Trump

The big story of the day is the inauguration of the new president of the US. In terms of the UK, the Telegraph reports that our Prime Minister will be one of the first to meet him.

Theresa May will fly out to meet Donald Trump next week in secret plans to make her the first foreign leader to hold talks with the new US President.
The Telegraph can reveal that Mrs May hopes to fly out to Washington DC on Thursday – much earlier than previously thought.
The visit has been brought forward after Steve Bannon, Mr Trump’s chief strategist, reached out to appeal for an early trip, according to sources.
Mrs May is expected to visit “for a couple of days” and hold talks with Mr Trump in the Oval Office, the presidential office in the White House.
Other cabinet ministers, who have been happy to let Mrs May “own” the relationship with the incoming president, are not expected to join her.
The plans have been secretly worked up over the last week, with officials across Whitehall involved in the final 48 hours before the inauguration.

The Times also runs the story.

Theresa May is preparing to travel to the White House within days, placing her in the first wave of foreign leaders to meet the new US president.
Downing Street has been put on alert for a possible trip to Washington on Thursday, but officials stressed that it had not been confirmed.
Donald Trump told The Times in an interview this week that he hoped Mrs May would visit “right after” he was sworn in. It had been thought that the visit would take place in late February.
A rapid development in relations with the new administration based on the prospect of a US-UK trade deal has brought preparations forward, according to insiders.

Farage

And our own former leader will be confirmed as close to the president, says the Telegraph.

Nigel Farage will be made a “close but unofficial adviser” to Donald Trump after he enters the White House today, a key ally of the new president has said.
Phil Bryant, the Governor of Mississippi, made the comments at a party thrown for Mr Farage on the top floor of the five star Hay Adams hotel overlooking the White House on Thursday night.
The news will cause consternation in Downing Street which has repeatedly tried to downplay the significance of Mr Farage to Mr Trump, describing him as an “irrelevance”.
Shortly after he won the US Presidential election Mr Trump said Mr Farage would be a good British ambassador to Washington, forcing Number 10 to scotch the idea.
Mr Bryant described Mr Farage, the former UK Independence Party leader, as a “humble man who just believes in great Britain and trying to make sure it achieves that greatness”.
He added: “There is an opportunity for him to work directly with the president, we call it ‘close but unofficial’.

Brexit

The new website Westmonster reports that some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party will not support the result of the referendum.

Labour MP Neil Coyle has just announced on the Daily Politics show that he will vote against the triggering of Article 50 because the 2015 Labour manifesto backed remain. Seriously.
It may have passed this fool by, but the Conservative manifesto also said they would back a Remain vote. We did however have a little thing called a referendum which showed a clear majority of Brits want to leave the EU and the single market. It is now Parliament’s job to get on with making a success of it!
If Labour derail Brexit, millions of their supporters will never forgive them and nor will the country. They would be finished.

EU

On the continent, the Chancellor has warned that the EU may not survive the new US president, says the Sun.

DONALD Trump poses a threat to the EU’s survival, Philip Hammond has warned the world’s elite.
Speaking in Davos, the Chancellor told the World Economic Forum that Brussels should be more worried about the new US President than the destabilising effect of Brexit.
Mr Hammond said: “Brexit has introduced uncertainty. I think the change of administration in the US has introduced an even bigger piece of uncertainty for the European Union”.
Highlighting Trump’s attacks on NATO and warmth to aggressive Russian president Vladimir Putin, he explained: “Anything that changes the settled status quo of a Europe that lives with Russia as a neighbour, but lives under a protective US security umbrella as it does, will play into the dynamics of the European Union”.
In withering remarks about the EU this week, President Trump insisted it was just “a vehicle for Germany”.

Our favourite EU boss doesn’t like the new US president, says the Express.

BRUSSELS chief Jean-Claude Juncker has attacked US President-elect Donald Trump and populist movements across Europe, accusing them of attempting to “subvert the rule of law”.
The EU Commission president railed against press coverage in the UK describing High Court judges as “enemies of the people” over Brexit and insisted no more countries will be leaving the bloc.
He criticised Mr Trump’s suggestion that the European Union is on the verge of collapse and accused populists like him of creating “division and disharmony in our communities”.
The chief eurocrat made the remarks in a speech to the Academy of European Law, in the German city of Trier, as the US geared up to officially welcome the Republican as its new president.

The Times reports a possible trade war with the EU.

Theresa May will provoke a trade war with the rest of Europe if she cuts corporate taxes to attract businesses after Brexit, a leading French politician has warned.
Claude Bartolone, Speaker of the lower house of parliament and chairman of an all-party parliamentary Brexit committee, urged the EU to avoid a “conciliatory” approach to the UK. His words, in an interview with The Times, will fuel concern in Whitehall that Paris will prove to be an obstacle during the Brexit negotiations.
Mr Bartolone voiced the widely held view in France that if Europe made concessions to Mrs May, other member states would want to follow Britain’s example and quit the EU.

But BBC News claims the EU will lose such a trade war.

The German economy will pay a “high price” if its leaders make life hard for the UK over Brexit, British pro-Leave campaigners are to warn.
John Longworth, co-chair of Leave means Leave, and ex-minister Owen Paterson will sound the warning at a major German business event on Saturday.
Britain will “walk away” if the deal is not right, Mr Longworth will say.
Theresa May has said it will be an act of “calamitous self-harm” for the EU to try and punish the UK for leaving.
The prime minister has said she wants the UK and the EU to be “good neighbours” in a constructive, new partnership after Brexit.
But she has warned that no deal will be better than a bad deal at the end of two years of negotiations – which are expected to start in April.
Mr Longworth, former British Chamber of Commerce director general, will echo these views at the Berlin event – attended by German ministers, business, academia and media.

And Breitbart claims a trade deal could be a long way away.

The European Union’s (EU) trade boss has signalled the UK could go to the back of a “queue” of 18 nations as it tries to negotiate a trade deal with the bloc after Brexit.
Cecilia Malmström, a Swedish politician and the European Commissioner for Trade, insisted Britain would receive no favourable treatment from the EU speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“We are negotiating 15 [to] 16 trade deals right now, preparing for another five or six big ones, so we will be busy,” she said, adding: “Maybe the UK as well then.”
When she was asked if the UK “would be 18
th in the queue”, Mrs. Malmström replied, “yes”, but went on to claim that various negotiations would be happening simultaneously for different agreements. “It’s not like we tick them off one after another,” she added.

The new site Westmonster reports that the French right-wing could triumph in that country’s elections.

Don’t think Marine Le Pen can win the French presidency? Think again. After Brexit and Trump, this could be the next shock to the establishment.
A huge French poll asking 16,000 people who they will vote for has Le Pen gaining support and leading the pack as she campaigns to take France out of the Euro, which in effect would destroy the European Union as we know it.
The ridiculous stance of the British government to not be in contact with all of the major French contenders is looking increasingly absurd, as Nigel Farage argued this morning.
If Le Pen does win, the European Union is finished. And just as with President Trump, the UK will need to have some sort of relationship with whoever wins the French election.

NHS

In other news, the Times reports on a patient who has treated a hospital bed like a hotel.

A patient has been evicted from hospital after spending more than two years in a bed at a cost estimated at £300,000, even though he was not ill.
James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said that going to court had been a last resort. The patient, who has not been named, has now been placed in community accommodation.
One patient on the same ward told the BBC that she was “disgusted” at his actions. “It’s ridiculous, it’s using a hospital as a hotel,” she said.
The man arrived at the hospital in August 2014. Last year its chiefs applied for a court order to take possession of his bed. It was granted on December 1 and he was evicted on January 10.

The Mail reports on sick NHS staff.

Hospital staff calling in sick costs the NHS more than £1 billion a year, shocking new statistics show.
Overworked paramedics, nurses and midwives are being forced to take time off to cope with the current crisis, experts have warned.
Despite having a budget of £116.4 billion, a range of services are constantly being scuppered to help combat its growing deficit.
And this increasing pressure on staff to make up for the slashes is forcing the NHS to waste their own diminished budget on providing sick pay, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.

The Sun reports on the continued crisis within the NHS.

ALMOST half of NHS trusts declared major hospital alerts last week.
A total of 68 out of 152 in England had to act due to bed shortages or overflowing A&Es.
And 27 trusts were so overwhelmed they issued an alert every day from January 7 to 13.
That is despite the overall number of A&E attendances falling 29,000 compared with the previous week.
A record 61 trusts sounded a red alert on Monday the 9th.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said medics faced serious problems which could put patient safety at risk.
There were 52 occasions when A&Es closed their doors to ambulances from January 9 to 15.
Hospitals have 95.8 per cent of beds full.
That’s up from 94.8 per cent the previous week and 95.2 per cent for the same period last year.
Anything above 85 per cent increases the risk of patient infection.
There were also higher reports of vomiting bug norovirus.

Scotland

The Times reports the words of the former first minister of Scotland.

Theresa May’s decision to take Britain out of the single market means that Scotland will vote for independence within two years, Alex Salmond has said.
Scotland rejected independence in 2014 by 55 to 45 per cent, after which Mr Salmond resigned as first minister. Nicola Sturgeon, his successor, has said that independence is more likely after Scotland voted to remain in the EU but the UK voted to leave.
Her administration has presented a 50-page plan, modelled on Liechtenstein and Switzerland, to the UK government, showing how Scotland could remain in the single market after Brexit.

By-elections

The two by-elections coming up have made the news in the Sun.

SENIOR Labour figures fear their party will come fourth in the crucial Copeland by-election next month.
The disaster prediction came as Jeremy Corbyn was snubbed over his choice for the poll’s candidate.
In an embarrassment for the under fire Opposition Leader, his preferred pick for the poll next month was rejected.
Party members in the Cumbria constituency instead opted for local councillor and former doctor Gillian Troughton on Thursday night, instead of Corbyn-backing union activist Rachel Holliday.
But in what would be a far bigger blow, fears are now growing among party grandees that it could even finish finish behind the Tories, UKIP and the Lib Dems.

The Guardian reports that our leader will fight for the Stoke seat.

Ukip’s new leader, Paul Nuttall, is set to fight the Stoke Central byelection, party sources have confirmed – making the poll a key test of electoral support for the man seeking to escape the shadow of Nigel Farage.
The vote to replace the departing Labour MP, Tristram Hunt, is to take place on 23 February, the same day as a byelection in Copeland, which was prompted by the resignation of another Labour MP, Jamie Reed.
Nuttall had decided to gamble on the Stoke seat, held by Hunt at the 2015 election with a majority of just over 5,500, several senior Ukip sources said. Ukip came second then, narrowly ahead of the Conservatives. The area voted strongly to leave the EU in last June’s referendum.

Super-volcano

The Sun has today’s apocalyptic story.

A MEGA-VOLCANO in North Korea could spark a global catastrophe if it blows again, experts have warned.
Concerned scientists have called for investigations into the Mount Paektu, which was responsible for one of the largest blasts in history.
Spanning the borders of North Korea and China, Mount Paektu is a cause for concern due to North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un’s missile tests, which may spark a premature blast.
It last erupted up in 946AD, leaving a five kilometre blow hole and showering Japan in black ash.
A recent study has found it released a lot more sulphur into the atmosphere than initially believed – and that a second eruption could cause “extreme climatic effects” around the world.

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