News digest 18 July 2014

News digest 18 July 2014

18 July 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                Shot out of the sky - Indie

·                Mark Steel on Gaza’s civilian casualties - Indie

·                Unions furious at Tory plan to make it more difficult for workers to strike – Guardian

·                Gove gets stuck in lavatory - Mirror

There are a whole host of grim headlines in the papers with widespread coverage of the downed Malaysian airline, which crashed yesterday in Ukraine, near the border with Russia with some 295 people on board. The flight was from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and many of the papers report that pro-Russian rebels are believed to have downed the plane, at least six Britons are thought to be among the dead, although there are questions about why the plane was flying over Ukrainian airspace. Trying to work out what happened is all in the hands of the international investigators who are to be given access to the site. Condolences to all.

And from the air to the ground and the Israeli prime minister yesterday ordered an invasion of the Gaza strip following a five hour truce for humanitarian reasons. The end of the truce also sees the end of any chance of a de-escalation as Israel continues to pound civilian areas, sadly five more Palestinian children were killed yesterday, and of the 230 killed so far almost 50 were children. The Israeli prime minister should stop the attacks and allow Gaza’s public services to be properly repaired rather than further destroyed, but it looks like the water system is about to run out, sewage is contaminating the area and power and food is running out.

And from the Israeli prime minister to the UK prime minister David Cameron who has sent out his outrider Francis Maude to offer yet another attack on union members. Many of the papers report on Tory plans to legislate to make it harder for workers to strike by insisting that 50 per cent of union members vote in ballots that approve industrial action [it should be noted that Maude was elected with just 38 per cent of the vote]. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey attacked the prime minister's plans: "The whiff of hypocrisy coming from Cameron as he harps on about voting thresholds is overwhelming, not a single member of his cabinet won over 50 per cent of the vote in the 2010 election, with Cameron himself getting just 43 per cent of the potential vote. "If he practised what he preached then no Tory councillors would have been elected in the last 20 years and Londoners would have been spared the circus of Boris Johnson. So we'll take no lessons from the Bullingdon bully, who gives tax breaks to his City chums yet plots to deprive lowly waged workers of their right to fight poverty pay." Time for the prime minister to recognise that unions help rather than hinder, although don’t expect any change of heart, doubt the Tories have one…

It was all so different 40 years ago, good evidence of the progressive approach of trade unions is the marking of the fortieth anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act, a bill that was a rare example of political consensus, with Labour and Conservatives working together on it. Jim Sheridan, chair of the all-party health and safety group, said: “This Act has been one of the most successful pieces of legislation we have even seen, having the direct effect of dramatically reducing the number of people dying in the workplace. On the 40th anniversary, we should celebrate the work done by previous governments, but also emphasise the importance of health and safety at work. We in the all-party group are concerned about attempts by this government to reduce its coverage. This is putting self-employed people, in particular, at risk. I hope we can continue the work done by our predecessors, and continue to work towards protecting the lives of people in the workplace.” Formal events to mark the fortieth anniversary will be held on 31 July, remember if you don’t fight for it they’ll take it away…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Putin’s missile (p1-5)
  • Strike fears over cull at BBC (p8)
  • Cam’s cheery greeting for Juncker (p11)
  • Zero aid for Sports Direct staff (p57) 



Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Blown out of the sky (p1-7)
  • Tories pledge crackdown on strikes (p8)
  • Cameron high fives Juncker (p14)
  • May under pressure as child abuse soars (p18)
  • Miliband granted Obama brush-by (p20)
  • Plebgate minister invested in film scheme designed to avoid tax (p24)
  • Nokia to bear brunt of Microsoft purge (p37)
  • Bank axes final salary pensions (p39)
  • Customers ditch SSE (p43) 




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Rebels accused in Ukraine jet crash (p1)
  • Finland denounces Microsoft as Nokia bears brunt of job cuts (p1)
  • Gas boost for Grangemouth (p3) – Unite cited
  • Cameron snubs Tusk for EU job (p2Finance sector faces more fines (p4))
  • AbbVie closes in on Shire deal (p15)
  • RBS eyes Coutts overseas sale (p16)
  • Foxconn seeks to escape factory line (p17)
  • Airbus wins battle of orders at Farnborough (p19)

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