- 1. CAMERON WARNS HS2 COULD BE SCRAPPED
- 2. GCHQ'S FIGHT TO KEEP SPYING SECRET
- 3. AL-QAEDA ATTEMPTS CALIPHATE IN SYRIA
- 4. UK STORM WARNINGS EXTENDED
- 5. ROYAL MAIL TO ESCALATE JUNK POST
- 6. SAVILE'S CHAUFFEUR CHARGED WITH RAPE
- 7. SEAMUS HEANEY'S FINAL POEM PUBLISHED
- 8. JACK STRAW MP TO STAND DOWN
- 9. PRODUCER SUES JACKO ESTATE
- 10. WENGER: FERGIE COULD BE BACK
1. CAMERON WARNS HS2 COULD BE SCRAPPED
David Cameron has warned that the HS2 rail project will be abandoned if Labour withdraws its support for it. The Times reports that the prime minister believes it would be impossible to secure the necessary private investment for the £43bn line without all-party backing. Cameron's statement comes as shadow chancellor Ed Balls warns the project's benefits are “becoming less clear”.
2. GCHQ'S FIGHT TO KEEP SPYING SECRET
Leaked memos have revealed GCHQ's long fight to keep mass surveillance secret, reports The Guardian. The intelligence agency warned it fears a "damaging public debate" on the scale of its activities because it could lead to legal challenges against its mass-surveillance programmes. The memos are contained in the cache discovered by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
3. AL-QAEDA ATTEMPTS CALIPHATE IN SYRIA
Al-Qaeda is attempting to build an Islamic state in Northern Syria. Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are kidnapping opponents, intimidating local businesses and restructuring courts and schools. “People are afraid,” said a local man. “If ISIS knows you hate them, they will arrest you.”
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4. UK STORM WARNINGS EXTENDED
A storm including hurricane-strength winds could be set to batter even more of the country after shift in its path. Forecasters have extended their alert as far north as the east and West Midlands. The storm, which is still forming over the Atlantic, could be of similar strength to the great storm of 1987. However, experts say it could yet change its path and miss England altogether.
5. ROYAL MAIL TO ESCALATE JUNK POST
Households could face a bombardment of cold calls, junk mail and unwelcome text messages as Royal Mail agrees to put barcodes on letters. The move allows firms to know when their marketing mail has been delivered, so salesmen can make follow-up phone calls and send text messages. The move represents a considerable escalation of the direct marketing business of Royal Mail.
6. SAVILE'S CHAUFFEUR CHARGED WITH RAPE
Jimmy Savile's former chauffeur Ray Teret has been charged with historic sex offences involving 15 teenage girls, police have said. The alleged offences took place between 1962 and 1996, primarily in the Greater Manchester area. Police say the accusations are not linked to the national inquiry into abuse by disgraced DJ Savile.
7. SEAMUS HEANEY'S FINAL POEM PUBLISHED
Seamus Heaney's final poem has been published by The Guardian. In A Field, described by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy as “heartbreakingly prescient”, is a reflection on the first world war. It was written as a response to Edward Thomas's poem As The Team's Head Brass. Heaney's response was completed in June, two months before he died.
8. JACK STRAW MP TO STAND DOWN
Jack Straw is to stand down as MP for Blackburn at the next general election. A former home and foreign secretary, Straw was first elected in Blackburn in 1979 and has stood in the constituency in eight general elections. The 67-year-old said his "love affair" with the town was "not going to end on 7 May 2015, nor is my connection with it."
9. PRODUCER SUES JACKO ESTATE
Legendary music producer Quincy Jones has launched a $10m lawsuit against Michael Jackson's estate, claiming he has been cheated out of money for work on songs including Billie Jean and Thriller. Jones said that that the songs were improperly re-edited to deprive him of royalties and production fees, in a lawsuit against the singer’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment.
10. WENGER: FERGIE COULD BE BACK
Arsene Wenger says it is possible Sir Alex Ferguson could make managerial comeback within six months. Although Ferguson has vowed he will never return after retiring at the end of last season, the Arsenal boss said: "In six months we will know more about that. You cannot rule it completely out. It is difficult to take a drug for 30 years and suddenly get rid of it."
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