REX TILLERSON TO URGE RUSSIA TO END SUPPORT FOR ASSAD REGIME
Western efforts to put pressure on Vladimir Putin over his support for Syria’s President Bashar Assad will continue on Wednesday, despite divisions over the imposition of fresh sanctions.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Moscow for talks after a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Lucca, Italy.
It called on Russia to promote a "real and genuine" political process in Syria and to use its influence to end the country’s bloody six-year civil war.
SECURITY STEPPED UP FOR MATCH AFTER BLASTS HIT BORUSSIA DORTMUND TEAM BUS
Heavy security will be in place in Germany for a rescheduled Champion League football match on Wednesday after three explosions near Borussia Dortmund’s team bus.
The blasts injured Dortmund player Marc Bartra and came as the team bus set off for the match against Monaco on Tuesday evening.
Police said they were working on the assumption that the blasts were directed at the Dortmund team and caused by "serious explosive devices," which may have been hidden in a hedge near a car park.
FOREIGN HACKERS ‘MAY HAVE BROUGHT DOWN REGISTRATION SITE BEFORE EU REFERENDUM’
The crash of a key voter registration website in the run-up to the EU referendum may have been the result of a foreign cyber attack, MPs have warned.
The Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) said it was deeply concerned about the allegations of foreign interference in last year’s Brexit vote.
While the committee did not identify who may have been responsible, it noted that both Russia and China use an approach to cyber attacks based on an understanding of mass psychology and of how to exploit individuals.
WHITE HOUSE PRESS CHIEF SEAN SPICER APOLOGISES FOR HOLOCAUST COMMENTS ‘BLUNDER’
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has apologised for making an "insensitive" reference to the Holocaust in comments about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons.
Mr Spicer said during a White House briefing on Tuesday that Adolf Hitler "didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons".
The remark drew strong criticism from Jewish groups and critics who noted it ignored Hitler’s use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.
ROBUST ACTION URGED TO TACKLE GPS ‘CRISIS’ AS SURVEY EXPOSES LOW MORALE
Around two in every five GPs in one region of England are planning to quit – exposing a potential doctors’ crisis in the NHS.
A survey of more than 2,000 GPs in the South West of England exposed the region’s impending healthcare catastrophe.
Figures published last month show there has been a drop in the number of GPs working in the NHS despite Government aims to recruit 5,000 more by 2020.
DISABILITY BENEFIT CHANGES ‘COMPROMISING PEOPLE’S INDEPENDENCE’
More than 50,000 disabled people have had specially adapted cars and other vehicles taken away as they move over to a controversial new disability benefit, according to the charity that runs the scheme.
MPs and campaigners are now demanding changes to the Motability programme, so vehicles are not taken away before claimants have had a chance to appeal against their decision.
The latest figures from the Motability charity show 51,000 people have been taken off the scheme after a reassessment for personal independence payments (PIP) since it launched in 2013 – 45% of all cases.
THOUSANDS STILL BEING DONATED FOR CHARLIE GARD’S TREATMENT DESPITE JUDGE RULING
Donations are still pouring in to a treatment fund for a terminally-ill baby at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute even though a High Court judge has ruled that the little boy should be allowed to "die with dignity".
Charlie Gard’s parents are considering their next move after Mr Justice Francis decided that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who are both in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, hoped to be allowed to take eight-month-old Charlie to America for a treatment trial.
GOVERNMENT APPROVES 131 NEW FREE SCHOOLS
More than 130 new free schools have been approved by the Government, the largest number during this Parliament.
The schools will collectively create around 69,000 places for pupils, ministers said.
Among the 131 schools to be given the go-ahead is Stone Lodge Academy, a secondary school in Dartford that has been put forward by the Endeavour Multi Academy Trust, which currently runs two grammar schools.
LABOUR PLEDGES TO GUARANTEE PENSION TRIPLE-LOCK UNTIL 2025
The triple-lock guarantee on state pension increases will be protected up until 2025 if Labour wins the next election, the opposition has promised.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has put the commitment on a pensioners’ pledge card, along with other promises aimed at wooing older voters.
Labour will also promise compensation for women hardest-hit by increases in the state pension age, protection for elderly Britons living overseas, and a commitment to keep winter fuel payments and free bus passes.
PAULINE CAFFERKEY TO RETURN TO SIERRA LEONE TO SEEK ‘CLOSURE’ OVER EBOLA ORDEAL
Ebola survivor Pauline Cafferkey is planning to return to Sierra Leone for the first time since she was struck down with with the killer virus.
The Scottish nurse said she hopes the fundraising trip in May will help to bring "closure" after a "terrible couple of years".
Ms Cafferkey contracted Ebola in 2014 and has suffered a series of further health scares due to complications linked to the disease, at one stage falling critically ill.
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES KEY TO UK AS FINANCIAL POWERHOUSE, CHANCELLOR WILL WARN
The UK’s status as a financial powerhouse could be at risk unless technological advances are seized and exploited, Philip Hammond will warn.
The Chancellor will praise the financial technology (FinTech) sector as an area where the UK leads the world at a conference aimed at attracting investors to back British entrepreneurs.
He will say that Brexit offers the chance for the UK to forge a new role for itself in the global economy but will stress that the country must remain open to the "brightest and best" migrant workers.