NHS

Times
Britain has some of the lowest numbers of doctors and hospital beds in Europe, according to figures that support claims that NHS patients are suffering because of short-staffing. NHS performance on keeping stroke and heart attack patients alive is mediocre and is well below average on cancer survival, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said. New mothers are sent home sooner in Britain than in any other European country, the research found, reinforcing concerns that a shortage of beds is pushing people out of hospital too quickly. Spending on health in Britain is around the European average after a change in the way figures are calculated, but the NHS still receives notably less than the French and German health systems.

Sun
BRITAIN has fewer medics than all but two EU countries, a major report reveals. And we are also third from bottom when it comes to hospital bed numbers, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study of 28 nations found. There are 2.8 doctors per 1,000 Brits compared to an EU average of 3.5. Only Romania and Poland have fewer. Our 2.7 hospital beds per 1,000 residents is less than a third of Germany’s 8.2, while only Ireland and Sweden have fewer. The report comes as NHS bosses plan to axe beds, A&Es and maternity units to save cash.

Guardian
The watchdog overseeing how ministers use official statistics has told the government to be clearer and more exact in its claims about NHS funding after it investigated Theresa May’s contentious claim that she was giving the health service a £10bn boost. The UK Statistics Authority looked into the prime minister’s repeated use of the £10bn claim after Labour and the British Medical Association complained that the figure was misleading and wrong . It has asked the Treasury to overhaul how government spending on both the NHS and health more widely is presented in order to minimise the risk of further “confusion” about the size of budget rises.

Mail
Britain has the shortest maternity stays and among the fewest hospital beds, doctors and cancer scanners in the EU, a study shows. It lays bare the extent to which the NHS is labouring, highlighting the fact that the UK has the third lowest number of hospital beds per head of population. The average maternity stay of 36 hours, or 1.5 days – condemned as ‘conveyor belt care’ – puts Britain on a par with non-EU country Turkey. And this is less than half the EU average stay of 3.2 days, far lower than the 4.1 common in France and five in Croatia. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s annual report into EU healthcare shows that on a range of statistics Britain fares worse than a number of countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

ISIS

Star
DONALD Trump and Vladimir Putin are planning to team up with Turkey’s strongman president to crush ISIS once and for all, according to military experts. Trump’s national security adviser, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, is in discussion with the head of Russia’s security council as well as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to sources in Washington. Jordan’s King Abdullah is also thought to be part of the new alliance. The group are thought to have held discussions to prepare a combined assault on ISIS-held land in Iraq and Syria. Israeli military intelligence site DEBKAfile wrote: “Their plan of operation would also involve the regular armies of Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Persian gulf nations.” Putin is believed to have called the president-elect personally following his shocking victory to discuss the best way to tackle ISIS in Syria.

Russia

Express
RUSSIAN tankers flouted EU laws and docked in European countries before moving on to fuel fighter jets in Syria, according to a Brussels insider. The source revealed at least two Russian-flagged ships made deliveries via Cyprus and Greece, going against EU restrictions. A European Council edict, issued two years ago, bans any supply of jet fuel to Syria from the EU territories, whether or not the fuel came from within the Union. The insider said: “The jet fuel shipments from these vessels have played a vital role in maintaining Russian air strikes in the region. “This points to a sustained Russian build-up of resources needed to support their military operation and ambitions in Syria.”

Brexit

Express
MPs were today told it is “pretty much inevitable” Britain will quit the EU’s Single Market and customs union as part of Brexit. Known as a so-called ‘hard’ or ‘clean’ Brexit, taking the UK out of the bloc’s Single Market and customs union would free Britain up to strike trade deals with non-EU countries. It would also end the power of EU judges to rule on UK legislation and release Britain from the bloc’s freedom of movement rules. Tory MP and Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab, a former justice minister, suggested it was the “logical conclusion” to end the UK’s membership of the Single Market or customs union in order to meet the Government’s ‘red lines’ for Brexit.

Unions

Morning Star
UNIONS are discussing action to force an end to the public-sector pay cap, Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union general secretary Mark Serwotka said yesterday, as leading labour movement figures condemned the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Mr Serwotka accused ministers of “pure hypocrisy” for claiming that they want to help struggling families while subjecting workers to years of wage cuts. He said PCS would be “talking to other unions in the coming weeks about taking action together to bring the pay freeze to an end.” Unison general secretary Dave Prentis condemned the government for “spreading the jam far too thinly,” saying: “Despite the rhetoric, the previous chancellor’s austerity plan is very much still intact.”

EU army

Express
MIKE Hookem condemned Eurocrats during furious rant in Brussels after the bloc voted in favour of creating an EU army capable of overriding Nato. The vote to develop an army that will act under the will of the EU was passed by a narrow majority of MEPs earlier today, despite repeated claims over the years that the union had no intention of building up a military force. Now Mr Hookem has claimed the bloc will use its new-found military might to kill off freedom of speech and stop Brexit from happening. The Ukip MEP said: “Here we have, in black and white, that dangerous fantasy Nick Clegg tried to trick voters with in 2014 when he said there were no plans for an EU military.

Farage

Express
THE European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has launched an astonishing attack on Nigel Farage on the floor of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Guy Verhofstadt mocked Ukip’s interim leader apparent eagerness to be given a role in Britain’s negotiations with the Donald Trump administration by using Vote Leave’s Brexit battle cry about “taking back control”. The Brussels-based negotiator has always been a critic of the UK’s departure from the bloc , previously accusing Theresa May ’s administration of “inflaming tensions” over plans to force firms to declare the number of foreign workers they employ. In his latest attack on Brexit, Mr Verhofstadt, speaking in Strasbourg blasted: “Today there is a ring of autocrats around Europe; Erdogan, Putin, I’m not going as far to put [Donald] Trump in that little list.

Scotland

Express
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s chaotic government has been slammed for its breaching of the Scottish Ministerial Code. The code was put in place to ensure politicians in Scotland were accountable to the taxpayer over who they are meeting and the costs to the public purse. The Holyrood parliament does not have the same level of scrutiny as MPs at Westminster because the SNP changed the rules to give the First Minister a power of veto into investigations into her cabinet and notably herself. Now as it’s revealed the SNP Westminster contingent charged the taxpayer £8.8m for their expenses in 2015, the Scottish Government is breaching its own rules by refusing to be transparent. The embattled First Minister has been called upon to explain why she is refusing to publish the cost of her overseas trips as well as who she has been meeting.

Prisons

Express
HUNDREDS of extra prison officers are to be recruited to tackle violence in Britain’s creaking jails, the Chancellor has announced. During the Autumn Statement Mr Hammond unveiled plans for up to £500 million extra for the Ministry of Justice most of which will be spent on recruiting and training 2,500 new prison officers. The announcement followed a difficult period for Justice Secretary Liz Truss who was forced to take legal action to stop a prison officer strike over safety conditions at work. The funds will help her as she re-enters talks with the Prison Officers Association after the flash strike of up to 10,000 officers last week. Some of the money will also be spent on safety issues in the prison estate identified in a white paper unveiled earlier this month by Ms Truss where she also pledged to recruit the extra prisons officers.

Islam

Breitbart
The American government has revealed they have “credible information” Islamic State and al-Qaeda are planning to attack Christmas celebrations in Europe this year. The warning comes days after French counterterrorist police seized a haul of weapons and arrested seven people, taking orders from Syria, thought to have been plotting to hit Christmas events. With a “focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events”, the State Department in Washington D.C. said organised attacks, such as those in Paris last November and in Brussels in March, as well as lone-wolf attacks, were possible. “U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning,” they said.

Breitbart
A row has broken out after customers were told by Woolworths staff that Christmas decorations will no longer be stocked as it’s now a Muslim store. Dortmund, Germany, residents were shocked to see the Woolworths branch’s Yuletide selection, which included gifts, tree decorations, and chocolate Santas, was removed after just a few days on display. One shopper reported that the entire Christmas range was on display on Friday, but had disappeared when she visited the next day. The Dortmund resident said when she arrived at Woolworths on Saturday she was greeted by “empty shelves, which had been full the day before”. A member of staff explained the sudden withdrawal boasting, “We are a Muslim business, we don’t want to sell Christmas articles”.

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