13/01/2014 The Papers


13/01/2014

No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.


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favourite, after scoring 56 goals last year. We will also have the

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action and reaction from Arsenal's trip to Aston Villa.

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Hello, welcome to our look ahead at what the papers will be bringing us

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tomorrow. With me are Hugh Muir, the diary editor at the Guardian, and

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Deborah Haynes from the Times. The Independent is leading with news

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that a trade deal could lead to UK companies being sued. The Daily

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Telegraph quotes the Labour Leader are saying that the foundations of

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the middle-class are being undermined by job in security and

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worries about living standards. The Express is claiming that a spokesman

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for the Prime Minister says that immigration was allowed to run out

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of control before 2010. The Daily Mail says that children as young as

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15 are to be allowed to watch films filled with obscene and which. The

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Guardian is leading with a story claiming that a top police officer

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is trying to force Channel 4 to hand over documents about the

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whistle-blower who revealed that under cover offices spied on

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relatives of Stephen Lawrence. The Times has a beaming picture of

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Benedict Cumberbatch at the Golden globes in Los Angeles. But we are

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not interested in that. Deborah Haynes, step up to the plate. Army

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wastes millions on botched IT system, that is your lead story. It

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is a story about a whole new recruitment programme for the army.

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There has been a lot in the news about the plan to shrink the regular

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army and build of the reserves. This story that we have got in

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tomorrow's paper reveals just the scale of the IT fiasco that is

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behind the recruitment side of things. Basically, the idea was that

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they wanted to make army recruitment more efficient by making it online,

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so that people could, instead of going to recruitment offices, sit in

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their home and apply online. Lots of industries and businesses are doing

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that, to save money? Exactly. The problem is, they spent ?15.5 million

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on an IT system that doesn't work. Until they fix the problem, they are

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wasting ?1 million per month, at a time when money is very scarce. We

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are having to lose soldiers because we cannot afford to keep them.

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Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, is thinking about having

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to scrap the whole thing and pay ?48 million to a company to build

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another IT system. OK, I suspect many people out there would be,

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like, oh, no, another cock-up. As you say, another day, another IT

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mess up. You can look at the universal credit problems they have

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hard, HMRC, they have hard IT problems within the NHS. It does

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seem that whenever the Government embark on a large IT project we end

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up here, saying, what has happened, how can it have gone so wrong? I

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wonder what kind of lessons you learn from that. Is it that these IT

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projects are just too big? They go outside, contract them out and there

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is a problem with the contracting process? At some point, it has been

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said that there is just a kind of competence problem with the

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Government and people wonder whether or not the Government actually has

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control of Whitehall and would be able to manage the project is

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properly. There is a specific instance here, about the MOD, about

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the defence and soldier recruitment. It does seem to follow

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a pattern that goes throughout the Government. We do show in the story

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that the reason why this went wrong is because the army went with an

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option to use a consortium of countries that are already

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contracted by the MoD to provide information technology solutions,

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instead of going with Capita, which it is thinking of going with now,

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who had the ability and know how to produce the system that was needed.

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Yes, it is another IT problem. But the impact, the effect of this,

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means that recruitment targets are being missed. Because this whole

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recruitment partnering programme, this whole plan to reform the way

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that the army recruits soldiers is not fully commented yet, Capita,

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which is in charge now, or in the lead, with partnership with the

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army, an recruitment, is not being penalised for meeting the target

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because it is not at full operating capability. The MoD is having to,

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once again, cover the cost of failure. Well, the taxpayer is. The

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taxpayer is, exactly. This chips away at the credibility. Every time

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one of these fiascoes happen and people say, hang on, I thought we

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were strapped for cash, I thought you were shrinking the army, you

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seem to be trying to recruit people and you are not even doing that

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properly. I think there is a cumulative effect of all of this. It

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does not sound good, but one way the Army is trying to save money

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according to the Daily Telegraph, that is to ask soldiers to use less

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ammunition? Yes, an internal Army magazine has told troops to stop

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firing unused ammunition at the end of exercises. Can you imagine how

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you would feel if you were one of the soldiers, reading the story on

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the front of the Times, and you read this, this is practical, what we

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have to do as part of our job, and we are being told by people higher

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up that we have to use less ammunition. Terrible timing. Of

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course, they could not have known what Deborah and the Times was up

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to. Again, it just chips away at the credibility. How much money is that

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going to save, compared to the millions wasted at the IT system? It

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does seem sensible, it says not to fire unused ammunition. Save a

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couple of bullets for next time something. It just shows the level

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to which they are having to scrimp and save to save any sort of money.

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At the same time, haemorrhaging cash. Something needs to be done.

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The big thing is, nobody is ever held responsible. People who fail in

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the MoD get promoted. Why am I laughing? OK. Let's stick with the

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Telegraph, actually. The top of it, interesting story, I can save the

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middle classes. Ed Miliband suggesting that life for those in

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the middle-class is proving very difficult at the moment? Yes, again,

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he is returning to talking about the squeezed middle. Very much his

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feeling for the election strategy is that he has two secure a sizeable

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vote there. So, he is now saying that the middle-class face a crisis

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of confidence over their living standards he obviously has his

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private polling and it is telling him there is a problem. He has been

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appealing to the squeezed middle, the middle classes. I'm not sure it

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is working out as he hoped it would. That is why this is in the Daily

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Telegraph. If you want that kind of vote, you go to the Tory heartland

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to try to convince them on their own territory. But is Ed Miliband part

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of the problem? He is reiterating a message that has been successful for

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him, the squeezed middle. But he feels he has to push it up there

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again because Labour are not getting the kind of traction in the polls

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that perhaps they should be at this point in the Parliament? He is

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touching on a point that is close to some of our hearts, life is really

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expensive, especially if you have children and it is really hard to

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make ends meet. You do worry about how you're going to afford to send

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your children to university. It is something that is a really emotive

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issue. Was really unimpressed with the string of policies that he is

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supposed to be doing to fix the problem. The top one is, to link

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benefit payments to employment history. How is that going to pay

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for my children to go to nursery? Does not really answer the problem.

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Well, you cut the bill. He's arguing if you have a history of work and

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now you are on benefits, you will get more benefits. If you don't, it

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will be cut. But there is no direct answer to the problem is that the

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middle-class are facing. Here is his problem, on the front page of the

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Guardian, an ICM poll that says he has dropped two points over the

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month, now at 35%, just three points ahead of the Conservatives. That is

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in our poll, I am sure he is doing his own private polling and he knows

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that the lead that he had, which has never been a substantial one, and

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his personal rating has not been healthy either, he knows that is

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slipping, he knows he has to do something. Thus, stories like this

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one that we see today in the Telegraph. Let's go onto the

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Independent. UK sovereignty at risk from EU-US trade deal. What is this

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about? At an interesting story, there is obviously this trade deal

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that is going on. There is a concern that if it happens you are going to

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be in a situation where multinational companies will be able

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to sue a country if they don't like the sort of policies it is adopting.

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It says this sort of thing is actually happening at the moment. It

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gives a couple of good examples. Apparently, in Australia, it is

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being sued by Philip Morris for introducing plain cigarette

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packaging. In Canada, it is being sued by this US drugs firm for

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revoking patterns on drugs, on the grounds that the benefits may have

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been overstated. Two policies that the public would totally sympathise

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with, but the worry is that it might penalise foreign investors. There is

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a warning by MPs and pressure groups about the trade deal that is

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currently being negotiated, as to whether the impact could be on the

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UK, for example, as well, if we were to implement this policy. 200 groups

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protesting, we do not have here exactly which they are. But it does

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appear to be a critique coming from the left, which is quite unusual.

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For the most part, when you hear criticism of the various works of

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the EU and European Commission, it normally comes from the right. UKIP

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are making great hay with that. There is a traditional scepticism

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and concern about the reach of Europe, which has come from the

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left. Way back in Labour history, that has been quite a respectable

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opinion. We don't hear that much about it now. Theys on the right,

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would they support a deal that seems to be beneficial towards big

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business? Exactly. They probably would, wouldn't they? At the same

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time, wouldn't they be angry about potentially being sued, potentially,

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this country being sued by multinationals? That's why it could

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take us into an interesting place, if you have this confluence of the

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left and right. Both having different reasons to be unhappy with

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the eyew, but both be -- EU, but both unhappy. The front page of the

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Independent, this is an interesting story. The man who invented this

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thing, the Kalashnikov, he went to his, not his priest, but local

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church and said - I feel bad that I invented this thing. AK-47, what an

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iconic weapon, used across the world for revolutions, for terrorists, all

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sorts of reasons, such a cheap weapon, easy to use and has been the

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cause of, you know, millions of deaths, would you say? I don't know.

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It's very interesting that the man who, I presume became very rich off

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the back of it... I don't think he did, actually. He did it for the

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honour of the Soviet Union. This is the problem with invention, you

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invent great things or terrible things for mankind much you never

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know how it's going to turn out. If he hadn't invented AK-47s, someone

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else would have invented something similar. But it is interesting. It

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makes you wonder about people who invent weapons of mass destruction,

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for example, whether they, how they feel. Oppenheimer regretted to his

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dying day the invention of nuclear fission, and the atom bomb.

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Interesting that the Orthodox Church decided it was going to release this

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letter that he sent. Maybe it shows there's hope for us all. Even the

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man who invented the killing machine. All right. OK. We're going

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to end it there. Deb raw, Hugh, you're back at the top of the

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Deborah, Hugh, you're back at the top of the next hour, in fact at 11.

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30, an hour's time. At 11pm, we will have much more on our lead story,

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involving the benefits of fracking, apparently. And the incentives

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offered by the Government to local councils to have this kind of

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activity in their own backyard. ( Stay with us here on BBC News for

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that. Coming up now it's time for Sportsday.

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Hello, welcome to Sportsday. Coming up: Gone in 60 seconds, two goals in

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a minute puts Arsenal back on top of the Premier League. An emotional

:14:22.:14:24.

Cristiano Ronaldo beats off

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