Manchester bombing

Telegraph
There has not been an official claim of responsibility for the Manchester attack from any terror group but supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) celebrated the bombing on social media.  Isil supporters hailed the bombing as a victory against “the crusaders” of the West. In one video an English-speaking supporter of Isil held up a home made sign with the word “Manchester” and the date of the attack. “This is only the beginning. The lions of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham are beginning to attack all the crusaders,” the masked man said in the short video. Other Isil supproters said the attack was revenge for the UK’s involvement in the bombing campaign against Isil in Iraq and Syria.

Mail
Theresa May condemned the ‘appalling’ terrorist atrocity in Manchester today as election campaigning was suspended. The Prime Minister led a wave of outrage among politicians over the ‘evil’ attack on on children. The bombing at the Manchester Arena has left 22 dead and 50 wounded, with fears of more casualties. Mrs May will chair a meeting later today of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee at 9am.  She said: ‘We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.

Guardian
Theresa May and the leaders of other political parties have suspended campaigning for the general election following the terrorist attack in Manchester, which has killed at least 19 people. The prime minister, who had been due to speak at a campaign event in southwest England, will instead chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee. May said the incident at Manchester Arena was being treated by police as an “appalling terrorist attack”.

Mirror
All campaigning in the general election has been halted after a suspected terror attack in Manchester killed more than 20 people. The Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, UKIP and SNP all confirmed they had cancelled planned events today. 
Children were among at least 22 people killed when a lone man detonated a device as fans left an Ariana Grande gig at Manchester Arena just before 11pm. There are just 16 days to polling day, and a quarter of a million people under 25 registered to vote yesterday. But Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn spoke in the early hours and agreed to suspend campaign events until further notice.

Star
A WARPED masked jihadi has claimed the Manchester terror attack is “only the beginning” of ISIS attacks. At least 22 people have died and 59 more have been injured in an explosion at Manchester Arena. A device believed to be filled with shrapnel and nails was detonated in the foyer outside the building immediately following an Ariana Grande concert. Greater Manchester Police revealed they were treating the incident as a terror attack. Moments after the explosion, sick jihadis celebrated the incident causing maximum casualties, and shared footage of an unknown man claiming to be an ISIS member. The masked scumbag claims to be behind the devastation at Manchester, and issues a chilling warning. He says: “In the name of Allah, the merciful and the grateful, this is only the beginning.”

EU

Telegraph
The European Commission is to unveil radical plans for a eurozone fiscal union, pushing for an embryonic treasury with powers to fight economic recessions and to cope with shocks in hard-hit regions. The EU budget authority will be backed by a joint eurozone unemployment fund, akin to social security in the US. The proposal entails an unprecedented level of shared risk among the EU eurozone states and marks a profound shift in thinking after years of rigid austerity and lack of investment. Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU commissioner for the euro,  said there would be a ‘stabilisation fund’ with resources to help blighted areas escape downturns. “We will give a bigger role to the aggregate fiscal stance of the whole eurozone in setting policy,” he said at the European Business Summit in Brussels.

Breitbart
Germany and France pledged Monday to seek ways to strengthen the 19-nation eurozone, with harmonizing corporate taxes among the possible measures they will mull over in the coming weeks. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and new French counterpart Bruno Le Maire said they are setting up a panel to produce proposals for a bilateral summit in July. “We’ve been talking for years about progress in the integration of the eurozone, but things aren’t advancing quickly enough or far enough,” Le Maire said. “We are determined to get things moving faster and further, in a very concrete way.”

Westmonster
The German and French desire for even deeper EU integration bound by economic policy is being stepped up a notch off the back of Emmanuel Macron’s election as President. France’s new Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire declared in Berlin that: “We’ve been talking about progress in Eurozone integration for years, but things are not moving fast enough.” “We have now decided to get things going more quickly and further in a very concrete manner.” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was on hand to back Le Maire up, pushing the clear line that France and Germany really want to get the Eurozone integration show on the road.

Brexit

Independent
Theresa May has been accused of sending an “unlawful” letter of notification to Brussels over the UK’s intention to leave the EU, and is now facing a judicial review. Dr Andrew Watt, a retired Scottish doctor, said Ms May’s notification to the head of the European Council Donald Tusk of the UK’s intention to leave the EU on 29 March is void because the country never officially decided to leave the union. He argued last year’s EU referendum was not a legally binding decision but according to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, member states have to decide to leave the EU in accordance with constitutional requirements before notifying Brussels of their intention. Dr Watt said the UK never took the constitutional decision to leave the EU, making unlawful any later notice of withdrawal. 

Express
EUROPE’S chief Brexit negotiator today got the green light from EU leaders to set the bloc on collision course with Britain when talks begin next month. They agreed in Brussels that there must be “sufficient progress” on agreeing Britain’s “divorce bill” before discussions can start about a post-Brexit trade deal. The EU’s long-held view of how the talks should proceed is at odds with Britain’s insistence that any exit fee can and must be discussed in parallel with hammering out the shape of future relations between the UK and the Continent.

Motoring

Telegraph
Motorists will be forced to pay more for petrol on bank holidays and while doing the school run, under a secret pricing revolution being drawn up by supermarkets. Artificial intelligence capable of charging drivers extra at busy times has arrived in the UK for the first time, and is expected to result in the biggest shake-up of fuel prices in nearly half a century. The Daily Telegraph can reveal that major British supermarkets are in late-stage talks with Denmark-based a2i Systems, the firm which sells the computer algorithm, and could install it within months.  Drivers could see petrol prices move several times over the course of a day, with the cost rising or falling by up to 2p a litre, or around £1 per tank.

Mail
Diesel fumes have been proven for the first time to cause coughing and shortness of breath. British scientists now have physical evidence that car fumes cause nerves in the lungs to misfire. It was known that people with asthma, taken to traffic-heavy Oxford Street in London, for example, are worse affected than those in less polluted areas. But researchers can now explain the effect of diesel particles, which are so tiny that the body mistakes them for natural molecules and draws them deep into the lungs. A team from Imperial College London has discovered diesel fumes trigger a receptor in the airway, starting a chain reaction which causes nerves in the lungs to fire wrongly.

Sun
SUPERMARKETS are in secret talks to introduce petrol price hikes at peak times, it was reported last night. They want to bring in artificial intelligence that would allow them to charge more during bank holidays and the school run. Major British supermarkets are said to be in late-stage talks with Denmark-based a2i Systems, which could install the setup within months. The pricing shake-up would see petrol costs change several times a day. The technology is already being used in Europe and across the US. It uses a computer algorithm modelled on the human brain, which aims to predict how customers and competitors will behave, the Daily Telegraph reported. As well as increasing peak-time prices it will also be able to drop them during quiet spells.

Social care

Times
Local authorities would be saddled with tens of millions of pounds of debt by the Conservatives’ manifesto plans, according to an expert on social care. Luke Clements, who lectures in law and social justice at Leeds University, said that councils would demand extra Treasury funding to allow people to defer home care payments until after their death. This would result in councils having to spend a further significant sum on lawyers to chase families for their money after the death, he said. “In financial terms, local authorities will take a cashflow hit as many individuals will be able to — and will be —advised to — opt for a deferred payment,” Professor Clements said, in his report The Conservative Manifesto and Social Care.

Mail
Theresa May unveiled a cap on social care costs today as she took drastic action to end the mounting backlash over the Tory manifesto. The Prime Minister executed the embarrassing U-turn after the policy of charging more pensioners for care triggered an outcry over a ‘dementia tax’. The original overhaul appeared to have given Labour a major boost as they warned of a Conservative assault on pensioners. But the volte face threatened to throw the Tories into meltdown despite Mrs May’s protestations that ‘nothing has changed’ in her plans. Just four days ago, on the morning of the Tory manifesto launch, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the idea of a cap had been ditched because it was ‘unfair’ and disproportionately benefited the wealthy.

Independent
A rattled Theresa May is facing damaging accusations of dishonesty after her humiliating U-turn on “dementia tax” left the Conservative election campaign in disarray. In an evasive TV interview, the Prime Minister was asked three times why she was not being “honest” about her decision to agree to a cap on care costs – four days after her manifesto ruled it out. Today marked the first time that the Prime Minister’s character has become an issue in the election campaign, raising its head after the Tory lead narrowed to single digits in several polls. Furthermore, she repeatedly refused to answer the crucial question of the level of any care cap – at one point referring to the policy as a “concept”.

Sky News
Theresa May is facing further pressure from opponents on paying for care for the elderly despite her u-turn on capping social care bills. The Liberal Democrats claim elderly homeowners across England will still face paying a “dementia tax” despite the Prime Minister’s manifesto change of heart. And Labour is challenging her to rule out further attacks on pensioner benefits after the Tory pledge to means test the winter fuel allowance, worth up to £300 a year. In a TV interview, a defiant Mrs May defended her u-turn by declaring: “What I’ve done today is I’ve seen the scaremongering, frankly, that we’ve seen over the weekend.

NHS

Times
A blood test costing £1 could catch thousands of cancers early after scientists discovered the first new indicator of the disease for three decades. Research by British scientists suggests that a high blood platelet count can predict all types of cancer up to three months before other symptoms appear. GPs routinely order a blood count as part of diagnostic testing. The researchers said that if patients with unexplained raised platelet counts, known as thrombocytosis, were sent for further investigations at least 5,500 cancers could be diagnosed at an earlier stage every year. About 360,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Britain annually.

Times
NHS hospitals and ambulance trusts have recorded a deficit of more than £700 million for the last financial year. The figures, which the Department of Health had said could not be published under general election purdah rules, were revealed in research by the Health Service Journal. According to the magazine, around 100 of 235 trusts ended the year in the red. While this is an improvement on the £2.4 billion shortfall reported in 2015-16, it is partly because of an emergency injection of £1.8 billion at the start of the year. National leaders said last summer that £580 million would be the maximum acceptable number.

Terror attack

Sun
ISIS is plotting to attack UK-bound oil tankers forcing elite special forces divers to scour ship hulls, it is claimed. Brit spy agencies have allegedly received intelligence the terror group is planning to target the vast ships ferrying highly explosive fuel from the Middle East. The intelligence reports indicated jihadis could have got their hands on limpet mines, which can be attached to the hulls of ships, the Daily Mail reports. It is thought they could be attached to the hulls of tankers carrying millions of gallons of oil with the resulting explosion strong enough to destroy an entire port. And frogmen from the Special Boat Service (SBS) and Royal Navy divers are said to have been given the task of preventing it.

New party

Times
Labour donors are lining up to fund a new centre-left party after the general election, The Times has learnt. Wealthy party backers have said that if Labour remained under hard-left leadership after the election and the party conference, they would help to create a new organisation. They spoke out during the week in which Labour unveiled its most left-wing manifesto in four decades, proposing to take into public ownership rail, electricity and water and raise taxes for those earning more than £80,000. Yesterday a YouGov poll suggested that support for Labour had climbed to its highest level in the campaign, reaching 35 per cent, nine points behind the Conservatives.

Education

Mail
A headteacher has put her job on the line after boycotting annual SATs tests for 11-year-olds because they will be ‘too stressful for pupils’. Jill Wood said she was willing to breach her contract to fight the controversial national curriculum tests for the sake of the children’s emotional well-being. The head of Little London Primary School in Leeds, West Yorkshire, decided to take the 10 and 11-year-old pupils on educational visits instead of sending them into the exam hall and called the tests a ‘ridiculous and unnecessary strain’.
Mrs Wood said: ‘The country is spending billions on children’s mental health, so why are we putting them under pressure? ‘We just felt last year we had children sobbing in exams and it upset me so much, I just said ‘I can’t do this again’. They are a ridiculous, unnecessary strain.

Independent
Theresa May has defended her education policy by telling a parent they could have “all the evidence in the world” but that headteachers told her “grammar schools are good”, it has been claimed. The Prime Minister was attending a summer fete in her local constituency of Maidenhead on Sunday, when school governor and parent-of-two Karen Wespieser approached her to question the leader’s controversial grammar school expansion plans. “It seemed too good an opportunity to miss,” Ms Wespieser told 
The Independent, “I thought I’d kick myself if I didn’t say anything”.

Doomsday vault

Star
EMERGENCY action has been taken to protect Planet Earth’s so-called Doomsday Vault after floodwater began to gush inside. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault – meant to prepare man for oblivion – has been breached by melting ice in at its base in Norway. Buried deep inside a remote Arctic Island, the vault can store 2.5 billion seeds which are intended to be used should Earth face the apocalypse.
Freezing temperatures inside preserves its precious cargo – but its custodians are now having to take desperate action. Record levels of melting permafrost have caused a leak inside the vault – with water seeping about 15 metres into the 100 metre tunnel. However, the seeds remain safe as the vault’s managers take action to make sure the flood does not spread. All electronic devices and heat sources are being removed from the vault as a precaution.

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