Syrian gas attack

The aftermath of the attack on civilians in Syria with sarin gas is well documented today. The Telegraph says there was a second attack.

Residents of the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, which on Tuesday suffered one of the deadliest chemical attacks of the war, thought their nightmare was over.
But they discovered yesterday that President Bashar al-Assad was not finished with them yet.
On Friday night and into Saturday morning, the northern rebel-held town was pummelled once again by Syrian warplanes.
The Sukhoi jets had taken off from al-Shayrat airbase, which just a matter of hours earlier was hit by 59 American Tomahawk cruise missiles, making apparent the limited nature of US President Donald Trump’s intervention.
Aya Fadl spent the night cowering in the basement of her home with her 20-month-old son Najdat. She told the Sunday Telegraph that the town had been hit “many times” by air strikes in the past 48 hours.

The Times blames Russia.

Britain and America will this week directly accuse Russia of complicity in war crimes in Syria and demand that Vladimir Putin pull the rug from Bashar al-Assad’s blood-soaked regime.
Rex Tillerson — President Donald Trump’s secretary of state — will fly to Moscow to confront Russia with evidence that it had knowledge of, and sought to cover up, the regime’s deadly sarin strike last week that left 87 people dead.
Turning the screws on the Kremlin, Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, accused Russia of being “by proxy responsible for every civilian death last week” because “this latest war crime happened on their watch”.

As does Sky News.

Russia is responsible “by proxy” for the deaths of civilians in a nerve gas attack in Syria last week, the Defence Secretary has said.
Sir Michael Fallon accused Moscow of being complicit in war crimes because it is the Syrian regime’s main backer.
A total of 87 people, including many children, died in the suspected sarin attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on Tuesday.
It prompted President Donald Trump to retaliate by firing 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian airbase where the US believes the gas attack was launched.

And BBC News.

Russia is to blame for “every civilian death” in the chemical weapons attack last week in Syria, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has claimed.
Sir Michael, writing in the Sunday Times, said the Kremlin was responsible “by proxy” as the “principal backer” of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
It comes after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled a visit to Moscow to meet his opposite number.
The attack has been widely blamed on the Syrian government.
Sir Michael said last Tuesday’s gas attack was “barbaric, immoral and illegal” and the response of air strikes from US President Donald Trump was “the right call”.

The Telegraph reports that the Russian boss will be told to leave the area.

Vladimir Putin will be told to pull troops from Syria and drop support for President Assad in a UK-US plan being spearheaded by Boris Johnson, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
Mr Johnson cancelled plans to visit Moscow on Saturday just hours before he was due to fly after a midnight phone call with Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State.
The pair agreed that the Foreign Secretary should instead lead a drive to secure a “hard-hitting” statement over Russia’s Syrian involvement from the G7 bloc of nations.
The proposal to end Syria’s six-year civil war will then be presented to Russian ministers by Mr Tillerson when he visits later this month.
Mr Johnson hopes to persuade Donald Trump to commit to regime change after his surprise decision to launch air strikes on Assad forces after a chemical weapons attack killed more than 80.


In the Express, a former EU commissioner is reported to have urged the EU to ignore the UK’s wishes.

REMAINER Lord Mandelson today faced a furious backlash after urging the European Union to ignore the interests of the UK in Brexit negotiations.
The former EU Commissioner, who is set to receive a £35,000 annual pension from Brussels, told German newspaper Zeit: “Basically one can only advise the Europeans one thing – forget Great Britain and take care of your own interests.”
He went on to argue that the “British government is entering the negotiations with the wrong basic attitude” and that its views on trade with the EU are “naive” and “ignorant”.
Gisela Stuart MP, chairwoman of pro-Brexit group Change Britain, said: “It’s deeply disappointing that he’s putting his generous EU pension and interests before the needs of the British public. I am beginning to wonder, whose side is he on?”

And the Independent claims the bloc’s chief negotiator has urged the rest of the block to refuse to allow a retraction of the Article 50 letter.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier pushed for the EU to ensure the UK cannot pull back from the Article 50 Brexit process without the consent of other European countries.
Mr Barnier successfully pressed for the European Parliament’s formal negotiating stance to include a line clarifying that Britain cannot halt the process without the approval of the 27 member states.
It came amid concern that the UK may temporarily halt the two-year countdown to Brexit, started by the triggering of Article 50, in order to create more time to settle a deal.
The Commission has stated that EU treaties would not allow the UK to unilaterally halt Brexit, but the issue is as of yet untested in court and Lord Kerr, the British author of Article 50, has suggested the process is reversible.

This story is also in the Guardian,

The EU’s chief negotiator lobbied for the UK to be barred from stopping the article 50 process without the rest of the union’s consent, it has been claimed.
Senior Brussels sources say Michel Barnier asked for the line stopping the UK from unilaterally reversing the process to be included in a European parliament resolution that passed on Wednesday. The move came amid fears in Brussels that Theresa May could “abuse” the process to extend talks when the two-year negotiations are over. The European parliament’s resolution subsequently made clear the withdrawal process could only be stopped with the consent of the other 27 member states.
There are concerns among some in the EU that May could be tempted to revoke article 50 once it becomes evident that the two years allowed under the Lisbon treaty is insufficient time for the talks, only for her to then trigger the withdrawal clause once again, artificially extending the negotiating period.

The Telegraph reports the results of a poll showing we don’t want to keep paying the EU shedloads of cash.

Eurosceptics believe ending EU payments after Brexit is more important than stopping free movement, a new poll has found in a warning shot to Theresa May.
Leave voters asked to rate Brexit negotiating targets by importance put ending contributions into the EU budget above immigration controls.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly declined to rule out paying the EU to securing some of the bloc’s advantages, saying only any amount will not be “vast”.
The findings put pressure on Mrs May as she attempts to deliver on the Brexit vote while minimising economic disruption in two years of negotiations. 

And the Independent reports the possibility that UK citizens will be allowed to stay in the UK.

The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt is calling on Theresa May to be “open” to a plan helping British people who want to retain EU citizenship after the UK leaves.
Writing exclusively for The Independent, Mr Verhofstadt sends a clear and direct message to the Prime Minister that he wants the European Union to make a “generous” offer to people in the UK angry at losing EU privileges.
In response to his article a government spokesman has now said that Ms May and Brexit Secretary David Davis are actually ready to “discuss” any proposals that are put forward.
The European Parliament has already cemented into its formal negotiating guidelines its intention to explore what a potential offer to Brits might look like, with ideas including allowing them to opt in to a form of “associate EU citizenship”.


Elsewhere in the EU, the Express reports a commercial backlash over the bloc’s hardline negotiating attitude.

A TOP German business leader has called for a ‘soft’ Brexit over fears Britain’s full departure from the EU will threaten jobs in his country’s economy.
Mario Ohoven, the president of BVMV which represents more than 270,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Germany, warned against the UK being allowed to quit the EU without a divorce deal.
He outlined the risks to German jobs and a possible shrinkage of the European economy should the EU push Britain into trading with the bloc on tariff terms at the end of two-year exit negotiations.
Speaking to the 
BBC, Mr Ohoven described the huge worth of UK trade to the German economy.
He said: “Germany exported goods worth €89billion to the UK alone in 2015, almost half of it was exported by 150,000 German SMEs.”

And Poland has complained about the UK’s plan to recruit doctors, says the Express.

POLAND has lodged an official complaint with the European Union over the NHS’ targeted operation to lure doctors away from Eastern Europe, can reveal today.
Warsaw said Britain’s use of specialised recruitment agencies in the region was “alarming” and called on eurocrats to draw up new laws which would ban the practice.
Health minister Konstanty Radziwill said he was dismayed by the “deepening” shortfall of qualified doctors and nurses facing his country, which was down to “increased recruitment” in Western Europe.

Northern Ireland

Closer to home, the negotiations in Northern Ireland are not going well, says the Guardian.

Only a “miracle” can save talks aimed at restoring a power sharing government in Northern Ireland, an MP has warned. With just over a week left before the deadline on discussions between the Northern Irish parties, the prospect of what has been called “direct rule by stealth” now appears to be closer than at any time since the Good Friday agreement.
Other sources at the negotiations in Belfast, which are continuing over the weekend, said the British government would be forced to introduce legislation that would transfer power from some devolved departments back to London by the end of April.
These would include the departments of finance and health. The last power-sharing executive failed to set a budget and in the absence of a new administration being formed before the deadline – the day after Easter Monday – a London-directed emergency budget would allow for cash to be released for the province’s health service, sources at the talks have told the 

Reuters reports a call for fresh elections.

Northern Ireland should hold new elections if parties fail to reach agreement on forming a new government by a deadline next week, a senior member of Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein said on Friday, after a week of talks he said brought little progress.
New elections would leave the British province without a government for two more months during Britain’s crucial talks to exit the European Union, and would give Sinn Fein a chance to become the largest party in Northern Ireland for the first time.
“The legislation is very clear: if there isn’t an agreement we need to go to an election,” said Conor Murphy, speaking to journalists on behalf of Sinn Fein’s negotiating team.

And our party’s NI members have called for ‘serious talks’, says the UKIP website.

UKIP’s Northern Ireland Councillors have called for all unionist parties to enter into serious talks about united unionist election strategies to maximise the pro-union vote in any future elections.
“Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom is a matter which over-rides the marginal differences which now separate the unionist parties. It is a matter which all pro-union parties must address in the light of Sinn Fein’s devious attempts to link opposition to Brexit to a vote for a united Ireland.
“We believe that this Sinn Fein strategy must be met by a strong resolve to maintain the union by all unionist minded people, whether that resolve is driven by a pro-union sentiment based on national identity or simply on personal economic interests. Unionism must speak to all people who benefit from being part of the United Kingdom. Remaining part of the UK is the only sensible way forward for the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland, whether in business or on benefits, whether in a public or a private sector job, whether they consider themselves as British or Irish.”


The Mail reports that students are being refused training as doctors.

Hundreds of straight-A British students are being denied the chance to train as doctors in the UK despite a ‘crippling’ national shortage of medics in the NHS.
Top-performing teenagers are being shunned by leading universities while the NHS continues to recruit thousands of foreign doctors to plug a staffing crisis.
Official figures reveal that 770 students with three grade As or higher at A-level were rejected by medical schools last year due to a controversial Government quota system.
The Government says it takes £230,000 to fully train each doctor in the UK because of the higher costs of delivering medical education, and critics claim the number of places available at universities is capped to save taxpayers’ money.
That means one in five of straight-A students failed in their application to study at a British medical school last year, according to university applications body UCAS.

Mega tsunami

And finally, the Star claims a tsunami caused by the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Islands has been foretold in the Bible.

HIDDEN code in the Bible have revealed a volcano will crash into the sea and send giant 300ft waves thundering towards the Spain in a mega tsunami that will kill millions.
Secret passages suggest a volcano on the Canary Islands will blow and spell the start of the fate of millions of people.
The prophecies, pieced together by a theorist, devastatingly tell how the Cumbre Vieja on La Palma – next to tourist hotspot Tenerife – will collapse into the sea and create “destruction”.
Huge tidal waves will be triggered and strike Spain’s south and west coasts as well as Portugal, plunging the lives of thousands of British holidaymakers into danger.
The monster tsunami would then batter north Africa, before thundering thousands of miles across the Atlantic and engulfing the Caribbean and USA’s east coast.

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