Cyber attack

The biggest story in today’s media is the hacking attack on the NHS.

The Telegraph says:

NHS bosses and the government are facing questions over why hospitals had been left vulnerable to the global cyber attack that crippled services on Friday.
The health service faces a weekend of chaos after hackers demanding a ransom infiltrated the health service’s antiquated computer system.
Operations and appointments were cancelled and ambulances diverted as up to 40 hospital trusts became infected by a “ransomware” attack demanding payment to regain access to vital medical records.
Doctors warned that the infiltration – the largest cyber attack in NHS history – could cost lives.
Medics described how computer screens were “wiped out one by one” by the attack, which spread to companies and institutions worldwide, including international shipper FedEx Corp in the US, and Germany’s rail operator.

The Times reports:

Patients were facing a weekend of chaos in the NHS as security services hunted an international criminal gang that crippled dozens of hospitals with a cyberattack.
Those who were critically ill were diverted to unaffected hospitals as computer systems failed in A&E units and doctors were locked out of test results, X-rays and patient records.
Appointments and operations were cancelled after the “highly co-ordinated and aggressive” attack and many hospitals were pleading with patients to stay away yesterday.
About 40 NHS organisations from London to Scotland are thought to have been hit, with others shutting down computer systems as a precaution. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said it was “working round the clock” to help get vital services back online.

But apparently the attack was expected, says the Times.

The UK has long been on high alert for a serious cyberattack that could paralyse national institutions and damage sensitive infrastructure.
The NHS infiltration is less sophisticated than many of the attacks that the security services are preparing for and does not appear to have resulted in a loss of data, but it highlights the relative ease with which opportunists can spread chaos across the country.
The government is spending £1.9 billion to improve cybersecurity after the 2015 National Security Strategy reaffirmed the threat as being one of the most significant risks to UK interests. A year later the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), an arm of the spy agency GCHQ, was set up to improve security and manage big incidents.

The Mail also covers the story.

Hospitals across Britain were paralysed last night after cyber hackers held the NHS to ransom in an unprecedented global attack.
Countless operations were cancelled and patients were turned away as almost 40 hospital trusts and hundreds of GP surgeries were locked out of their computer systems.
NHS staff pleaded with patients to stay away from A&E except in an emergency, and ambulances were diverted away from hospitals struggling to cope.
Experts say the cyber attack used code developed by the US National Security Agency which was leaked online last month by a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers.

And the Sun reports patients’ fury.

PATIENTS slammed hackers who plunged the NHS into chaos last night after demanding ransom in a cyber attack that “endangered lives”.
Dozens of operations were cancelled and patients were turned away from A&E after the large-scale attack – the biggest in the history of the NHS –caused “significant problems” in the UK.
Hackers using malware “stolen from the NSA” crippled 40 NHS trusts and caused disruption across 45,000 computer networks in 99 countries in an unprecedented global attack.
It is thought the disruption will last beyond the weekend as IT systems attempt to recover and the world feels the blow of the attack – with the NHS predicted to reel for weeks with delays and disruptions.

The Sun claims other organisations have been victims.

VIRGIN Media was said to have gone down in some parts of the country earlier with viewers complaining of faults with their TV and broadband.
The company’s Twitter account was flooded with complaints from users who have branded it “the worst internet provider in the world”.
Virgin Media reportedly went down in London, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester, according to the Down Detector website.

The Star has the story tucked away downpage.

MILLIONS of Brits remain at risk after cyber attackers hacked into hospital records – bringing the NHS to its knees.
It is understood as many as 40 NHS trusts have been targeted in one of the biggest cyber security attacks to hit the UK.
Hospitals in Britain reported significant problems with information and telephone networks.
Chaos is expected throughout the weekend and into next week. 

And the BBC News reports work to fix the problem.

IT experts are “working round the clock” to restore NHS computer systems hit by Friday’s ransomware attack.
Ciaran Martin, head of the UK’s cyber security agency, said it was doing “everything in our power” to get “vital services” back up and running.
The BBC understands about 40 NHS organisations and some GP practices were hit in England and Scotland, with operations and appointments cancelled.
Theresa May said the NHS had been caught up in an international attack.
Similar computer infections have been reported in a range of organisations in about 100 countries.

ITV News labels the situation ‘chaos’.

The NHS is facing a weekend of chaos as IT experts work “around the clock” to restore vital computer systems hit by a debilitating cyber attack.
Operations and appointments were cancelled for patients across the country as up to 40 trusts in England and Scotland were hit by the ransomware.
Other health organisations shut down servers as a precautionary measure leaving hospitals and GP surgeries with a backlog of postponed appointments to deal with.

And Breitbart also reports the attack.

The National Health Service (NHS) has been hit by an unprecedented, large-scale cyber-attack.
Many hospitals have been forced to divert and even cancel non-emergency procedures, and doctors and others are reporting messages demanding money in exchange for access to computer files.
The hack is being described as a so-called “ransomware” attack, and a similar attack happened recently in Spain. It is thought to have originated from a virus delivered in an e-mail.

Brexit

In other news, the Telegraph claims an exclusive report that the EU could pay us to leave.

Brussels could end up having to pay Britain a Brexit divorce bill because the UK has contributed to so many EU assets, Boris Johnson has suggested, as he accused Europe of wanting to “bleed this country white”.
In his first major interview of the election campaign, the Foreign Secretary said there were “very good arguments” to why Britain should demand money back, adding that EU leaders were “trying it on”.
He said Britain could leave the EU without paying a penny if there was no Brexit deal, and compared warnings about a “no deal” Brexit to the unfounded fears over the non-existent millennium bug in 1999.

Sky News reports the Telegraph story.

Brussels could be forced to pay the UK a Brexit divorce bill, rather than the other way round, Boris Johnson has said.
The Foreign Secretary accused the EU of trying to “bleed this country white” with an expected bill of as much as €100bn (£84bn) to settle liabilities on withdrawal.
He claimed the UK could “definitely” walk away without paying, and said Britain’s share of EU assets is so valuable that Brussels may end up having to hand over money.
Asked whether he agreed with former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith that Britain might end up receiving a payment, Mr Johnson told the Daily Telegraph: “I do, I think there are very good arguments.

The story is also covered by ITV News.

Brussels could be forced to pay Britain a Brexit divorce bill because the UK’s share of EU assets is so valuable, Boris Johnson claims.
The Foreign Secretary also accused the EU of trying to “bleed this country white” with an expected bill of £84 billion to settle liabilities on withdrawal.
Asked whether Mr Johnson agreed with former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith that Britain might end up receiving a payment, Mr Johnson told the Daily Telegraph: “I do, I think there are very good arguments.
“There are assets, I don’t want to get too much into the detail of the negotiation but there are assets that we share, that we have paid for over the years and there will need to be a proper computation of the value of those assets.

But there is opposition, reports the Express.

BRITAIN’S hopes of securing a good Brexit deal face widespread opposition from ordinary voters across the European Union, a series of shock charts reveals today.
In total 78 per cent of people polled in nine key EU states said that protecting the interests of the 27 remaining members must come ahead of giving the UK a fair trading agreement.
But the strength of feeling against Britain varies significantly from country to country, and the results indicate Theresa May could find an unexpected ally in the form of France.
Surprisingly, French people are the least committed to ensuring the continued unity of the Brussels bloc and more inclined towards handing “special privileges” to the UK. 

Westmonster warns of governmental ‘backsliding’.

David Cameron’s comments yesterday that a big Tory majority would allow Theresa May to stop an “extreme Brexit” was seized upon by senior UKIP figures as evidence of Tory backsliding.
Nigel Farage claimed that Cameron had “let the cat out of the bag” that a big Conservative win would allow May to soften Brexit.
UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall laid in too, saying that it showed why the party was still required to act as the “guard dog of Brexit”.
With evidence of Tory candidates being soft on Brexit and happy to hand the EU money, the case for UKIP MPs grows stronger.

EU

Over on the continent, the Express reports a huge hike in EU foreign aid.

BRUSSELS has today announced that it will be almost doubling its foreign aid spending in war-torn Somalia to an eye-watering £420 million.
Eurocrats allocated an extra £170 million of taxpayers’ money for the corruption plagued country to help improve its security situation.
The cash comes on top of a £242 million package already approved by EU officials to fund peacekeeping missions and domestic reforms.
British taxpayers will be expected to pick up around £55 million of the total bill at a time when UK public services are suffering spending cuts. 

And Breitbart reports a British veto on plans for a EU army.

Brexit-bound Britain is blocking the launch of an EU military headquarters because it opposes any suggestion that the unit would have an active operational role, EU diplomatic sources said Friday.
After months of tough negotiations, all 28 member states approved plans in March for a small grouping in Brussels to coordinate three of the bloc’s overseas training operations.
Turning the agreement into a legal text however has run into trouble, with proposals to call it an “Operational Headquarters” being a “red flag” for Britain ahead of its June 8 election and the start of the Brexit talks, the diplomatic sources said.

Blair

That man has raised his political head again, reports the Sun.

THE psychic who predicted Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise to power claims Tony Blair is set to launch a new political party following the 2017 General Election.
Craig Hamilton-Parker forecasts disillusioned MPs will form a shock alliance after Jeremy Corbyn suffers a humiliating defeat.
The Southampton-born prophet, 62, exclusively told The Sun Online: “With Labour in total disarray a new political party will be formed by disgruntled politicians of all parties.
Eventually it will see Tony BlairEd Miliband and Alan Johnson from Labour as well as Ken Clarke from the Conservatives join its ranks.”

The Mirror reports Blair will speak in Northern Ireland.

Tony Blair has said a deal between Britain and Ireland on the future of the border with Northern Ireland is the best way of limiting damage from Brexit .
The former prime minister told a meeting in the Irish Republic of Europe’s centre-right political groups that a “hard border” on the island would be a disaster.
“If the UK and the Republic were able to agree a way forward on the border, then we would have the best chance of limiting the damage. It is in the interests of us all, including our European partners, for this to happen,” Mr Blair said.
He said getting consensus on the border will be crucial in the Brexit negotiations.

The Express also reports that he will address pro-Europeans.

TONY BLAIR is expected to make a major speech on Brexit at a meeting in Ireland today.
The former British prime minister will address a gathering of pro-EU politicians from across Europe.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is also expected to speak at the European People’s Party (EPP) conference south of Dublin.
Mr Barnier will then travel to the Republic’s border with Northern Ireland where he will hold discussions at a business park in Co Monaghan.

General Election

The Telegraph claims the Conservatives’ plans for a landslide victory will be helped by UKIP.

Ukip could hand Theresa May a landslide victory in the General Election after deciding not to put up candidates in at least 29 marginal constituencies that are predominantly held by Labour.
Paul Nuttall, the Ukip leader, has decided not to stand candidates in constituencies where a sitting Tory MP supported a hard Brexit or where the Conservatives have the chance to oust Europhile MPs.
The decision means that the Tories could make gains by picking up Ukip voters in a swathe of seats in Labour’s traditional heartlands in the Midlands and the North, along with several London marginal constituencies.

Even Labour’s deputy leader accepts the predicted result of the election, says BBC News.

Labour’s deputy leader has warned of a “Margaret Thatcher-style landslide” for the Conservatives if his party fails to turn around current poll numbers.
Tom Watson said Labour had a “mountain to climb” to catch up with the Tories before 8 June’s vote.
He told the Guardian: “It is going be very, very difficult… but we are determined to do it.”
In her latest campaign visit, Theresa May accused Labour of “deserting” working class voters.

Ebola

It looks like the deadly virus has reared its ugly head again, says the Sun.

AN EBOLA outbreak has left at least one dead in northern Congo as health authorities look into nine more suspected cases.
Experts are looking into two more deaths to see if they can be linked with the hemorrhagic fever,  Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga said.
The outbreak could test a recently developed experimental Ebola vaccine that the World Health Organisation says could be used in emergencies.
It is hoped the vaccine could prevent a pandemic.

The Star also reports the epidemic.

AN Ebola epidemic has been declared by the World Health Organisation.
The move comes after three people are believed to have died from the killer disease in Congo, Africa.
The WHO says it is taking the situation “very seriously” following the deaths in a remote forest.
One of those killed had tested positive for Ebola after coming down with a haemorrhagic fever last month.

Drought

Back home, it seems we could be in for a water shortage, reports the Times.

Ten rivers in England have “exceptionally low” flows, the highest number since a drought prompted hosepipe bans for 20 million people in 2012, according to the Environment Agency.
Another 17 rivers have “notably low” flows and only three out of 40 monitored by the agency are at normal levels.
Showers since Thursday have brought relief to some areas and will continue over the weekend, but the outlook for the rest of May is mainly dry, particularly in the parched southeast.
Despite the UK having had its driest winter for 20 years and only 34 per cent of normal rainfall in England last month, most water companies are expected to cope without imposing hosepipe bans.

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