The Papers: Farage urged to give Tories 'free run' at marginals


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The front pages are dominated by Nigel Farage’s announcement that the Brexit Party will not stand candidates in the 317 seats won by the Conservatives at the last general election, in 2017. Mr Farage, the party’s leader, said his U-turn on his previous pledge to fight seats across Britain was intended to ensure the prime minister can deliver Brexit, the Financial Times reports.

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The Daily Telegraph describes the move as a “retreat”, adding that Mr Farage has also hinted he could give the Conservatives a clear run at dozens of Labour marginals by not standing candidates there as well. The paper says the Brexit Party leader bowed to “immense pressure” from within his own party to pull candidates after conceding that splitting the Leave vote would put Brexit at risk.

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Behind the scenes, senior Conservatives are now pressing Mr Farage to also stand down in Labour-held target seats, reports the Guardian. The papers quotes the Brexit Party leader as saying he now has more “optimism” about Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal as the reason for his co-operation with the Tories.

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“Cheers Nigel” declares the Sun, which says Mr Farage agreed to “put country before party” by standing his candidates down. But it also notes that senior Tory eurosceptics have now asked him to go further to defeat Labour.

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“Nice one Nigel, but it’s still not enough”, says the Daily Mail. The paper says Mr Farage’s “partial U-turn” came two days after a front-page appeal from the paper.

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Cabinet ministers have said Mr Farage will be personally to blame if Britain ends up not leaving the EU, according to the Times. But the Brexit Party leader has indicated he will not back down further by standing down in more seats, the paper notes, saying he wanted his candidates “putting out their positive message”.

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The Metro leads on the prime minister welcoming Mr Farage’s election commitment. The paper quotes him as saying: “We welcome his recognition that another gridlocked hung Parliament is the greatest threat to getting Brexit done.”

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The i, which features a similar photo of Mr Johnson sipping a pint of beer, says Mr Farage “reluctantly” reached his election pact with the Tories. It also notes that Mr Farage claims he was offered a peerage but decided not to accept it.

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“Farage’s election gift for Boris”, runs the front-page headline on the Daily Express. It also features a photo of the Queen, with the headline “One’s still holding the reins… at 93”.

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In other news, the Daily Mirror says “deluged” communities in the north of England have been let down by the Conservatives, who it says have spent more money on flood defences in the South. One resident of Fishlake, in south Yorkshire, is quoted as saying: “We feel this area has been sacrificed.”

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And finally, Grange Hill creator Phil Redmond has urged the BBC to bring back his school drama to teach young people about the dangers of knife crime and social media bullying, the Daily Star reports.

Nigel Farage’s decision to stand his Brexit Party down in more than 300 constituencies at the election dominates the front pages.”Farage retreats from every Tory seat” is the headline in the Telegraph, adding that bookies have “slashed the odds of a Tory majority” as a result. The paper suggests Mr Farage now faces a battle to keep control of his party and is under pressure from senior party figures and donors to go further and withdraw candidates from other key marginals.Writing a column in the paper, Mr Farage says his decision should “kill off the idea of a second referendum”. Not everyone thinks he’s made the right decision, though. “A disgrace to politics” is how one – now former – Brexit Party candidate describes Mr Farage.The Sun, the Metro and the i all go with a front page photo of Boris Johnson raising a pint.”Cheers Nige” says the Sun, adding “now help us beat Labour by pulling out of every seat”. The Telegraph suggests that might be a possibility. It quotes a “source close to Mr Farage” saying that “there’s no question he could be prepared to do more if he’s treated with courtesy by Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly”. The source adds that “the Brexit Party would be happy with 10 sitting MPs to help get Brexit done”.

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The Guardian’s headline reads “Farage urged to give Tories free run at Labour seats”. It reports that senior Tories are “pressing behind the scenes” for further concessions, and says Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP fear that a “secret pact” has been struck between Mr Farage and Mr Johnson in favour of a “hard Brexit” – something that both parties have denied. “Boris and Farage do Trump deal to stitch up election”, is the Daily Mirror’s take. It points out that Mr Farage has changed his position following a call by US President Donald Trump for Leavers to team up, and following the offer of a peerage, which Mr Farage says he turned down. The paper’s editorial says President Trump could be the biggest winner, with Mr Johnson and Mr Farage delivering the NHS and the British food industry into “greedy US hands”.HS2The Times leads with an exclusive on the HS2 high speed rail project, headlined “HS2 will boost north despite soaring costs”. The paper says it has seen a leaked copy of an independent review into the project, which recommends that ministers should continue with it despite “ballooning costs”. It says the report suggests a new budget of £88bn – up from £56bn – will itself need to be revised upwards again. The paper adds that the benefits of the project to the taxpayer has fallen from £2.30 for every pound spent, to somewhere between £1.30 and £1.50 for every pound spent. In its editorial, the Times calls on Boris Johnson to “come off the fence” and give the project his backing. And finally, the Telegraph says we could be heading for a woke – rather than White – Christmas this year. It reports that environmental charities are recommending that we switch from Christmas cards to e-cards and rent Christmas trees, which can then be replanted after use. Other recommendations include using pine cones and holly rather than tinsel and wrapping up presents in scarves. The Telegraph, though, isn’t impressed. In its editorial, it says the suggestions all miss the point that Christmas is supposed to be a time for treats and fun.

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Australia bushfires: 'We owe you milk' say firefighters who saved man's house


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PAul Sefky/Facebook

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The Urunga Rural Fire Service left this note behind on Mr Sefky’s kitchen counter

An Australian man has shared a heart-warming note from firefighters who saved his home from bushfires – then apologised for drinking his milk. Paul Sefky returned to his New South Wales home to find a note signed by the Urunga Rural Fire Service (RFS).”It was a pleasure to save your house…P.S. – we owe you some milk,” it said. Australia is enduring a bushfire crisis that has left three people dead and razed more than 150 homes.More than 60 blazes are burning across New South Wales as the state braces itself for “catastrophic” conditions that are set to hit later on Tuesday.

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NSW has been warned of “catastrophic” conditions as a bushfire crisis continues

Mr Sefky returned to his house over the weekend to find the note by the Urunga RFS left behind on his kitchen bench.The note also apologised for being unable to save Mr Sefky’s sheds. Despite this, Mr Sefky said the note was the best he had received “since the morning after my wedding”. The post, which was shared thousands of times, eventually reached the fireman who claims to have been behind it.”I’m happy to know my note got to you in one piece!” said Kale Hardie-Porter in a comment on Facebook, who said he was one of a group of four firefighters. “We took refuge in your house and that’s when we discovered the fridge.”Mr Hardie-Porter also apologised for his “shocking handwriting”, saying it was “late and [he] could not see a thing!””It was our pleasure to do a little good in such horrendous conditions,” he said.Though Mr Sefky’s house was saved, he said in a comment on Facebook that the house still remained in an uninhabitable state.”We have no power, no poles, no water, all dirty and just too smoky for the next week,” he said.
Is climate change to blame for Australia’s fires?
Australia braces for ‘catastrophic’ bushfires
Some six million people live in New South Wales. Authorities have warned of “extreme, severe and catastrophic” conditions in the region with temperatures set to hit 37C.They say fires will spread quickly and people in vulnerable communities have been urged to stay away from bushland, and to flee their homes before the fires escalate. More than 600 schools are closed across the state.

EPAWhat is a ‘catastrophic’ fire warning?.the highest point on Australia’s six-point fire danger scale.results from high temperatures, strong winds and dry ground.fires starting under these conditions will threaten lives.homes cannot be defended from catastrophic fires.the only survival advice is to leave at risk areas earlySource: Australian government



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'OK boomer': Abigail Disney tells those offended to 'sit down'


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Abigail Disney has been an outspoken critic of income inequality

Abigail Disney has hit out at people taking offence at the “OK boomer” trend, telling them to “sit… down and let the kids drive”.In a thread on Twitter, the 59-year-old Disney heiress asks fellow members of the baby boomer generation when they became “so easily triggered”.”OK boomer” is a viral phrase used to dismiss or mock those who seem dismissive of younger generations’ concerns.Critics say the phrase is ageist. In her expletive-laden Twitter thread, Ms Disney said baby boomers needed to “face up to the fact that the world is changing fast but you are not.””The more often you object to Millenials’ understandable resentment toward a generation that has selfishly poisoned their water, blown past every climate warning so they could drive their stupid hummers, and looked away or worse for sexual, racial and economic injustice, the more you prove their point that you just don’t understand anything of value to them.” she added. “How about you guys sit the [expletive] down and let the kids drive.” Ms Disney, a filmmaker and granddaughter of Walt Disney Company co-founder Roy Oliver Disney, has been an outspoken critic of issues such as income inequality.Earlier this year, she was among a group of ultra-wealthy Americans asking to be taxed more. What exactly does ‘OK boomer’ mean?A “boomer” is shorthand for a baby boomer – someone born between 1946 and 1964.In internet parlance, “OK boomer” is a derogatory phrase used primarily by the next generations to show their indignation towards older people deemed indifferent to their concerns. It is used widely on platforms like Twitter and TikTok.

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A 25-year-old New Zealand politician hit headlines last week for using the phrase in parliament when an older lawmaker interrupted her speech on climate change.”Boomer is a state of mind,” the politician, Chlöe Swarbrick, later told news site Stuff.



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What US coal country makes of Trump impeachment



Celebrations have been held on the streets of Welch in West Virginia to commemorate Veterans Day. The city is in McDowell County, where US President Donald Trump received more than 70% of the vote in the 2016 election. The BBC spoke to local people about the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump.Filmed by Peter Murtaugh and Shane Colella.



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Hillary Clinton: 'Shameful' not to publish Russia report


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Media captionHillary Clinton: “Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before the election”
It is “inexplicable and shameful” that the UK government has not yet published a report on alleged Russian interference in British politics, Hillary Clinton has told the BBC.The report has formal security clearance, but it will not be released until after the 12 December election. “Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens,” the former US presidential candidate said.No 10 denies it is suppressing it.
No 10 ‘sitting on’ Russian interference report
Facebook: Russian Brexit meddling ‘minimal’
The report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee examines Russian activity in UK democracy.It includes allegations of espionage, subversion and interference in elections. It contains evidence from UK intelligence services such as GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 concerning covert Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election.The report was finalised in March and referred to No 10 on 17 October.But approval for its publication has yet to be given – and is not due to happen until after polling day.MPs on the intelligence committee have been highly critical of that outcome, but the government has said the timing is not unusual.

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President Vladimir Putin has denied accusations of Russian interference

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme while in the UK on a book tour, Mrs Clinton said she was “dumbfounded” that the government would not release the report. “That should be an absolute condition,” she said. “Because there is no doubt – we know it in our country, we have seen it in Europe, we have seen it here – that Russia in particular is determined to try to shape the politics of western democracies. “Not to our benefit, but to theirs.”She also told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett: “I find it inexplicable that your government will not release a government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful.”
The mystery of the Russia report
No 10 denies suppressing Russia interference report
Mrs Clinton said the US had a similar problem in the 2016 election, when she was defeated as the Democrat’s candidate for president by Republican Donald Trump. Trump and his campaign, she said, were under investigation for their connections with Russia, Russian agents, and others promoting Russian interests. But the American public did not know before the election. The Russians were still “in” her country’s electoral system, she said, still “pumping out propaganda”. “So there’s no doubt of the role that Russia played in our 2016 election and is continuing to play.”I would hate to see that happen here. Whatever the outcome. I don’t know what’s in it, (the report) any more than anybody else does. “But certainly, people who are about to vote in a month or so deserve to know what is in a report that one has to speculate, must have something of concern, otherwise why wouldn’t it be publicly disclosed?”

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The Mueller Inquiry laid out a broad pattern of Russian interference in the US 2016 presidential election

Chancellor Sajid Javid has told the BBC the timescale for the publication of the report was “perfectly normal” because of the sensitive nature of the content.However, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has said the decision not to clear the report for publication before Parliament closed ahead of the general election was “clearly politically motivated”. Speaking in the Commons last week, she suggested the report could lead to questions about links between Russia, Brexit and the Tory leadership, which could derail the Conservative election campaign.Sources have told the BBC there was no objection from any other government agency or department to the report’s publication – leaving the decision to release it with Downing Street. In the US, the Mueller Inquiry laid out a broad pattern of interference in the US 2016 presidential election – particularly using social media and leaking of documents.However it did not establish any criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign.So far no evidence of a cyber campaign on a similar scale has been produced in the UK and government ministers have said there is no evidence of “successful” Russian interference in UK elections.



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Formula 1 launches a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030




The 2020 Formula 1 season will feature 20 drivers from 10 teams competing at 22 racesFormula 1 has launched a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.The intention is to wipe out the carbon footprint of activity at race tracks, including road and air transport of staff and equipment to the events.F1 says it will “move to ultra-efficient logistics and travel and 100% renewably powered offices, facilities and factories” and offset emissions that cannot be cut.F1 said as a first step it would begin carbon-reduction projects immediately.It added that it will make all events “sustainable” by 2025, including eliminating single-use plastics and ensuring all waste is reused, recycled or composted.And in 2021, rules will demand that the petrol used in F1 has a biofuel content of at least 10%.The high-tech turbo hybrid power-units used to power F1 cars since 2014 are the most efficient car engines in the world in terms of the percentage of fuel energy that is converted into power, a measurement known as thermal efficiency.F1 engines have a thermal efficiency rating of 50%, whereas a road-car petrol engine is generally in the region of 30%.The current engines are in line to continue until the end of 2025, and F1 is to look at ways of ensuring that whatever specification of engine is used from 2026 takes another step forward in efficiency.The sport’s owners added that they hoped to work with the automotive industry to apply the lessons of F1’s engines to create “the world’s first net-zero carbon hybrid internal combustion engine”.In-depth conversations with road-car manufacturers on this area have not yet begun but they will focus on the development of synthetic fuels, which use carbon captured from the air, farm waste or biomass.F1 says it has come up with its plan to have a net-zero carbon footprint “after 12 months of intense work with motorsport’s governing body the FIA, sustainability experts, F1 teams, promoters and partners”.Instigating the plans will require the assistance of the teams, some of whom employ more than 1,000 people to design, develop, build and race the cars that take part in more than 20 grands prix a year.
Mercedes, who have won the constructors title six times in a row, say they are working on reducing their carbon footprint, while world Lewis Champion sold his private plane last year and has spoken out on environmental issuesF1 says all have signed up to the project. And some have already started working towards this goal.World champions Mercedes, for example, say they have been powering their two F1 factories in the UK entirely by renewable energy since early October and that they are on target to have net-zero carbon emissions by the end of next year through a combination of reducing CO2 emissions and offsetting.Chase Carey, the chairman and chief executive of F1, said: “Over its 70-year history, F1 has pioneered numerous technologies and innovations that have positively contributed to society and helped to combat carbon emissions. “From ground-breaking aerodynamics to improved brake designs, the progress led by F1 teams has benefited hundreds of millions of cars on the road today. “Few people know that the current F1 hybrid power unit is the most efficient in the world, delivering more power using less fuel, and hence CO2, than any other car. “We believe F1 can continue to be a leader for the auto industry and work with the energy and automotive sector to deliver the world’s first net-zero carbon hybrid internal combustion engine that hugely reduces carbon emissions around the world.” FIA president Jean Todt said his organisation and F1 were “committed to driving development and ensuring motorsport grows as a laboratory for environmentally beneficial innovations”.How will Formula 1 do it?F1 plans to offset emissions through a combination of replanting trees and using the engineering knowhow in the sport to develop new technologies that can capture carbon from the atmosphere.It calculated the sport’s total carbon emissions in 2018 as 256,551 tonnes, not including fans’ transport to races, comprising:Logistics (road, air and sea freight) 45%Personnel travel 27.7%Factories and facilities 19.3%Events 7.3%Total F1 car emissions including all race and test mileage: 0.7%’You shouldn’t be afraid to speak out for positive change’Elsewhere in F1, world champion Lewis Hamilton has become outspoken on global environmental issues, including extolling the virtues of a plant-based diet in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The six-time champion has pledged to ensure his life and business activities are carbon-neutral by the end of the year, is working with Mercedes to make relevant changes and after selling his private plane last year is reducing flying as much as possible.After being accused of hypocrisy because of his role in F1 and the number of flights he has to take as part of his job, Hamilton admitted the subject was “not easy” but added: “That doesn’t mean you should be afraid to speak out for positive change.”His position was backed by a number of his leading competitors, including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.The Ferrari driver said last month: “It is very difficult for us to have acceptance from the outside because we don’t have the smallest [carbon] footprint. The races are around the world and we do have to travel.”But I feel F1 should do more. It is a worldwide operating platform and we should send a more positive message.”



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Sterling to miss England qualifier 'after disturbance in private team area'


England forward Raheem Sterling will not play in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Macedonia on Thursday “as a result of a disturbance in a private team area”, the Football Association has announced.The 24-year-old Manchester City player was involved in an on-field argument with Liverpool and England defender Joe Gomez, 22, during the Reds’ 3-1 Premier League victory at Anfield.”Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw,” said England boss Gareth Southgate.”One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team.”We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday. My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken.”Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”More to follow.



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Bolivia crisis: Ex-President Morales offered asylum in Mexico


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Media captionWatch Evo Morales announce his resignation
Mexico has offered asylum to former Bolivian president Evo Morales, a day after his resignation following weeks of protest over a disputed election.Mexico says the decision was taken for “humanitarian reasons” following Mr Morales’ personal request.Mr Morales, who is in Bolivia, has not commented. He earlier urged his supporters to resist the “dark powers” that had forced him to step down.At least 20 people were reported injured in fresh clashes on Monday.Morales supporters battled police in La Paz, Bolivia’s biggest city, and also in El Alto.High and lows of Evo Morales’ presidencyMr Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, stepped down after the head of the army publicly called on him to leave his post.The deputy head of the Senate said she would take over as interim president until new elections were held.US President Donald Trump on Monday described the resignation of Mr Morales as “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere”.Russia and Mexico – Mr Morales’ key international allies – backed him and condemned the violence.



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Wales standards boss quits over AM's secret recordings


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Sir Roderick Evans became standards commissioner in 2017

The man who oversees complaints about politicians in Wales has resigned after he was secretly recorded by an assembly member.Standards commissioner Sir Roderick Evans said “highly confidential conversations” with his staff had been taped.The former Plaid Cymru AM Neil McEvoy has confirmed he made the recordings.Police are being asked to investigate and the assembly has arranged a sweep of the organisation’s estate.The South Wales Central AM, who now sits as an independent, alleged he had found evidence that he claims had brought Sir Roderick’s office into disrepute.He said he had acted lawfully and in the public interest. He had been facing three separate investigations by the standards commissioner at the time, before Sir Roderick resigned.Sir Roderick, a former high court judge and pro-chancellor of Swansea University, said Mr McEvoy’s actions were “wholly unacceptable” as he stood down on Monday.”It has come to my attention that conversations with my staff about a variety of highly confidential and sensitive matters have been secretly, and possibly illegally, recorded over a period of what seems to be several months and in what seems to be a number of different locations by an assembly member,” said Sir Roderick, who had served as the assembly’s standards commissioner since 2017.”These have included highly confidential conversations with my staff including references to cases brought by members of the public.””That a member of our national assembly could behave in this way is wholly unacceptable. It undermines the integrity of the complaints procedure and brings our democratic process into disrepute. I’m not prepared to continue in my role as standards commissioner.”

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Neil McEvoy said he had acted lawfully in the public interest

Welsh Assembly presiding officer Elin Jones said she had accepted Sir Roderick’s resignation, and the process to find a successor will now begin.She said: “Covert recording of private conversations is a serious matter and we will be asking South Wales Police to investigate how such recordings were obtained. “Arrangements have been made for a sweep of the Senedd estate to locate any unauthorised electronic surveillance devices.”In response to Mr McEvoy the standards commissioner’s office said: “The appropriateness of covert recordings of private and confidential conversations will be considered by the relevant authorities in due course.”Sir Roderick was embroiled in a row last year after he said a video featuring a Labour AM’s face superimposed on a woman in a low-cut top was not sexist.Earlier in 2019 he was accused of double standards after he recommended a Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood be reprimanded for a swear word in a tweet.



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