31/07/2014 The Papers


31/07/2014

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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for the first half of the year largely due to warmer weather. But

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Ofgem says that the big six firms are set to double profit margins

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over the next year. Welcome to the papers. With me are

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Martin Bentham, whose the home affairs Editor from the London

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Evening Standard and the Financial Analyst, Louise Cooper. Let's take a

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look at the front pages. The FT reports European businesses are

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starting to feel the effects of The Times says the cost of rebuilding

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Afghanistan has surpassed the amount spent restoring Europe after World

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War II. The Telegraph has a story about the increase in households

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being forced to pay higher rates of stamp duty. The Metro carries a

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story about a TV interview in which a UN official broke down in tears,

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saying his organisation had reached "breaking point" in Gaza. The Mail

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leads on a driver who killed a man while using two mobile phones at the

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wheel of her car. The Guardian reports on the conflict in Gaza. It

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says the number of people killed is greater than in both previous rounds

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of fighting between Israel and Hamas. The Express has a story on a

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funding boost for the NHS to help tackle cancer. And finally, the

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Mirror describes how a Commonwealth Games cyclist from Sierra Leone was

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held in isolation for four days ` before being cleared ` because of

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fears about the Ebola virus. I'm going to start with the Guardian,

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the headline is Gaza death toll goes past 1400. Israel going to continue

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until the Hamas tunnels are destroyed. This was printed before

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we got news of the humanitarian truce which has been announced this

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evening, and hopefully that will be bolstered by a longer term, durable

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ceasefire if negotiators in Cairo over the weekend can make something

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stick. But nonetheless, Louise, the Guardian headline still holds that

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the reason this number is so significant is that it is more than

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the two previous Gaza conflicts we have seen in terms of casualties.

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It is an appallingly large number of people. 80% of them, they say, all

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civilians as well. I spent the last hour doing something useful. 20

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years ago that Yasser Arafat actually got the Nobel Peace Prize

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for supposedly negotiating peace. Here we are, with the death toll

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1400 in just the past few weeks. It seems every step forward is

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accompanied by a step backwards, and little progress is made. But

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sometimes, diplomatically things are going on behind the scenes that we

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are not privy to. This agreement by both sides, and unconditional

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humanitarian truce that will give people a breathing space. It is

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fantastic news. What is crucial is if they can flush out something that

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will stick. Israel promises to continue attacks until all Hamas

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tunnels will be destroyed. That will be one of the key questions about

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what happens to the amending tunnels. `` remaining. The Israelis

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will have to presumably withdraw from Gaza. There will be a halt in a

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rocket fire from Gaza as well, I suppose. All of those problematic

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obstacles. It seems to be with that they have got a set point in morning

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when you can shoot, but one minute past seven o'clock, you can't. Why

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don't you just stop killing each other right now? Maybe it is to get

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the word out to people? We are looking at you like the expert. We

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have had ceasefires before where rockets were fired and that triggers

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a new exchange. Does Hamas control those firing the rockets? You are

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assuming they do, maybe they do not. Let us look at the Times. We are

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talking about the tunnels. This is the picture of some Israeli soldiers

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trying to clear one of the tunnels. This is the thing that is

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interesting. They have got these tunnels where people can access

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Israel. That is terrifying to the Israeli populace. It started with

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that rocket fire from Gaza. It has changed completely into this title

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issue. `` tunnel. Israel has galvanised opinion and

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understandably it is very terrifying for them. They have been relatively

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immune from suicide attacks as of the wall they built. And they

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control the borders. Isn't it because they control the borders

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that tunnels were built in the first place to get food, livestock, what

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ever? And now they are being used for military purposes. They were

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built from Egypt. But still, you learn to build a tunnels because

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Israel puts a wall around you. Staying with the Times. Cost of

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Afghan rebuild on scale with the Second World War. Corruption and

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waste is pushing the figure that time. There was not a great deal of

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infrastructure in parts of Afghanistan in the first place. You

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have to wonder what they will end up with. There has been some progress.

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I have been to Afghanistan in different points over the past

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decade. There has been some progress, albeit very slowly. One of

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the problems is, highlighted this report, most projects have been

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hampered by poor planning, shoddy construction and bad oversight. A

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lot of money has been going astray. That clearly is a problem. It is a

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difficult country to keep a grip on. All of the systems, the checks and

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balances, I'm not in place. What the Times has done is compare the cost

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of the war in Afghanistan to the Marshall plan of rebuilding

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Germany. They have worked out into the's prices, the Marshall plan cost

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the equivalent of ?61 billion. American taxpayers have offered

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?61.5 billion and Britain ?890 million for this development.

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Germany is in a pretty bad state after the Second World War. And here

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we are, Afghanistan is costing more. But if you want to try and stop

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fundamentalism rising up and people being radicalised, you give people

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jobs and a better life. The report is saying the amount of corruption

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and wasted money. That is the question and I agree with it. It is

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a question of the management. That has been a problematic issue. That

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is the real question. It seems very poorly. The Financial Times, the

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property loan. ?122 billion of property in England and Wales is

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held in offshore funds and tax havens. We did not know who is

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buying it up? This is a bit of them, especially in London. They quit and

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anticorruption watchdog and they talk about corrupt leaders have used

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shell companies to hide assets. That is one issue. There is a separate

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issue. Sometimes these companies are being used to avoid stamp duty. The

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government has changed that. My favourite, there is a bit here that

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says, laundering which make regulations require real estate

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agents to carry out due diligence. There is a reference from an estate

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agents and, when you have accompanied hidden offshore, it is

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almost impossible for an estate agent to find out what is going on.

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You have to make a professional judgement whether you are satisfied

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with the information provided. So if you say, yes, I am happy with the

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information, I get hundreds and thousands of pounds commission or if

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I say no, I am not happy at, I do not get any commission. I wonder

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what the answer could be. Sometimes the level of cynicism on the BBC

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papers got back cynicism towards real estate agents failing hundreds

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of thousands in commission. `` owning. Let us look at the

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Independent. ?300 million genetic revolution. Trying to map our entire

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DNA. But always alarms some people. Too much would be known about us.

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What we know is that different drugs work well on you depending on your

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genetic make`up. You have got a disposition towards certain

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illnesses depending on your genetic make`up. What your genome looks like

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will affect your health in the future and how it is treated. At

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some point in the future, AGP will know your whole dinner. `` genome.

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What worries me is the organisation sorting this out say they want drug

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companies to have access to all of that data. Almost makes you feel a

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little naked having that information in your file. The interesting thing

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about the drug companies. As long as it is properly regulated and

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controlled. That always works. If they develop new drugs to help us,

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they need to have access to material like this. That aren't `` are

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problems, but they have a positive role. I am not sure I want to know

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too much of what is going to happen down the line. There is a

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probability that things will happen. It's not that you will exactly know.

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If you have got a perfect set of DNA. You are not much use to the

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drugs companies, I suppose. We are going to do a compare and contrast

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exercise with how women are photographed and featured on the

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newspaper. We know the Daily Telegraph likes to put a pretty lady

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on the front. The model Miranda Kerr. She has been fought over by a

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number of men, compared to Helen of Troy. Compare the Daily Mail. Here

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we have a picture of Zara Philips. She is on the front page. I think

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they traditionally choose on flattering photographs. The one on

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the Daily Mail is not too bad. But the one on the Metro. What a brutal

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photo in the Metro. Tom Cruise looks gorgeous, Zara Philips is pulling a

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face. And there is another one on the front page of the Express. She

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does not look too bad. Picture editors, leave her alone. I am not

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even a royalist. It did not even occur to you. I think they look

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perfectly reasonable. It is the sensitivity of it. The one on the

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Metro looks a bit hideous, but the others look reasonable. Tom Cruise

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is looking pretty good. That is what you say. Louise has a bit of a

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fondness for Tom Cruise. Goes back a long way. That is it for the night,

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before we get any more carried away. Lovely to have you both. Coming up

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next, it is time for Commonwealth games Sportsday. I will be back

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again at midnight for another look at the main news, particularly the

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truce that has been announced in the Gaza conflict this evening.

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