News digest 23 August 2013

News digest 23 August 2013

23 August 2013

Today’s papers continue to be dominated by comprehensive coverage of the victims of the chemical weapons attack in Syria, and while the papers are united in condemning the atrocity, there still seem to be no answers as to what to do about it as the UN remains divided. There are calls for intervention from France, Russia is typically hawkish, China remains silent and the US is looking to others to try and back a united response, but the Obama administration has its own divisions. Don’t expect a solution soon…

The other story featured in most of the papers is the GCSE results, with a fall in grades for the second year running based on ‘school exam factories’ as children are effectively made to repeatedly resit exams so schools meet government targets and avoid sanctions. All in all 91,000 more children aged 15 took the exams and in total 68.1 per cent were passed with grades from A* to C.

However, the question is what the future holds for those young people? Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that there were now 1.09 million young people classed as Neets, namely not in education, employment or training. That equates to 15.1 per cent of all 16-24 year olds, up from when the Con-Dem coalition came to power. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey accused the government of creating a lost generation, saying: “These figures tell a million stories of untapped potential and dashed hopes thanks to a government that has made it harder and harder for our young people to make a start in life. Its disastrous handling of the economy means all it is prepared to offer our young people is an insecure future … our young people are not a pool of cheap labour - they are meant to be our citizens of tomorrow. They need to be offered more than despair. They need a stake in our society, which comes by investing in them through apprenticeships, education, vocational training and decent jobs.” Time for some action, but even though prime minister David Cameron is called ‘red Dave’ in the papers that is not down to a sudden change in his politics, more to his chillaxing in Cornwall and having got a bit sunburnt.

And from ‘red Dave’ to Ed Miliband who continues to receive advice on what he should do, interesting how the media is trying to set an agenda, perhaps Miliband should listen to Steve Richards in the Indie who says ‘shouting louder won’t help’ while in the Guardian ex Labour cabinet ministers John Denham and Peter Hain come out to back ‘Ed’s winning message’ which may indicate a bit more party unity. The front of the FT on the other hand runs with the line ‘Miliband ‘urged to lance the EU boil’ and signal a shift in policy on Europe, that could wrong foot Cameron but also play into Ukip’s hands, only time will tell. Expect the political heat to heighten for all parties after the late summer bank holiday weekend, so enjoy the break while it lasts…

 Morning Star

  • Vulnerable kids ‘denied justice from private jails’ (p1)
  • One million young still out of work (p2)
  • Unions fight EDL thugs’ plans (op4) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • A&E campaigners ‘won’t be beaten over Lewisham’ (p4)
  • Labour MP slams postal sell-off scam (p5)
  • Britain beats drum for Syria intervention (p7)
  • Battle to keep Labour on the left – Gregor Gall (p9) [union/Labour link]

 Daily Mirror

  • NHS may send patients to India (p1/5)
  • Top grades down for second year (p2)
  • Cameron in the red (p11) [more holiday coverage]
  • Crisis in Middle East (p12-13)
  • Football cigarettes deal fury (p26)
  • Bank’s credit cards payout (p53)
  • Car production up (p53)

 Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Misery of one million Neets (p2)
  • Millions flee Syria as 7.000 die (p6)
  • Thousands to pay £7,500 stamp duty by 2018 as house prices rise (p12)
  • Tata to budget Nano (p54)
  • Another banking compensation scandal (p54)
  • John Lewis staff underpaid (p55)



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Darling strikes blow against HS2 (p1)
  • Cameron revealed as red (p9)
  • Call to end early exam entry (p12-13)
  • Lobbying rules could silence us on vital issues, charities warn (p18)
  • Act now, on Syria, UN urged (p40-41)
  • John Lewis pay dispute over Sunday work (p47)
  • Millions to share £1.3 billion payout from insurance mis-selling (p49)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Miliband urged to lance the EU boil (p1)
  • John Lewis pay error (p1)
  • Police launch Miranda inquiry (p2)
  • Lenders took 60 per cent for needless cover (p3)
  • Kia output hurt by Saturday walkouts (p13)
  • Dacia leads emerging market drive into Europe (p16)
  • IMI’s outlook for 2014 rosy (p17)

Edited by Mik Sabie rs 

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