Brexit

The Express reports a split among the Supreme Court judges considering their decision.

THE Supreme Court judges are split over their Brexit ruling, Government advisers believe.
Legal experts had thought the judges would fall overwhelmingly on the pro-Remain side when deciding on the Government’s right to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that would trigger the UK’s departure from the
EU.
But the margin is much narrower, with judges believed to be split seven to four in favour of insisting Parliament must decide.
However, the news is a boost for the
Brexit side, as some had feared before last week’s case that the Government could lose the appeal by a majority of 10 to one.
A narrow win will make it harder for pro-EU MPs and peers to stand in the way of a decision to trigger the start of talks to leave the EU by the end of March.
One source said: “It is difficult to predict how the case is going to go but the thinking of those in the room is that there might be a sizeable minority who are with the Government. It’s unlikely to be a slam dunk either way.”

ITV News reports that the woman who brought the case has dismissed the decision of members of Parliament.

The woman behind the Supreme Court legal challenge against triggering Brexit without parliamentary approval said that a Commons motion on the issue is “irrelevant” and a “red herring”.
Gina Miller said a vote in favour of a Labour amendment calling on the Government to publish its Brexit plan before triggering Article 50 by the end of March 2017 was not legally binding.
“The motion is to set up a timetable, it actually doesn’t say anything about the contents (of the Brexit negotiations),” Ms Miller said.
“The inference was that that motion – having passed in the Government’s favour – that we should basically pack up and go home, because that’s Parliament taking responsibility and looking after itself.
“And we would argue no, it’s actually a red herring in that it’s a political move, it’s not a legal one,” she added.

And the Mail reports on yet another challenge to the Brexit plans.

Theresa May’s allies have dubbed troublemaking MPs ‘the new bastards’ as the Prime Minister faces another legal challenge to Brexit and pressure in the Commons.
The Government is facing another challenge after a group announced it would take action to ensure Britain stays in the single market.
At the same time, a group – of up to 40 MPs – wants Mrs May to publish her plan to quit Europe and to avoid a ‘hard’ Brexit – one that leaves us out of the single market.
The Sunday Times says today this group is now meeting weekly in the Commons, and is said to include Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and former Chancellor George Osborne.
The newspaper also says Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson has even been detailed to keep a close personal eye on the trio.
The ‘new bastards’ label is a nod to the ‘bastards’ former Prime Minister John Major said were trying to thwart him over Europe.
Once Eurosceptics, the term now applies to Europhiles.

The Times also reports on the new action.

Theresa May faces a new Brexit crisis this weekend as opponents launch a fresh legal action to upend her plans for leaving the European Union.
Campaigners will write to the government tomorrow saying they are taking it to the High Court in an effort to keep Britain in the single market.
The claimants — one a “remain” voter, the other who backed Brexit — will seek a judicial review in an attempt to give MPs a new power of veto over the terms on which Britain leaves the EU.
They are following the same legal path that has already seen ministers dragged to the Supreme Court.

EU

The Star reports that the EU is about to start falling apart.

EUROPEAN leaders are said to be preparing for mass civil unrest as multiple catastrophic problems engulf the continent.
It comes after months of warnings from experts – including top military brasses – that massive economic issues, mass immigration, and terrorism will lead to a full-scale crisis.
They have predicted this will affect the entire continent, eventually leading to civil war on the streets.
In December 2015, one of the most apocalyptic warnings came from André Blattmann, the Swiss head of the armed forces.
Blattmann, who left his job just weeks later, said the combination of hybrid wars, the economy, and the refugee crisis would have “unforeseen dimensions”.
He then claimed social unrest was something Europe’s leaders and armies had to be prepared for.

But proposals to offer British residents associate citizenship of the bloc are going ahead, says the Express.

PLANS for Britons to have the benefits of EU membership after Brexit are being sped up and will form part of the European Parliament’s negotiating position in upcoming talks.
The “associate citizenship” status would give those who adopt it the right of freedom of movement and residence throughout the EU as well as the right to vote for a representative in the European Parliament.
It would be made available to nationals of former member states of the EU who “feel and wish to be part of the European project”.
The proposal was put forward last month by Luxembourg MEP Charles Goerens for inclusion in a future EU treaty.
But following Wednesday’s House of Commons vote backing Theresa May’s plan to trigger withdrawal talks by the end of March, Mr Goerens agreed with the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt that it should be brought forward more quickly.

Migration

Immigrants into Turkey from Africa are claiming one of their camps has gone, reports Breitbart.

Hundreds of migrants arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos have claimed that they came from a “dissolved” migrant camp in north-west Turkey, and Greek port authorities allege the Turkish coastguard that monitors the Aegean Sea border has “disappeared”.
On Friday 200 migrants, mostly originating from Africa, travelled across the Aegean Sea and landed on the eastern Greek island of Lesbos. In addition, the European Union (EU) border agency Frontex picked up 66 migrants off the coast of Chios. On Saturday morning, a further 330 arrived on the both islands.
Journalists on Lesbos reported that the majority of the arriving migrants had told authorities that they had been interned in closed and controlled camps in north-west Turkey, and that these camps had been “dissolved” in recent days.
It has also been observed by Greek port authorities that the Turkish coastguard, which usually operates in the sea area of the border in the northern Aegean, has “disappeared”.
The Greek Ministry of Migration confirmed the increased number of migrants arriving on the islands adding that they are observing the phenomenon closely.
The newly-landed migrants also claimed that thousands of Africans who arrived on the coasts of Turkey are looking for a way to pass to the Greek islands.

Italy

Political problems in Italy have not yet been fixed, says Breitbart.

Talks on creating a new Italian government entered a decisive phase Saturday as fears mounted that any new premier will have to handle a politically toxic banking crisis.
President Sergio Mattarella is trying to broker a deal among political parties on the creation of a caretaker administration to guide the country to elections.
A nationwide vote is due by early 2018 but could take place up to a year earlier if there is no deal.
Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni emerged as the pundits’ favourite to succeed Matteo Renzi amid swirling speculation that the ougoing prime minister’s re-appointment was also an option.
Renzi resigned after a crushing defeat in last weekend’s referendum on constitutional reform, plunging the country into a political crisis just as the long-anticipated banking crunch landed in the finance ministry’s lap.
Mattarella has spent the last two days talking mainly to fringe parties without sufficient numbers in parliament to sway the decisions he has to make.
The real work began Saturday with talks with junior coalition party the New Centre Right (NCD) to be followed by meetings with officials of the populist Five Star Movement, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Renzi’s Democratic Party.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, the NCD’s leader, emerged to say there was no need to rush to elections.

And the Express reports on calls for an in/out referendum in the country.

A TOP Italian politician branded Jean-Claude Juncker and his cronies “enemies of Europe” as he called for a referendum on pulling the country out of the catastrophic euro.
Alessandro Di Battista, the rising star of the Five Star Movement, said the single currency had brought nothing but “social disintegration and unemployment” in a stunning attack on the EU.
The youthful politician, who is tipped to fill a top post if the eurosceptic movement seizes power in Italy’s next general election, said voters should get the choice to ditch the disastrous economic project.
And in a scathing attack on the euro elite he said “technocrats” at the European Commission were the real cause of Europe’s woes, vowing to wage a “serious fight against corruption” in Brussels.

Foreign aid

Calls for overseas aid to take a major haircut are being heeded, reports the Express.

FOREIGN aid is to be cut by nearly £300million over the next two years.
The budget will be reduced because gross national income has been revised down in Treasury forecasts and the Government is committed by law to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on international development.
Ministers will decide which projects are scaled back or halted. Cuts of £80million will come in 2017/18 and a further £210million in 2018/19.
The adjustment, which will prevent the Department for International Aid from overshooting its spending target, was buried in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement last month.

Battle of Orgreave

The clashes during the miners’ strike could be clarified with the release of new papers, reports BBC News.

Files relating to the so-called Battle of Orgreave are expected to be made public in 2017, it has been revealed.
In a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee, the home secretary said 30 files relating to the UK miners’ strike would be sent to the National Archives.
The subject titles show that at least one file relates directly to Orgreave.
In October, Home Secretary Amber Rudd ruled out an inquiry into the clashes between miners and police at the Yorkshire coking site in 1984.
Campaigners have said officers led by South Yorkshire Police were heavy-handed and manufactured statements.

NHS

Perhaps our hospitals are not as safe as we would like them to be, says the Mail.

Hundreds of patients are feared to have died unexpectedly at three NHS hospital trusts since they were put in ‘special measures’ regimes intended to make them safer.
The three hospitals, which together serve around 1.5 million people across Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and Essex, should have improved after hospital inspectors descended in 2013 to put doctors and managers under close scrutiny.
But a fresh study of patient death figures suggests mortality rates have risen.
Professor Sir Brian Jarman discovered United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust had much higher death rates in 2015/16 than in 2013/14.
The number of ‘unexpected deaths’ almost tripled from 129 to 357 according to the official measure, called the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI).
Mortality rates also rose at neighbouring North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, and at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

And the Telegraph claims hospital bugs are spreading fast.

The superbug crisis is killing more patients than breast cancer as the Government is relying on flawed figures which mask the true scale of the problem, health experts have warned.
The Department of Health estimates that 7,000 people die each year due to drug resistance, but Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, claims the true figure is around 12,000.
The number of deaths is rising each year as more bugs that lead to blood poisoning are becoming resistant to antibiotics.
But the full extent of the problem is obscured because the Government statistics are calculated using “ballpark” figures from foreign studies, not those conducted in the UK.

Fire service

Fire brigades are suffering financially, says BBC News.

Budget cuts are slowly undermining the effectiveness of fire services in England and Wales, the head of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said.
Fire services’ budgets in England have been cut by 17% since 2010, according to National Audit Office figures.
And a BBC Radio 5live investigation has found response times in some areas have got worse in 2016, which the FBU’s Matt Wrack says is putting lives at risk.
Fire minister Brandon Lewis said fire services had sufficient resources.
According to 5live Investigates, austerity cuts since 2010 have resulted in 3,382 fewer fire fighters, station closures and some appliances being taken off the road.

Russia

Nuclear weapons launched from Russia are reported in the Star.

VLADIMIR Putin has launched an underwater drone that will be packed with the largest nuclear weapons in existence, it has been reported.
And the revolutionary unmanned nuke sub has already been launched, according to US intelligence services.
Pentagon sources are reported to have claimed the vessel left base on November 27 but it is unclear whether the test was a success.
Spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis said the US military “closely monitors Russian military underwater military developments” but could not disclose any more information on the test.
It comes as Russia ramped up its nuclear technology as relations with the West fall apart.
Satellite pictures that emerged yesterday revealed Putin’s new nuclear base where World War 3 could start.
The West was on red alert after Moscow sent nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to Kaliningrad just weeks ago – but the new satellite image reveal the nukes could be permanently stationed there.

Martians!

This time it’s the Express with the weird story. Apparently, scientists have found three large structures on Mars – and the paper has pictures.

ALIEN chasers claim to have found compelling evidence of intelligent life once existing on Mars.
UFO conspiracy websites are posting this image which some allege shows three mile-high towers built in a line on the surface of the Red Planet.
The anomaly, which equally could just be eroded rock formations, was first highlighted by YouTube channel Mundodesconocido in a video.
In a promotional blurb for the video about the discovery, the channel said it thought they could have been built by intelligent aliens.
It said: “Investigating on some Mars images, we have recently found a row of huge towers located in the Martian area of Terra Meridiani.
“Due to their peculiar features, we believe that they have an artificial origin.

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