28/03/2014 The Papers


28/03/2014

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. With Martine Croxall.


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Hello and welcome to our look at the morning's papers. With me are the

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Social Affairs Editor of the Guardian, Randeep Ramesh, and the

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author Matthew Green. First let's have a look at the front pages.

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The FT leads with Insurers attack City watchdog ` the financial

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insurance industry responding there to plans to investigate 30 million

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financial products. The Mail has the teenager who says she caught TB from

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her cat, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the

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world. Tuberculosis and Rex is the front page on the Sun. The

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Independent has a headline about a plan to spend ?45 million on a free

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school, which it says will make it the most expensive in the country.

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The Telegraph claims Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, made ?1

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million profit by abusing the parliamentary expenses system and

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overclaiming for her mortgage. Banks must give fraud victims their money

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back is the Times' lead, referring to plans to potentially refund

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victims of credit card fraud. And the Guardian has the headline

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that an independent Scotland might keep the pound, which comes, it

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says, from a private admission by a government minister.

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That is where we will start, with the Guardian. Independent Scotland

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might keep the pound. Doubts grow over pro`Europe `` prounion fear

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tactics. We will come on to whether there is any truth in this in a

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moment, but this has been one of those very tricky issues for the

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pro`independence group, who are in a bit of a bind as to what the

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currency would be. Yes, Alex Salmond's fatal flaw in his

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argument, according to the Westminster parties, has been that

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he would not be able to keep the pound. That has been something Ed

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Balls, George Osborne and Elliott `` Danny Alexander agree on. However,

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Alex Salmond says, of course we will, it is up to us. If you want us

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to pay our debts, let us have the pound. At the heart of the story

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lies the fact that there would have to be a deal done. What this

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supposedly minister says is that if the UK wants to keep its nuclear

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weapons in Faslane, we might have to give up the pound. We might have to

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let Scotland have it. Alex Salmond has lapped on this and said, finally

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we have an admission here that Scotland will be able to keep the

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pound. He seeks to allay fears. The backdrop is the bounce in favour of

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Alex Salmond, which has been pretty strong. Yes, the polls are changing,

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and giving the pro`union campaign pause for thought. Yes, it is

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starting to look like a close run thing. I have spent a lot of time in

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Scotland in the last few weeks and opinion is clearly very divided, but

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there is certainly a real sense that it could actually happen, which I

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don't think any of us would have imagined going back a few years. I

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certainly would not have done. You write a lot about foreign affairs.

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Do you look upon this as a foreign affairs issue? It can feel a bit

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like going into a foreign country, especially into some of the smaller

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towns and regions in Scotland. There was a report out a few months ago

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talking about the dominance of London as an economic hub, and it is

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understandable when you get into some of these areas why people would

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feel they would be better off going alone rather than continuing to be

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tied to a system that is obviously focused down in the south. We

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understand this is a government minister, not a Cabinet minister,

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which might make the argument little bit weaker. It might do, although

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the defence is that the Minister quoted would play a central role in

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the negotiations of the break`up of the UK. So there seems to be, of

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course, Downing Street wants to play down the story, but I trust the

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instincts of my colleagues on this one. I think there probably is

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something in this, because you do need to make a deal at the end of

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the day. If Scotland votes yes, they have two gain the outcomes. One of

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those might be, if you want nuclear weapons, the SNP say we are going to

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get rid of them. If you say we won't get the pound, let's meet in the

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middle. But the issue is whether people will, who will they believe?

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Because a lot of people, when you hear BBC reporters speaking to

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people who are undecided, the fear is that if they take that leap and

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it does not work out, the undecided voters are more likely to stick with

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what they know. Couldn't this just be a catastrophic error by whoever

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is negotiating? Is it as simple as that? It is a negotiation.

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Independence really is a foreign country, in terms of this nation's

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outlook on what it should be. If it came to that, we would be

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negotiating a whole series of things we would never think of today. It is

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not that far away. Let's move on to the Telegraph. Their lead story, we

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have seen expenses stories on the Telegraph so often. This time,

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Cabinet minister abused expenses. Maria Miller, Culture Secretary, not

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Culture Secretary at the time, apparently made ?1 million profit

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after over claiming for her mortgage. This has been such a rich

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seam of stories for the Telegraph, even now. Yes, it is the gift that

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keeps on giving. Maria Miller is obviously going to have to fight

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back from these allegations. The other point they are making in the

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story is that not only is she story is that not only is she

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accused of over claiming for her mortgage, but actually not

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cooperating fully with the investigation, which would be

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ammunition for her opponents. I guess the question is whether she

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can survive this. There is a point in the story that she might be urged

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to make some sort of apology. But it would be a big scalp for the

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Telegraph to claim if she doesn't make it. She is expected to repay up

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to ?5,000 and be censored. It does not see much of a rap on the

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knuckles. It is actually a very complicated financial compensation

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which we can't get our heads round at this time of night. The point is

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that she is a big figure, the Culture Secretary. She was not at

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the time. Does that matter? Can you trust someone who perhaps lied back

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then? Are you lying now? I don't want to cast aspersions on what she

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did or did not do, but if the Telegraph is correct, she would be a

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very senior politician carrying a very big wound, limping her way

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through the coming elections. I wonder why this has only emerged

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now. They did so much digging around and we heard about duck ponds and

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motes being dredged, but this has only come to light. I think it has

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lasted a year, that is the point. Oh, she was on the list way back.

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The Telegraph has been running with this story for more than three

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years, so they have really done the heavy lifting on it. And they are

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looking, it seems, to claim what would be the biggest scalp of that

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investigation, if she were to leave her post, or be reshuffled out of

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it. It says a Parliamentary Commission is understood to have

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said the arrangement did not benefit her financially, and she is unlikely

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to have been aware of the seven figure profit on the sale. What

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should she be penalised for, making the profit or over claiming on the

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mortgage? It is not the profit, but that is the bit that people may be

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cross about. Absolutely, and the suggestion that she did not

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cooperate fully with the investigation and may, therefore,

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have had something to hide. This is not going to be the end of it for

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the Telegraph because they will not leave it at that. Let's move on to

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the Independent. Congratulations, a big day for Tanya and Nick and a big

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day for Britain. Not just Civil Partnership Act anime or, but

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marriage for same`sex. And we assume that Tanya and Nick are going to be

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tying the knot tomorrow. This is something that the majority of

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politicians, the main three parties, were all in favour of, although

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there are still some people who really don't like the idea. That's

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right. It's a big day for Britain but on the flip, why has it this

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long? There are people who are opposed to it, but from where I am

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standing it seems the right thing to do. Would be most people agree with

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that. It has taken a long time to get here. There have been argument

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is made that this is not what marriage is, and marriage is about

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one man and one woman. The anecdotal stuff is that people get shouted

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down when they raise the religious objection, or the procreation

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argument. The politician who has gotten a mess over this is Nigel

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Farage of UKIP, who can't seem to decide whether he wants to be in

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Europe, out of Europe, supporting gay marriage in Europe but not out

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of Europe, sending messages to pink News that he then retracts. Of all

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of the politicians to look clumsy, he has done over this issue, and

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that may be to do with people who vote for UKIP being older. Are we in

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danger, sitting in our metropolitan media bubble of being out of touch

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with what many people in other parts of the country think? Always that

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danger. In America it has not been straightforward because some

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states, California for example, it has been legal and then not. They

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have had some gay marriages which have to be respected, but then the

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law is repealed. We are not going to get into that mess here, are we? It

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seems a decisive shift in the UK and I do not think there is much danger

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of it backtracking. Let's move onto this menagerie I talked about. I

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caught TB from my pet kitten, in the Daily Mail. Jessica, 19, struck down

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with pneumonia, rushed to hospital with severe lung damage after

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catching it from her pet kitten. On the Sun, it is not just cats but

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dogs as well. Tuberculosis, pet dog gives killer disease to youngsters.

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It's easy to make light of stories like this, but tuberculosis is a

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disease we are not familiar with in this country. You have seen it in

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many countries you have lived in, around the world? Absolutely, it's a

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terrible disease and bad news if cases are starting to appear from

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cats. But I think the weight of scientific opinion is that a very

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rare and unlikely scenario that has happened in a one in a million. But

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it is the case that this is a really serious case that is making a

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comeback around the world and in the UK as well. The number of cases here

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are rising pretty dramatically. Some of those are drug resistant cases

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which are the tough ones to treat. It's one thing for it to be in

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badgers and cattle, which we don't have on our laps in sitting rooms,

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but these are household pets? They are household pets. I do like the

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fact the kitten got it off the badger. Was the kitten kissing the

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badger? There was a cow involved somewhere in the chain. Was Jessica

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living on a farm? I'd think she does. Obviously this is an important

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subject, the UK has a rising TB presents. This is the Daily Star, we

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don't feature it enough, you could argue. Invasion of the German rats,

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German super rats with orange fans, does not clean his teeth, apparently

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terrorising towns within striking distance of the Channel Tunnel. How

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do we know they are German? Well, they are French, you would think, if

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they are in striking distance of the Channel Tunnel. Maybe there is a

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good reason why you don't mention the Daily Star too often. The German

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rats are mutant and super. And its exclusive. And they don't have TB.

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They may be very healthy. They may be kissing a cap that does. I told

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you, a menagerie, cats, rats and dogs. We'll be back for another look

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at the papers at 11:30. Later, more on the hour`long phone call between

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President Obama Vladimir Putin on the subject of Ukraine. Coming up

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next, Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. I'm

:13:37.:13:49.

Lizzie Greenwood`Hughes. The headlines tonight: The fans planning

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a protest over Old Trafford tomorrow say it'll prove David Moyes isn't as

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popular as he thinks he is. St Helens win

:13:58.:13:58.

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