23/08/2014 The Papers


23/08/2014

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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A British national living in Sierra Leone tests positive for Ebola.

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It's the first person from the UK known to have contracted the virus.

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Welcome to our look ahead to what the papers

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With me are Matthew Syed, a columnist for The Times

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and broadcaster and campaigner David Akinsanya.

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The Observer says diplomats in Washington are considering

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sanctioning air strikes in Syria ` targeting Islamic State militants.

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The Mail on Sunday says the decision to fly home the British

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charity worker, found to have caught Ebola, was

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The Sunday Telegraph says data shows the number of immigrants who vanish

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after being found with false passports is increasing

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and that this doesn't bode well for any attempts to catch jihadist

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The Sunday Telegraph is where we start. That story about border

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controls in chaos. What do they purport to be revealing here? The

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context is revealing. MI5 said that if a lot of the jihadi 's who have

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gone to Syria comeback en masse, and there are 250 of them, they will not

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be able to cope. What the Telegraph reporting is essentially the story

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about our porous borders. 3527 immigrants and squandered after

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failing border checks last year and only 846 were found. This is a

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worrying statistic. 76%, 2700, remain at large. The potential of

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brutalised young fanatics coming back from an area where they have

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been desensitised to violence and probably motivated to carry out

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atrocities, this is worrying. David, is it true that they seem to know

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where the weak areas are? They talk about seaports handling coachloads

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of visitors and also Eurostar. It is worrying that it is obvious where

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the easy route. They use this term porous borders and you think, we are

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an island and if we can't staff those borders then honestly I think

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the general public just believe that `` they can't believe how we deal

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with border control in America. When you go to America, you have to say

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who you are. It is not clear how the system works because it sounds like

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they are quite good at spotting illegal immigrants but then somehow,

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they disappear. It is as if you are told we know you are illegal, and

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along the road to where they are being held, they can run off. That

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is exactly right. It is also mentioning that there is a good new

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story on the statistics towards the end of the story. It says the total

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number of immigrants who absconded after being stopped has fallen from

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9262 in 2010 to 3527 last year. So the numbers have gone down. But the

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proportion of people who are subsequently recovered has gone

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down, too. It is that phrase subsequently recovered which need

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more analysis. But we are seeing that Keith Vaz chairing the Home

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Office `` the Commons home affairs committee says he will seek and not

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explanation from the Home Secretary. So possibly we will hear talk in the

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house about more resources. Let's stay with the Daily Telegraph

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because there is a small article about British Christians forced to

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hide their belief. This is taken from an interview given by the

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former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. He is saying that there is

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an aggressive form of secularism is taking place in the country. There

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have been loads of things that have happened, people who are supposed to

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be registrars who are refusing to take part in gay weddings, people

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with guesthouses and British Airways as well, where... I mean, me

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personally, I don't agree with religion being involved in

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everything we do. It is an important part of my beginning, I went to

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Sunday school and to church, but when you're talking about people's

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human rights, I can see how the Christians feel they're being pushed

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aside. I think this is ridiculous from a normally quite sensible

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politician in Dominic Grieve. He is saying an aggressive form of

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secularism, but we have freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and

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he is comparing what he says is the intimidation of Christians with what

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is happening to Christians in the Middle East where they are being

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beheaded and murdered en masse. That is a frankly absurd comparison. We

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have bishops in the House of Lords, an established church, and we are a

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tolerant country. If secularists want to critique Christianity, they

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are entitled. Christians can hit back and critique a fearsome. ``

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atheism. It is in a man sticking his neck out. We know from the Tony

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Blair and Alistair Campbell era, we don't do God, politicians stay away

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from this topic. He is saying politicians should not be afraid of

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doing God. But there will be people who agree or disagree. There is no

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legal prohibition on politicians saying they are Christian or Jewish

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or whatever. The reason Blair did not do it is because he thought he

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would be intimidated, you thought you would lose votes. It is just

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pragmatic. In America, they have a different view. Most of the

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presidential candidate proclaim Christianity. They are affected to

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be clear. I think it is dangerous where we have a powerful set of

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values which are by and large tolerant and permit freedom of

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expression, that must be expression for a jury `` atheist who disagree

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with Christians. To draw a comparison with what is happening to

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Christians in the Middle East is ridiculous.

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Let's turn our attention to the Observer, their main story,

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to launch air strikes on senior ices territories in Syria. Dominating the

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news this question about where do we

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engage in Syria. The White House seems to be saying they may be ready

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to think about military action there. I think there are big

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questions as to whether or not to incorporate with President Assad.

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After what was a stand`off with Isis, there is now serious conflict

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between the de facto Syrian government and the Islamic fanatics.

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And I thing it is a really difficult judgement about whether or not one

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colludes with a dangerous and iniquitous dictator who has been

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responsible for thousands of deaths in order to get rid even more severe

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and dangerous enemy on the one hand, or one the other hand, we don't want

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to have anything to do with either of you but we will go into Syria and

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bomb Isis from there anyway. The Times had a leader today saying that

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corporate `` collaboration with President Assad would be terrible.

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Others have a different view. What changed our foreign policy towards

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Isis was the effect on public opinion of the beheading. That

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change the context. And even when you read this, you see that already

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these people are using vehicles and things that well provided for people

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who we thought were good. And now, all of a sudden, the roles have

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changed again. A lot of people were saying at the time of going into

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Iraq that this would open a can of worms. And it really has. The more

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you think about this... People say President Obama is being weak, but I

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think you thinking rather than rushing in rather `` like we did

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before. I agree. The situation is so complicated in the Middle East.

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Saudi Arabia, the oil, how it interacts. All of it is so difficult

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to understand that any political policy will have myriad unintended

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consequences. I agree that you have to pause but there are consequences

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of inaction as well. And I think you are absolutely right, understanding

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the context is important but if you wait to long, that can have very

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profound effects, too. We will talk more about this through the evening.

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At the bottom of the Observer, Ed Balls is quoted as saying Scots

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would have to join the euro. We are ready for a big week in Scotland and

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the suggestion by the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that joining the

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euro would be the least bad option for its economy if adverts for

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independence. Seconding the idea that sterling is out of bounds.

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Again, it is one of those arguments that you can see politicians

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positioning themselves. I don't know whether it will be OK for them to

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keep the pound. They say that they are a part of it and they created

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it. But if they are not going to get the pound, then the euro will be

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their only other option. What is great about their first debate was

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when Alistair Darling punctured the cell certainty of Alex Salmond which

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is considerable. Is there a plan B? Andy Reid struggled to come up with

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an answer to that. `` and he struggled. I think it is uncertainty

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that is dominating a lot of the fears about independence and I think

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that Ed Balls saying that the pound is not an option, it just cost more

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doubt. I think it is more likely that they will not vote to go

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independent, I hope so. The final debate tomorrow, so we will keep our

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eyes on that. The mail have gone very big on the

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news that the UK has its first Ebola infection. They say a British

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charity worker, their top story, UK Ebola alert as infected medic to fly

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home. The Department of Health saying this story is pure

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speculation and they haven't given much detail about this person. They

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have not given details, they have said it was a medic. I read in here

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somewhere that the government, that it has come from the top, and people

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have agreed that he can come back and there will be no problem to

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people in society. And that'll be the fear. I am sorry, I care about

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this man, but I care about the other 392 people in Sierra Leone who have

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been affected and I care about the fact that how it is funny that the

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doctors have managed to get two doctors cured with tested drugs by

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ZMapp, and those drugs have run out now. Aren't you concerned about the

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other people? Foreign people who get taken back to their own countries

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stand a better chance because they know poverty and health care in

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these West African countries is not good. So I hope they will come up

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with something that is going to work for all those people.

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Back to the Sunday Telegraph, why I it is a kidney to a stranger. This

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is a psychologist who decided she would give away one of her kidneys.

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I love this story. Wonderful. Isn't it great to hear a story of true

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altruism. She says, she has decided not to have children and she thought

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if I'm not going to create a live, why not help save one. True altruism

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and a great counterbalance to all the doom and gloom around us. It

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beautiful clothes there. We ended on a high point and we will get back to

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the doom and gloom in an hour, I'm sure! Thank you, Matthew Syed and

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David Akinsanya.

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