Xhaka will not play against Wolves – Emery




Granit Xhaka was booed by fans as he was substituted in the 61st minute of Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal PalaceArsenal manager Unai Emery says captain Granit Xhaka will not be in the squad for Saturday’s Premier League game against Wolves.Xhaka reacted angrily to being booed by home fans when substituted in last Sunday’s draw with Crystal Palace.After facing criticism in the aftermath, the Swiss international said he “reached boiling point” as a result of threats to his wife and daughter.”We need time to recover the normality in him and for us,” said Emery.”He said sorry, he gave an apology to the supporters and now is time to focus on the match.”Emery was asked whether the 27-year-old midfielder remained his captain but did not answer directly, saying instead: “It’s not in my mind that he will play tomorrow. I am thinking tomorrow he is not going to play.”Now we need to focus 100% on the match. Now we are going to train and at the moment he is not in my mind.”

Granit Xhaka: That’s not captain’s behaviour! – Ian Wright not happy with Arsenal midfielder

Xhaka has started all but one of Arsenal’s league games this season.His withdrawal after 61 minutes against Palace was followed by boos and he reacted by swearing and removing his shirt before walking down the tunnel.Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright said Xhaka owed Arsenal fans “a lot more” and should have apologised quickly after the incident.Earlier in the week Emery also urged Xhaka – a £35m signing from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 – to apologise.When he did speak about the incident, Xhaka said the reaction to his substitution “moved me deeply”.The former Basel player also said he had been upset by comments he had received on social media and at matches recently. They included ‘kill your wife’ and ‘wish that your daughter gets cancer’, he said.



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Amelia Bambridge: Missing Cambodia backpacker drowned


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Family Handout/LBT

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The body of Amelia Bambridge was found at sea eight days after she was last seen on the island of Koh Rong

British backpacker Amelia Bambridge, who went missing in Cambodia, died from accidental drowning, a post-mortem examination has concluded.The body of the 21-year-old was found about 30 miles from the island of Koh Rong, where she was last seen at a beach party eight days earlier.Ms Bambridge, from Worthing, West Sussex, was reported missing when she failed to check out of her hostel.Officials said her death was “not related with any other crime at all”.Her body was taken to Sihanoukville on the mainland after it was recovered on Thursday.The post-mortem results were confirmed by Sihanoukville Information Department and local police.Officials said her body had been released to the family who would be able to return her to the UK immediately.

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AFP

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Amelia Bambridge’s father (second left) and brother (right) arrived in Koh Rong on Sunday to join the search

Ms Bambridge was last seen at about 03:00 on 23 October.Her purple rucksack with her purse, phone and bank cards inside were found the following morning at a private party venue on the island,About 150 volunteers – including divers, navy personnel, local people and tourists – joined Cambodian police in land and sea searches.Ms Bambridge’s father and brother flew out to join the search parties on Sunday and her mother arrived on the island the next day.

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Koh Rong is situated off the west coast of Cambodia

Following the discovery of Ms Bambridge’s body, her sister Sharon Schultes, wrote an emotional Facebook post in which she said: “It breaks my heart to let all my close family and friends know the horrendous outcome that we didn’t want.”Now we have to get our Amelia back home to England so we can lay her beautiful soul to rest and to remember the wonderful life she lived.”

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General election 2019: Farage calls on Johnson to 'build Leave alliance'


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Media captionFarage: ‘Let common sense prevail’
Nigel Farage has called on Boris Johnson to ditch his Brexit deal and “build a Leave alliance”.At the launch of the Brexit Party’s election campaign, the leader said bringing the parties together was “the only way” forward. But he warned Mr Johnson that if he turned down his offer, the party would field candidates in “every single seat” in England, Scotland and Wales.The Conservatives have consistently ruled out a formal pact with the party.A Tory source told the BBC: “A vote for Farage risks letting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street via the back door. It will not get Brexit done and it will create another gridlocked Parliament that doesn’t work.”It comes after President Donald Trump said Mr Farage and Boris Johnson should team up as “an unstoppable force”.Recent opinion polls have shown the Conservatives with a double-digit lead over Labour.Polling expert Sir John Curtice said Boris Johnson had received a boost after he negotiated a deal with the EU and brought the deal back to Parliament before 31 October deadline. However, MPs turned down his plan to pass the deal in three days, leading to a three month extension to the deadline – something vocal Brexiteers, including Mr Farage, have criticised the PM for. Having not got Brexit through by Halloween, some Tories fear that Mr Farage’s candidates could split the pro-Brexit vote and prevent their party from winning a majority in 12 December poll. And BBC Political Correspondent Alex Forsyth said the risk for the Brexit Party was that it would help Labour win seats – which could lead to another EU referendum under a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.

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Media captionTen moments that led to an(other) election
Mr Farage used the launch to condemn the PM’s deal, urging him to “drop [it] because it is not Brexit”.Instead, Mr Farage urged him to pursue a free trade agreement with the EU – similar to the deal the bloc has with Canada – and to impose a new deadline of 1 July 2020 to get it signed off. If an agreement was not done by then, the UK should leave the EU without a deal and move to World Trade Organisation trading rules. “I would view that as totally reasonable,” he said. “That really would be Brexit.”But Mr Farage said if Mr Johnson did not pursue the route, the Brexit Party would contest every seat in the country – with 500 candidates ready to sign the forms to stand on Monday. “The Brexit Party would be the only party standing at these elections that actually represents Brexit,” he said. Labour targetsThe party leader also attacked Labour for a “complete and utter betrayal on Brexit” – and said his party would target Labour seats in the Midlands and North of England.He said Labour’s plan to renegotiate a deal then put it to a referendum was offering a choice of “remain or effectively remain”.Mr Farage said there were five million Labour voters who had supported Leave in the 2016 EU referendum – although that is likely to be an overestimate – meaning his party “posed a very major problem” for Jeremy Corbyn.”So many Labour Leave seats are represented by Remain members of Parliament,” he said. “We view those constituencies around the country among our top targets.”He ridiculed the reported Conservative plan to target “Workington man” – Leave-supporting traditional Labour voters in northern towns – saying Tories needed to get out of London more.Remain pactsOn the other side of the Brexit debate, Remain-supporting parties have been negotiating electoral pacts in certain constituencies.The potential agreements would see the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Plaid Cymru stand aside for each other to ensure the election of as many MPs who back a second Brexit referendum as possible.Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said it was “no secret” that the his party was “talking to the Lib Dems and Plaid” but “nothing has been finalised”.Elsewhere on the election trail:
Both the Tories and Labour are fighting off criticisms from US President Donald Trump

No 10 has defended the PM’s Brexit deal – which Mr Trump said would hamper any deal with the US – saying it would allow the UK “strike free trade deals around the world”
Jeremy Corbyn accused the president of trying to “interfere” in the election after he said the Labour leader would be “so bad” as PM
The SNP’s leader and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has been campaigning in Leith
She said the upcoming election was a chance for Scotland to “escape the Brexit chaos” and become an independent EU country
Meanwhile, a poll by Teacher Tapp found one in 12 primary school teachers say nativity plays and Christmas concerts will be disrupted by the election



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Essex lorry deaths: Police appeal to Ronan and Christopher Hughes


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Essex Police

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Christopher, 40, (left) and Ronan Hughes, 34, are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking

Police have appealed to two brothers, wanted in connection with the deaths of 39 people found in a lorry container in Essex, to hand themselves in.Ronan and Christopher Hughes are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and people trafficking.Speaking in Belfast, police confirmed they had spoken to Ronan by phone.”Ronan and Christopher, hand yourselves in,” said Det Ch Insp Daniel Stoten, who is leading the lorry deaths investigation for Essex Police.”We need you both to come forward and assist this investigation.”He added that speaking to the Hughes brothers was crucial.”The sooner we can make this happen, the sooner we can progress with our investigation,” he said.

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The bodies were discovered in the early hours of 23 October

Mr Stoten, who is leading the lorry deaths investigation for Essex Police, said the Hughes brothers have links to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.They are also connected to the road haulage and shipping industries.Essex Police have said the brothers are from County Armagh.It is understood they are originally from County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland but have at least one business address in Northern Ireland.The PSNI stopped and seized a lorry on Thursday, believed to be connected to the Hughes brothers.No further arrests were made.Has anyone been charged?The driver of the lorry in which the bodies were found, Maurice Robinson, appeared in court in Chelmsford on Monday.The 25-year-old, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, is charged with a string of offences, including 39 counts of manslaughter.Prosecutors alleged that Mr Robinson was part of a “global ring” of people smugglers.He was remanded in custody and is due to appear again at the Old Bailey in London later this month.Who were the victims?All eight women and 31 men are thought to have been adults except one “young adult” woman who, police previously said may have been a teenager.Police initially believed the victims to be Chinese nationals but their efforts to identify them are now focusing on the Vietnamese community.VietHome, an organisation that represents the Vietnamese community in the UK said it had passed on the pictures of almost 20 people who have been reported missing to detectives.The Vietnamese embassy in London has set up a contact line for people to get in touch.What about the lorry and the trailer?GPS data shows the refrigerated container trailer crossed back and forth between the UK and Europe in the days before it was found.It was leased from the company Global Trailer Rentals on 15 October. The company said it was “entirely unaware that the trailer was to be used in the manner in which it appears to have been”.It is not the lorry police seized on 31 October in Northern Ireland.

Sources say the GPS data shows it left Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland on 15 October before crossing over to Northern Ireland and then returning south to Dublin
From Dublin, it crossed over to Holyhead in Wales overnight on 16 October
That evening, it travelled to continental Europe from Dover to Calais in France
Between 17 and 22 October, it moved between various cities in Belgium and France, including Dunkirk, Bruges and Lille
On 22 October, it made its final crossing from Zeebrugge to Purfleet
Essex Police said the tractor unit (the front part of the lorry) had entered the UK via Holyhead – an Irish Sea port in Wales – on 20 October, having travelled over from Dublin.Police believe the tractor unit collected the trailer in Purfleet on the River Thames and left the port shortly after 01:05 on 23 October. Police were called to the industrial park where the bodies were discovered about half an hour later. Temperatures in refrigerated units can be as low as -25C (-13F). The lorry now is at a secure site in Essex.Early reports had suggested the lorry may have arrived from Bulgaria but its government has since clarified that while the tractor unit was registered there in 2017 it had not entered the country since.



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Help pours in for Chinese student who lived on 30 cents a day


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Wu Huayan ate only rice and chillies in order to save money to help her ill brother

Well-wishers have donated almost a million yuan to a Chinese student who was hospitalised after living on 2 yuan ($0.30, £0.20) a day for five years.The case of Wu Huayan shocked Chinese people after it hit the headlines earlier this week.The 24-year old woman became seriously malnourished while struggling to study and support her sick brother. Ms Wu’s story also sparked anger at authorities for failing to recognise her plight and help her much earlier. After the story was reported, donations began pouring in for the college student in the city of Guiyang – reportedly totalling some 800,000 yuan ($114,000, £88,000). What is Wu Huayan’s story?Earlier, this month, the young woman went into hospital after having difficulty breathing, according to Chinese media.She was only 135cm (4ft 5ins) tall, weighing barely more than 20kg (43 pounds; three stones). The doctors found she was suffering from heart and kidney problems due to five years spent eating minimal amounts of food. She said she needed to save money to support her sick brother.Wu Huayan lost her mother when she was four and her father died when she was in school. She and her brother were then supported by their grandmother, and later by an uncle and aunt who could only support them with 300 yuan ($42, £32) each month.Most of that money went on the medical bills of her younger brother, who had mental health problems.This meant Ms Wu spent only 2 yuan a day on herself, surviving largely off chillies and rice. The siblings are from Guizhou, one of the poorest provinces in China.

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Media captionChina’s uphill struggle fighting extreme poverty
What has the reaction been?The case sparked an outpouring of concern – and anger at authorities. Many people on social media said they wanted to help with donations, and many voiced concern about her college not helping her. One user called her situation “worse than that of refugees in Afghanistan”, while another pointed to the extravagant cost of China’s 70th anniversary celebrations, saying the money could have been better spent.Others expressed their admiration at her efforts to help her brother, while also persevering with her studies in college. Aside from the donations on crowd funding platforms, her teachers and classmates donated 40,000 yuan ($5,700; £4,400), while local villagers collected 30,000 yuan to help her. Officials released a statement saying Ms Wu had been receiving the minimum government subsidy – thought to be between 300 and 700 yuan a month – and was now getting an emergency relief fund of 20,000 yuan.”We will keep following the case of this strong-minded and kind girl,” the Tongren City Civil Affairs Bureau said. “We will actively co-operate with other relevant departments to solve the problem according to the minimum living standard and temporary assistance responsibility that the civil affairs department bears.” How bad is poverty in China?The case of Wu Huayan has echoes of a story from 2018 when a Chinese boy arrived at school with his hair full of frozen ice. Dubbed “Little Wang”, his story also went viral, leading to international donations from people impressed by his resilience, and shocked at his poverty.

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People’s Daily

While China’s economy has skyrocketed over the past decades, poverty has not disappeared, and inequality has grown.One major reason cited is the huge divide between rural and urban areas.According to the bureau, the per capita disposable income of a household in the capital Beijing was 57,229 yuan ($8,090; £6,300) in 2017. As a point of comparison, in rural region of Guizhou where Ms Wu lives, that figure is around 16,703 yuan.China has moved from being “moderately unequal in 1990 to being one of the world’s most unequal countries,” according to a 2018 report by the International Monetary Fund. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in 2017, 30.46 million rural people were still living below the national poverty line of $1.90 a day. China has previously pledged to “eliminate” poverty by 2020.



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Spanish anger as five men acquitted of gang-raping teenager


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A protester in Malaga holds up a sign saying “No means no” in support of the Manresa victim

A Barcelona court’s decision to acquit five men accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl of the charge of sexual assault has provoked outrage.The court ruled they had not committed rape because the victim was in an “unconscious state” and they did not use violence or intimidation.Instead, they were convicted and jailed for the lesser crime of sexual abuse.Under Spanish law, an offence can only be considered sexual assault if physical force or intimidation is used.The five who were convicted were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in prison. A conviction of sexual assault would have carried prison sentences of between 15 and 20 years.Sexual assault is the equivalent to rape under Spanish law, although a review is currently taking place in Spain to decide whether to base rape cases on a woman’s explicit consent to sex.A number of European countries have changed their laws in recent years to define rape as sex without consent. Sweden changed the law last year and Denmark is doing the same.The Barcelona verdict comes despite a ruling in a similar case by the Spanish Supreme Court upgrading a conviction from sexual abuse to sexual assault.What reaction has there been?Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau denounced it as an “outrageous sentence” on Twitter. “I am not a judge and I do not know how many years in prison they deserve, what I do know is that it is not abuse, it is rape!”Warning: Some readers may find details of this story disturbingWomen’s rights groups have similarly reacted to the ruling with anger and dismay. Furious social media users have been commenting on the case under hashtags like JusticiaPatriarcal (Patriarchal Justice) and NoEsAbusoEsViolacion (It’s not abuse it’s rape).The case is known as the “Manada de Manresa” – Manresa Wolf Pack – for its similarities to a 2016 gang attack on a teenager which prompted widespread protests and an ongoing review of Spain’s rape laws.What happened in the case?The five men were found guilty of abusing the girl during a drinking session known in Spanish as a botellón at a disused factory in Manresa, a town in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, in October 2016.Prosecutors told the court the men – two Spaniards, two Cubans and one Argentinian – took turns to attack the girl, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. One of the defendants, named only as Bryan Andrés M, was said to have told each of them: “It’s your turn. Fifteen minutes each and no delay.”At a previous court hearing, the girl said she remembered very little of what happened but that one of the men had been brandishing a gun.All the defendants denied the allegations, although the DNA of one of them was found on the girl’s underwear.

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A similar case sparked fury in Spain, and was later overturned by the Supreme Court

The court ruled that the victim did “not know what she was and wasn’t doing, and consequently, did not have the ability to agree to or oppose the sexual relations most of the defendants had with her”, El Pais reported.It added that the defendants “were able to commit sexual acts without using any type of violence or intimidation”. The court eventually awarded the victim €12,000 (£10,300) damages for an attack it described as “extremely severe and especially denigrating”.Judges expressed “surprise” that the prosecutors changed the charge at the last minute to sexual assault from the initial accusation of sexual abuse. They said they could not see the reasons for the more serious assault offence in the prosecution’s arguments.What happened in original ‘wolf pack’ case?A court in Navarra jailed five men for sexual abuse for a gang attack in Pamplona on an 18-year-old woman who was dragged into the hallway of a residential building. As she appeared “passive or neutral”, according to a police report, the court decided no intimidation or violence had taken place.

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Media captionActivists say rage over Spain’s “wolfpack” case has ignited a feminist revolution
In June, the Spanish Supreme Court overturned that ruling, deciding it was sexual assault and that the men were rapists. The five saw their sentences of nine years increased to 15.Spain’s prime minister last year appointed a panel to review the rape laws.



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General election 2019: No 10 defends Brexit deal after Trump criticism


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Media captionDonald Trump criticises Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal
The government has defended the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU, following criticism from the US president.Donald Trump said the US “can’t make a trade deal with the UK” under Boris Johnson’s EU withdrawal agreement.But Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the PM’s plan was a “good deal” that allows the UK to “strike free trade deals around the world”. Other comments made by Mr Trump led Labour to accuse him of trying to “interfere” in the election.Speaking to LBC, the president said Mr Corbyn would be “so bad” as prime minister and that Mr Johnson was “the exact right guy for the times”.Mr Corbyn accused him of “trying to interfere” in the UK general election to boost “his friend Boris Johnson”.The UK is going to the polls on 12 December following a further delay to the UK’s departure from the EU, to 31 January 2020.Mr Johnson hopes to win a majority of seats so that he can get his deal through Parliament – while Mr Corbyn promises another referendum if he wins the keys to 10 Downing Street.
What is in Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal?
Jeremy Corbyn vows to ‘transform’ UK
In August, Mr Trump promised a “very big trade deal” with the UK and predicted that leaving the EU would be like losing “an anchor round the ankle”.But speaking to supporter Nigel Farage on LBC, Mr Trump was critical of the withdrawal agreement Mr Johnson recently reached with EU leaders.Mr Trump said: “We want to do trade with UK and they want to do trade with us.”But he added: “To be honest with you… this deal… under certain aspects of the [Brexit] deal… you can’t do it, you can’t trade. “We can’t make a trade deal with the UK because I think we can do many times the numbers that we’re doing right now and certainly much bigger numbers than you are doing under the European Union.”

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Media captionDonald Trump met Boris Johnson in September and said he was “doing very well”
Mr Trump, who has previously expressed his backing for Brexit, did not elaborate on what difficulties he thought might arise in striking a US-UK trade deal.In response, a Downing Street spokesperson said Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal with the EU “ensures that we take back control of our laws, trade, borders and money”. Asked if the president’s assessment was wrong, Mr Jenrick told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We know the deal enables us to secure deals with a range of growing economies [and] we’ll be setting out to do that.”He also claimed initial conversations with the US about a trade deal had been “positive”.
Farage refuses to rule out withdrawing candidates
Could US companies run NHS services after Brexit?
Mr Corbyn has said a post-Brexit trade deal with Mr Trump’s administration would give US companies greater access to the NHS, and allow them to profit from it at UK taxpayers’ expense.Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner told Today the NHS was “clearly in the negotiating mandate” and “it is clearly something which [Mr Trump] in the past has said is absolutely on the table”. However, the president dismissed the Labour leader’s claim, saying: “Not at all. We wouldn’t even be involved in that, no. It’s not for us to have anything to do with your health care system. No, we’re just talking about trade.”The UK government has said that, under any future trade deal with the US, it wants protections for the NHS.



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News Daily: No 10 reacts to Trump on Brexit and Rugby World Cup lookahead



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No 10 defends Brexit deal after Trump criticismA little over a week ago, Boris Johnson was announcing a “great new deal” with the EU over Brexit. Now Downing Street is defending it from the criticism of Donald Trump who – having previously talked up the prospects of trans-Atlantic trade – says it means the US “can’t make a trade deal with the UK”. Downing Street insists: “We can strike our own free trade deals around the world, from which every part of the UK will benefit.”Despite criticism of the deal, Mr Trump – talking on the LBC radio show hosted by one of his supporters, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage – said Mr Johnson was “the exact right guy for the times”. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn – who Mr Trump said would be “so bad” as prime minister – accused him of “trying to interfere” in the UK general election to boost “his friend Boris Johnson”. Mr Corbyn is already on the election trail, having launched Labour’s campaign on Thursday, with pledges to sort out Brexit within six months and tackle vested interests. Correspondent Iain Watson analyses Labour’s approach.If you want to get away from the rhetoric during the election campaign, our guides can help:Increase in number of teens treated for allergiesThe number of children who received hospital treatment for allergies has increased markedly over five years, the BBC has learned. NHS Digital’s statistics covering England show 4,743 teenagers sought treatment in 2017-18, up 65% on the figure for 2013-14. The number of children treated for anaphylactic shock also increased by 41% over that period. It has cast a spotlight on the way schools handle pupils with allergies, with one specialist telling BBC London parents in extreme cases were “genuinely frightened” to send children to school. One head teacher called for better government guidance but the Department for Education said it was “clear that children with medical conditions should be properly supported”.

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World cup fever builds in Japan ahead of rugby finalThousands of excited fans have travelled to Japan as the Rugby World Cup comes to its conclusion. Ahead of Saturday’s final between England and South Africa, our columnist Matt Dawson outlines six areas where the trophy will be won. England have named an unchanged side and the man who lifted the trophy in 2003, Martin Johnson, joins Dawson and three other team-mates to offer advice to the current squad. Before then, of course, Wales head into a bronze medal match with New Zealand. It offers a chance to equal the nation’s best tournament finish, end a 66-year hoodoo against the All Blacks and celebrate the efforts of Warren Gatland, the Kiwi who became Wales’ greatest coach.The movie making strides for body positivityBy Rebecca Thomas, entertainment reporter, BBC NewsIn an era of body positivity, the film Brittany Runs A Marathon would, on paper, seem completely off message. Stripped back, it’s a story of a plus-sized, shambolic young woman, who embarks on an extreme health kick, loses a shed load of weight and finally finds happiness in her new self. But appearances are deceptive.”Many of her struggles are the same as I’ve been through,” lead actor Jillian Bell tells BBC News. “I had messed up ideas about weight loss and how I would be treated. Here, it’s about putting yourself first… Often in transformation films, a woman loses weight and life is perfect. But there’s real emotional struggle in finding out how to set your own values.”Read the full articleWhat the papers say

Several papers lead on US President Donald Trump’s interview on radio station LBC with Nigel Farage, who the Daily Mail describes as his “pal”. The president told the Brexit Party leader to form an electoral pact with the Conservatives to stop Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn taking the UK to “bad places”, the Daily Telegraph reports. The interview was timed to precede Mr Farage’s campaign launch, it adds. The president also said Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal would prevent a US-UK trade deal, the Times notes. The i focuses on Labour’s pledge to tackle “tax dodgers, big polluters and other members of the wealthy elite”. And the Metro puns on the ballot-box cross by saying “Generation X” could cause trouble for the prime minister after 300,000 people – mostly under 35s it says are likely to back remain – registered to vote in 48 hours.Daily digestEx-Tory rebel MP Antoinette Sandbach joins Liberal DemocratsHalloween Trick or treater, 12, hit by car after shootingTumble dryers Whirlpool ‘silenced customers’ amid fire scareWeekly quiz Test your knowledge of the big stories from the last seven daysIf you watch one thing today

How Silicon Valley enables online slave marketsIf you listen to one thing today

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HARDtalk: Campaigner and businesswoman Gina MillerIf you read one thing today

The man who tunnelled into danger

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Lookahead09:00 The chief coroner’s report on action to prevent future deaths following the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks inquests is expected to be published.09:00 Wales take on New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup’s bronze medal match.On this day1970 A fire at a nightclub in the French town of Saint-Laurent-du-Pont, near Grenoble, kills 142 people, most of them teenagers.From elsewhereWhy Twitter’s political ad ban won’t make a damn difference (Vice)’Intimate terrorism’: how an abusive relationship led a young woman to kill her partner (Guardian)Robyn Wilder: An undiagnosed condition made me feel bad, stupid and lazy (Marie Claire)Doddie Weir: There’s an unwritten rule in Scotland to support any team playing England… and this is why I’m breaking it (Telegraph)



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Mobile phone loophole for filming drivers 'to be closed'


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The government plans to close a legal loophole that has allowed drivers who use mobile phones to film or take photographs to escape prosecution.It is illegal for drivers to call or text on hand-held phones but some have dodged punishment for taking photos.In July, a man overturned a conviction for filming a crash, saying he was not using his phone “to communicate”.The government aims to revise the laws to also include browsing the internet and searching playlists while driving.It says the current legislation has fallen behind advances in smartphone technology.’Next Spring’Drivers have successfully argued that filming or taking photos while driving does not match the wording in the current legislation – which says it is illegal to use a device “which performs an interactive communication” while driving. Earlier this year Ramsey Barreto was found guilty of using his phone to film a crash in north London two years ago. However, the 51-year-old then successfully appealed the conviction.The ruling led two High Court judges to criticise the 16-year-old law on using mobile phones, which they said had failed to evolve with the rise of smartphones.Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the urgent review will be carried out to tighten up the existing laws on hand-held mobile use by motorists.”We recognise that staying in touch with the world while travelling is an essential part of modern day life but we are also committed to making our roads safe,” he added.The Department for Transport said the review will be carried out “urgently” with further proposals “expected to be in place by next spring”.

Phones behind the wheel: The law
Using a hand-held mobile phone or sat nav while driving is illegal
Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you drive
Police still have the power to stop you if they think you have been distracted
The law still applies if you’re stopped in traffic or queuing at lights
You could get penalty points, a fine and/or a driving ban if you break the law
Source: UK government – read more

The action follows a recent report by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee which urged the government to introduce tougher restrictions on using a mobile phone while driving.The committee recommended that ministers should consider a ban on hands-free use, but the government said there are no plans to introduce such a measure.The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) charity said it was “delighted” the loophole would be closed.However, road safety campaign group Brake called for the government to follow MPs recommendations and ban the use of all phone at the wheel.

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Media captionRoad Safety: Driving simulator highlights dangers of hands-free
“All phone use behind the wheel is dangerous and to get this message across to drivers the law must reflect this,” its senior public affairs officer Samuel Nahk said.”Far too many people still use their phone behind the wheel, yet it should be as unacceptable as drink driving, with research showing that reaction times whilst texting are double those of drink-drivers.”The fixed penalty for driving while using a hand-held mobile phone was increased from three penalty points and a £100 fine to six penalty points and a £200 fine in March 2017.Courts can impose a fine of up to £1,000 for car drivers and £2,500 for HGV and bus drivers, as well as issuing a driving disqualification.The government said its review would include legislation in Northern Ireland, where road safety policy is a devolved issue.



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