MH17

The Telegraph leads with “Malaysia Airlines crash victims robbed of their dignity by rebels

International anger was intensifying on Saturday night over the treatment of victims of Flight MH17, amid claims that bodies had been left to rot among the wreckage, at the mercy of looters.

As Moscow-backed rebels were accused of removing some of the corpses, taking their possessions and destroying evidence, Philip Hammond, the new Foreign Secretary, said the “world’s eyes” were on Russia and demanded that the victims be treated with “proper dignity and respect”.

In the same paper, Janet Daley takes a broader view, observing that as the West declines, Russia fills the vacuum.

The Coalition has no foreign policy and no solutions to offer in the growing chaos of a world without moral leadership…

(on Putin)…what he did do was provide sophisticated missile systems and heavy artillery to a motley assortment of trigger-happy cowboys whose antics have greatly increased his popularity with the folks at home. And the West has stood by muttering threats about sanctions (and applying them so belatedly that their impact could be planned for) while hoping that the whole mess would somehow resolve itself with as little impact on their own populations as possible. What, exactly, is American-British-European policy on this? Is there any concerted plan, or even a considered perspective for dealing with the rise of a bellicose Russia with irredentist ambitions?

The Observer has report: “MH17: UN draft resolution demands ‘guilty should be held to account’”. Another report in the same paper says “ordinary Russians are horrified and frightened

The Independent reports on the western world’s posturing with “Russian President Vladimir Putin is given ‘one last chance’ to end hostilities in Ukraine”.

The Daily Mail has a shocking dispatch from the grim crash site: “Graveyard of desecration: Grave robbers. Ghoulish tourists taking pictures on their mobiles. Corpses left to rot” There is also a body stealing report  in The Express.

The Sunday Mirror has a very brief report that “senior pilot claims doomed jet ‘veered off course to avoid thunderstorms’” This is reported in a rolling news log, at 0900.

Opinion Polls

The Telegraph reports on a poll, where David Cameron’s reshuffle boosts Tories.

The ORB International survey for the Telegraph shows that six in ten voters believe the reshuffle – which demoted Michael Gove and promoted several female ministers – was “a step in the right direction” for the Tories.

Some 59 per cent of people questioned backed the shake-up of ministerial jobs, while 41 per cent had doubts. The reshuffle received the most positive response from Tory voters, 87 per cent of whom approved. And in a result that will encourage Downing Street, half of Ukip voters took a positive view of the shake-up.

We find that last clause difficult to swallow, UKIP voters failing to see the cynicism behind Cameron’s moves. The overall effect is not denied though, with The Observer reporting an Opinium poll showing “David Cameron’s reshuffle gamble causes Labour’s poll lead to fall

The Mail presents a different viewpoint with: “You can’t sack me! It’s a smash in the teeth for 12million voters (and I even fought for you over bees): Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson among a number of sacked ministers to react to ‘male and pale’ reshuffle with fury

Environment

Owen Paterson writes in The Telegraph that he is proud of standing up to the green lobby.

By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.

Local conservationists on the ground do wonderful work to protect and improve wild landscapes, as do farmers, rural businesses and ordinary people. They are a world away from the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with their self-serving demands, many of which would have harmed the natural environment.

The Economy

Ken Clarke has spoken to The Observer: “UK economic recovery not ‘firmly rooted’, warns Kenneth Clarke

Former chancellor Kenneth Clarke has cast serious doubt on the underlying strength of the British economy, saying there is a “long, long way” to go before it is competitive enough to deliver sustainable growth and compete with emerging powers such as China and Brazil.

In an interview with the Observer to mark the end of an illustrious career that has spanned more than 40 years in government, Clarke says Britain has to break out of the “ludicrous cycle” of house price booms followed by crashes, and must focus on creating a productive manufacturing base in tandem with vibrant financial and other service industries.

Education

The Observer reports that “Nicky Morgan sets out to build bridges with teachers

The new education secretary, Nicky Morgan, moved with extraordinary speed last week to build bridges with teachers. Just hours after Michael Gove was sacked, she rewrote a final ministerial statement from her predecessor to include a promise to listen to their views on schools reform.

Her intervention was welcomed by the teaching unions, who said it signalled “a wholly different tone” after more than four years during which Gove angered many in the profession by largely ignoring their views, and dismissing the wider education establishment as “the blob”.

Phone Interception

The Independent leads with a hacker’s tale “An extract from new book on the slide into crime at the ‘News of the World’

When Glenn Mulcaire, the man who came to public prominence for hacking the phones of celebrities, signed up to work exclusively for the News of the World, much of his work was doing serious investigations. In 2000, he became part of a new “investigations unit”. And for the first three years of his time with the paper, he specialised in tracking down serious criminals, among them paedophiles and Islamic extremists. In 2014 the court heard how there were just 12 cases where he had unquestionably intercepted the voicemails of celebrities and others.

By 2004, having gained a regular berth and the confidence of some, at least, of his employers, he was feeling reasonably established, but the balance of his work had shifted more towards celebrities. Though he still did the more serious work, he was able to tell himself that all the celebrity stuff was just a means to an end. It was a delusion, he now recognises, not least caused by his head being turned by the status implied by being on a contract worth well over £100,000 a year.

Conspiracy Theories

Patrick Cockburn writes in The Independent on “The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

Conspiracy theories often stem from joining up dots that are really quite separate. This is done by asking “cui bono?” or “who benefits” from an event and then assuming that the beneficiary must be secretly behind whatever has happened. A good example of this is the growth of Isis and other jihadi movements in Syria and Iraq which was to the advantage of President Bashar al-Assad because, however much they may dislike him, many Syrians and outside powers prefer Assad to al-Qa’ida type jihadis

He references a number of cases: MH17, Turkish-Cypriot invasion, ISIS.

Tax Avoidance… or Evasion?

The Daily Mail says “They’re ALL at it… now Lords, cricket heroes and Borat join list of celebrity tax avoiders: Sacha Baron Cohen and top Tory donors may owe thousands to taxman

Tory peers, celebrated comedians and a Treasury quango chief are among the latest big names who could receive hefty bills from the taxman for investing in potential tax avoidance schemes.

Four of England’s Ashes-winning cricketers can also be revealed as among the backers of film and property financing funds that appeared to be legitimate investments but may now be challenged by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Over the next few weeks up to 33,000 people who invested in the tax-saving schemes could receive letters warning them they may have to settle unpaid bills within 90 days – or risk being taken to court.

Labour

The Express reports that a “‘Labour’ think tank calls for fuel duty to be doubled

The Centre for American Progress, which has close links to both the shadow chancellor and Labour leader Ed Miliband, is calling for an 82 per cent rise, adding an extra £25.85 every time you fill your tank. It also wants an additional fee based on the number of miles a person drives a year.

Even if it was only 1p a mile, that would add £82 to the average annual cost of running a car. The think tank report refers primarily to the US. However, it suggests European countries should take the same course to ease congestion on the roads and boost funding for transport infrastructure projects.

That’ll be a popular one with the voters, then!

Paedophilia and Politicians

The Mirror has two reports. One says “Two Tory Ministers were named in a damning 1980s paedophile dossier

Two senior ministers in the Thatcher government exposed by the Sunday Mirror last week for indulging in sex parties with underage rent boys were named in a damning paedophile dossier compiled in the 1980s. Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson were cited in the “VIP” paedophile document drawn up by Labour’s Barbara Castle. Other MPs, senior policemen, head teachers and clergy were also named

And then a report from a former rent boy: ‘I was abused by top Tories then blackmailed to keep quiet

A former rent boy caught up in the Westminster sex ring scandal today reveals he was blackmailed into being abused by top Tories. He tells how he was snared by two sinister pimps who threatened to send graphic pictures of him to his parents if he tried to flee their clutches.

He was even warned his family back home in troubled Northern Ireland would have an “accident” if he refused to have sex with their powerful clients. Now 59, the victim has come forward after reading our exclusive story last Sunday on the Tory activist who supplied boys to ministers in Margaret Thatcher’s government.

 

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