20/12/2017 The Papers


20/12/2017

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 be

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bringing us tomorrow.

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With me are Giles Kenningham,

PR and former Conservative adviser,

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and Jack Blanchard from Politico.

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Tomorrow's front pages: The Guardian

leads on the sacking of Damian Green

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as First Secretary of State,

after he made misleading comments

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about pornography found

on his office computer.

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The Metro reads Green out,

after an inquiry found he had

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breached the ministerial code.

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The Telegraph also

pictures Damian Green.

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It says Theresa May's Cabinet has

been hit by a third departure

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in just two months.

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The Daily Mail's headline sums up

the scandal is what a sad way to go.

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The Mirror says the Prime Minister

in crisis.

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The FT also pictures Damian Green.

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Its main story is about Brexit,

and a bid by UK regulators to woo

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foreign banks with a promise of easy

access when the country

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leaves the EU.

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The i claims that the UK has

demanded total secrecy for future

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trade talks with the US.

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The Express reports on research

claiming that eating salad

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vegetables every day

could help stave off dementia

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by boosting memory power.

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It pictures Meghan Markle attending

a Christmas party at Buckingham

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Palace.

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Well, let's begin inevitably with

Damian Green's demise. Jack, kick us

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off. This is the Telegraph, Damian

Green sacked as Theresa May loses a

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minister.

There was a mad scramble

when this news broke at 8:39pm which

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is right on deadline for most

people's first editions. Most of the

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papers have managed to get it front

and centre on the front page but I

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was watching from the press gallery

in the House of Commons, and I was

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watching journalists sprinting to

their desks to get the news out. The

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Telegraph did a nice job, and there

are some interesting details we

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hadn't seen before, saying Theresa

May received the report about Damian

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Green's behaviour on Monday so she

has known since the start of the

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week what the conclusions were. She

passed it to her independent

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adviser, Alex Allan, who agrees with

its findings, and said that Damian

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Green had to go, but this has been

sat on the prime Minister's desk for

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48 hours as she considers it.

The

timing is interesting with this. I

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think they had a huge dilemma here.

They couldn't be seen to be covering

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up such a sensitive issue, but you

do question it. As Jack said, had

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just dropped in time to get out, but

in the current new cycle it is very

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difficult to cover something up.

How

would David Cameron cover it?

I

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think there has to be full

disclosure, full transparency, and

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you actually have to question the

tactics about dumping something like

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this out late at night because the

optics don't look great. The

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follow-up from Jack, two interesting

points in this story, one that she

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had a pop at the police on this,

saying they had a duty of

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confidentiality. It will probably be

lost in all of this, but in the

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letter she wrote back about the

breach of confidence in relation to

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the 208 investigation and the

allegations of pornography being

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found on his computer, but also that

she had to sack him. He says I

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regret I have been asked to resign

from the government and I think as I

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was saying earlier on, Number Ten

need to turn this into a position of

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strength saying she showed her

ruthless streak, getting rid of her

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best friend, her political

confidant, she is someone who leads

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from the front.

What does she do now

in terms of replacing him? Does she

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feel that same post? -- feel that

same post? How does she deal with

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the remain versus leave elements?

She is not someone who has a natural

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constituent in the party, she is not

someone who has lots of political

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allies. You look around the table

and think who would she bring in?

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Some people are speculating Amber

Rudd, but do you put a target on her

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back?

I think Number Ten were saying

this evening they will not be an

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immediate replacement for Damian

Green. He didn't have his own

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department so he will have to have

someone -- he won't have to have

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someone within hours to run the

military as when Michael Fallon

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resigned. It goes into recess

tomorrow, everyone stops watching

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the news and gets on with enjoying

their lives for the next week or so,

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so she can sit and have a think

about this and that is what I think

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she will do. What will happen as she

will ultimately appoint a new number

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two but she will do it as part of a

wider reshuffle in the first week of

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the new year, and take a step back

and look at the bigger picture. Some

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of the names being thrown around

tonight are Amber Rudd, the Home

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Secretary and a friend of Theresa

May. Also Jeremy Hunt, the Health

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Secretary, who is seen as loyal to

her and someone who straddles the

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remain - leave things not perfectly,

but well.

I think reshuffle would be

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a huge mistake. My experience of

reshuffles as you always create more

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enemies than friends. She is a prime

Minister not in a strong position

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and when you put people on the back

ventures, you create lightning rods.

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My issue is that from her has to be

more about policy than personnel

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moving forward -- backbenchers.

Looking at the Daily Mail, what a

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sad way to go if they take on it. A

reference to the police in this.

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Yes, my reading of that headline,

which reads slightly strangely to

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me, is it is quite a supportive

headline for Damian Green, I think,

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unless I am misreading it

completely. I am not sure that will

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be most people's take on it. The

Daily Mail wrote some pretty strong

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opinion pieces against the lady who

made allegations against Damian

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Green at the time, which seemed to

go further than most people would

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expect. They seem to be sort of

sticking up for him here. They are

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obviously very supportive of Theresa

May as a newspaper.

This will be the

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most supportive front page, as Jack

said they have been her biggest

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cheerleader, they have put in their

headline the police leaks led to the

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downfall, so they are putting a spin

on the story.

Him lying about it

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seems to have led to his downfall.

It was more sort of a cover-up as

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opposed to the actual accusation.

As

so often happens.

And also the

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report did say that the lady who has

made allegations against him as a

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credible and plausible witness. And

so that has come down on her side,

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so that is what has happened here.

Taking us to the FT, still politics

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but we are talking Brexit and this

is partly based on what Mark Carney

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has been saying.

Quite a clever

powerplay by Mark Carney. He is

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saying the UK will be open to

European banks after Brexit. But

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this depends on, you know, the UK,

on the EU reciprocating. As I was

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saying, I think there is a sense of

momentum behind what we are doing. I

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think so far the UK has been far too

defensive in the whole spin war and

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how we have been positioning

ourselves for these negotiations.

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The EU have skin in the game. There

are plenty of European businesses

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finance out of London. They want

some certainty. But also countries

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like Japan and South Korea want to

know what is going on. So it is good

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he has put the onus back on them,

saying you have to sort things out.

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And the EU has other problems at

play here like what is going on in

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Catalonia. So pushing it forward,

putting the pressure back on them,

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and ultimately they do want a deal

as well, but it won't be easy.

There

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will be consequences if they don't

reciprocate.

A sinister threat from

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the Governor of the Bank of England

and lots of people will be pleased

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to hear that. He hasn't really been

a popular character for lots of

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Brexit supporters, they have seen

him as an arch remainer, is

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campaigning against Brexit because

he thought it was a threat to the UK

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economy so to see him coming out and

batting for Britain, as it were,

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will go down well.

Thoughts on other

elements, the length of the

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transition period? Michel Barnier

speaking today, Christine Lagarde

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talking about the state of the

economy, so many elements to

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consider on a daily basis.

I was

speaking to someone in the city who

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is quite influential and they were

saying it could take three years,

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two years is good, but what we want

to certainty, we don't want an

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open-ended transition period. That

is a big dilemma for the government

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about how they framed this.

Does

seem like we are drowning in small

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Brexit stories all the time. There

are always 19 things to write about

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and hear about. Because that is the

whole thing, it is important, but it

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is weary to write and read and

listen to.

So let's not talk about

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it any more. Turning to the

Guardian, this is Donald Trump not

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talking about his tax measures,

which he was looking very, very

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pleased about earlier, I might add,

but this is about what he said

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recently about Jerusalem being the

capital of Israel as far as the

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Americans are concerned and the

reaction to it.

Yes, and this is

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classic Trump volleying. If you

cross me, don't expect any help from

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me even if that help is actually

stopping kids from dying in Asia,

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Africa and all the rest of it. --

classic Trump bullying. He is going

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to deny aid to small countries if

they don't vote the way he tells

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them United Nations and my guess is

this sort of coercive stuff did used

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to go on behind the scenes a little

bit, in quiet little conversations,

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but here the President is coming out

and bawling out smaller countries in

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press conferences like this, it is

not what we expect from the United

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States and it is important to

remember how abnormal disputes. You

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can get used to Trump and expect

that this is how the world is now

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but we have had a long time of

America acting in a much more moral

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arbiter role in this, and it is

depressing to read this.

He will

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feel quite emboldened by this tax

cut, it will energise him to carry

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on defying the normal rules of

political dimension and diplomacy.

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What is interesting here is that one

of the countries might be Egypt,

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which you would normally imagine

would be a strong US ally and others

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in the Security Council have already

expressed their doubts, including

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the UK. Theresa May questioned the

wisdom of it.

Theresa May had it out

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with him over Jerusalem, she was

very clear that this is the wrong

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decision and this is not helpful.

The question is, in a post-Brexit

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world, what happens with Trump?

There is speculation about him

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coming here next year, the trade

deal, they are having to tread a

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fine line with how they deal with

him.

The Express, not the front page

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but in inside story which has caught

our eye. And this is just one of

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those good news stories. A sweet

snow baby, born after being frozen

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for 25 years.

Quite a heartwarming

tale. I think this is unprecedented,

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a baby born from a donor embryo

frozen 25 years ago. And what makes

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it all the more remarkable is the

mother is 26 years old, I suppose

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what does this mean for science and

medical advances going forward?

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Incredibly heartwarming, great to

see.

A story out of the States, we

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should say.

Yes, a story out of

Tennessee. It has cost them £10,000

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for this procedure and they are

saying they wouldn't rule it out

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again, so if you are in a position

to do that, but it is nice that

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couples who are not able to have

children otherwise, is great that

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they have this opportunity now. For

some reason they are called snow

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baby is, I think because it is a

frozen...

I was looking for exactly

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that definition, it says children

like them are called snow baby is

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because they develop from embryos

which have been frozen.

So I am

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confident we will have a story like

that every Christmas.

Does fit

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rather well, doesn't it? Let end

with the Times. Apparently one

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portion of spinach a day can fend

off dementia.

And not just spinach.

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Talking about heartwarming Christmas

stories, sprout the front and centre

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of the story as well, good news if

you want sprouts in your Christmas

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dinner next week. -- sprouts are

front and centre. It seems to have

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been pretty widely carried in all

the press today. So yes, get eating

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your greens is the message.

And more

than 200,000 people in the UK suffer

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from dementia, and it hasn't been

any cure for it, and they are saying

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if you are over 50 's, start eating

your greens, it massively increases

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your thinking skills -- over 50s.

And quite a long list, sprouts,

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lettuce, asparagus, you name it.

One

of many superfood.

That is it for

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the papers. Next it is time for

another look at Sportsday.

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