15/02/2017 The Papers


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


With me are the business editor of The Independent,


Josie Cox, and Helen Joyce, the international editor


Let's take a look at the front pages then.


First up the FT - it's reporting that companies competing to build


nuclear power stations in the UK have been asked to offer


a significantly lower price for electricity than the ?18 billion


According to an investigation by the paper, eleven maternity


and neonatal units across England face closure or consolidation under


The Independent focuses on the stark US


warning to NATO allies, that members must increase military


The Express takes a look at the latest


official employment figures, saying the number of foreign-born


workers rose by almost 450,000 in a year -


And the Metro leads with the fresh attack


by Donald Trump on US intelligence agencies for reportedly leaking


details of discussions between his team and Russia.


Let's start with President Trump. He accuses US intelligence services of


criminal push to undermine him. This is today's episode of the ongoing


soap opera. This is going to be a running plotline, cars since before


the election there have been serious worries, including the American


intelligence community and elsewhere, that President Trump's


liking for Vladimir Putin is puzzling, to say the least. He


criticises other people, but not him. His national security adviser


has had to step down because it appears he has had unauthorised


contacts with Russian intelligence agents, and now President Trump


doesn't really like that people are leaking things like this. One


extraordinary thing about this story is that in a tiny corner of the FT


we have, Trump backs off a 2-state solution. On another day, this would


be enormous news. It has four little lines on the front page because of


this ongoing soap opera. Quite incredible. Having said that, it is


a bit out of order. Your intelligence services leaking


private documents. What would happen tomorrow morning if Theresa May


found out that MI5 and MI6 were leaking stuff? You cannot function


in that way? In any other situation, this would be a remarkable story.


But in the context of what we have seen in the Trump administration and


the narrative that is unfolding, it is not as surprising as it perhaps


should be. And his reaction, the words he is using, the aggressive


tone, in accusing the intelligence services of doing this, that is not


unusual either. He has fired similar shots at the media, the Obama


administration and at Clinton. This is becoming routine. And is he


trying to have it both ways? As a campaigner, when he was running for


the White House, he was happy for the Secret Service to leak against


his opponent. You cannot have it both ways. Is he stupid, or what? I


think he is a man with a special approach to what we might call


consistency. The most extraordinary thing he said before the election


was he lives in bite it Putin to hack into and release Hillary


Clinton's private documents. He asked the Russians to get


information on Hillary Clinton, so how can he talk about it now? All


bets are off. The Republicans are in control of Congress and should be


saying that we should investigate this, there are credible links


between the Trump administration and the Russians. But they are not, so


this is the point where we have the intelligence services leaking this


stuff. And something about the nuclear plant's viability being in


doubt? Another bad story in the week of bad stories about the power


industry in the UK. We had some very poor results from Toshiba, the


Japanese conglomerate, which owns a very large stake in the company


supposed to be developing a nuclear power plant in Cumbria. That called


that whole development into question. Now we have a story about


funding. Government officials have indicated that future projects would


be expected to deliver a discount of at least 15% to 20% on the price of


electricity, which is absolutely massive, and will deliver a big blow


on any revenue they may generate to pay off those projects. This is a


big blow if you are into nuclear power. Even the green lobby believe


this is the way forward. The problems, potentially, that there


might be of leakages and so forth seem to have been dealt with, unless


you live in Japan and you have a tsunami. We know the problems of


Fukushima. So we know that cost is potentially a problem. It seems like


a massive shame. You don't want to overpay for your electricity. We are


on the cusp of having lots of other renewable energy a lot cheaper. So


would you want to spend millions on a whole load of nuclear plants if


you can get solar in a few years? That is what the green lobby is


saying. It's starting to look like a possibility. On to the daily out


loud. Or is that lots of love? That is what David Cameron thought. Are


used to think that as well! Perhaps we all did. This is the laughing


airport assassin. This is one of the suspects in the death of the


brother-in-law of Kim Jong-un ill. Apparently he has been a target of


the North Korean assassination plots for several years. He believed he


was going to be attacked. You normally has Chinese bodyguards with


him. They seem to have injected him with poison in the airport and


attempted to get the body back before there was an autopsy. This is


a mysterious state were terrible things happen, and these things


erupt into our consciousness. I don't know what to tell you about


it. I don't know anything about the man or what he did. But I guess we


have this mysterious picture that has caught our imagination because


of the T-shirt. It is cold war. Basically, if you are related to Kim


Jong-un, where ever you are in the world, watch out, basically.


Absolutely. In the Daily Telegraph as well. The Church of England a


step closer to gay marriages in church. A three years study from


bishops from the Church of England said that the church should still


not approve of gay marriage. They put together a report of a status


quo that they should believe that they should not approve of same-sex


marriages, that they should have a more welcoming attitude towards


same-sex marriages. The motion has been rejected, which means that we


will stick with the status quo for the time being. It seems like they


haven't really created any change or furthered any cause, but it is


perhaps encouraging to see that there is motion in the debate around


the subject. I think they were trying to balance between two very


much opposing sides, say that marriage is between a man and a


woman, but that we must be nice to same-sex couples. But that seems not


to have worked. The House of Clergy of the three bodies, so your


ordinary rank and file vicar, it seems they've voted to reject this


report. They are the ones who have to deal with it. Yes, they are the


ones who have to deal with parishioners every Sunday. With


someone saying that they are being rejected. The idea is that, at some


point, some way down the line, perhaps the church is moving closer


to officially sanctioning gay marriages. Let's go to the Times. An


ultimatum on Nato spending. I cannot understand why a country like


Germany, the fourth or fifth biggest economy in the world, doesn't pay


its way. What's that about? They said they would. One of the Nato


agreements is that you spend 2% of GDP on defence. It's not just what


you spend, it is what you spend it on. It is that troops can


interoperate and so on. Only five countries actually spend that 2% of


GDP. That headline, he is right. I agree with him. He has said so many


different things about Nato, and some very worrying. This is a man


who was not willing to affirm a long-standing commitment to one of


Nato's commitments that if one were attacked, -- to be attacked, that


the others would stand with them. I agreed with him for about five


seconds! That if you are a member of this alliance, why would you not be


willing to pay for the privilege? I guess people haven't for such a long


time. Spending on defence is like spending on foreign aid. And we have


all felt so save for such a long time. The world seemed a nice place


a year ago, five years ago. Now it all looks a lot scarier. I really do


think they will start stumping up. So you approve of Trump's policy.


I'm not sure if it is his policy as such, and I don't agree with


undermining what Nato is about. It looks like a lot of the thrust of


this is coming from his Defence Secretary. Nato itself has been


saying this for a long time. In the Times, Britain sees final warning on


the shameful air-pollution levels. Yes, another topical story, though


it does feel like we have been here before. It seems like air pollution


is one of those things that keeps coming up. It will keep coming up in


the lead up to Brexit, because of EU regulation and to what extent we in


London could benefit from that. I don't know if this furthers the


causes or not. What will Brexiteers think of this? This could


potentially go to the European Court of Justice. But I suppose Brexiteers


will want clean air as well, but will not want it to be legislated


over there rather than via? The problem of this particular aspect of


air pollution is diesel cars. They produce less carbon, but they do


produce these little particles that go into your lungs. Josie runs and I


cycle, so... This will feed quite nicely in to the tinted Brexit


debate, no doubt about that. It should be about us being healthy!


Thank you so much for joining us. That is it for The Papers tonight.


You can go to our website for more details. And if you have missed the


programme, you can watch it on my player. Goodbye.


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