17/03/2018 The Papers


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17/03/2018

No need to wait until tomorrow morning 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, this is BBC News

with Nicholas Owen.

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We'll be taking a look at tomorrow

morning's papers in a moment.

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First, the headlines.

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23 British diplomats are to be

expelled by Moscow amid tensions

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over the nerve agent

attack in Salisbury.

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The British Consulate

in St Petersburg will also close.

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The Prime Minister has said Russia

must account for its actions.

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We will never tolerate a threat

to the life of British citizens

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and others on British soil

from the Russian government.

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Meanwhile, counterterrorism police

have started contacting Russian

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exiles living in the UK

about their personal safety

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following the suspected murder

of businessman Nikolai Glushkov.

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Amber weather warnings

are in force this evening

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in north-west England,

Yorkshire, the Midlands,

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London and south-east England.

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Drivers are being urged

to be prepared before

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setting out on journeys.

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US officials investigate claims that

a political consultancy mishandled

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the data of millions of Facebook

users to support Donald Trump's run

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for the White House.

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And later in Meet The Author,

Rebecca Jones talks with the writer

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Blake Morrison about his new book,

The Executor.

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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 the playwright

and New European columnist

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Bonnie Greer and the economist Ruth

Lea.

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Many of tomorrow's front

pages are already in.

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The Observer has an interview

with a whistle-blower who alleges

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that information from millions

of Facebook users may have been used

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by a data company during the 2016 US

presidential election.

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Both companies deny any wrongdoing

The Mail On Sunday says Theresa May

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is planning a crackdown

on what the paper calls

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Putin's McMafia - associates

of the Russian President with money

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in the UK.

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The Sunday Times warns that

a Russian cyber attack could turn

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the lights out in Britain.

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It reports that the

National Grid is on alert.

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The Sunday Express has more

on Theresa May putting pressure

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on Moscow with a possible travel ban

for 1,000 Russian tycoons.

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The Sunday Telegraph

leads on the same story

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as well as a photograph of a smiling

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

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at a St Patrick's Day parade

of the Irish Guards.

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And the Sunday Mirror leads

on the sex abuse scandal in Telford,

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quoting a police insider who says

it was too much trouble to crack

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down on grooming gangs.

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Let's good to those newspapers.

Bonnie, would you start us off? The

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Sunday express headline, nee stands

up to Putin, several

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Sunday express headline, nee stands

up to Putin, several examples.

She

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made a pretty good speech in the

House of Commons the other day, it

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was pretty strong and impressive for

a lot of people because she has been

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caught up in Brexit. This was really

good. She has expelled 23 diplomats.

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The Russians have expelled 23. She

is battling oligarchs and looking

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into the travel and so forth. What

is interesting to me, I did not look

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at the speech completely she gave to

the party, but hopefully she will

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also look at the conference of the

Conservative Party. She has got a

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lot of money thereto. I think that

is something she should be upfront

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about. She needs to be upfront about

that because we need to deal with

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all of this. There is a lot of

Russian money in this country.

Ruth,

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one confusion in my mind about this

is bearing down on dirty Russian

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money, but then you here we are also

very dependent on this money. Which

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is it? Are we dealing with criminals

and can we do things to them?

When

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it comes to dirty money, we're

talking about money-laundering. We

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have criminal finances coming into

the country. One of her measures

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issue will make it easy to see the

assets of Russians who

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money-laundering. But on the other

hand, an oligarchs, we have been to

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welcoming to them to come here and

buy up parts of Kensington. Part of

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Kensington is known as red Square

because of so many Russians that

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live there.

But we will not say, I

am sorry, you've got to get out.

I

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suspect most are perfectly

legitimate and they are, of course

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they will stay. But the whole idea

we have a very close economic

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relationship with Russia needs

addressing because very little of

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our trade is with Russia, less than

1% of our exports and less than 1%

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of imports coming from Russia. I

suspect that where it gets

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embarrassing is BP four example has

a high proportion of shares, so

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there are economic connections. But

Russia is not a major trading

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partner this country.

So we can

afford to be mean to them?

We need

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to be on the other hand... And she

should do this, be even more

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specific about the fact this is not

that the Russian people because we

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are in a very fragile time anyway

and we do not need to have another

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group that will be yelled on the

streets. We should be careful about

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that. She should be specific. These

are specific instances it is

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money-laundering bus stop Londoners

a nice place to live, why not?

The

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Sunday Times, the same sort of

story, blackout threat to Britain as

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Putin hits back. What is that about?

Apparently, it is a part of GCHQ

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suggesting that there could be

Russian cyber attacks on the

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National Grid, for example, that

could put the lights out. In other

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words, computer systems which are

very sophisticated, it could make

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them dysfunctional. I do wonder if

this is scaremongering although,

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having said that, I will hope the

lights do not go out. But I do

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wonder if this is scaremongering. It

is fair enough. If the security

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services do think there is a threat

from cyber attacks from Russia, the

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right to say it, but it is all part

and parcel of the rhetoric that is

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surrounding this whole Russian

British thing which is getting a tad

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out of control.

Apparently, the will

of God some kind of heads up from

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American intelligence because for

sure there is a threat and it is a

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credible threat. If there is a

credible threat to this happening to

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the American great. Maybe this is

something that is going back and

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forth. I take your point about

Russia, but Russia is a bad actor

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and everybody knows this. If this is

in fact true that this happened in

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this country, we need to take this

seriously.

Going back to energy,

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about gas, there is a lot of talk

about, oh, well, we do not depend on

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Russian gas, but it plays an

important part in energy supplies

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across Europe, so when they and we

might find that difficult.

Only

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about 1% of our gas supplies

actually come from Russia were as

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36% of German mystic gas consumption

comes from Russia. A lot of eastern

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Europe is almost totally dependent

on Russia for gas. It is interesting

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about this rhetoric and tit-for-tat

un argy-bargy with Russia, on the

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whole, the rest of Europe is keeping

remarkably quiet. If you really

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wanted a major sanction an Putin to

make it hurt, it would have to be a

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concerted effort by Europe. And I do

not think they would do that.

It is

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gasp from. And it is also the

borders as well. I think it seems to

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me, looking at Britain, taking

Britain to lead, seeing how Britain

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will proceed through this, it is

extremely complicated.

They will not

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come in with major sanctions.

It is

too dangerous. But we are in a

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situation in the world where Putin

has pushed the envelope once too

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often, and I do not know what people

will do.

Cyber attacks?

Well,

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America is another... We could spend

three hours in America, so we won't

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do that, but there is a long

complicated chain of madness going

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on over there now in relation to

this and it is becoming part of the

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narrative here.

I think it is a good

warning that let's not worry too

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much.

Bonnie, let's go on to a

by-product of what has been going

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on. And the Corbyn MP 's plan new

party. A headline on the Sunday

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Times.

The problem that happened

was, Jeremy Corbyn's statement after

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the Prime Minister's statement which

a lot of people felt was ill judged,

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not that it was wrong but ill

judged. Some people are very upset

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about it, it is affecting poll

numbers as well. There is always

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some kind of talk about something

happening in the Labour Party. I

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would not think that would get too

far.

I was very interested last week

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because Theresa May gave two

speeches in the Commons on Monday

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and Wednesday, and the response from

Corbyn was rather ill judged. He did

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not judge the tone or the mood of

it.

We don't want to get too much

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into his position on this, but what

he is saying is, we must be sure of

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what we're doing. Not many Labour

MPs have gone as far as putting

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their names down on a piece of

paper.

It was the reaction by a

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Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, for

example, and various others were

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saying, this is not a time to have a

party political disagreements. As

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far as I could see, it really opened

up the divisions in the Labour

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Party.

Partly it was theatre. It was

the one moment for it. Then they

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jumped into it, Yvette Cooper. This

is where it is now.

Let's go back

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now to the Sunday... Go to the

Sunday Telegraph. Anger as Gibraltar

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is left out of Brexit transition.

Gibraltar, we do not hear a lot

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about what is going on there and

their views.

We don't. I did

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actually look at the draft

transitional agreement and Gibraltar

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was not mentioned. But there is

time. Do not panic! There is plenty

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of time to actually come to a

relationship for Gibraltar. It is

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also interesting that Spain is

saying, what about us? Actually, I

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am not sure that Spanish position is

very sound one because we are

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negotiating with the European Union.

But some deal will be done.

You can

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understand them being edgy about all

of this.

Now they have got this. And

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the EU gave Spain the veto. Now,

that will have to be sorted out as

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well and I am sure Gibraltar do not

see themselves in the whole mix.

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That is horrible. It is all very

much of a mess.

But whether it will

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actually use the veto is a different

issue.

But the habit on the table,

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and whether the user or not we do

not know but they have it, and

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Gibraltar knows they have got it,

and maybe that's why they are not in

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here.

I think it will be sorted out.

We would talk in a few months' time.

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This is an important week, coming up

all of this. You thought things are

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broadly on track?

They are broadly

on track. There will be a council

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meeting at the end of this week, in

March, when it looks as though it is

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highly possible that the council

will actually agree to the

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transitional arrangements put in

place. They had been negotiated

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already with Michel Barnier. And it

looks to me as though we are almost

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there. A few concessions we do not

like back-ups.

I will listen and see

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what she's saying. The rest of the

war does not look good at all.

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Apparently a bit it is because we

did not get a lot of information. If

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this is supposed to be secret, I

have no idea, but meanwhile are

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drifting out of the city and they

say it is not because Brexit but we

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do not why. That is what they said.

I want to get one story in quickly,

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the Sunday Times from page, it is

only short, but what is this

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transgender e-mail about?

What is

happening in universities is that

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people are being asked, what you

want to be called, he, she? Young

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people now want to determine who

they are and what they are in the

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world. Universities are saying, at

the end of your e-mail, put your

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name down and say how you would like

to be addressed, and that is what it

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is about. That is what students want

and what they deserve.

Is it

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complicated?

If people feel strongly

about this, I have no problems about

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accommodating that strength of

feeling. In other words, I am not

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worried!

It is what students want

and how students see themselves, and

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that is most important of all.

OK,

well, I am grateful to you both as

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ever. That is it for this hour.

Bonnie and Ruth will be back 11:30pm

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for another look at tomorrow

morning's newspapers.

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