11/04/2014 The Papers


11/04/2014

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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down from British cycling to concentrate on Team Sky and we'll

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have the results of the meeting of the top two in Super League. That's

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all after the Papers. Hello and welcome to our look ahead

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to what the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are the writer

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Dreda Say Mitchell and Jeremy Cliffe of The Economist. Thank you both for

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coming in, this evening. A look at tomorrow's front pages. We'll start

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with the Financial Times. That says the Government will make it easier

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to prosecute people who evade taxes by hiding money off`shore.

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The Independent says Parliament's expenses watchdog will look into

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claims the taxpayer indirectly funded a suite for what the paper

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calls "a sex party" during a Conservative Party Conference. Of

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the Telegraph says families with stay`at`home parents pay more tax

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than most of their equivalents across the developed world.

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The Mirror leads on the Oscar Pistorius trial.

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The Mail reports on allegations that the liberal Party, police and MI5

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covered up child abecause committed by the former MP, Smith.

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The Express says there is confidence that the black box from the missing

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Malaysian airliner will soon be found.

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A senior Liberal Democrat MP has told the times his party is

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"pointless." And the Guardian says the Attorney`General wants an

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explanation from the Crown Prosecution Service about the failed

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prosecution of public figures for alleged sex offences.

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So, those are some of the front pages we have been getting in so

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far. We'll start this evening with the Daily Telegraph and a story

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about how actually ` well, it might be unfair or it might not. Why don't

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you kick off, it is a story suggesting that couples with a

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stay`at`home mum pay more than the international average It is unfair

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depending of your point of view or family make`up. Most people in

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Britain, the story resounts have lower tax than the average in the

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OECD group. Apart from those of which one parent goes to work and

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the other one stays at home to look after children. The tone of the

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article is negative about this describing it as a failure of the

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Government's intention to correct that, by allowing partners to

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exchange tax allowances. That said, what struck me reading this is it

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doesn't take into account the big elephant in the room in this story

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which is childcare. Childcare in Britain is much more expensive than

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other European countries which in a way is a tax on parents who go to

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work. You were nodding vigorously. I was, not that I have any children.

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But this is what I hear from people I know, how expensive childcare is.

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It was interesting. When I looked at this story, the big thing that

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jumped out at me, it seemed to be really saying about stay`at`home

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parents, this is what we want mothers to be doing in Britain.

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Well, hay hey, the rest of us have moved on. You were talking about

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transferrable tax. Every time I see a story about tax, I get confused,

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what is transferrable and what is this type of tax. I would imagine

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many people in Britain are like me. Who are the winners and losers with

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regard to tax? It would be true to say that this Government is trying

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to encourage mums to stay at home while their children are young and

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the tax regulations would be anything other than that, this would

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suggest. They have tried to loaf that option open to people. The

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story notes. They have tried to use a transferrable allowance to make it

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possible. But as you say, I wonder how many parents would choose to

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have one staying at home looking after the children if they could

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afford the childcare. For many, going to work isn't worth the effort

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because the money you earn goes straight back out to the nursery or

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creche. We will stay with the Telegraph.

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Another story which is interesting and one I know you feel passionate

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about. The headline ` teach ten`year`olds Bill legal drugs says

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the advisor. At the`year`olds, really? I think Professor Simon

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Gibbons, he is passionate that ten`year`olds and it is not just

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ten`year`olds, it is 10, 11, 12`year`olds, this whole notion of

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not just primary schoolchildren, children in muddle school. It is a

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much bigger agenda, it is not just about drugs on its own, about the

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health agenda. If we are thinking about the National Health Service in

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the future, what we need to be thinking about is about getting less

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people to come to the National Health Service. Really what we want

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to be thinking about is educating our children about thinks that

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really influence their health and we know a big one is drugs. You know,

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the impact that that has on someone's body. We should nted shy

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away with it with children as long as it is done and I know teachers

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will do it in a very responsible way. There is this argument that if

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you, start talking about something, a bit like sex education that it may

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try to en encourage them to doll something you are trying to prevent

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them. I think it is a false argument. Do you want them to

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encounter things like drugs and sex before they have learned about them

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in school or the other way around? I think Professor Gibbons is right to

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say it is taught in school before they come to hearing about it

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outside the school walls. You are both in agreement, so we will move

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on. The Financial Times, Osborne tightens net on takes havens. I

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don't know. There has been a lot of this throughout the years. We'll

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clampdown. Is there anything in it that you think is a good idea? To

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give him credit, George Osborne is really shifting the Government's

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policy on this. Before, you had to prove that someone had an intention

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to evade tax before you could prosecute them. He is changing that

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and saying ` even if you didn't know what you were doing was illegal, you

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still risk criminal prosecution. I think it is a big step forward in

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terms of prosecuting tax evasion. The point that the article makes,

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rightly, is we hear even more about benefit fraud in the papers a and in

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our political debates yet the amount lost from the exchequer to benefit

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fraud is about 1% to the amount lost on tax evasion. He is right to crack

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down and if I may say so, politically sensible. It brings

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money into the Treasury and is on the side of the ordinary person.

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Will it succeed? Absolutely. That's the problem. I wouldn't sayesque

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kraing down. I think he is using a lot of words about this. He is using

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` this article used words like "consult" and possibly have to

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demonstrate." It sounds terribly long`winded. The thing about tax has

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been that people have actually said that ` not a will the has been done.

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However, if you think about small scale fraud a heck of a lot has been

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done, like Jeremy sides with regards to benefits and other type of small

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scale fraud. What is going to happen and this story is interesting ` they

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are saying once we have cracked it we'll get billions. Well, don't hold

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your breath basically. You are right the Chancellor has to follow`through

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but making clear his intention can have an affect on people's

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behaviour. People will be phoning up their lawyers and accountants. I

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just don't think no`one is frightened because it all sounds so

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lightweight. Where is the real heaviness here and the big guns? I

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don't think anyone will be frightened. Same old, same old. You

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need the nags law on your side. Unless everyone agrees it is

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difficult, the tax haven will shift. This is part of an international

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move. You are quite right to say the proof will be in the pudding.

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Absolutely. On to the Mirror. And Dreda, why don't you start with

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this. This is the Reeva Steenkamp story. It is one we have been

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covering, the pus pus pis trial, of course, here `` the Oscar Pistorius

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trial, of course, here on the BBC. The evidence being given, we can

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only hear Oscar Pistorius's voice because he has elected not to be

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televised but it is gripping, isn't it? This is the problem. There are

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lots of problems I think with this. One of the things that we use words

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like "gripping." This is a case about real people's lives. A woman

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has been shot to death. We talk about it as if it is a thriller

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almost. We can't wait for the next instalment. I think the big problem

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I have with this story is "enough already", really, if we are going to

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be reporting about South Africa, why are we not reporting about the

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thousands of miners on strike in South Africa? But we are reporting

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about a murder trial, who knows, a judgment has to actually be made and

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we are making it sensational and trivialising it. Do you think the

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papers shouldn't be reporting it? Sno not in a way. Why is it on the

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front page? If we are going to do a story about South Africa, why not

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the miners? Don't we do that with any news story. I don't think so. We

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are talking about thousands of people's lives and incomes with

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regards to the miners' story and the impact on all of those children and

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their families. And what are we doing? We are sensationalising a

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trial about a woman, that's about real people. They are not fictional

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characters. Jeremy, does the Economist do such? I don't think we

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have written on this but I think that there is a substantive policy

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issue in this, which is the question of cameras in court which has been

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discussed recently in Britain, I think and some Government ministers

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have suggested it would be a good thing to open up, to bring more

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transparency into our legal system but as you say, the great risk is

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that it ends up turning serious trials into soap operas by providing

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so much material that broadcasters and papers can use. There has almost

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been criticism at Prime Minister's Questions and while on the subject

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of politics, let's switch to the Times. An amazing headlines,

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"Liberal Democrats are pointless", according to one of the party's most

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senior MPs. Who is this and why? You would think he had a book to sell,

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which he does. This is the former minister who is very much on the

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classical liberal side of the liberal Democrats. He is having a go

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at Nick Clegg, saying he is selling out to the left of his party. The

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Jeremy, this is a great betrayal in that he supported Nick Clegg because

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he saw in him a classical liberal approach to government, which is to

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say small tax, small government, getting out of people's we. But the

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pragmatic reality for Nick Legos that he has a party that has both

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that win, but also a more social democratic, left`leaning wing, and

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he has to reconcile the two. Do you think this would be damaging or will

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people not be that bothered? I don't think people will be that bothered.

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When I read this story, I read that someone was personally unhappy with

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somebody else. I am sure if I can make it up, they could say that.

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Going on to the Daily Express. And the ongoing search for Malaysian

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flight MH 37 stop `` 370. The Australian prime minister has not

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quite said the black box has been found. He is saying they are getting

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very close. This story has continued to dominate. It has, and even though

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he did not say it, once again, you have this thriller element. If you

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think about this story, it is tragic. We don't know what happened

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to these people. The tragedy is probably that they are no longer

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with us, but we are treating it almost like everyday, there is a new

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episode. It's a bit like Dickens, years ago. So in the same way that

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you were criticising the media for the Oscar Pistorius coverage, they

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are overdoing it on this as well? Well, what is new? We are getting

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nearer to the black box. How many times do we have to hear that they

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are detecting sound? Once again, remember that these were real people

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who have got families out there. We need to think about how we deal with

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emotional things and trauma for people. I hope we have found the

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black box. Jeremy? This was always bound to be a big story, simply

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because of the mystery surrounding it. It would be hard to resist it as

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a newspaper editor. Thank you both very much for your input this

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evening. That is it for the papers. I hope we will be back at 11:30pm

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for a follow`up. But stay with us on BBC News. At 11, we will have the

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latest on the man accused of the Omagh bombing and the 29th death is.

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Next, Sportsday.

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