News digest 14 March 2013

News digest 14 March 2013

14 March 2013

Shortly after 19:00 last night the white smoke emerged from the Vatican chimney and the call of “Habemus papam” came after a new pope was elected. So it’s buona sera to Pope Francis I as 76-year old Argentinean Jorge Bergoglio was elected the 266th pope. Conveniently “buona sera” were also his first words as the railway worker’s son took charge of the 1.2 billion strong Catholic church. With Benedict now installed as pope emeritus – having resigned due to the massive managerial demands of the role – will the 76-year old go a similar way in a few years time, you never know but we could end up with multiple ex-popes.

And from ex–popes to ex-prime ministers and prime minister David Cameron is beginning to resemble a dead man walking after he had a very bad day yesterday, Not only did he let through yet another U-turn on minimum alcohol prices, he also ended up the butt of a good joke from Ed Miliband asking if the prime minister was able to organise the proverbial you-know-what in a brewery. Judging from the faces on the Tory benches, he isn’t. Cameron continued to flounder his way through PMQs and ended with an attack on trade unions, he’s definitely in a corner trying to fight for his future, then again the Mail notes that knives are being sharpened on all sides with Andrew Pierce outlining four plots to oust him. He’ll soon be heading for retiremnt as the one term PM that could never win an election.

And while Cameron can be expected to retire on a nice fat pension also in Westminster yesterday were workers from Visteon demanding justice over their own slashed pensions. A sizeable lobby were joined by many MPs to demand that Ford honours its promises and pays a decent pension to the workers, if there’s any justice then the government should make Ford stick to its promises.

Also possibly looking at retirement is the NHS chief with the Telegraph saying that Sir David Nicholson may ‘pre-announce’ his retirement as chief executive. More concerning is a Guardian piece about GPs running healthcare firms when they to be given a large bulk of the NHS budget to spend. The conflict of interest risks a ‘major loss of public trust’ although in reality the NHS changes overall have already seen that happen, the campaign to save the NHS continues…

 Morning Star

Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • A new world pope (p1/5-8
  • Heady Ed makes Dave’s fizz fall flat (p13)
  • GPs in quandary over financial interests in private companies (p24)
  • Ethical restaurant customers angry at £48 million buyout (p49)
  • Job cuts anger union (p49) – Unite cited
  • Jones leaves Flybe (p49)
  • ‘So much of politics is yada yada’ – David Miliband interviewed (T2)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Pope Francis elected (p1)
  • Employers still turning abroad to fill gap (p2)
  • PM scraps alcohol price vow (p2)
  • Miliband vows to create network of regional banks (p3)
  • Leveson reforms hit legal snag (p4)
  • Cable seeks overhaul of business rates (p4)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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