09/05/2014 The Papers


09/05/2014

No need to wait until tomorrow morning 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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And Lewis Hamilton leads the way in practice and head of the Spanish

:00:00.:00:00.

Grand Prix. That is in 15 minutes, after the papers.

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be

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bringing us tomorrow. With me are the Economist's Jeremy Cliffe, and

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novelist and journalist Dreda Say Mitchell.

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Many of the papers are covering the first day of the Rolf Harris sex

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abuse trial. The Mail here is focusing on a letter the prosecution

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claim he wrote to the father of one of his alleged victims. The Mirror

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also leads with Rolf Harris and this letter that the jury heard in court.

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More on Rolf Harris in the Telegraph, and their front page also

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features the British servicemen sent home from Afghanistan after photos

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appeared of them posing next to the body of a dead insurgent. The

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Independent leads with a special report from Mariupol in Ukraine,

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where there's been violent clashes between government forces and

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pro`Russian separatists. Russia are celebrating Victory Day,

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the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II in red Square. That is in the

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Financial Times. The FT also features the situation in Ukraine

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and a story about the hotel at the Shard in London. The Guardian

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headline suggests that NHS hospitals need thousands of extra nurses. And

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Take That's Gary Barlow is on the front page of the Times, which says

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that he and his fellow band members Howard Donald and Mark Allen are

:01:39.:01:44.

facing a ?20 million bill for tax avoidance. `` Mark Owen. And the

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Express has the story that the Queen has been told to take it easy.

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Prince Charles stood in for her at the last minute during an official

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ceremony. Let's unpick some of those stories. We start with the Daily

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Mirror. Like many of the papers, the Rolf Harris trial is featuring

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prominently. They have this headline, forgive me, I sicken

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myself. This was to do with the letter the court heard about? Yes,

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it was an allegation by the prosecution that said Mr Harris said

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a letter to the father of one of the people he allegedly abused. It goes

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to show how dramatic and how much media interest there is in this

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trial. This is just the first day, and it is splashed across the front

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pages. Rather lurid stuff. Dreda, this is making the front pages of

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many papers. And particularly this letter the Star wrote, saying he

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loathed himself for what he had done. But he was making the point

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that although there was a relationship with one of these

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alleged victims, he is saying it was when she was not underage.

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Absolutely, and that is something to remember about this case. I feel

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quite uneasy talking about it, because we have already had an

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incident this year with somebody in the spotlight. It was proved that

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the allegations against them were not true, so we need to be clear

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that there is a court case still going on and we have to see what

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happens. And we will leave it there for that very reason. Let's go

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inside the Daily Mail. They pick up on this story we have in talking

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about a lot today, the suggestion from Amnesty International that

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Nigeria had an inkling of what was going to happen to these 300

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schoolgirls who have so dreadfully been taken. That is at the bottom of

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the page. Tell us more about that? I find this a horrific and upsetting

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story which becomes worse every day. This is the fourth week, and now it

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has been alleged by Amnesty International that the Nigerian

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government were warned for hours before this incident, and nothing

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appears to have happened. They categorically showed the clip where

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the president said that is not true. But I think there are so many

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undercurrent here. One of the big things for me is the sense that

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Nigeria feels like two very different countries. There is the

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north and north`east, and then there is the South, predominantly

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Christian, with traditional African religions. It feels like there is

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not cooperation. And it also feels like some Nigerians may say that

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because this happened to girls in the north, did the government in

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Abuja care about them? You mentioned Amnesty International. One of the

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interesting parts of the story is the extent to which that charity has

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driven this story up the agenda. This is about girls and women being

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treated as the spoils of war, which has happened for decades, but I

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can't think of any similar story that has got the prominence that

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this has stopped so it is testimony to them that they are putting

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pressure on the Nigerian government. It is interesting that it has only

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happened because of an international outcry. This happened quite a while

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ago and if there was not an international outcry, when you think

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about other countries where you have had war is going on, there has been

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so much to show that women are used as weapons in war, and we can't have

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that happening in Nigeria. The international community has clearly

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been horrified. The US and Britain are offering help. We understand

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there may be use of American drones to track down these hiding places. I

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suppose the international community has to tread a cautious line here,

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because they don't want to get embroiled in Nigerian internal

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politics. Absolutely. The US and Britain have said there was no

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question of military intervention in this. As you say, the tensions

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between north and south Nigeria are so volatile that getting dragged

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into the situation would be a terrible mistake. There is so much

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pressure because of media campaign that it is a difficult tightrope

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that the governments of the West have to walk. Also, the no doubt ``

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Nigerian security forces have been accused of human rights violations

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as well. So if international intelligence specialists come in,

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they have to be very careful. It is a very complex issue. But the focus

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has to be on finding those girls. Let's look at one of the other

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stories in the Daily Mail on page four, the suggestion that the

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government's Help To Buy scheme for first`time buyers, to give them a

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foot on the ladder, has somehow gone a bit awry. Yes, this is George

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Osborne's scheme to help those struggling to get on the housing

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ladder. The government effectively subsidises their mortgage. At the

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important criteria are that those who take on the scheme have to have

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at least 5% of the value of the house to put down as a deposit to

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show that they are safe to lend to. The problem that has emerged is that

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a lot of people on this scheme have not put down 5% of the mortgage

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value because of some technical reason to do with the computer

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system, inevitably. We know government computer systems rarely

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go to plan. The result is that there seem to be lots of people who have

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taken on this scheme who may not be safe gets. This smacks to me of the

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sub`prime mortgage crisis in 2007. There is the suggestion that people

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will be overstretching themselves and left without a security blanket.

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What struck me about this story is that there seems to be a difference

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between people in the south and people in the north and Scotland.

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Apparently, this scheme is working well in the north and Scotland.

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There is a differential between the prices of Robert E. If you are young

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person living in London, 10% is a lot of money. In this article, they

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quoted 10% of 200,000. I spoke to a young couple this week and they said

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they are desperate to do this scheme. They cannot afford ?20,000,

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so it is fine to have a Help To Buy scheme. However, there should have

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been differential is built into it. It is a tale of two countries. The

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extent to which the London property market has exploded in the last year

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seems to have no bearing on what is happening elsewhere in the country.

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A lot of people in the north and Northern Ireland are in negative

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equity, which in London seems impossible. So maybe a more

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differentiated scheme would have been helped for. And also, what

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about help to rent? That is why so many people have been pushed to buy,

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because rents are so high, or even higher than mortgages. Something

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needs to be done about the rental market. And in this country, we are

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wedded to the idea of buying. But with property prices, you can see

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why people might think it would be a good investment if they could only

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get on the ladder. Let's move further afield now. The Independent

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has a picture of a police station burning in Aria pour in Ukraine. We

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have been hearing about those clashes between government forces

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and pro`Russian insurgents. They have the stark headline there. The

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suggestion is that civil war looms. The Independent and 50 are going

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with the metaphor of clouds and storms. They have a very ominous

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picture on the front, with a burning building and dark clouds billowing

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above and wind in the trees. It sums up the situation very well. The FT

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used the phrase of a cloud above Russia as well. Beyond this, what

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strikes me is the shift we have seen since a few weeks ago, when you saw

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those idealistic scenes of young people in Kiev, protesting for

:10:01.:10:03.

liberalism and wanting to join the European Union. Now the region seems

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to be descending into civil war. There is now a slanging match

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between the Russians on the one side, who are making lots of

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provocative and symbolic gestures, with Putin in the Crimea at the

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moment. Then you have the government in Kiev, using the opportunity of

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that commemoration to launch attacks on Russian militants in eastern

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Ukraine. It is becoming an extremely dark and and threatening story. The

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suggestion that the approach of the Ukrainian government has become more

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strident and they are upping their game which is exacerbating the

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situation. Absolutely but the government would say that they were

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taking back ` I think it was a police headquarters and I think

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pro`Russian, you can use all types of words, militants, freedom

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fighters, it depends what side you are on. But you talked about this

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picture and the one in the FT, there is one missing and it is the one

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with Putin in Crimea, that kind of collects it all. It seems such a

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shame that on a day that's meant to be about commemorating victory, that

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you have what I consider to be quite a provocative move by the Russian

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president. He should have just let it lie. This country is descending

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and before we know it, it is going to be descending into civil war.

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Let's bring in that picture you mentioned on the FT ` cloud over

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Russian celebrations, that analogy and metaphor continuing and this

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really the proud Russian force there is march through Moscow. We see how,

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perhaps, President Putin has used that, as some people would say, has

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hijacked those celebrations to make an altogether more modern point. The

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symbolling seems to be intent on both sides. You have the Ukrainian

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government using the commemoration as the Independent put it, to crow

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about the deaths in eastern Ukraine, the Russian activists that have been

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killed and apparent lit commemoration in Moscow, which

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happens every year was unusually bombastic. It lasted 15 minutes more

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than usual. Everyone ratcheting things um.

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We must push on to the i. A very unnerving story. Britain's Camp

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Bastion shame and these photographs, supposedly of British servicemen

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posing with a dead Taliban fighter. Pictures from 2002 which have come

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to light online. I think it was 2012, at Camp Bastion which was the

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biggest British base in Afghanistan. . First of all, there is an

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investigation, so we need to be clear ` are these true pictures? But

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if they are, this is horrifying. I think what horrified me when I read

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this story was, there was a line in it that says ` concerns that the

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photograph pro provoke the Taliban for more propaganda and get more

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people on its side. Actually when I look at this, I don't think at that

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` I just think, somebody is dead in this photograph and somebody has

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their thumb up, really. So forget about the recruitment and prop began

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darks somebody has died here and I think there `` prop began darks I

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think there should be a sense of someone has died and having

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reverence for that. I know the MoD says it has zero tolerance for that.

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When I read that article, it was all about whether it was going to make

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more Afghanis join the Taliban. It is certainly a grotesque image. We

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will talk more about that. Sorry to bring things to an end. We will be

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back in an hour's time, plenty more to talk about, and see what is

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making the headlines tomorrow. Stay with us, at 11.00pm we'll get an up

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date on the situation in eastern Ukraine. Coming up next, time for

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Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. I'm

:14:07.:14:22.

Katherine Downes. Peter Moores is back at the helm and England are

:14:23.:14:27.

back to winning ways. They beat Scotland in a rather rainy One Day

:14:28.:14:28.

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