsider its red lines if the UK were to alter its position. Speaking to European reporters, Mr Barnier said: “If the British wish to modify their red lines, we will modify ours in consequence.

Independent
EU consumers will get more powers to challenge big companies in the courts, and a right to clearer information about who they are buying from, under proposals unveiled by the European Commission on Wednesday.
The new package of measures comes on the heels of the Dieselgate scandal, that saw consumers sold cars that emitted up to 40 times more toxic fumes in real-world driving than claimed. Under the proposals, consumer groups would gain powers to sue large corporations for collective redress on the behalf of those affected by such unfair commercial practices. 

Express
TAXPAYERS faced a bill of more than £140million to keep more than 4,000 foreign criminals from other EU countries locked up in British jails last year, figures revealed today.
Data released by the Ministry of Justice in response to a Freedom of Information request showed that 4,024 EU nationals languished in prisons in England and Wales in 2017. Nearly 1,400 were serious offenders including violent thugs and sex offenders serving sentences of more than four years. And more than half were serving jail terms of more than a year. Foreign prisoners – including 911 Poles and 607 Romanians – added to the intense strain on the over-stretched prison system, with most jails already full.

NHS

Star
EMERGENCY docs want all planned operations to be cancelled for two months every year. The shock call is aimed at easing the NHS’s regular winter crisis.
The Society of Acute Medicine (SAM), which represents emergency doctors, says routine surgery should be stopped every January and February. Hospitals were told this January to delay ops and outpatient appointments because of severe pressures. But Dr Nick Scriven, SAM’s president, says the advice should become normal to allow medics to focus on urgent cases and cancer care only. He claimed the NHS has only just coped this winter amid a flu epidemic and ageing population.

Times
Most voters now back tax rises to fund the NHS after a significant swing in favour of the policy among Conservative supporters, a survey has revealed.
For the first time in more than a decade, a majority of Britons say that they are personally willing to pay more to increase spending, according to the respected British Social Attitudes survey. They are increasingly dissatisfied with the state of the NHS, with almost three times as many saying that it has got worse as say it has improved, a gap not recorded since the late 1990s.

Times
NHS patients are being fed meals made for less than £1 per head, according to new figures.
Spending on hospital meals and drinks varies from £2.61 per patient each day to £39.60, in what campaigners called “a postcode lottery in hospital catering”. A total of 144 million inpatient main meals were requested in 2016/17, costing £560 million, or an average of £11.05 per inpatient per day. The figures, compiled by NHS Digital, were uncovered by Labour Party researchers. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, will announce today that a Labour government would ensure that hospitals had to meet minimum standards for food served. Thirteen hospitals spent less than £5 per day.

Education

Morning Star
AN academy chain “covered up” wholesale cheating by a school which paid professionals to “point at the answers” during SATs exams, a teacher claimed today.
The sensational allegation emerged as the National Education Union raised the alarm over the “falsification of data” being used to inflate grades. Bob Groome, an NEU rep in Norfolk, told delegates: “We’ve had … instances where schools hired in extra support for pupils during Sats examinations, in order to enhance the pass rate.

Queen

Times
The Queen’s direct ancestors include kings, dukes, earls and even electresses (sic), but could they also include a holy prophet? A Moroccan newspaper has declared that the Queen is a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, claiming to have traced her lineage back more than 40 generations.
The theory first surfaced in 1986 when Burke’s Peerage, the aristocratic genealogy guide, claimed that Elizabeth II could trace her lineage back to the Muslim kings of Spain and, through them, to the founder of Islam, who died in the 7th century in what is now Saudi Arabia.

Space

Star
CONSPIRACY theorists have sparked fresh fears about the end of the world coming very soon. The theory which suggests we are now in the “end times” says on April 23, the sun, moon, and Jupiter will align in the constellation Virgo to bring on the start of the biblical Rapture.
Nibiru will also appear in the sky, followed by the onset of World War 3, the rise of the Antichrist, and seven years of Tribulation. According to a theory, codes in the Bible suggest the end of the world is imminent on April 23. It suggests the end times dates back to astrological constellations appearing on November 23, matching the book of Revelation 12:1-2. The passage signals the start of the Rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Mail
Conspiracy theorists have sparked fresh fears that the end of the world is fast approaching.
On April 23, the sun, moon, and Jupiter will align in the constellation Virgo to bring on the start of the biblical Rapture, according to the latest claims. And, that night, it’s said the mysterious planet Nibiru will appear in the sky, followed by the onset of World War III, rise of the Antichrist, and seven years of Tribulation. While the predictions are certainly alarming, you probably don’t have to start bracing for the apocalypse just yet.

Star
AN asteroid will hurtle past Earth tonight and NASA has warned it will be the first of four to skim the planet this week. The newly discovered space rock – dubbed 2018 GG – is expected to zoom past our planet at around 9.59pm 
tonight. It will be travelling at a distance of 13.9 km/s. But thankfully, experts predict there is no threat of it hitting our planet. The rock is an Apollo-type asteroid and was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in the US this week. NASA said the object has an estimated diameter between 23 and 71 meters.

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