Brexit

Individual membership of the EU after we have left the bloc are being examined. Reuters reports:

The European Parliament’s top Brexit negotiator backed the idea of individual European Union memberships for Britons who want to stay in the bloc in an interview published on Saturday.
Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, a European federalist and arch-foe of eurosceptics said there were legal obstacles – but in principle he supported individual EU memberships for Britons, paid by annual fee.
“Many say ‘we don’t want to cut our links’. I like the idea that people who are European citizens and saying they want to keep it have the possibility of doing so,” he told the Times.

The Independent reports a backlash over a speech by the Shadow Chancellor.

Senior Labour MPs have accused their party leadership of paving the way for a hard Brexit while aping the populist language of Nigel Farage.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is facing a furious backlash over a speech, which urged Labour to “embrace the enormous opportunities” of withdrawal – instead of fighting to prevent its most damaging consequences. Mr McDonnell also horrified many high-profile backbenchers by accusing pro-Europe MPs of siding with “corporate elites” – a charge normally levelled by Ukip.
The most incendiary sections of the speech were briefed in advance to a right-wing newspaper only, adding to suspicions that the Labour Chancellor is attempting to bounce Labour into a tougher anti-Brexit stance. A string of former shadow ministers told
The Independent that the shift would make it easier for the government to pursue the hard Brexit apparently sought by Theresa May.

And BBC News reports an attack on the views of a former PM who has dismissed the results of the referendum.

Ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major has been accused of “an absolute dismissal” of democracy after he suggested there should be a second Brexit vote.
Iain Duncan Smith, Leave campaigner and another ex-Conservative leader, said: “You can’t claim democracy when you want it and reject it when you don’t.”
He spoke out after Sir John also warned against Brexit being dictated by the “tyranny of the majority”.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “We had a vote, that vote now has to be acted on.”
The dispute came after Sir John, Conservative prime minister between 1990 and 1997, called for the 48% of people who voted against Brexit in June’s referendum to have their views considered.
“The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy – and it should not apply in this particular democracy,” he said.

And another ex-PM is also refusing to accept the result of the referendum, says the Express

TONY BLAIR’S refusal to respect Britain’s democracy may be fuelled by power-hungry Eurocrats, former Chancellor Norman Lamont suggested.
Norman Lamont said it would not surprise him if the former prime minister had been in contact with Brussels to plot out a plan to keep Britain from leaving the European Union.
The former Tory MP for Kingston-upon-Thames argued as it was a Brussels tactic to have new referendums until they got the answer they wanted, the bloc would be a natural ally for Mr Blair.
Speaking to LBC, Lord Lamont said: “But you know, this suggestion that there should be a second referendum is the classic Brussels tactic.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Tony Blair, who is backing this idea, has been in contact with Brussels because in the past whenever we have had a referendum that Brussels didn’t like, Maastricht, Lisbon, Nice, they have always insisted there should be another referendum until you get the result they wanted.

But Blair is still facing calls to account for his comments on the Iraq way, according to the Guardian.

A cross-party group of MPs will make a fresh effort to hold Tony Blair to account for allegedly misleading parliament and the public over the Iraq war. The move, which could see Blair stripped of membership of the privy council, comes as the former prime minister tries to re-enter the political fray, promising to champion the “politically homeless” who are alienated from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and the Brexit-promoting government of Theresa May. The group, which includes MPs from six parties, will put down a Commons motion on Monday calling for a parliamentary committee to investigate the difference between what Blair said publicly to the Chilcot inquiry into the war and privately, including assurances to then US president George W Bush.

The question of whether Turkey should be admitted to the EU is reported by BBC News

MEPs backed suspending EU membership talks with Turkey by a majority of 471 to 37, and supported a resolution condemning the Turkish government’s “disproportionate repressive measures” after a failed military coup in July.
Politics Europe presenter Jo Coburn heard from Conservative MEP Ashley Fox and UKIP MEP Gerard Batten, who both abstained, on whether they back the country ever joining the EU.

US presidency

Activists in America are also challenging the result of their election. The Express reports calls for a recount.

A GAGGLE of activists trying to keep Donald Trump out of the White House have raised £3 million to force a vote recount in three crucial swing states they claim were affected by electoral fraud.
The group, led by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, say they now have enough cash to contest the November 8 result and are urging Hillary Clinton to join their crusade.
The Democratic nominee could still snatch the US Presidency away from Donald Trump after being told to demand a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by election lawyers and computer scientists in the latest twist to the Presidential race.
The activists – including voting rights attorney John Bonifaz and University of Michigan Center director for Computer Security and Society J. Alex Halderman – called Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to talk about their findings last Thursday.

China

A huge missile has been tested by the Asian country, reports the Express

CHINA has test fired a hypersonic missile capable of hitting target 300 miles away in the air, it has been claimed.
One the country’s J-16 strike fighters fired the giant missile earlier this month.
Experts at Popular Science magazine analysed pictures of the event an estimated the missile measured 19 feet long and was 13 inches wide.
One of the experts, Jeffrey Lin, said the launch of the missile was a “big deal”.
He said: “This missile would easily outrange any American – or other NATO – air-to-air missile.
“Reports are that the size would put it into the category of a very long range air to air missile (VLRAAM) with ranges exceeding 186 miles, likely max out between 250 and 310 miles.’
“Additionally, the VLRAAM’s powerful rocket engine will push it to Mach 6 speeds, which will increase the no escape zone (NEZ), that is the area where a target cannot outrun the missile, against even supersonic targets like stealth fighters.”

Social care

Back home there have been calls for more funding for care of the elderly, reports ITV News

A cross-party group of politicians has called on the government to improve funding for the care of the elderly.
In a letter to the Observer, the group warned that the issue is “real” and said it can no longer be ignored.
The letter came as the paper obtained figures which showed the extent of the UK’s ‘social care crisis.’
More than half of councils tasked with care for the elderly – 77 out of 152 – have had at least one residential and nursing care provider close in the last six months.
Meanwhile, 48 councils have seen at least one company that deals with helping to care for the elderly in their own home forced to close, according to the data.
New care arrangements were also sought by 59 councils after contracts were deemed by providers to be insufficiently funded to meet the needs required.

International trade

The Telegraph reports a US plan to deal with the UK after Brexit.

America should do a free trade deal with Britain following Donald Trump’s US election victory, one of the most influential Republicans in Washington DC believes.
Paul Ryan, speaker of the US House of Representatives, thinks such an agreement would show the UK that America remains an “indispensable ally”.
Mr Ryan wants US officials to start working on an agreement right away to show “solidarity” even though no deal can be signed until Britain has left the European Union.
The support is a huge boost for Theresa May’s Government, which has talked up the chances of a free trade deal after Mr Trump’s shock election victory this month.

Armed forces

The Times reports on plans for a drastic reduction in the number of British tanks.

Army chiefs are planning to slash the number of frontline tanks by up to a third, leaving Britain with fewer tanks than Serbia.
Under the plan, one of the army’s three tank regiments will see all its 56 Challenger 2s replaced with Ajax fighting vehicles. The cut would leave the army with only about 40 more tanks than traditionally neutral Switzerland. At the other end of the scale, Russia has 2,700 tanks.
The plan, due to be announced in coming months, has alarmed serving and retired commanders and comes as Russia introduces the T-14 Armata — a new generation of tank that some experts believe has the firepower to defeat any British or American equivalent.

Nuttall

UKIP leadership favourite speaks to the Telegraph,

Nigel Farage’s Ukip leadership may finally be ending on Monday, but his spirit looks set to live on.
The candidate most likely to replace him, Paul Nuttall, uses an interview with The Sunday Telegraph to reassure voters over a pressing concern.
“The next leader of Ukip will still be photographed with a pint in hand,” he says. “It will just be a pint of Guinness, not warm beer.
“I am a pub person. Nigel and I have been drinking buddies for many years. People have probably seen us pint in hand together, but I will cultivate my own image.”
While the beery snaps are going nowhere, Mr Nuttall does concede that some of the party’s blokeish rugby club image needs to be softened.

Asteroid

The Express has the apocalyptic story this week with a top scientist predicting an asteroid strike.

PROFESSOR Stephen Hawking has warned of the devastating threat posed to Earth by hulking asteroids which will one day destroy us all.
The famed physicist said monster space rocks were one of the biggest threats to humanity and will wipe out all life on the planet.
Speaking in a video made by Asteroid Day – the global campaign movement backed by Queen legend Brian May – Professor Stephen Hawking said: “One of the major threats to intelligent life in our universe is the high probability of an asteroid colliding with inhabited planets.”
Asteroid Day wants more done to develop ways of deflecting an asteroid on collision course with Earth, and to identify all the unknown asteroids out there which could impact us.
NASA and other space agencies track thousands of so-called near earth asteroids, but we only know a fraction of those that are out there.
Astronomer Patrick Michel said: “We only know about 15 or 20 per cent of the objects which are larger than a few hundred metres in size.
“If these bodies impact Earth, they can cause regional damage across a whole country or even a continent.”

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