Monday, 04 November 2019: Labour promises to remove all traces of privatisation from NHS, Johnson apologises for missing Brexit deadline, German rescue ship docks in Italy, Macron sparks ire in Bulgaria over migrant remarks


Labour promises to remove all traces of privatisation from NHS: Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has warned the public not to trust US President Donald Trump’s assurance that the NHS will not form part of post-Brexit trade deals. McDonnell committed Labour to eradicating all traces of privatisation from the service. He highlighted meetings UK civil servants had had with US pharmaceutical companies as revealed in Channel 4’s Dispatches, claiming they had met on several occasions and were negotiating to sell the NHS. The government denies that their intention is for the NHS to be sold into the private sector. NHS Providers chief Chris Hopson warned parties not to use the NHS as a political weapon in the election campaign. He said over dramatising NHS difficulties or making disingenuous funding claims did the service no favours.,

Johnson faces questions over Dominic Cummings’ links to Russia: Labour has demanded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, answers a series of questions relating to his past in Russia after an official-level whistleblower raised serious concerns. Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has written to the government with questions about Cummings’s connections to Russia regarding Cummings’ time in Russia in the 1990s after graduating from university. Thornberry asks what level of security vetting Cummings was subjected to prior to his current appointment as senior adviser at No 10.,

Tory MP to quit after denying sexual assault claim: Ross Thomson, a Scottish Tory MP facing allegations he sexually assaulted a fellow MP, has announced he is quitting Westminster. Labour MP Paul Sweeney had said he reported Thomson to Westminster’s standards watchdog following the alleged incident last October. Thomson denies any wrongdoing. But he said a number of allegations this year had made his life a living hell. Sweeney, who is the MP for Glasgow North East, told the “Scottish Mail” on Sunday he was left feeling mortified by the alleged attack in the Strangers’ Bar at Westminster. Thomson allegedly grabbed at Sweeney through his clothes. Sweeney said he repeatedly told Thomson to stop touching him and asked him to leave. Sweeney said he had reported the incident to the Commons authorities after reading allegations in February that Thomson had been accused of the “sexual touching” of other men in Strangers’ bar.,

Labour: Obey me on Brexit, Corbyn warns shadow cabinet dissenters
Election: MPs pledge to stop abusive language during general election
Welfare: Tories announce end to benefit freeze in move criticised as cynical


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Johnson apologises for missing Brexit deadline: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologised to Tory members who voted for him to become party leader for not taking Britain out of the EU on 31 October. Johnson described extensions as painful because they caused the country uncertainty. Pressed on whether the public could trust him to keep a promise and deliver on it, he said people should not forget the circumstances in which the Brexit extension happened, as it happened because parliament passed the Benn act earlier this autumn, which required Johnson to ask for an extension if he could not get his deal agreed by 19 October. Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s upstart Brexit Party, said on Sunday he would not stand in next month’s election.,,

German rescue ship docks in Italy: After a week stranded at seas with 88 migrants onboard, German rescue ship “Alan Kurdi” docked in the Italian port of Taranto on Sunday, following a deal among EU nations. Italy granted permission for migrants to disembark on Friday after Germany and other EU countries agreed to take in the migrants. The Italian offshore supply vessel “Asso Trenta” has brought 151 migrants to Sicily after rescuing them in waters off Libya a day earlier. It wasn’t immediately known if they would stay in Italy or be distributed among other EU countries. While the Mediterranean Sea remains a deadly route for migrants attempting to reach the EU, the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR has warned that the African land journey to reach the Mediterranean coast remains far more lethal. (Alan Kurdi); (Asso Trenta), (UNHCR)

Turkey to send Isis fighters back to home countries: The Turkish government said on Saturday it would send foreign terrorist fighters captured in Syria back to their countries of origin. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu criticised European governments for their refusal to take back nationals who joined Isis. Soylu said EU countries including the Netherlands and Britain had stripped some of the fighters of their nationality to prevent Turkey from sending them home. EU governments have been at odds over whether to repatriate people who went to Syria and Iraq to fight with terrorists.,


Macron sparks ire in Bulgaria over migrant remarks: Bulgaria has announced that it will summon France’s ambassador to Sofia on Monday after comments about immigration by French President Emmanuel Macron sparked outrage. Ambassador Florence Robine would be asked for an explanation of the remarks in which Macron spoke of “clandestine networks of Bulgarians and Ukrainians”, Ivan Dimov, an advisor to Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, said. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev described Macron’s remarks as base and ham-handed. In an interview last week, Macron said he favoured legal quota-based migration to illegal workers, contrasting Guinean or Ivorian migrants who work legally to “clandestine gangs of Bulgarians and Ukrainians.”,

Migrants found in back of truck in France: Officers carrying out a routine traffic check in southern France uncovered dozens of migrants in the back of a truck on Saturday. All 31 people on board were Pakistani nationals. The driver of the truck, who is also from Pakistan, was arrested by French authorities. Prosecutors will now try to determine whether a human smuggling ring is behind the operation. Should that prove not to be the case, the driver of the truck will be charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigration.

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Spain offers to help Greta Thunberg attend UN climate summit: The Spanish government has offered to help Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg cross the Atlantic to attend the UN’s annual climate summit in December. The climate activist found herself on the wrong side of the pond after the COP25 conference was moved to Madrid. Spain offered to host the UN climate change conference, known formally as COP25, after Chile withdrew.,

Norway: Ugland says nine crew abducted by pirates from vessel off Benin
Greece: Government passes tough asylum laws
Ukraine: Trump says he would love to host Ukrainian President Zelensky at White House
Germany: Chancellor Merkel wants one million electric car charge points by 2030

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German city declares “Nazi emergency”: The German city of Dresden has declared a “Nazi emergency”, passing a resolution warning that the far-right was growing in strength in the eastern city. A local councilor said the term “Nazi emergency” was an exaggerated formulation for the fact that there was a serious problem – similar to the climate emergency – with right-wing extremism and racism. Anti-immigrant sentiment runs high in the state of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital.,


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