Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Suspended Welsh Labour minister Carl Sargeant found dead after 'personal misconduct claims' was 'thrown to the wolves'

Mr Sargeant, 49, is understood to have taken his own life just four days after he was removed from his role

Former Welsh government minister Carl Sargeant was "thrown to the wolves" after he was sacked and suspended from the Labour Party over allegations about his personal conduct, a colleague has reportedly said.

Mr Sargeant, 49, is understood to have taken his own life just four days after he was removed from his role as secretary for communities and children.
There is growing criticism from within his own party over how the situation was handled by First Minister Carwyn Jones after the allegations surfaced last week.
One Welsh Labour Assembly Member has told of "deep unease" within the party after Mr Sargeant was "humiliated" and "isolated".

Another has said that Mr Sargeant "wasn't dealt with fairly" because details of the allegations weren't revealed to him.

An anonymous Labour AM who raised concerns told the BBC that there is a suspicion that it was a political decision to remove Mr Sargeant from cabinet.
The AM said First Secretary of State Damian Green was allowed to remain in his post while under investigation over claims that he made inappropriate advances towards a woman.
The AM said Mr Sargeant had been "humiliated" and "isolated without any decision being made that he's guilty", adding: "It's hard to understand why Carl was thrown to the wolves.
"There's deep unease in the group about the way this has been handled."

Labour AM Jenny Rathbone told BBC Radio Wales that Mr Sargeant "wasn't dealt with fairly in the most basic sense".
She told how he was "devastated" after being sacked and suspended, and she wasn't aware of him receiving any form of formal pastoral care.
She added: "If allegations are made against you, you must know what they are so that you can respond to them."

There have been calls for an independent review into how the situation was handled.
Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, has suggested a review be carried out by a senior lawyer.

A spokesperson for Welsh Labour said the party would not comment in response to the criticism. Mirror Online has contacted the Welsh government for comment.
Before he died, Mr Sargeant had written on Twitter on November 3 that he had been told that allegations had been made about his personal conduct.

The married father-of-two wrote that it was "shocking and distressing to him" but the details of the allegations had not yet been disclosed at that time.
He added that he had resigned from his cabinet position so he could focus on efforts to "clear" his name, but Labour said he had been sacked.
Mr Sargeant wrote on November 3: "I have written to the General Secretary of Welsh Labour requesting an urgent independent investigation into these allegations in order to allow me to clear my name.

"Given the nature of the allegations, I agreed with the First Minister that it was right that I stand aside from cabinet today. I look forward to returning to Government once my name has been cleared."

The nature of the allegations has not been made public.
Mr Sargeant's family announced on Tuesday that the Alyn and Deeside AM had died, with police confirming they were called to a home in Connah’s Quay, North Wales, at 11.30am after a man's body was found.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.
A family statement said: "Carl was a much loved husband, father and friend. He wasn't simply a part of our family. He was the glue that bound us together. He was the heart of our family. We loved him so very much."
In a statement, Mr Jones said: “Carl was a friend as well as a colleague and I am shocked and deeply saddened by his death. He made a big contribution to Welsh public life and fought tirelessly for those he represented both as a Minister and as a local Assembly Member.
“He will be a great loss both to our party and to the Senedd. My heartfelt sympathies are with his family at this difficult time."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the death was "terrible and deeply shocking news".
Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “My thoughts are with the friends and family of Carl Sargeant following his tragic death.”

Former Welsh government minister Carl Sargeant was trying to clear his name (Image: South Wales Echo) LOADING
Carl Sargeant dead at 49: An industry man who forged a political career promoting social justice. 

ONE MONTH TO PAY: Ultimatum on Brexit bill hangs over UK to move to trade talks

THE UK government has just one month to make offers on the Brexit divorce settlement if they want European Union trade talks to begin in December.

The EU has warned the UK it must make a financial offer within the next month
Despite EU members beginning to prepare for trade talks with the UK, talks have stalled since Theresa May’s Florence speech, with EU chiefs saying her offer of €20billion was not good enough.

And EU chiefs refuse to move to phase two of negotiations until “sufficient progress” is made on the divorce terms – largely surrounding the exit bill.
Senior officials in Brussels say the EU will not agree to trade talks at its December summit if more is not offered.

Fri, October 20, 2017
The EU is expected to say that they will start internal preparatory work on a post-Brexit transition period and a future trade deal with Britain
Emmanuel Macron holds a press conference on the second day of European Council meetings
Italy’s Europe minister, Sandro Gozi, said there remains “a lot to do on financial obligations”.
The other main divorce issues are EU nationals’ rights in the UK, the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.

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During Mrs May’s Florence speech, she pledged the UK will “honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership”.
Brussels have demanded as much as £53 billion, which Mrs May could be willing to accept so talks can progress to Britain’s relationship with the bloc in December.
However, if the money is paid, Mrs May could face criticism in the UK for bowing down to the EU’s demands.

Barnier has said not enough progress has been made to move to the next stage of talks
An EU official said: “Some believe that the worse it gets for the British, the better for us, that maybe we could delay it all until for instance March, increasing the uncertainty and triggering the contingency plans in the corporate sector.

“That would be ruthless and risky, but people have different views on what is risky.”
May could face criticism if she gives the EU all the cash they want
After the fifth round of talks ended in October, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there was “deadlock” over the UK’s Brexit bill.
Mr Barnier said not enough progress has been made to move to the next stage of Brexit trade talks.

Coronation Street spoilers: Cancer torment for Robert Preston

Coronation Street look set to be lining up a traumatic new storyline for Robert Preston as he tries his best to hide some troubling symptoms. Could he be set to be diagnosed with a serious illness as he buries his head in the sand.?

Michelle Connor is thrilled as Robert arrives home after being released from prison and the pair are loved up following their reunion with Robert making Michelle a partner in the bistro.
However, Michelle soon notices that Robert is in pain as he sits down and questions him but he plays it down, insisting that he has suffered a strain to his groin.

As Robert determines to avoid the repeated instances of pain he is experiencing, he draws up a training and exercise plan but Michelle is worried both that he is pushing himself too far and that he isn’t taking his symptoms seriously.
Robert later lies and tells her that the doctor confirmed he has aggravated his groin strain but will Michelle accept this?

Or is this the start of the rumoured storyline that will see Robert diagnosed with testicular cancer?
One to watch: Monday 13th November at 8:30pm on ITV.

Chinese exports slow, as US banks voice Brexit fears - business live

All the day’s economic and financial news, including the latest trade figures from China and a Bank of England Agents report

Wall Street banks: Brexit ‘point of no return’ looms
Chinese exports fell last month
US trade gap still wide as Trump arrives
Graeme Wearden
Wednesday 8 November 2017 08.28 GMT

Topics FT: Wall St warns Trump team of Brexit fears
Brexit continues to loom over the City of London, as the clock ticks towards 31 March 2019 when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.

The Financial Times reports that major banks warned the US commerce secretary last week that they will soon start shifting jobs out of London, unless there is more clarity.
The Wall Street titans, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, reportedly cited Britain’s unstable government and the lack of progress in planning Britain’s future.
Collectively they employ tens of thousands of people in the City.
Crucially, they warned Wilbur Ross that they are approaching the “point of no return” -- where they have to trigger their Hard Brexit contingency plans and begin shifting jobs, capital and infrastructure overseas.

As the FT puts it :
Those briefed on the talks, which were held over lunch at Wilton’s restaurant in London’s exclusive St James’s district, said the banks were particularly concerned by the failure of Britain to provide clarity over whether it will secure a transition deal to smooth the changing regulatory regime after the UK leaves the EU.

They warned they had even less clarity over what a final Brexit deal will look like.
Absent clarity from the government about post-Brexit plans, the executives said jobs would move back to the US or to other European capitals as banks begin to enact their worst-case contingency plans, the sources said.

”There was broad discussion around the lack of progress in the Brexit talks and some discussion around various political scenarios,” one person briefed on the talks said.
UK business chiefs have also been urging Theresa May’s government to nail a transition deal by the end of this year. So, with Wall Street’s major players getting nervous, the pressure is growing.

The City of London Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Donald Trump warned of our chaos.
Just let that sink in.
November 7, 2017 Jo Maugham QC
Updated at 8.28am GMT
China’s trade figures landed shortly before Donald Trump touched down in Beijing for a state visit.

And I’m sure the president will want to know that China posted a trade surplus of $26.6bn with the US in October. That’s $1.5bn less than in September, but 12% higher than in October 2016.
It means that China has racked up a trade surplus with the US of $223 billion so far this year, on track to match 2016’s total, despite Trump’s promises to trim it.
US and Chinese companies are expected to sign several commercial deals during Trump’s visit (these agreements are typically lined up to give politicians some good news to share).
The South China Posts says Beijing has four key goals :

President Donald Trump and Melania Trump arriving in Beijing today for a state visit. Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images
1 Persuade Washington to lift export restrictions on hi-tech products, so US firms could sell more to China
2 Create more cooperation between the US and China in research and development in fields such as space and aviation
3 Boost US participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative - a massive economic expansion drive - and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
4 Press the US to tone down its probe into alleged Chinese IP violation
Updated at 8.25am GMT
The agenda: Chinese trade data disappoints
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
New trade figures from China have missed expectations, which may be a sign that global growth isn’t as punchy as we hoped.
Chinese export growth slowed to 6.9% in October, below expectations of 7.2% growth, and down on September’s robust 8.1%.
Import growth also slower, rising by 17.2% last month after a blistering 18.7% in September.
The figures could signal that China’s economy, after a solid year, is flagging a little this autumn -- as Beijing cracks down on pollution and tries to shift from manufacturing to services.
Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard says:
“The big picture is that both outbound and inbound shipments have softened recently, a trend that continued last month.
“We suspect that this reflects a slight easing of growth in other emerging markets along with weaker domestic demand as a result of slower infrastructure spending.”
Mubina Kapasi , analyst at ET Now , points out that China imported less iron ore than usual, and also shipped out less steel.
Given China’s key role in the world economy, these trade figures may weigh on European stock markets today.
David Madden of CMC Markets says:
China is making a concerted effort to move towards a more service focused economy. That being said, their demand for minerals is still a major driver of commodity prices and mining companies.
The agenda:
High street retailer Marks & Spencer, housebuilder Persimmon , energy group SSE and pub chain JD Wetherspoons are all reporting results.

Woman opens up about being abducted and raped for nine months when she was 14

Elizabeth Smart has opened up about her abduction 15 years on (Picture: Fight the New Drug)Elizabeth Smart was snatched from her bedroom as a teenager and then raped for months by her twisted kidnappers.

On June 5 2002 – at just 14 – she was taken from the room she shared with her nine-year-old sister Mary Katherine in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.
The teenager was held captive in woodland for nine months where she was raped and drugged.
Her captors forced her to drink alcohol and watch pornography and she was regularly tied to a tree.
Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee also starved the young girl for extended periods during the horrendous abuse.
Eventually, Mitchell was recognised walking down the street with the teenager wearing a wig and sunglasses.

Police found Elizabeth less than 24 hours later.
Now 30, she has marked 15 years since her abduction from home with an Ask Me Anything question and answer session on Reddit.
In her AMA post she said: ‘I’m Elizabeth Smart, Abduction Survivor and Advocate, Ask Me Anything.’

She described her experience to Reddit users, saying: ‘There were lots of times I thought, this is it I’m going to die, whether if it was directly at the hands of my captors, or through consequences of their actions.
‘It was hard to believe it was over until I was in my dad’s arms being hugged at the police station.’

But one of the top rated questions involved tips for parents to protect children from similarly harrowing incidents of abuse.
Elizabeth was asked: ‘In your opinion as a children’s advocate, what are some practical, commonsense steps parents can take to help their children avoid abuse? And I guess I mean abuse in a general way, anything from extreme bullying to abduction.’
She said:
1. Make sure your child knows that they are loved unconditionally, and make sure your child knows what unconditionally means.
2. Make sure that your child understands that no one has the right to hurt them or scare them in any way. It doesn’t matter what that person may be: family, friend, religious leader, community leader, it doesn’t matter.
3. Should anyone hurt your child or threaten them in anyway, they need to tell you.
She later told parents to ‘practice screaming’ with their children.
‘Encourage your kids to fight back, there is a place and a time when it’s not only acceptable, it’s encouraged,’ she said.

Elizabeth has since become a campaigner against pornography and abuse.
Mitchell is currently serving a life sentence for the abhorrent crime.
His wife Wanda Barzee was sentenced for 15 years for aggravated kidnapping.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Manchester United star to Real Madrid stories usually centre around David de Gea. Not today.

Juan Mata is apparently under the microscope of the Bernabeu club to make an incredible return to the club he left as a youngster.
As the Express report, Mata wasn't in United's matchday squad for their loss at Chelsea which made some wonder what Jose Mourinho's plans are for him.

Mourinho's already sold Mata once, when he was at Chelsea, and the Spanish star has spent the majority of his time playing out wide rather than through the middle.
Gary Neville identifies the one player Manchester United MUST sign
Gary Neville has identified the type of player he believes Manchester United need to sign if they have any chance of catching Man City this season.

And it seems Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho is in full agreement with the former Red Devils favourite, as his side are linked with his suggestion - Cesc Fabregas.
Man United were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and lacked a creative spark in the middle of the pitch.
Fabregas played 80 minutes of the game, and helped his side dominate the midfield alongside Eden Hazard.
The Red Devils, who seemingly missed the presence of Paul Pogba, offered very little in terms of an attacking threat.
And the result turned out to be a comfortable won for the Blues, who recorded their seventh win of the season - closing the gap on United to a single point.
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Discussing the ways Man United can improve, Neville told Sky Sports: "Jose Mourinho, since the Liverpool game, has talked about not being able to freshen it up. I thought Herrera, Matic and Mkhitaryan got absolutely ambushed.
"Kante was doing his job brilliantly, Bakayoko was running off him, Hazard and Fabregas were dropping in and controlling the match.
Full story here
Manchester United star Anthony Martial admits he is unhappy
Anthony Martial is desperate for more starts at
Manchester United after struggling to oust Marcus Rashford from the first team.
The Frenchman has six goals in 16 appearances this season but feels he could contribute more if he was not always coming off the bench.
Martial complained that it was tough to get going in games when you come on as a substitute, but added that he was nonetheless happy with his performances.
"It’s easier to start the game," Martial told SFR Sport . "When you come off the bench, the other players are warmed up, they’re totally in the game, and you have to get into it straight away. I prefer to start the game, I have more time to get myself into the game.
Premier League report cards: How your club has fared so far this season as we grade EVERY team
"I have faith in my qualities, and I think the manager has confidence in me, too, so it’s up to me to continue putting in good performances, and if I do that, I think I’ll play a bit more.
"We all prefer to play, even if at United when I come off the bench, I make a difference. I prefer to start games and show what I’m capable of.

Chelsea news: Roman Abramovich makes key decision amid Antonio Conte and David Luiz saga

Chelsea news: Roman Abramovich makes key decision amid Antonio Conte and David Luiz saga

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH is reportedly ready to have a more hands-on role at Chelsea.

A turbulent week ended on a positive note on Sunday when Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The build-up to the game was dominated in part by Antonio Conte’s mind games with Jose Mourinho, as well as David Luiz’s reported bust-up with his manager.
Conte dropped Luiz for the United game, a decision that paid off as Andreas Christensen produced an accomplished display in the victory.

But Abramovich, who has often been in the background since taking over the club in 2003, wants more involvement.
Roman Abramovich wants to get more involved at Chelsea
Chelsea player ratings against Manchester United
Sun, November 5, 2017
Express Sport brings you Chelsea's player ratings from their clash with Manchester United

The Daily Mail claim he wants to have more of an oversight of the day-to-day running of the west London outfit.

Abramovich is aware of the issue concerning Luiz, but he isn’t questioning the Italian’s handling of it.
The Russian billionaire has had problems before with rifts in his squad.
Roman Abramovich wants to see if Antonio Conte has a problem with David Luiz (pictured)
Jose Mourinho was sacked in 2015, which in part was due to tensions with the players.
And the Mail claim Abramovich wants to know whether he might have a similar problem on his hands with Conte.

Chelsea travel to face West Brom after the international break on Saturday November 18 (3pm).

Babies near North Korea's nuclear test site are being 'born with birth defects'

Defectors from Kilju county, where the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test facility is located, also said 80% of trees that are planted die and underground wells have run dry.
The shocking witness accounts come from a group of 21 defectors who were interviewed by the Research Association of Vision of North Korea, according to the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

They emerged as US President Donald Trump urged North Korea to ‘come to the table’ and discuss giving up its nuclear weapons.
Mr Trump said he ‘hoped to God’ he did not have to use the US military against Pyongyang.
He was speaking at a press conference with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in Seoul, as part of his tour of Asia.

The US leader has previously threatened ‘fire and fury’ against Pyongyang.
He is on a five-nation tour of Asia, where North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have been high on his agenda.

One defector said people in North Korea are worried about contamination from radiation.
Another said: “I heard from a relative in Kilju that deformed babies were born in hospitals there.”
Another former resident, referring to the rogue regime’s most recent nuclear test, said: “I spoke on the phone with family members I left behind there and they told me that all of the underground wells dried up after the sixth nuclear test.”

The defectors, who include one person who experienced two nuclear tests in October 2006 and May 2009, said locals were not warned in advance.

The defector said: “Only family members of soldiers were evacuated to underground shafts. Ordinary people were completely unaware of the tests.”

Other sources said Kilju residents had been banned from making hospital appointments in the capital, Pyongyang, since the most recent nuclear test.

Officials are reportedly attempting to contain leaks from the area by arresting anyone caught boarding trains from Kilju with samples of soil, water or leaves, and sending them to prison camps.

Jose Mourinho concerned for Marcus Rashford after Chelsea defeat

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is concerned over Marcus Rashford’s workload during his international break with England, according to reports.

The 18-year-old has already made 17 appearances for United in all competitions this season and is now set to feature prominently in England’s upcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

The Manchester United stars Jose Mourinho could sell to fund Mesut Ozil transfer

The Daily Mail reports that Mourinho is anxious about the ‘load’ placed on his United players during this current break, in particular with Rashford who may not be rested by Gareth Southgate due to England’s limited attacking options.

The report also claims that the United boss is fully aware that Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool have already withdrawn players.

Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph withdrew from the England squad on Tuesday along with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks have also pulled out of the squad.
Mourinho and United head into the international break following a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea which has left them eight points behind leaders City in the Premier League table.

Taylor Swift shares Reputation album track list after it leaks online - and it includes a song with Ed Sheeran

Taylor Swift has released the full track list for her latest album, Reputation.
Along with the four songs that the Love Story pop star has already released, other titles include I Did Something Bad, Don't Blame Me and This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things.
There's also a song called End Game in which she teams up with close pal Ed Sheeran and US rapper Future.


Along with Taylor, producers credited on the CDs back cover include Max Martin, Shellback and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff, all of whom contributed to her previous album, 1989.

Taylor shared the tracklist on social media along with a countdown.
Earlier in the day, several Twitter accounts posted a photo of the CD's back cover, which revealed the full 15 tracks and some of the production credits.

The full track list:

1. …Ready For It?
2. End Game (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future)
3. I Did Something Bad
4. Dont Blame Me
5. Delicate
6. Look What You Made Me Do
7. So It Goes…
8. Gorgeous
9. Getaway Car
10. King of My Heart
11. Dancing With Our Hands Tied
12. Dress
13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
14. Call It What You Want
15. New Year’s Day

The album is out on November 10