C orbyn

Several of the media report LibDem leader Tim Farron’s comments that Labour is “heading for its own funeral” under Jeremy Corbyn and is calling for disaffected Labour voters to join him.

The Mirror says:

Labour is heading for its own funeral under Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron claimed last night.

The party is “suffering a collective bout of nostalgia” for Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s after electing Mr Corbyn as leader, he fumed.

And Mr Corbyn’s party is set to “let down the people who need them the most”, he added, in a naked bid to steal votes from disaffected Labour supporters.

Mr Farron said: “If Labour aren’t interested in standing up to the Tories and providing a credible opposition, that’s their funeral.”

He launched a desperate bid to seize the centre ground he claimed Labour had deserted .

BBC reports:

The Lib Dems will make what they call an “unashamed land grab” for Labour voters at their conference later.

The party wants to frame itself as a “credible” opposition to the Tories, targeting Labour voters after Jeremy Corbyn’s choice as Labour leader.

Leader Tim Farron will stress the party’s pro-business credentials, proposing a £2,600 allowance to those starting up a company.

Those who create businesses should be “celebrated and supported”, he said.

“Liberal Democrats believe that if you have a dream you should be supported to fulfil it,” he went on.

He will announce the party’s new policy of a Start Up Allowance for new business owners of £100 per week for the first 26 weeks.

And Sky News has a similar story:

Tim Farron has called on disgruntled Labour supporters to join the Lib Dems, claiming his party is the only alternative to Conservative Party government.

The Liberal Democrats are gathering for their annual conference in Bournemouth, with a struggle for relevance.

The party was decimated at the last election, going from 56 MPs to just eight.

Mr Farron, the party leader, told a rally of supporters that they can carve out space previously occupied by Labour.

He said: “If Labour aren’t interested in standing up to the Tories and providing a credible opposition that’s their funeral.”

Breitbart claims the new Labour leader’s honeymoon is over.

That didn’t take long. Jeremy Corbyn’s honeymoon with Labour faithful has already turned sour with almost three in four voters now thinking he looks anything like prime minister material.

survey of 2,000 people conducted by The Independent newspaper found that Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader has made one in five people who voted for his party at the May general election more likely to vote Conservative next time. Some 37 per cent of Labour voters say they are less likely to back the party at the next election.

The survey, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, found only 28 per cent of people agree with the statement “Jeremy Corbyn looks like a prime minister-in-waiting”, while 72 per cent disagree.

The ORB findings will embolden Labour MPs already lamenting a poor performance by Mr Corbyn in his first week as leader. Critics are already plotting how to remove the veteran left-winger, with some saying they will move against him if Labour fails to win the London mayoral election next May, according to the newspaper.

Even those groups Mr Corbyn is championing doubt the prospect of him ever leading the country. A majority (67 per cent) of those in the bottom DE social group do not see him as prime ministerial. Nor do 68 per cent of public sector workers. People who voted Labour in May are divided: 53 per cent see him as a prime minister-in-waiting, while 47 per cent do not.

The Express claims Corbyn is already facing a cabinet revolt.

HALF of Labour’s shadow cabinet are set to defy new leader Jeremy Corbyn by backing airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria, according to reports.

Tory ministers have apparently been told they will win support for action to tackle ISIS if a coherent plan is drawn up.

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn and three of his team – David Hanson, Pat McFadden and Diana Johnson – have been named among the figures expected to back such a move.

A shadow cabinet member revealed: “There is a majority in the Commons for airstrikes in Syria if Cameron has a proper plan for targeting ISIS.

“You would get half the shadow cabinet supporting it.”

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the possibility of a fresh vote on British military action in Syria is kept under constant review following talks in London with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Backing intervention would put Labour MPs at odds with their new leader, who has just ended a stint as chairman of the Stop the War Coalition.

The Times has a similar story.

HALF of Jeremy Corbyn’s sha­dow cabinet are prepared to vote with David Cameron for airstrikes on Syria as generals and intelligence chiefs criticised the Labour leader for his views on terrorism and the military.

Senior members of the shadow cabinet have already spoken to Tory ministers, pledging to support bombing of Isis targets in Syria – as long as the prime minister comes up with a coherent plan.

The Morning Star calls on Labour to back the new leader.

LABOUR must unite behind Jeremy Corbyn or risk letting the Tories off the hook, trade union leaders representing over a million workers said yesterday.

Their “unequivocal support” to the Labour leader comes as Blair-era has-beens continued to brief against their new chief.

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling told Radio 4’s Today programme he was “not actually sure what [Mr Corbyn stands] for.”

And Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan said he would oppose the rise in corporation tax mooted by new shadow chancellor John McDonnell on Thursday night’s Question Time.

But their interventions came as a survey of grassroots party activists said there was widespread support for Mr Corbyn to press ahead with plans to withdraw Labour’s support for Trident.

Fifty-three per cent were opposed to replacement, the online poll for Labour List found.

Islamic State

The Express reports that hundreds of Christians are being targeted for martyrdom by ISIS.

CHRISTIANS are being martyred for their faith every five minutes by barbaric Islamic State militants and other terror groups, a shocking new report has claimed.

Believers are often singled out, tortured and faced with the brutal choice of converting to Islam or being slaughtered, according to Christian Freedom International.

Those who refuse to comply have reportedly had their limbs cut off or have been crucified.

Research by CFI found that more than 200 million followers are facing persecution in 105 countries making Christianity the most at-risk faith group in the world.

More Christians have been martyred in the 20th and 21st centuries than during the previous 19 combined, the organisation has claimed.

The human rights group’s president Jim Jacobson said: “Islamic State Militants in Iraq are using Christian churches as torture chambers where they force Christians to either convert to Islam or die.

“Islamic State militants are also stripping the former places of Christian worship of ancient relics which in turn are smuggled to Western collectors to help fund their terrorist activities.”

In August the terrorist group raided a Syrian church and abducted more than 230 Christians.

Days later they returned and bulldozed the 1,600-year-old monastery.

Breitbart has a similar story.

Every five minutes a Christian is martyred for their faith, an organisation for persecuted Christians has claimed. According to Christian Freedom International, more than 200 million followers around the world currently face persecution, making Christians the most persecuted faith group on the planet.

Christians currently face persecution in 105 of the world’s 196 countries in a geographic sweep which extends across northern and western Africa, across the Middle East, throughout Asia and down into Indonesia.

CFI works with a number of these communities, helping people escape persecution and rebuild their lives. It has calculated that more Christians have been martyred for their faith in the 20th and 21st centuries alone than during the previous 19 centuries combined.

Much of the persecution today is at the hands of Islamic militants. CFI president Jim Jacobson has described the scene in Iraq, where Islamic State militants are systematically stamping out Christianity, crucifying men, women and children and destroying churches.

“Islamic State Militants in Iraq are using Christian churches as torture chambers where they force Christians to either convert to Islam or die,” he says. “Islamic State militants are also stripping the former places of Christian worship of ancient relics which in turn are smuggled to Western collectors to help fund their terrorist activities.

“These atrocities must stop.”

Migrants

The Express reports more migrants will be brought to Britain with money from the UNHCR.

MIGRANTS will be brought to Britain more swiftly under fresh plans to tackle the growing crisis announced by the Government.

The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) will be given extra resources to speed up the resettlement programme, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.

Divisions in the EU over how to deal with the migrant crisis will be discussed by European leaders at an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

Tensions flared between Hungary and Croatia as the governments clashed over how to deal with the influx of thousands of people.

Hungary erected razor-wire fencing along its borders to stop the country being used as one of the major routes into the border-less Schengen area within the European Union.

Hungarian ministers criticised Croatia for sending migrants to its borders, claiming such a move breaches the international law that requires people to be registered in the first country they reach.

Britain has agreed to take 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years from camps surrounding the nation that has been riven by civil war under Bashar Assad’s brutal regime and the rise of Islamic State.

The Guardian reports the thousands of refugees who have poured into Austria.

Thousands of refugees have streamed into Austria after being shunted through Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia as Europe’s divided nations stepped up efforts to push the migrants into neighbouring countries.

The continent’s biggest migratory flow since 1945 has opened a deep rift between western and eastern members of the European Union over how to distribute the refugees fairly, and raised questions over the fate of the Schengen agreement allowing borderless travel within the 28-nation bloc.

Several countries have imposed border controls, as recent figures have shown nearly half a million people have braved perilous trips across the Mediterranean to reach Europe so far this year, while the EU has received almost a quarter of a million asylum requests in the three months to June.

In Austria, up to 13,000 people entered the country over the course of Saturday alone, the head of the Austrian Red Cross told the APA news agency. The figure was not immediately confirmed by local police, who had said earlier they were readying for an influx of around 10,000 refugees and migrants.

ITV News claims there were over 10,000 of them.

Thousands of refugees and migrants have entered Austria after days of being stranded due to the “tug-of-war” between European nations who remain divided over how to handle the crisis.

Elsewhere, Hungary accused Croatia of letting the European Union down by failing to defend its borders.

Around 10,000 refugees and migrants entered Austria from Slovenia and Hungary yesterday, according to Austrian police.

Hungary sealed its borders on Wednesday prompting many to seek an alternative route through Croatia. They were later transported to Hungary by Croatian authorities, who in turn bused them to the Austrian border.

Earlier this week a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said Austria would reserve its right to deny entry to refugees who do not request asylum.

The Independent analyses why this crises has occurred.

Little has been done to end the four-year civil war that is destroying Iraq and Syria and which has caused the biggest mass flight of people ever seen in the Middle East. More than half of the 23 million Syrian population have fled their homes, of which four million are refugees outside Syria. There is a growing exodus from Iraq, with three million people displaced, many of whom today see that the war is not ending and that they can never again hope to live safely in their own country.

The Iraq-Syrian war is the cause of the European Union’s refugee crisis and it is going to get worse. There is a bloody stalemate in Iraq, with the country divided by military front lines more heavily defended than the frontiers of the state. The Sunni Arabs are suffering particularly badly because they are being forced to leave the previously mixed provinces around Baghdad, where they are suspected of sympathising with Islamic State (Isis). They are unlikely to be able to return. Others flee provinces such as Anbar, Nineveh and Salahuddin to escape the fighting.

The war on Terror

The Guardian claims the British secret services are paying Muslims in this country to spy for them.

MI5 is paying Muslim informants for controversial short-term spying missions to help avert terrorist attacks by homegrown Islamist extremists.

Individuals across the UK, including in Manchester and London, are being employed on temporary assignments to acquire intelligence on specific targets, according to sources within the Muslim community. One said that they knew of an informant recently paid £2,000 by the British security services to spy on activities relating to a mosque over a six-week period.

However, the use of payments to gather intelligence prompted warnings that the system risked producing information “corrupted” by the money on offer.

The initiative is being co-ordinated under the government’s official post-9/11 counter-terrorism strategy, specifically the strand known as Pursue, which has an official remit to “stop terrorist attacks in this country and against our interest overseas. This means detecting and investigating threats at the earliest possible stage.”

A source, not from Whitehall but with knowledge of the payments, said: “It’s been driven by the [intelligence] agencies, it’s a network of human resources across the country engaged to effectively spy on specific targets. It’s decent money.”

Foreign thugs

The Mail reports the Prime Minister’s plan to drive out foreign thugs include visits to jails to ask them to leave the country.

David Cameron is sending a crack team of experts into one of Britain’s toughest jails – to politely persuade foreign criminals to leave the country.

The Behavioural Insights Team visited Pentonville prison this summer to convince inmates to go along with deportation rather than launch costly appeals.

The unit uses psychological techniques known as ‘nudge theory’ to help people make better choices for themselves rather than forcing them to behave in a certain way.

The unlikely tactic at Pentonville is at an early stage, but it is thought members of the nudge unit spoke to foreign criminals about their attitudes to returning home, in an attempt to work out the best way to get them to comply.

Immigration officers are also stationed at the Victorian jail in North London – where criminals are often sent straight from courts in the capital after conviction – to find out where foreign inmates are from so they can be returned home as soon as possible.

Greece election

The BBC reminds us that the snap election in Greece happens today.

Voting has begun in Greece’s general election, with opinion polls indicating a tight race between the left-wing incumbent Syriza party and the conservative New Democracy.

The snap election, Greece’s fifth in six years, was called after Syriza lost its parliamentary majority in August.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras’s popularity plummeted after he agreed a new bailout deal with European leaders.

The bailout involved austerity measures which Syriza had vowed to oppose.

Greece is mired in a deep financial crisis and whoever wins Sunday’s election will have to oversee further tough economic reforms.

The BBC’s Richard Galpin in Athens says whichever party wins is unlikely to get enough seats to form a government alone.

That could mean a period of political instability just as deadlines loom for the implementation of a series of key financial reforms, he adds.

Most opinion polls indicate the conservative party New Democracy and Syriza are running very close.

But unlike last January’s election, there is little excitement about Sunday’s vote; campaigning has been lacklustre and the response of the electorate muted.

Doctors’ strike

Sky News claims that junior doctors are considering strike action

More than 35,000 people have signed a petition in support of junior doctors who are considering strike action over new contracts being imposed by the Government.

Young NHS medics are concerned the new arrangements, due to be enforced from August 2016, could drastically affect their pay levels – while also causing them to work more anti-social hours.

Junior doctors are currently paid a standard rate when they work on shifts which fall between 7am and 7pm on Mondays to Fridays, earning extra for all hours outside of this period.

However, under contracts being pushed through by the Department of Health, the period for standard pay will be extended by 30 hours to between 7am and 10pm on Mondays to Saturdays.

This means junior doctors will not be paid a higher rate when working on weekday evenings, or on Saturdays like they were before.

Some fear this could equate to a pay cut of between 30% and 40% per year, and deter aspiring students from entering the profession altogether.

The Government is pushing to introduce a “seven-day-a-week NHS”, and in July, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt faced a backlash from medics after claiming there was a “Monday-to-Friday culture” in the health service.

This prompted hundreds of NHS staff to share stories and pictures of their anti-social work patterns using the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy.

Free school meals

Sky News claims that free school meals could be cut by the Government

The Government is looking into scrapping free school meals for all infants at lunchtimes, Sky News has learned.

The Conservatives committed to the policy in their 2015 manifesto, but the cut is under consideration as part of George Osborne’s November spending review.

Introduced by Nick Clegg in the last coalition government, the scheme saves the parents of reception, year one and year two pupils about £400 per child, per year.

The National Association of Head Teachers is looking for reassurance that funding for Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) will continue.

Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver has said “it would be a disaster” if the policy was dropped.

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