News digest 13 August 2014

News digest 13 August 2014

13 August 2014

There’s a variety of stories vying for the front pages, most of the tabloids go with the death of Robin Williams, and the Mail is its usual malicious self with a tacky and heartless headline. The tragedy unfolding in northern Iraq continues to feature on many of the front pages too, although Gaza has dropped down the list apart from some mentions that arms sales will be stopped if fighting starts again [won’t it be a bit late by then?] while the FT is alone in highlighting concerns of an escalation of the fighting in Ukraine as a convoy of trucks head for rebel held areas. Some of the papers also follow up on the Ebola outbreak, with confirmation of the first death in Europe, a Spanish priest caught the deadly virus in Liberia, and died in Madrid yesterday.

Back in the UK and the Morning Star and Mail both feature the death of a woman – Stephanie Bottrill - who the coroner stated committed suicide after being charged the bedroom tax, even more shocking is the Mail’s claim that she was exempt from the housing benefit cut, if so why was she being forced to make a decision to move to a smaller property? It’s a nasty tax, by a nasty party, put forward by the most inept work and pensions secretary in modern times, but Iain Duncan Smith is out and about today crowing about his actions as unemployment dips (but so do wages) with the latest jobless figures showing a fall to 2.08 million.

There is some good news as the Mirror says that there will be a [welcome] U-turn on benefit sanctions, sadly it is a proposal by the Lib Dems so don’t hold your horses, and the Express notes that 250,000 low paid foreign workers are going to be hit with tax for the first time as chancellor George Osborne wants to limit the tax allowance for migrant workers, that means people earning less than £10,000 a year will be paying up to 20 per cent tax on their earnings, remind me of a key Lib Dem policy of taking the lowest paid out of taxation?

But then it is penalise the workers – the Guardian has a piece on how just four companies have bothered to reveal the gender pay gap at their firms as well as one on how office cleaners face mistreatment, abuse and poverty pay – and praise the managers as the Indie notes that troubled outsourcer Serco has said that the government is ‘keen to help us through’ it’s rough patch. And back in the world of banking , business as usual continues with RBS awarding its execs some 3.4 million in shares even though it made a major loss last year, as ever rewards for failure show its business as usual in the City…

But the biggest reward for failure is the hard up Tory MP Mark Simmonds who was struggling to get by on £130,000, after resigning on Monday saying he couldn’t survive on his ministerial salary and expenses, the Mail notes how he made £500,000 on a home the taxpayer helped buy, and despite resigning his position he will also get a £5,594 golden goodbye, so sanctions for the poorest and lots of lolly for the elite, that’s Con-Dem Britain in a nutshell .

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Robin Williams’ death (p1)
  • Gaza arms ban (p2) 



Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Majority of Britons feel threatened by terrorists (p1)
  • Major snubs Cameron (p2)
  • Labour accused of avoiding tax on adviser’s contract (p5)
  • Inmates ran out of control at private jail(p)
  • Yazidis cross minefields (p28)
  • Ladbrokes chief vows to fight on despite profits dive (p37)
  • Recession? It wasn’t so bad overall (p39)
  • RBS beats bonus ban (p42) 




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Russian aid convoy sparks fears of Ukraine escalation (p1)
  • UK ready to suspend arms exports to Israel (p2)
  • Osborne gains hold on foreign policy (p2)
  • Network Rail debt move goes off track (p3)
  • IDS hopes for vindication from job creation (p3)
  • Serco pays price for scandals (p15/19)
  • Ladbrokes’ World Cup spoiled by its revamp (p19)

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