News digest 17 january 2013

News digest 17 January 2013

17 January 2013

There are a lot of dramatic pictures of yesterday’s helicopter crash in London’s rush hour with a stress on safety and relief that the casualties were not much worse. Sadly two people were killed and 12 injured when a helicopter crashed into a crane at the top of a building in Vauxhall in central London. More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene with more than 50 securing the crane but were most crucial in helping save lives at the scene with Lambeth council leader Lib Peck saying the service’s swift action saved the life of one person on the ground. It is notable the first engines on the scene came from Clapham fire station, one of the 12 on the list for closure, time to think again about those cuts.

And talking of cuts, while the Morning Star reports that Unison has written to local councils asking them to end the three year pay freeze, PCS has announced it will ballot 250,000 members over the government’s refusal to negotiate over changes to pay, pensions and working conditions. Ministers seem however to be more focused on fighting with mandarins as the Telegraph’s Sue Cameron highlights, increasingly the Con-Dem coalition is looking like a shambles that should be for the chop, unlike the Agricultural Wages Board which saw a flicker of opportunity after Labour in the Lords helped add a few more hurdles to government plans. Hopefully this is one cut that will not get through.

And from cuts to chops and the Shergar burger furore continues. Tesco has taken out full page adverts in the papers to apologise while concerns have widened from supermarkets to pubs and restaurants on the high street. And there were more hassles on the ever emptying high street with the collapse of DVD rental firm Blockbuster which went into administration yesterday. The chain has 528 stores and some 4,190 staff are affected. Almost 10,000 jobs are at risk after just two weeks of trading in 2013, time for some concrete government action. Sadly the Con-Dem focus is on the speech on Europe, Cable has attacked Cameron over the EU referendum while foreign affairs also means that action in Mali is on the agenda, but that has already resulted in hostages being taken in nearby Algeria. Meddling in foreign affairs never seems to lead to success, simply check out Peter Oborne in the Telegraph on a previous prime minister: “Blair’s record in the Middle East is a sorry one – it’s time he quit.” No arguments there, but will Cameron learn his lessons, it’s doubtful as he gears up for his big speech on Europe which looks like it will see him repeat the errors of the Major government domestically but with none of the foreign opt-out ‘success’, that at least will be fortunate for workers whose rights would be cut ever further with less holidays, more working hours and poorer pay, but then many papers highlight what seems to sum up Con-Dem Britain, namely that the price of a lottery ticket has doubled, but you won’t win any more money, paying more and getting less, not much of an offer…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Horsemeat scandal forces shops to clear shelves (p1)
  • Briton dead as al-Qaeda grabs desert workers (p1)
  • It’s a miracle more were not killed (p1/8-9)
  • Blockbuster joins high street victims (p6)
  • Cable takes aim at Cameron over EU (p11)
  • 100,000 to be hit by disability help cuts (p17)
  • Our welfare bill is wildly out of control – Camilla Cavendish (p25)
  • [Bank] bonuses are back (p39)
  • Entire Japanese Dreamliner fleet grounded (p41)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Goldman and JP Morgan profits soar (p1)
  • Militants seize gas workers in Algeria (p1)
  • Cable lashes out over referendum (p2)
  • Miliband accuses Cameron over EU policy (p2)
  • Review of bank governor Mervyn King’s role (p3)
  • Air crash prom pts rules review (p4)
  • Horsemeat scandal (p4)
  • Clegg wants shovel ready projects for growth fund (p4)
  • Cameron: In search of a new EU deal (p9) [LAB43%, CON32%, LIB11%, Ukip9%]
  • Boeing shares hit (p15/17)
  • Practical designs shine in Detroit (p19)
  • Wetherspoon’s strategy to lure customers cuts its margins (p20)
  • Findus poaches Unilever’s Italian chief (p22)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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