14/04/2014 The Papers


14/04/2014

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. Presented by Clive Myrie.


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Ferrari F1 team. And we will be hearing why Ronnie Whelan feels the

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race for the Premier League is still wide open. That is all coming up on

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Sportsday after The Papers. Welcome to our look ahead to what

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the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are Pippa Crerar,

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from the London Evening Standard, and Hugh Muir, from the Guardian.

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Starting with the Financial Times, which is leading with the crisis in

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the Ukraine. The paper says posturing by Moscow is highlighting

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how disunited the West is on this topic. George Osborne's Budget last

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month has failed to translate into potential Tory votes, according to a

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poll in the Guardian. The Metro has a warning from teachers that primary

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school youngsters are being left like ghosts at school for long hours

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because parents are too busy working. A warning from the First

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Sea Lord that Scottish independence would damage the Navy. That is the

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lead story in the Telegraph. There is more concern about the rising

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costs of housing, highlighted in the Express. And the male has more

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allegations about a possible Lib Dem cover`up over the camp trade `` over

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the Cyril Smith scandal. Starting with the situation in Ukraine,

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pro`Russian separatists strengthening their grip, and the

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West are struggling for unity over this issue. Yes, you will remember,

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24 hours ago, the acting president in Ukraine, Alexander Turchynov, was

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very robust in his language, when it came to deadlines for some of the

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pro`Russian separatists occupying government buildings in ten towns in

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eastern Ukraine, threatening military action to deal with what he

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called terrorist elements. And it was suggested that we would all wake

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up this morning to find that there had been unilateral action right

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across the East of Ukraine. But actually what has happened is

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nothing. The Ukrainian forces have not gone in, and actually, the

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president has taken a much more conciliatory tone today, on

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realising I suppose that his threats were not working, and has now made

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the suggestion that he would be prepared for some sort of

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referendum, to at least let people in the east of the country have some

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say. How threatened he felt by the fact that their 40,000 Russian

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troops hovering over the other side of the border... But clearly, he has

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realised that strongman tactics on his part at least are not working.

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That seems to suggest that Russia's approach on coming over tough are

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having some effect. It was always an empty threat, frankly, wasn't it, it

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was going to have to be, because if they did send in tanks and troops

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from Kiev, the Russians would have an excuse to march in? Nobody really

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knows how to deal with Putin. It is a Putin problem. Nobody knows how to

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assess what he has done, nobody knows what he is going to do next,

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and they do not know what his endgame is, if it is just to have

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more territory, or just to extend his influence. Until they know those

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basic things, I think the international community is going to

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have a real problem getting to grips with him. They are all piling in, we

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saw Catherine Ashton saying something, and I think President

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Obama was supposed to speak to Putin today. But until there is some real

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sense of what he is playing at, I do not think the international

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community knows how to read him. But I suspect also, he himself is not

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sure what the endgame is. He does not want a country which is

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completely fractured and shattered on his border, but he does want

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influence in the country as well. So, he is trying to push it as far

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as he can without going too far, this is what the West seems to

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assume, but at the same time, the West looks impotent. Yes, just take

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Britain alone. Yesterday we had David Cameron breaking up his

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holiday to speak to Angela Merkel and otherworldly does about the

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situation. There has been talk about signing up to more sanctions. `` and

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other world leaders. I think it comes down to the fact that Britain

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does not want to affect the reputation of the City of London as

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being a major financial centre. I would imagine the Treasury, the

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government, is coming under pressure from financial and other companies.

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BP for example has huge investments in Russia, and I think it has a 20%

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stake in a Russian oil company. They do not want to risk that just being

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annexed, if you like. And Putin knows this... At one level, all of

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this diplomacy depends upon personal relationships, and I think nobody

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has a relationship with Putin. You do not get the feeling that any of

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our leaders really know how to get to Putin. We are going to stay with

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the Financial Times, and an interesting story, firms in a ` ``

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in a dash to beat tax crackdown. The fact is, the partners could be up to

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40 people. I always thought they were proper partners, but the

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suggestion is that potentially, a lot of time, they are not! And what

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this is saying is that if you are a proper partner, your national

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insurance liability is a bit lighter, because of your status as a

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partner. So, many of them are going to the banks, because they need to

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have the money to buy equity. So they are rushing to the banks to get

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the money so that they can get these national insurance advantages. We

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were almost running out of villains, weren't we?! We have found them! A

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whole new set of villains, for people to throw rotten fruit at in

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the street. We have had all sorts of pledges by the Chancellor to use tax

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avoidance, to crackdown on tax avoidance, Surrey, and to raise huge

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amounts for the covers. But people have been sceptical. `` sorry. But

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looking at how the lawyers and accountants and probably consultants

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are scrambling to beat the tax crackdown, they at least seem to

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think that this one might work. But it is not just big fancy law firms,

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it is cleaners, it is fruit pickers, it is anyone with a company. Yes, if

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anyone is going to be able to work their way around these things, it

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will be accountants. Yes, accountants and lawyers. Let's move

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on to the Guardian, and this one about the Tories struggling in the

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polls. This is surprising, isn't it? Yes, after the Budget, the media

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narrative was that it has been a great success for the Chancellor.

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The few polls immediately afterwards seemed to suggest that that was the

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case. Now, what has happened is that there is this ICM poll which

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suggests the opposite, that in fact, the Budget has failed to boost the

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Conservatives with voters. It puts them on 32 points, compared to 37

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for Labour. In tandem with this, Ed Balls, who has written for the

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Guardian, it looks like, says Labour is going to continue with its cost

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of living strategy right up to the election. This is interesting,

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because with all of the elements of good news which have come out

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recently regarding the economy, there has been a lot of questioning

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at Westminster as to whether that strategy would stand the test of

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time. They have got to get all the way up to the election. Ed Balls

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seems convinced that people will not be better off in 2015 and they were

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at the last election, and that therefore, that strategy, the cost

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of living agenda, will continue to have resonance with voters. This

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poll would seem to back that up. It is completely a deception. It is not

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whether or not the indicators look at, you have got to feel it, and I

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do not think that people do feel it yet. I am not sure that it is a bad

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policy for Labour to plough ahead with that. If you are a Tory,

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looking at this, you are thinking, what have we got to do?! That is a

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good point. They will think, the last couple of weeks could not have

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gone better for us. There is that, but they might be thinking, will we

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ran out of time? There might be some backbenchers who might be thinking

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about other things they can do, transferable skills! But

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interestingly, the problems of the Tories are visible to UKIP, and UKIP

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could potentially split the vote and let Labour in? Well, it could. The

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maths is the problem for the Tories all the time. They are struggling to

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draw level with Labour. But in fact, they have got to do a lot better. So

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they are looking at the egg timer and watching the grains of sand run

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out, and thinking, this is not going to be good for us. Of course, UKIP

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take votes off Labour as well. Staying with The Guardian. Guardian

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wins Pulitzer prize, so it was worth it! We are all proud this evening

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because this was a very difficult story to do. I take no credit, my

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colleagues were responsible for it. They've done an absolutely

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magnificent job. I think we will also feel that we have given an

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important voice to issues that really needed to be raised in

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public. We gave a voice to Edward Snowden. I think that we have raised

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some issues of historic importance about the web, about where

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information goes, about who has access to it. It's always good to

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win awards, but to win such a prestigious award for something as

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important as this is absolutely marvellous. We won't mention those

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people who feel you have undermined national security I am not sure

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Obama says that. Of course, that's right! . On to the Metro. The ghost

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children at school. Ten hours a day. There is a conference on this week

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and a couple of teachers quoted as saying children are turning up

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absolutely frazzled, falling behind at school and asleep. This story has

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been in the headlines for months, though, as the Government ` a

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Schools Minister has been looking at how they can help with childcare

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issues. I think children shouldn't start school at five or in four in

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some cases, in England, anyway, children start school at four, I

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think that's too young to have a formal education. That's a separate

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argument but one many feel strongly about. The suggestion that in

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helping working parents at either end of the day that children would

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have to ` that means children would have to be in this formal

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environment isn't necessarily the case. After`school clubs at the

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moment which start at 3. 15 aren't about learning maths or learning to

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read, they're about drawing and playing with Lego and stuff like

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that. The Chinese may be looking at a headline and say, well, yeah,

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that's the price you have to pay. I am not sure we want that sort of

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system or put our children through that. The worry I have is that we

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will move to a system where you elongate the day, we are in primary

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schools and it's happened in many secondary schools, as well, but

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without resources. If you talk to many schools, talk to teachers

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they'll say it's all very well expecting us to pick up the slack

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but we can't do that and you say OK maybe they'll buy in help and that

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costs money and schools' budgets are being squeezed. We talk about these

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things in isolation but often when someone says where is the money to

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back this up, it isn't there. He speaks as a school governor, I speak

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as a parent of young children at school. In an ideal world I would be

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able to pick them up myself at 3. 15pm every day or have them at home

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with a child minder, but the reality for many working parents and in

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particular mothers who tend to be the one who make compromises with

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their career to make it all work for the family, they can't afford to do

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that. All right. We will continue this conversation in an hour's time.

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You are going to be back to look at more stories behind the headlines,

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many thanks. Stay with us here, at the top of the hour we will have the

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latest on the crisis in Ukraine as EU Foreign Ministers agree to expand

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sanctions against Russia over its actions in the east of the country.

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Now it's time for Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. Is

:14:28.:14:46.

Phelps set to make a splash in Rio? The most successful Olympian is

:14:47.:14:52.

history has come out of retirement. There was another night of

:14:53.:14:55.

record`breaking in the pool at the British Championships with Jaz

:14:56.:14:59.

Carlin swimming the fastest time this year in the 800 metres

:15:00.:15:00.

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