Terrorism

The Telegraph has a warning from the Foreign Office to travellers: “Foreign Office issues worldwide terrorism warning for British tourists

British holidaymakers travelling anywhere in the world have been told to be vigilant as they are at risk of being attacked by Islamist terrorists. The Foreign Office on Friday night issued a worldwide travel warning, saying tourists were at a risk of attack as a result of Britain’s intervention in Iraq and Syria.

The warning applies to every country in the world, and the FCO updated travel guidance on its website. It reflects a “generalised threat” to Britons, rather than intelligence of a specific and credible attack.

The warning states: “There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.”

Rochester and Strood

The Torygraph is forced to admit that “Ukip extends lead over Tories in Rochester, new poll finds

Ukip has extended its lead over the Conservatives in Rochester ahead of a critical by-election, a new poll has found. The Survation/ Unite poll found that Ukip has increased its lead by eight points to 48 per cent while the Conservatives hold just 33 per cent of the vote.

Conservative backbenchers are increasingly pessimistic of retaining the seat after Mark Reckless, the former Tory MP, triggered the by-election by defecting to Ukip. Nigel Farage’s party will gain its second MP if Mr Reckless wins the seat after Douglas Carswell won in Clacton.

The Daily Mail and Express also reports this. Meanwhile…

South Yorkshire PCC Election

The Daily Mail reports that: “Labour boasts it ‘took on Ukip and won’ after comfortably seeing off Farage’s party in crunch police commissioner by-election

Ed Miliband received a much-needed boost today after Labour comfortably held off Ukip in a crunch police commissioner election. Labour’s candidate for the South Yorkshire police post, Alan Billings, scooped just over half the 148,062 votes cast – with Ukip’s Jack Clarkson trailing in second place on 31.66 per cent.

A senior Labour source said the party had ‘took Ukip on and won’ despite Nigel Farage’s pledge to go after Mr Miliband’s core vote. It comes after Nigel Farage yesterday told MailOnline the election was ‘nip and tuck’.

The by-election – which was marred by turnout of just 14 per cent – was sparked by the resignation of Labour’s former police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright in the wake of the Rotherham sex abuse scandal.

What the report fails to mention is the fact that FOUR times as many votes (of the 14% turnout) were postal compared to put into ballot boxes, which opens suspicion of postal voting fraud. The Mirror, naturally, ignores Rochester and trumpets this one: “Nigel Farage’s bandwagon comes to crashing halt as Labour thrashes UKIP in crunch by-election”  On that page The Mirror has a “Vote UKIP or Not” poll which currently shows 41% support for UKIP.

Ed Miliband

Many papers give Miliband a bad press after his tuppeny donation to a beggar including the Telegraph: “Ed Miliband accused of looking ‘awkward’ while giving money to beggar

Ed Miliband has been accused of looking “awkward” and “terrified” while giving money to woman begging on the street. Labour were forced to deny that Mr Miliband had given the woman who, was sitting on a pile on newspapers on a Manchester street, just 2 pence. A spokesman for the party said he had given the woman a “handful” of coins although critics on Twitter were unconvinced.

In July Mr Miliband made a high profile speech in which he said he will turn his back on photo opportunities and focus on the issues. However during a Friday walkabout in Manchester, flanked by photographers, the Labour leader paused briefly to donate to the woman.

Virgin Galactic

All the papers run this story, including The Guardian: “One pilot dead as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane crashes

A Virgin Galactic spacecraft crashed after an explosion during a test flight over the Mojave desert on Friday, killing one of the pilots, seriously injuring another and leaving debris scattered over a wide area.

The plane, SpaceShipTwo, was undertaking a test flight as part of Sir Richard Branson’s plans for commercial space travel when a “serious anomaly” occurred, the company said.

Witnesses reported the spacecraft broke apart soon after it was detached from the launch plane that carries it to 45,000ft. Rescuers found one of the pilots dead on the ground. The other, who appeared to have deployed an emergency parachute, was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

Here’s more reports from The Independent and Daily Mail.

Child Sex Abuse Inquiry

The Guardian reports on Fiona Woolf quitting from this Inquiry, the second to do so from this poisoned chalice: “Fiona Woolf resigns as chair of government’s child abuse inquiry

The government’s child sex abuse inquiry was thrown into crisis after Fiona Woolf became the second senior legal figure to quit as chair over her links to the Westminster political establishment.

Woolf’s departure is a major embarrassment for the government and raises questions about the judgment of the home secretary, Theresa May, just months after retired judge Lady Butler-Sloss stepped down over similar concerns.

Woolf’s exit has left the inquiry without a chair and exposed concerns about the whole process overseen by the Home Office. Victims’ groups who pressed for Woolf to step down are now also calling for a much tougher judge-led inquiry. Alison Millar, head of the abuse team at law firm Leigh Day, which represents victims, said her clients were pleased that Woolf had stepped down.

EU

The Guardian reports that the Tories have already increased what we pay to the EU: “Conservatives put under further pressure by £2.7bn EU contributions

George Osborne is facing further criticism over the scale of Britain’s payments to the European Union after it emerged that the Treasury quietly handed over an unexpected £2.7bn last year and total net contributions have quadrupled since 2008.

Labour accused the chancellor of falling asleep at the wheel for a second time when it comes to the EU, after the Treasury previously failed to tell the prime minister for almost a week that the UK was facing an additional £1.7bn bill to be paid by 1 December.

The Express describes it as: “New outrage as it emerges each British family’s EU bill has QUARUPLED to £450 A YEAR

Council Houses

The Independent reports that “right-to-buy” houses are immediately rented out: “Great council house sell-off scandal: Right-to-buy council houses leave nowhere for poor to live

Council houses are being sold off on the cheap to people who immediately rent them back to housing benefit tenants, according to an Independent investigation that exposes a new “Right to Buy” scandal.

In echoes of Margaret Thatcher’s drive to force local authorities in the 1980s to sell their properties at a cut price, the Government’s new initiative to encourage councils to sell their houses is having a disastrous effect in allowing social housing to be exploited for personal profit.

Benefits

The Express reports that “Million Brits on benefits found ‘fit to work’ in crackdown

Since 2008, 1.06 million new claimants for Employment and Support Allowance were deemed able to undertake employment, figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions revealed. This has helped see the total number on sickness benefit itself drop by 165,360 since 2010.

Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper said: “This shows how we are helping those with illnesses or disabilities to fulfil their aspirations to provide for themselves and their families. As part of the Government’s longterm economic plan, we are looking at what people can do – with the right support – rather than simply writing off those on long-term sickness benefi ts as has happened in the past. There are now 1.8 million more people in work than 2010 and our welfare reforms will ensure that disability benefit support is better targeted at those who need it most.”

Crime

The Mirror reports that: “‘Soft option’ police cautions set to be scrapped and replaced with harsher punishments

Police cautions are set to be replaced with a two-tier system that the Government said removed the “soft option”. Lesser offenders will have to ­apologise to victims and make ­reparation, such as fixing damage or paying compensation. More serious offenders will get a suspended prosecution and a fine or have to attend rehabilitation.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Offenders will face prosecution if they fail to comply with conditions set by the police, so no one is allowed to get away with the soft option.”  Police in Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and Leicestershire will trial the system.

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