09/12/2016 The Papers


09/12/2016

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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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the papers will bring us

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tomorrow, with me, Robert Fox, defence editor of the London Evening

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Standard, journalist and broadcaster, and your poor are you.

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The front pages, let's overlook them. Starting stop the Christmas

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gift card ripped off, the headline in the Daily Mail, which warns that

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some store cards are expiring just six months after being pursued. The

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Times also has a personal finance lead, claiming that people are being

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unfairly charged hundreds of millions of pounds in credit card

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fees. The Telegraph has an investigation into top-flight

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British schools and it says are accepting 6-figure sums from

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overseas parents desperate to secure a place. The Independent leads with

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comments from the European Parliament chief Brexit negotiator,

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British people could be given the chance to remain EU citizens. Rupert

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Murdoch's tempted to take full control of sky television with a

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takeover by 21st-century foxes on the front page of the Financial

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Times. The scandal of our wasted foreign aid is the headline in the

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express which says that ministers are under pressure to reveal

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precisely how all foreign aid is being spent around the world. And

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finally the eye reports on the Duke of York has taken the unusual step

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of issuing a statement to deny claims of a rift between himself and

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the Prince of Wales Cup the role of his daughters.

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Let's begin, lots to talk about, shall we start of the seasonal

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stories? The front page of the Daily Mail, stop the Christmas gift card

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rip-off. This is specifically about gift cards, rather than about credit

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cards. The report is...? The rip-off is that you buy gift cards because,

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you know, some of us are quite lazy, and suddenly with only a few days

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before Christmas, you think, what are we going to buy? And it looks

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very handy. It is rip off, because, and we have all experienced that.

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You go with your card, and then it is actually expired, because you

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know, I mean, you know, the devil is in in the small print. But more than

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that, there's actually a windfall for those retailers because you

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never, if it has expired, you never actually buy things that are exactly

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fitting the amount you have been given, so there's always a few

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pounds for the retailer. More than a few pounds according to this. ?6

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million a week they make. Quite extraordinary. So the Times has a

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similar story, about credit cards. Yes, with PPI and so on, and

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mis-selling, the credit card world were supposed to have cleaned up its

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act, this is not much about credit cards themselves, it is retailers,

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who charge you a premium. Whether it is online, particularly stores,

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services, where, if you pay by credit card rather than debit card

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or cash, it is 2%, 5%, and the Times has got occasions when it is 12%,

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going up to 15%. Come on. Christmas would not be Christmas in tabloid

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went if you could not write a headline about a rip-off. So, it is

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Christmas. In Fleet Street. Or, what used to be Fleet Street. Let's move

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on to a story on the front page of the Telegraph, cash for places a

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scandal at top schools, and the Telegraph has done its own

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investigation into a school which it says is charging... Well, it is not

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charging, it is allowing parents to get places at this school if they

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make a very substantial donation. And what is interesting is that the

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story, sort of, the line, halfway down the piece, it suggests that

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educational consultants, so, middling people, are facilitating

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payments of up to ?5 million, to certain high-profile schools. ?5

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million, extraordinary. It sounds mad to me. It is the going rate,

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from what I understand. It has been going on for some time. Particularly

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Southeast Asia, China, as part of a whole game of which there have been

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many scandals, actually, I cannot name the protagonist, one was

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murdered, for fear of libelling somebody. I don't want to get myself

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as well of the BBC... I would like you not to name them. It is very

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delicate, this, but it is a stock in trade. At my children to school

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there have been donations, in the good old days there would be

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donations and the donor was a benefactor and was not expecting a

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return in kind necessarily, but this goes on at Oxford, Cambridge,

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limiting damage, and so on, but now it is a business. And I think the

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Telegraph is on to say -- onto something, there are agents, and

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particularly from China, Southeast Asia, there are various countries

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where these things, English private schools, the most noble of all time,

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education is such a prize, that they put this money into it, what the

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reaction is from the schools, I cannot go into. That is where we are

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in trouble with the law. I suppose many people would not be that

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surprised that you described a private school as a business, that

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is what it is, but it is the scale of this, if the Telegraph is

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correct, talking about ?5 million. It is funny that you are surprised,

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it is not a matter for polite conversation, but I am not surprised

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at all. And there is snobbery. Oh yes, status, get ahead time also. I

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think they should be fined. The best schools are state-owned. You could

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not get a place with money if you are the best... But you might have

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to work harder. Of course. In France, there is a suspicion that if

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you have to pay for the education, then you must be very bad at school,

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but your parents have outside money. So, no, this traffic, this currency

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of snobbery, it will get a lot of people, very rich people, in what

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they think... Investing in their children's future. What they are

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investing in is what the future social life... But probably not

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there, you know, success in life. I suppose it does say something about

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the reputation of British education, certain top private schools, that

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people are willing to pay that sort of money, because I'm sure you can

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get as good an education in France, but people are not sending their

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children to your schools. It is about the mythology and the legend.

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Buying into a club. Exactly. It is about education, but not only

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that... Status. The Telegraph says this is an investigation. It will be

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interesting to see how they pursue it. But how much we are interested

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in it. Personally, I despise it, because I think it does point of

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much bigger picture we have talked about, the discussion running this

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week about whether you should have more free places at... That was

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today. Our education is bedevilled by... The public/ private division,

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and then you add this into a... The attraction for foreigners is the

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English language. That is the strength of the English language. It

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is the international lingua franca, to use Latin. This is what it is

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pointing to. Shall we discuss Brexit? Cannot let an evening go by

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without it. A day without it, cannot have that. The Times, the British

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will be offered the chance to keep the EU citizenship. Not in the way

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that you might expect. The detail is of course, individually, keeping the

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EU... It will be quite difficult to the men. But it is an idea that

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comes not from the British Parliament but from the former Prime

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Minister of Belgium, who is Mr Brexit for the European Parliament.

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A great man, actually. He has had this idea for, you know, 40% of the

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British population, who did not vote for Brexit, and to feel European,

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and perhaps that is a solution, for them, I mean, I have a look to

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British friends, with some ancestry in Europe, and they are asking for,

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you know, the Germans, for some passport, or the Irish, so that

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might be a solution, except, individually, I mean, how will it

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work? This has actually been brought forward, according to the Times,

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partly because of the vote in the Commons this week. Yes, I think the

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various parties are having to reveal their positions and I think the

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former Belgian prime ministers really onto something here. It is

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interesting that it has come from Europe and Polmont. Because there is

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such a thing of solidarity, people with a common experience, called

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work experience. Myself, half my family is Dutch. My children can

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carry on as EU citizens, I cannot. And yet I have worked half my life

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there. For the last 51 years, every year I have done some work in

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Europe, I have a second language, and the idea that Brexit means

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prevail over 48.5%, that kind of prevail over 48.5%, that kind of

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light and dark, Manichaean division, it is complete nonsense. What is so

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notable is that the Brexit supporters, or their flag-bearers,

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their standard-bearers, soon-to-be getting more shrill by the minute,

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because the whole question looks so complex, and cannot be done in the

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timetable laid out, as we will hear with the next story. It will not be

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able to be done in two years. Let's move on to that, actually. This is,

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you talk about the flag-bearers, well the official flag bearer, David

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Davis, Minister for Brexit, talking about a transitional deal, a sort of

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buffer period. He is saying that he has no interest in that. Well, you

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may not have any interest in this by British companies and actually the

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British people have a stake in it, of course, there must be a

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transition period. What is very funny is that he said, oh, I don't

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mind being kind to the EU. I would rather the EU was asking for a

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transition period, but he's never going to ask for it. It is British

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companies, the Bank of England, the major British banks, they need it.

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So I agree with that EU representative quoted by the

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Financial Times, saying that, David Davis is completely diluted. Under

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British politicians have not got a clue. What is curious about this is

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that David Davis does not, in a sense, seem to be against a

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transitional period, he just seems to be against asking for it. He is

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against begging for it. It is very hard to see what he, Fox, Johnson,

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and Theresa May, to an extent, are really for. They are going to have

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to reveal the plan, particularly when we have the Supreme Court

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decision, they will need to talk about what the legislation will have

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to be if legislation there has to be. They have to reveal a plan, that

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was the point, that came out... The word around Whitehall is, would you

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believe it, it is either Norway minus, an associate of deal with

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Norway, or Canada plus. Work out what that means. But how long does

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it take to do a trade deal? That is the kind of period we are talking

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about. That is what the city is so worried about, with people like

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Davis, Fox, Johnson, they think they are lightweight. They don't think

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that the people in the civil service are lightweight, but supposing you

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and do, at a stroke, this has been in the heavy papers for the past two

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weeks, the European Community is act of 1972, then you go... You push it

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over the cliff, with a whole raft of human rights legislation, and human

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rights that are invoked, and this does not seem to be considered. As I

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said, this black and white... You get people demonstrating because

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they think it is primarily about immigration and how to stop it. The

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minute you say, we are no longer members, of the EU. Apparently

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there's a third option, Norway minus, Canada can plus, and Turkey

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meets Switzerland, another option that about, also quite deluded as

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well. The Times, a story about severely traumatised young people

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who have escaped from Mosul in Iraq. And the sort of things that they saw

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well under the Islamic State regime. We need to talk a little bit about

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that. Some background, this was written by a wonderful reporter, a

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great friend of mine, and I have been nasty places with him, Anthony

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Loyd. And he has an extraordinary, insightful story, because he went to

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the refugee camp, one of the biggest ones outside Mosul, receiving

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refugees, 81,000 have fled from this place of battle, and what they are

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finding, the Unicef people, is that they number in the thousands of

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young children who are just addicted to violence, rage, because it is all

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that they know, because of the traumatic scenes that they have

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witnessed inside Islamic State controlled Mosul. People being

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beheaded, tortured, and the particular case of a young boy, a

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four-year-old, who just hits his sister all the time, his mother does

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not dare let him go out to play, and the psychiatric damage, the

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psychological damage, is absolutely enormous. So if you think that is

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happening emotional, just imagining what is happening in Aleppo. It is

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unbearable to read. But it is one thing that is really key, and so

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poignant, not only this terrible atrocity, but also people and the

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Islamic State are obliged to watch. And you have got big screens,

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erected at marketplaces, and that combination between the lack of

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humanity, basic humanity, and also the entertainment, it is an

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unbearable article. Very chilling. Let's move on to our final story, on

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the front page of the Telegraph, along with a big photograph, the

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Duke of York, denying a rift with his older brother, unusual, for a

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member of the Royal family to come out with something like this. It

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seems to be... I mean, there is a recurrent theme. Prince Harry, taken

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to Twitter. They have taken to Twitter to do it. We have got to

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have our Christmas pantomime and the Royals are saying, move over

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Simpsons, we are it. I don't think they see it that way, but anyway, I

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suppose what is interesting is if you want the papers to lay off his

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family it has had the opposite effect, because what do we see? It

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is on the front page. He did not have a cool PR man saying, look,

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this is not right way to go about it. It will be interesting to see if

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tactics change. Thank you both much indeed. You can see all of the pages

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online on our website, where you can read a detailed review of the

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headlines. It is all there for you seven days per week, BBC .co .uk/

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papers. And you can see us there also each night in addition been

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posted on the page shortly after we have finished. Thank you both very

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much. Goodbye. Good evening, once again it has been

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another mild day for the time of year across the country, but also a

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day of contrast, we had quite a lot of cloud around, and some rain, in

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North Wales today, pretty dismal, not

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