Rod Stewart: Elton John's tour is 'dishonest'



Rod Stewart has criticised Elton John’s planned Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour for being “dishonest” and “not rock’n’roll”.

They are two of the biggest pop stars of the 1970s, but they are not on the same page on when and how to throw in the towel.

Sir Rod said Sir Elton’s three-year farewell tour “stinks of selling tickets”, and is a “dishonest” way to go.

In an interview on a US talk show, the Maggie May singer said he tried to contact the Rocket Man star to get more details on the tour.

“I did email her [Elton] and said ‘what, again dear?’ – I didn’t hear anything back,” he told the show’s hosts and guest Cyndi Lauper.

Lauper said she did not think the tour was such “a bad idea”, to which Sir Rod replied: “It’s dishonest. It’s not rock and roll.

“If I retire, I won’t make an announcement. I’ll just fade away,” he added.

“I don’t think this is a big deal, it stinks of selling tickets.”

Sir Rod was also quizzed about Sir Elton’s latest stage rant, in which he stormed off after a fan started touching his piano.

He replied: “I don’t mind it. I love people coming up on stage. It’s a laugh.

“But I can see why he was p***** off with it.

“I’ve had people come on stage and nearly had me teeth knocked out!”

Sir Elton’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road kicks off in 8 September and includes 10 dates in the UK.

Would-be mayor Dan Jarvis must now quit as MP


Labour MP Dan Jarvis, once seen as a rising star and tipped as a potential party leader, will have to quit Parliament within weeks after being selected as a mayoral candidate in South Yorkshire.

A former major in the Parachute Regiment and MP for Barnsley Central since 2011, Mr Jarvis has been selected as Labour’s candidate to fight the new post of mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

He is now virtually certain to be elected to the job, since South Yorkshire is a rock-solid Labour stronghold.

After Nick Clegg’s defeat in Sheffield Hallam last year, all the region’s MPs are Labour.

Mr Jarvis, 46, had hoped to stay in the Commons as an MP after the mayoral election on 3 May, combine the two roles and campaign in Parliament for a wider devolution deal covering the whole of Yorkshire.

But in a controversial move, condemned as “vindictive” by Mr Jarvis’s supporters, Labour’s national executive made a new ruling on Tuesday that MPs should not hold more than one full-time elected post at a time.

That means another by-election in Barnsley Central, which Mr Jarvis won with a majority of more than 15,000 at last year’s general election.

But in the EU referendum in 2016 68.2% voted Leave and only 31.8% Remain.

Jeremy Corbyn
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Mr Jarvis is no fan of Jeremy Corbyn and the current Labour leadership

In the selection for Labour’s candidate for the new mayor, Mr Jarvis received 2,584 votes, 58% of the votes cast, comfortably defeating his only rival, Sheffield city councillor Ben Curran, who polled 1,903 votes.

Thanking party members for selecting him, Mr Jarvis said: “I am proud to have been chosen, grateful for the opportunity to serve, and pleased to have been part of such a comradely contest; the conduct of our members has been in the best traditions of our Labour movement.

“The election of a mayor comes at a pivotal moment for the Sheffield City Region.

“To make the most of new opportunities, our first mayor will need to work with both local and national government to negotiate the best possible deal for the people of South Yorkshire.”

“Only then will the mayor be able to end the status quo of how decisions are made and how public services are delivered; and use both devolution and cooperative principles to offer a more radical and effective way of serving the public.

“Today’s result is a vote of confidence in the platform on which I am standing, and the potential of devolution; first in the Sheffield City Region and then across ‘wider Yorkshire’.

“Thank you again to all those who have placed their trust in me. The Labour campaign to make South Yorkshire a stronger and more co-operative community has begun, and I stand ready to serve.”

But the decision by Labour’s national executives – now firmly in the grip of Jeremy Corbyn and his left-wing allies – forcing him to quit as an MP has been bitterly attacked by current and former Yorkshire MPs and is a huge blow to Mr Jarvis.

Before the NEC ruling, Mr Jarvis said: “If my first act as mayor was to stand down as an MP, I’d be needlessly squandering my ability to inflict pressure on the Government through championing our cause in Parliament.

“I take that responsibility extremely seriously and believe that not only is serving the people of Barnsley compatible with serving people across the region, but that the two roles are complimentary – the delivery of better infrastructure and public services will benefit everyone.”

One of his closest allies, former Barnsley East MP and Shadow Cabinet member Michael Dugher, tweeted after the NEC decision: “Vindictive move by Lab’s NEC.

“Dan clear that being both Mayor of South Yorks & an MP would be temporary in order to pursue the Yorkshire-wide mayor that most people want.

“Why don’t the NEC trust the members to choose whether or not to back Dan, rather than try & fix the race?”

John Grogan, Labour MP for Keighley, complained: “This is like a referee changing the offside rules in the 87th minute of a football match without consulting the Football Association. My understanding is that only party conference can change the rules.”

When Mr Jarvis was elected as an MP in 2011 he became the first former Army officer to resign a military commission to contest a parliamentary by-election since the Second World War.

He was tipped as a leadership contender in 2015 after Ed Miliband quit after Labour’s election defeat, but ruled himself out, saying he wanted to put his family first. At the time, he was recently widowed and was bringing up young children. He has since remarried.

He is no fan of Mr Corbyn and the current Labour leadership, who will be glad to see him leave Parliament. He nominated Andy Burnham – now Greater Manchester mayor – in 2015 and backed Mr Corbyn’s challenger Owen Smith in 2016.

City Kitchen: A Crisp Cool-Weather Twist for a Classic Summer Salad


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Crisp fennel is a springlike addition to peppery seared tuna and creamy white beans.

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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

A satisfying salad of tuna and beans is a Mediterranean favorite, often served as a meal in warm weather. In my favorite version, the main ingredients — rich tuna and creamy beans — are accented with red wine vinegar, tomato and onion, finished with a flourish of extra-virgin olive oil.

At the moment, with no ripe tomatoes on the horizon, I offer this cool-weather variation, which features thinly sliced raw fennel, and fresh tuna seared in a cast-iron skillet. Using best-quality canned tuna is certainly an option, but the texture and flavor are quite different. While fresh tuna may be a bit of a splurge and take longer to prepare, the divine results are worth the cost.

As for the beans, freshly cooked dried white beans are preferred — I always take the opportunity to proselytize for dried beans, which have a better texture and more flavor than canned — and, with a little advance planning, easy to pull off. Cannellini or gigante beans, covered in cold water just before bedtime, take only about an hour to simmer the next day. Still, beans from a can will suffice. Drain the cooked (or canned) beans, and season them with salt, lemon and plenty of olive oil. (In fact, white beans dressed this way are delicious as an accompaniment to nearly any dish.)

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Crushed black pepper and fennel seeds provide a flavorful crust for fresh tuna.

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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Tuna is expensive, but you don’t need much: 2 to 4 ounces per serving is plenty. So your salad can be bean heavy or tuna heavy, depending upon how flush you’re feeling; it will be delicious either way. The main thing is to get the seasoning right. After salting it, I like to coat the fish with a generous amount of crushed fennel seed and black pepper. If I have it on hand, I’ll amp up the floral flavor with a little dried fennel pollen.

To sear the tuna, get a cast-iron pan scorching hot. The cooking takes only about two minutes per side. I want the tuna to be quite rare, nearly raw at the center, but feel free to cook it more if you like. Or follow the New York chef Jody Williams, who serves a tuna and bean salad I admire at her restaurant Via Carota; it is made with diced raw tuna.

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Friends and Family Wonder: Why Did the Austin Bomber Choose Us?


“It’s a weird thing, and I’m surprised,” Mr. House said. “I need to find out, how did he pick his subject?”

Mayor Steve Adler of Austin said that investigators were continuing to churn through evidence. Law enforcement officials said that Mr. Conditt left behind evidence of potential future targets before he died, but that they appeared to have no connection to one another.

Mr. House said that Mr. Conditt’s death left him feeling “numb but relieved,” and also wondering if there were accomplices. “I just can’t grasp that a 23-year-old home-schooled guy put together his devices,” he said of Mr. Conditt, who was raised in an evangelical family in Austin’s northern suburbs. “I really, really question how did he select his subjects.”

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Neighbors of Mr. Conditt near his home in Pflugerville.

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Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

At a news conference on Saturday, Manley, the interim police chief, said investigators were leaving open the possibility of questioning Mr. Conditt’s two roommates again, and added that more arrests in the case could still be made.

“This investigation continues,” Mr. Manley said.

On Thursday, Sean Philips, a neighbor of Anthony Stephan House, posted what he called a “dark and gory” account of the attack on Facebook.

Mr. Philips woke up his children to get them ready for school, and then heard, at 6:50 a.m., a sound like a truck slamming into a dumpster.

“I immediately ran outside to see what it was. I looked to the left and saw my next-door neighbor, Stephan, (who also happens to be the father of my daughter’s best friend) standing, covered in blood, with shrapnel lodged all throughout his body and his hands nearly blown off,” he wrote. “His face had a large gash on the lower side, it looked as if he was hit with an ax. He had a glazed over look on his face, but his eyes were open. Within five seconds, he looked at me and collapsed onto his side.”

Mr. Philips said he had administered rescue breaths, but could not perform chest compressions because Mr. House’s body was full of shrapnel.

“All around me, the neighborhood was in utter chaos, but I heard not a sound other than the sound of his gurgling blood,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, there were screaming neighbors, and worse, the screams of “My daddy is dead! My daddy is dead!” coming from his little angel who saw him like that.”

Later, he wrote, he was questioned by the police as if he were a potential suspect. He wrote of the mental and emotional trauma that plagued him afterward. Even though the police have not tendered a motive, Mr. Philips assumed that Mr. Conditt had been motivated by the conservative political beliefs he had espoused in a blog several years ago.

“Here is the headline I would like to see: 23-year-old conservative Christian turns his hatred and judgments into a murderous bombing spree,” Mr. Philips wrote.

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The police have not yet determined Mr. Conditt’s motives.

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Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Frustration, in recent days, has been more evident than clarity or consensus. The owner of the Pflugerville barber shop, Delton Southern, told the Austin American-Statesman that he thought the presence of both victim and perpetrator in his shop was a coincidence. Mr. Southern, who is black, also told the paper that Mr. Conditt’s presence in his shop seemed to work against the theory that the attacks were fueled by racism.

“If he was a white supremacist he wouldn’t have come in here,” he said.

On Saturday morning, the barber shop was doing a brisk business with a largely African-American clientele, and Mr. Southern sternly gave notice that he was through conducting interviews.

“I have nothing left to say,” he said. “I’m trying to run a business.”

More than 25 miles southwest of Pflugerville, in the wealthy and predominately white neighborhood where two young men were injured by Conditt’s tripwire bomb on March 18, a no-trespassing sign was posted on a tree outside the family home of one of the victims, William Grote III.

“Do not enter or come upon this private property,” the sign declared. “We have no comment.”

Brad Napp, a next-door neighbor, said the family seemed grateful to be alive. “Why were they hit by the bomb?”

Mr. Napp said there appeared to have been no ties between Mr. Conditt and the two men. And there was no indication, he said, “that they crossed paths at any time.”

He thought that Mr. Conditt had chosen the neighborhood randomly. He noted that it had few security cameras and was close to two major freeways, allowing an intruder to “very quickly” enter the neighborhood, commit an act of destruction and then flee, he said. “They could be up to 60 miles per hour in two minutes,” Mr. Napp said.

In East Austin Saturday, Jesse E. Washington warmly recalled Mr. Conditt’s second victim, 17-year-old Draylen Mason, whom Mr. Washington had watched grow from boyhood. Draylen was a student of martial arts from an early age, Mr. Washington said, which had instilled in him “self-control and respect.”

Draylen’s other passion was music. He played the piano and the bass, and had just been accepted to the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He was killed by one of Mr. Conditt’s package bombs on March 12, when his mother brought it from the front porch to the kitchen. His mother was also injured in the blast.

Mr. Washington said he knew the family was struggling.

“They’re just so torn up about it they don’t know which way to go or what to think,” he said.

Continue reading the main story

Why the unloved FTSE 100 is lagging rivals


It is tempting to blame the FTSE-100’s lurch into correction territory simply on concerns over trade wars between the US and China.

After all, all of the Footsie’s European peers have also fallen sharply since it became clear President Trump was going to slap tariffs on a number of Chinese imports, a measure to which Beijing has retaliated overnight.

Yet none of the main European indices have fallen to the same extent as the Footsie.

The UK’s main index has on Friday hit a level last seen on 12 December 2016.

By contrast, the Xetra Dax in Germany is merely back to a position it touched earlier this month and the CAC 40 in France at a level where it had been at the beginning of February.

Further afield, the main US stock index, the S&P 500, has merely slipped to a point last seen on 12 February, while the Shanghai Composite in China has drifted to a level previously reached on 9 February.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong is where it was on 7 March.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on February 6, 2018 in New York City. Following Monday's over 1000 point drop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up over 500 points
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Wall Street’s S&P 500 has almost doubled in value since 1999

Only the Nikkei in Japan, which contains a lot of companies that could be at risk in the event of a major trade war between the US and China, has experienced anything approaching the reverses the Footsie has suffered of late – and even it has only fallen to levels last seen at the beginning of October last year.

So the Footsie has fallen harder and faster than any of its main international peers.

The longer term graph is more pitiful still.

At the time of writing, the index is actually lower than its closing value of 6,930 achieved on the final trading day of 1999.

In other words, if you had bought a fund tracking the index in the dying hours of the 20th century, you would have absolutely no capital gain to show for the intervening period – although you would still be up on the investment thanks to dividend payments yielding roughly 3% each year.

By comparison, the S&P 500 has almost doubled in value, as has the Xetra Dax.

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
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The Dax has outperformed the FTSE 100

Even the sleepy old Nikkei is up almost 9% on its close at the end of 1999.

So the FTSE-100 does seem particularly unloved among major stock indices.

This was confirmed this week by the influential monthly survey of fund managers, compiled by the stockbroker Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which revealed that pessimism towards UK equities is at an all-time high.

A net 42% of investors told BoAML they were “underweight” the UK.

Not only that, but UK equities were revealed to be the most-favoured “short” position among market professionals, which is to say that the UK stock market is the most popular asset for investors to sell in the expectation of further drops in prices.

There are a number of reasons why investors are shunning the UK.

The most obvious is that the UK economy has the weakest growth prospects of all of the major global economies.

That in turn means a lacklustre outlook for profits growth at companies that are particularly exposed to the UK economy.

A promotional sign adorns a stage at a BHP Billiton function in Sydney
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A trade war is concerning for mining giants such as BHP Billiton which rely on China

However, the FTSE-100 is an international index, with the companies in it deriving more than half of their earnings from outside the UK.

Only about a quarter of earnings enjoyed by FTSE-100 companies are generated in the UK.

To that extent, the prospect of trade wars is a concern, particularly with the Footsie being packed with miners like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American, all of whom rely on Chinese demand to a significant extent.

Another factor is Brexit.

Some Footsie stocks, particularly some banks and manufacturers that do a lot of cross-border trade with the EU, face a great deal of uncertainty just now.

Investors lack clarity over the kind of Brexit deal that the Government will achieve with the EU and, until they have it, they will naturally be cautious about such stocks.

Another factor deterring investors from the UK is the possibility of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn pledged to higher personal and corporate taxes and nationalisation of PFI contracts and some utilities.

A number of Footsie constituents, including Severn Trent, United Utilities, National Grid and Royal Mail, are among those businesses that John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, has promised to take into public ownership – a prospect that Paul Drechsler, president of the CBI, said last week was frightening investors when combined with the prospect of a hard Brexit.

He said: “Confidence is everything. And every day, I’m hearing of potential investors in this country reaching for their coats.

“Because they’re not going to risk putting their money into an economy that soon might face export barriers to its single biggest market, let alone invest in companies, assets and services that could soon be taken over by the state.”

File photo dated 15/12/16 of a Royal Mail worker at a sorting office.
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The prospect of the likes of Royal Mail being renationalised is frightening investors, the CBI claims

The people at the helm of most UK businesses are now at least as worried, if not more so, about a hard-Left Labour government as they are about a hard Brexit.

And, accordingly, so are the market professionals who invest in those companies.

As Ben Seager-Scott, chief investment officer at wealth manager Tilney Group, put it recently: “A Labour government is unambiguously bad for capital markets.”

One factor particularly worrying investors is the hint of capital controls that prevent investors getting their money out of the country.

Mr McDonnell admitted at a fringe meeting at last September’s Labour conference: “What if there is a run on the pound? What happens if there is this concept of capital flight?

“I don’t think there will be, but you never know, so we’ve got to scenario-plan for that.”

As Iceland discovered, when it imposed capital controls after the financial crisis, people will not invest in your country if they do not think there is a reasonable chance of later being able to get their money out.

'Mad' Mike blasts off in homemade steam rocket


A daredevil inventor who believes the Earth is flat blasted himself around 570 metres (1,875ft) into the air in a rocket before landing with a bump.

‘Mad’ Mike Hughes, 61, a US limo driver from California, was slightly injured when his steam-powered rocket launch ended with a hard landing in the Mojave Desert on Saturday.

“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways,” said Mr Hughes, who said the crash left him with an aching back.

The daredevil blasted off shortly after 3pm local time with no countdown or fanfare.

Mr Hughes reached an estimated 350mph before activating his parachute.

He was forced to deploy a second chute as his rocket, emblazoned with the words “research flat earth”, was falling too fast.

The daredevil landed bluntly with the rocket’s nose breaking in two places – as it was designed to do.

“Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess,” he said.

“I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”

Mr Hughes uses his Facebook page to address those who doubt his rocket-making skills and his theory that the Earth is flat.

“Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is,” he said in one video. “Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space.”

Mr Hughes had converted a mobile home into a ramp and worked on the rocket in his garage.

The launch had been scheduled for November last year, but issues over land management and mechanical problems pushed the date back.

Saturday’s event was at risk but Mr Hughes pushed on despite his rocket losing steam and high winds.

“I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket. I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it,” he said.

A video of the launch was filmed by Noize Tv and uploaded to Mr Hughes’s Facebook page. A shorter clip, which features a countdown set to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, has been uploaded to YouTube.

As hype around the experimental launch mounted, retired NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger told reporters he hoped Hughes “doesn’t blow something up”.

A video of the successful launch was filmed by Noize TV. Credit: Noize TV
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A video of the successful launch was filmed by Noize TV. Credit: Noize TV

Mr Linenger, who orbited the globe more than 2,000 times during four months in 1997, added: “Rocketry, as our private space companies found out, isn’t as easy as it looks.”

Mr Hughes has a Gofundme page set up to raise money to help with his expenses. At the time of writing, it had raised $110 (£78) out of a $10,000 (£7,070) goal over the course of a month.

The Saturday launch is “a wild stunt designed to raise awareness for my ultimate challenge, THE space launch,” Mr Hughes explains on the money-raising site.

He wants to build a “Rockoon,” a rocket that is carried into the atmosphere by a gas-filled balloon, then separated from the balloon and lit. This rocket would take Hughes about 68 miles up.

Mr Hughes says he previously built and launched a rocket in Arizona which saw him travel 419 metres (1,374ft) high. He collapsed after that landing and needed three days to recover.

His next challenge? Mr Hughes says he will be applying to run for governor of California.

What Emma González Said Without Words at the March for Our Lives Rally


Video

Fiery Speech, and Charged Silence, From a Parkland Student

Emma González, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., used her speech at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington to remember classmates who had been killed.


By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.


Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

Watch in Times Video »

Emma González spoke for just under two minutes on Saturday before tens of thousands of demonstrators at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, describing the effects of gun violence in emotional detail and reciting the names of classmates who had been killed.

Then she said nothing for four minutes and 26 seconds.

Ms. González, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has emerged as one of the most prominent faces among the student activists who have mobilized against gun violence after a shooting at their school last month that left 17 dead.

Their facility with social media has added urgency to demands for more gun control. Ms. González, who has more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter, has spent much of the last month urging her audience to turn out for Saturday’s marches.

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Emma González, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., spoke on Saturday at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington.

Credit
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

She stared straight ahead during her period of silence onstage, her sometimes watery eyes fixed in the distance. Then a timer went off.

“Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.

Continue reading the main story

More than 160 people rescued in ferry collision


More than 160 people trapped on board a ferry that hit a rock in South Korea have been rescued.

The country’s coastguard have saved 163 people from a boat that had been sailing in foggy conditions.

At least six people have been injured after the ship hit a rock while trying to avoid colliding with a fishing boat, according to the South Korean coastguard.

“It seems that the ferry’s front grazed the rock after it changed directions to avoid a fishing boat passing by,” said the official.

The spokesperson added that four coastguard vessels and nearby civilian ships headed to the ferry for the rescue operation.

The official added that the ferry wasn’t showing signs of flooding or losing balance despite Sunday’s crash.

Another coast guard official, from the nearby port of Mokpo, said his department planned to question the ferry’s captain and crew members to investigate the cause of the crash.

Tests from alcohol detectors showed that none of them had been drinking before the accident, he said.

The coast guard initially said the ferry was carrying 187 passengers, but later revised the number to 158.

The sunken ferry Sewol sits on a semi-submersible transport vessel arrived at a port in Mokpo, South Korea
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The Mv Sewol ferry crashed in 2014

The ship crashed in waters off South Korea’s southwestern coast, close to where more than 300 people died in 2014 when a ferry sank.

The MV Sewol was carrying 476 people, most of whom were secondary school pupils. The incident triggering a national outpouring of grief and scrutiny over lax safety standards.

A month after the disaster, the owner of the ferry operator, disappeared. He was later found dead in a field. No cause of death has been confirmed, but foul play has been ruled out.

The Papers: Vote Leave claims and Alabama rot


The Observer

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The Observer leads on an interview with a former volunteer for Vote Leave – the pro-Brexit campaign group. Shahmir Sanni tells the paper that Vote Leave “may have broken the law”. He suggests the group exceeded legal spending limits by donating £625,000 to a group called BeLeave. Vote Leave chief Dominic Cummings has denied the claim and said he checked with the Electoral Commission before making the donation.

The Mail on Sunday

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The Mail on Sunday also leads on allegations made by Vote Leave volunteer Shahmir Sanni. The paper focuses on Mr Sanni’s claim that his ex-boyfriend – Vote Leave manager Stephen Parkinson – outed him as gay. Mr Parkinson, who now works as an aide to Prime Minister Theresa May, has said he could not defend himself against other allegations “without revealing my relationship with Shahmir”.

Sunday Telegraph

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Facebook was told, seven years ago, it was “failing” to protect its users’ data, reports the Sunday Telegraph. It says the Irish Data Protection Commissioner warned the social media company of weaknesses in the way data was guarded but Facebook responded only with “minor changes”. The paper also runs advice to dog owners not to walk their pets in muddy areas in order to avoid “mystery killer disease” Alabama rot.

Daily Star Sunday

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Ant and Dec could be replaced as presenters on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, says the Daily Star Sunday. The paper suggests the “jungle bosses” want “new blood to make sure the show remains a hit”. Ant McPartlin has been charged with drink driving.

Sunday Express

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The Sunday Express says children with Down’s syndrome are not being put on transplant lists because “they may not live as long as other children.” A petition is calling for equal treatment when it comes to organ donation. The paper also leads on government plans to increase the number of NHS maternity staff. It says more than 3,000 extra midwives will be trained over the next four years.

the Sunday Times

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Theresa May will “overrule the Treasury” by increasing funding to the NHS, reports the Sunday Times. It says the prime minister will announce an extra £4bn for the health service every year for the next 10 years. The paper suggests the announcement stems from “a growing realisation in the cabinet that health has become the Tories’ Achilles heel”. The Sunday Times also leads on a story showing that “a fear of breaching paedophiles’ rights” is stopping the police from sharing information with social workers.

Sunday Mirror

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A TV company has come under fire for filming a drama about the killer of Milly Dowler on the anniversary of her murder at the spot where the teenager vanished, reports the Sunday Mirror. The paper says locals in Walton-on-Thames were “furious” at the decision.

Claims that the official Brexit campaign at the EU referendum may have exceeded spending limits is reported widely.

It is the Observer’s lead, as it has an interview with Shahmir Sanni, who worked for the pro-Brexit group, BeLeave.

In its leader column, the paper says the allegations it has printed should trigger a debate about whether electoral laws are fit for purpose, because the “modern realities of electioneering” are putting “the principles of fairness and transparency under strain”.

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PA

The Mail on Sunday is in agreement, arguing that the rules are “hopelessly out of date”, having “only just caught up with the invention of television”.

A dissenting voice comes from the Sunday Telegraph, which says that “trying to cancel the referendum, question its legitimacy or engineer a Brexit in name only would be a flagrant reversal of what the people had voted for”.

The word hero is widely used to describe the French gendarme, Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who died from his injuries after swapping places with a hostage during Friday’s supermarket siege.

Mr Beltrame’s brother, Cedric, is quoted in the The Sunday Telegraph as saying “he gave his life for someone else, for a stranger. He departed as a hero”.

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HO/AFP

The government is preparing to announce plans to put an extra £4bn a year into the NHS over the next decade, reports the Sunday Times.

It says there is a “growing realisation” in the cabinet that the health service is the Conservatives’ “Achilles’ heel” and follows months of lobbying by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

Simon Walters, writing in the Mail on Sunday, says the Tories allowed Labour to claim the NHS was not safe in their hands, and Theresa May “has been forced to pay up to prove it is”.

The Sunday Mirror’s editorial says that there is no question the NHS needs more money, but queries where it will come from.

The paper says a special NHS tax should be considered, or a French-style insurance system, based on a sliding scale of income.

‘What were you thinking?’

“Shamed”, is the Sunday Times’ headline as it reports on the Australian cricket team’s admission that they tampered with the ball during the third day of the third Test against South Africa.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Fitzsimons peppers his opinion piece with capital letters, as he asks the team’s captain, Steve Smith, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”

Calling for his resignation – or dismissal – he writes: “As a nation our name has been slurred, and as a nation, we must be seen to react. The first step is: Smith must go.”

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Getty Images

With Easter a week away, the Sun on Sunday is concerned that the word itself is being erased. It notes that in 2012, Cadbury’s sold an Easter Egg Trail Pack, but that has since been renamed as the “Egg Hunt Pack”.

The paper’s editorial blames the “barmy politically-correct brigade”, and wonders whether Christmas will be removed from Christmas puddings.

Elsewhere, the Sunday Telegraph says there is a “campaign” to turn Easter into a second Christmas, with the supermarkets adding Easter panettone, stollen and turkey to their ranges.

A new front has opened in the war on plastic, reports the Sunday Mirror, with teabags in the firing line. It says that Tetley and Yorkshire Tea are working to bring in a biodegradable bag. It adds that PG Tips has already promised to stop using plastic by the end of the year.

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Reuters

Pictures of Sir Paul McCartney, wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “we can end gun violence”, are in several of the papers.

The Sunday Mirror notes that the former Beatle told a march in New York – one of 800 held in support of stricter gun controls following the Florida high school shooting – that John Lennon was shot dead not far from where they were gathered.

The Sunday Times, while querying whether the marches will result in change, says “the energy and fury” of the crowd means the pro-gun National Rifle Association “faces a movement that can easily match it for commitment, popularity and funding”.

The readiness of Britain’s armed forces is called into question by the Sun on Sunday, which reports that one in five military personnel is not “fit to fight”.

Elsewhere, the Sunday Express reports that one in five of the Royal Navy’s fleet of frigates and destroyers are available for operations.

The Sunday Telegraph says the return of cold weather over the Easter weekend looks set to add to travel woes and rail closures.

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PA

And if you do get where you need to go, the Sunday Mirror reports that the cost of parking a car is set to double in some seaside resorts over the holiday weekend.

The Sunday Times reveals that the music we listen to in our early teens stays with us for the rest of our lives. It quotes from a new book.

France gun attack: Trèbes holds memorial Mass for victims


Mourners arrive at the Saint Etienne Church in Trebes in southwest France on March 25, 2018,Image copyright
AFP

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Mourners arrived at the church in Trèbes on Sunday morning

A memorial Mass is being celebrated in the southern French town of Trèbes, in honour of four victims killed by an Islamist gunman on Friday.

Police officer Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, who died saving the lives of hostages in a supermarket siege, will also be honoured in a separate national memorial in Paris in coming days.

He has been hailed as a hero after trading places with a captive.

It was the worst jihadist attack under Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.

The gunman, 25-year-old Redouane Lakdim, had been on an extremist watchlist and was known to authorities as a petty criminal, but intelligence services had determined he did not post a threat. He was shot dead by police.

Lakdim, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants, was said to have demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

  • France approves tough new anti-terror laws
  • Tributes paid for hostage-swap policeman

The bishop of Carcassonne and Narbonne is celebrating the Mass in the Church of Saint-Etienne in Trèbes.

The attack has shaken the rural town of 5,000 people, and flowers have been laid in front of the Super U shop where the hostage-taking took place.

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AFP

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Churchgoers made their way through TV cameras

Khadija, a 52-year-old restaurant owner, said she was shocked by what had occurred. “We thought this only happened in big towns,” she told the AFP news agency.

Who were the victims?

Jean Mazières

Before the hostage-taking in Trèbes, Lakdim hijacked a car in nearby Carcassonne, shooting the Portuguese driver and killing passenger Jean Mazières, a retired winemaker in his sixties.

He organised villages fetes and was described as “very jolly” by Marc Rofes, the mayor of Villedubert, where his family lives.

“He loved life, he loved parties… we have lost someone who was liked by everybody,” he said of Mr Mazières, who was married and had one child.

The driver of the car remains in a critical condition.

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Media captionEye-witness says French hostage-taker ran after him

Christian Medvès

After opening fire on a group of police officers out jogging, wounding one, the gunman drove to the Super U in Trèbes, where he killed the shop’s chief butcher, Christian Medvès.

An amateur runner and one-time local political candidate, Mr Medvès, 50, was described as having the “joy of life”.

“We do not know yet what happened, but knowing Christian, I imagine he would have wanted to intervene,” his friend Franck Alberti told local paper La Depeche du Midi.

He was married with two daughters.

Hervé Sosna

Retired builder Herve Sosna, 65, was at the butcher’s counter when Lakdim mounted his assault.

The Trèbes resident “had a huge intellectual capacity” and was a capacious reader, especially of poetry, his half-brother told La Dépêche du Midi.

“He never asked for anything, and he was killed, just like that.”

Arnaud Beltrame

The brave police officer has emerged as the human face of this attack, and his actions are being seen as a defiant response to the country’s would-be attackers – a reminder of the best of France, says BBC Paris correspondent Lucy Williamson.

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AFP

Although police managed to free hostages from the supermarket, Lakdim had held one woman back as a human shield, and Col Beltrame volunteered to swap himself for her.

As he did so, he left his mobile phone on a table with an open line so that police outside could monitor the situation.

When police heard gunshots, a tactical team stormed the supermarket. The gunman was killed and Col Beltrame was mortally wounded.

World leaders, including UK PM Theresa May, have paid tribute to the officer, who was a highly-regarded member of the Gendarmerie Nationale and was described by President Macron on Saturday as someone who “fought until the end and never gave up”.

“He gave his life for strangers. He must have known that he didn’t really have a chance. If that doesn’t make him a hero, I don’t know what would,” Col Arnaud’s brother, Cedric, told a French radio station on Saturday.

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Media caption“This was a heroic act” on the part of the lieutenant-colonel, says Interior Minister Gérard Collomb

Speaking to the BBC, Col Arnaud’s cousin Florence Nicolic described the officer as a person who was “so good at his job”.

“Even though we were surprised and shocked when we heard what happened we were not surprised in the sense that that’s the thing he would do without hesitation,” Ms Nicolic said.

Col Beltrame was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was later awarded the Cross for Military Valour for his peacekeeping work. On his return to France, Col Beltrame joined the country’s Republican Guard and was tasked with protecting the presidential palace.

In 2017, he was named deputy chief of the Gendarmerie Nationale in the French region of Aude.