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Day: June 10, 2017

2 NO 10 AIDES TAKE THE FALL FOR THERESA MAY’S WOEFUL PERFORMANCE AT THE POLLS

Prime Minister Theresa May’s two closest advisers have quit after the Conservatives failed to win a majority of MPs in the general election.

The BBC understands the PM was warned she faced a leadership challenge unless she sacked Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill.

Labour said the pair had “taken the fall” for the prime minister.

Mrs May has announced that the new Downing Street chief of staff is ex-Conservative MP and former housing minister Gavin Barwell.

Mr Timothy said he took responsibility for his role in the “disappointing” result and the widely-criticised manifesto package on social care.

The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the pair’s departure bought the PM some “breathing space” following 24 hours of recriminations after the Conservatives lost their overall majority.

He said the two were so close to the PM that critical MPs believed that, unless they made way, she would not be able to change her leadership style to adopt a more “outgoing, inclusive, responsive, empathetic approach”.

Mrs May has said she intends to stay as prime minister and on Saturday evening it was announced her party’s chief whip had agreed an outline deal “in principle” with the DUP of Northern Ireland, which would see the unionist party support the Tories on key votes.

Mr Timothy and Ms Hill both stepped down amid mounting pressure on Mrs May to overhaul the way No 10 worked and broaden her circle of advisers.

Announcing his resignation on the Conservative Home website, Mr Timothy urged Tory MPs to “get behind” Mrs May but said nothing should be allowed to get in the way of the process of forming a government and beginning Brexit talks.

He said the Conservatives’ failure to win was not due to a lack of support for Theresa May and the Conservatives but due to an “unexpected surge” of support for Labour.

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Who were the PM’s special advisers?

Fiona Hill: Fiercely loyal and seen as a formidable operator, Fiona Hill was at Mrs May’s side for four years at the Home Office, becoming a close confidante of the then home secretary. A former Sky News and Scotsman journalist in her 40s, she led work on the Modern Slavery Act and published her own report on the subject.

She was forced to resign as Mrs May’s special adviser in a 2014 dispute with Michael Gove over who was to blame for briefing newspapers about an increase in extremism in schools. But she was brought back into the fold when Mrs May became PM.

Nick Timothy: The bearded Brummie is the son of a steelworker, who went to grammar school and joined the Conservative Party at the age of 17. He is credited with influencing the PM’s views on social mobility and the need to put the Conservatives “at the service of working people”.

His ambition to be a Conservative MP was reportedly thwarted by David Cameron, following a row over special advisers being asked to canvass in a by-election.

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He conceded his party had failed to communicate a sufficiently “positive” message to voters and address their concerns over years of austerity and inter-generational divisions, including over Brexit.

“We were not talking to the people who decided to vote for Labour,” he said.

He defended the party’s “honest and strong” manifesto, saying controversial proposals to use the value of peoples’ homes to fund domiciliary care costs had been discussed in government for months and were not his own personal “pet project”.

But he added he took “responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme” and “I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care”.

Theresa May: ‘Let’s get to work’

Ms Hill said it had been a pleasure to serve in government and she believed Mrs May would continue as prime minister.

Norman Smith said he understood that senior Conservatives had warned the PM they would instigate a leadership contest at a meeting of backbenchers early next week if the pair did not leave, and were confident they could get the required 48 signatures to trigger a contest.

One former minister, Anna Soubry, welcomed the clearout, saying it was the “right thing to do” and saying the PM must “build a consensus” on Brexit and other issues.

But Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said the PM’s advisers had “taken the fall” for her but tweeted the PM was “responsible for her own defeat”.

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12 YEARS AFTER BREAKING UP WITH EX WIFE JENNIFER ANISTON, BRAD PITT SAYS SORRY FOR ALL THE HURT HE CAUSED

Reports have emerged that Brad Pitt is making amends with his ex-wife, according to Life & Style mag, despite Jen’s best friend, Chelsea Handler, saying the actress ‘doesn’t care’ about what is going on with Brad.
People just can't get over Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as the rumour mill goes into mad
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston back in 2001 (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images).

A source told the site: ‘Brad apologised for all the heartbreak.

‘He doesn’t usually open up like that, but through therapy and recovery, he’s learned to express his feelings.

‘He addressed all the hurt he caused her.’

Jen’s bezzie Chelsea Handler says the actress ‘doesn’t care’ Jennifer Aniston (Picture: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Glamour Magazine)

Despite Jen’s bezzie telling You Magazine: ‘I don’t think Jen cares about what’s going on and it’s crazy that people think she does.’

However, the Life & Style insider went on to claim that Jennifer was ‘really won over by his apology’.

The source explained: ‘A new era has begun for them.’

However, Jen’s priority can only be focusing on her marriage to actor Justin Theroux whom she wed last year.

 

Meanwhile a second insider said: ‘She was incredibly receptive to the amends he was making. She told him she forgives him and to focus on the future.’

Let’s all just take a deep breathe and try and let go because frankly Jen just don’t care.

Brad and Jen split in 2005 after five years of marriage.

Shortly after they split Brad and Angelina Jolie, who met on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith in 2005, began dating.

After Angelina filed for divorce from Brad in September 2016 citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ Brad revealed he was seeing a therapist.

He told GQ magazine: ‘You know, I just started therapy. I love it. I love it. I went through two therapists to get the right one

MARS RECALLS CHOCOLATE BRANDS IN SALMONELLA POISONING FEAR

Galaxy bars, Minstrels and Teasers are being recalled after testing found potential salmonella infections in the chocolates’ ingredients.

The recall was announced Friday June 9, after routine testing picked up the bug.

According to the NHS salmonella symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

On average, it takes between 12 ando 72 hours for symptoms to develop after swallowing an infectious dose and usually last for four to seven days.

Most people recover without treatment.

Those who become seriously ill may need hospital care because the dehydration can be life-threatening.

A spokesman for Mars, which owns the brands, said: “Through our routine testing, we have detected the potential presence of salmonella from the ingredients used to make our chocolate.

He added: “We are working closely with the relevant food safety authorities and our customers to ensure that the affected products are no longer available for purchase.”

Mars has said that people should avoid eating the recalled products while refunds can be arranged by contacting the company.

He said: “This precautionary recall has been initiated with the best interests of our consumers at heart and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“No other brands or varieties of chocolate, pack formats, bar sizes or best before dates are affected.”

In total, the company said, a small amount of the below packaged units could potentially be affected.

The retrieval, Mars added, was to ensure the confidence and safety of our consumers.

For the full list of recalled products see below.

News Shopper:

EVERY LONDON BRIDGE ATTACK VICTIM WHO MADE IT TO HOSPITAL HAS SURVIVED THEIR INJURIES

Every victim of the London Bridge attack who made it to hospital has survived their injuries, it is being revealed today.

The astonishing achievement saw medics being praised for their skill in dealing with  so many critically ill patients.

This revelation came as it also came to light that the ISIS terrorists had at least four petrol bombs and 14 jerry cans used to store fuel in their rented van at the time of Saturday’s attack.

They planned to torch a busy pub or restaurant with revellers trapped inside, according to sources close to the investigation.

But their plot was thwarted by a “people’s army” of brave Britons who took them on unarmed, possibly saving hundreds of lives and many of them sustaining serious injuries in t he process.

Twenty-one of the 48 who were admitted to five hospitals were initially classed as “critical” and the number of lives saved is being seen as testament to the success of London’s major trauma centre network, which ensures the most seriously ill patients get immediate world-class care.

The fact trauma doctors in the capital see so many “penetrating injuries” due to the knife crime epidemic meant they were able to put previous learning into practice, the Standard was told.

Hospital doctors also praised the “outstanding and brave” emergency response from London Ambulance Service and the improved first-aid skills of police and public at the scene which helped keep victims alive.

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Survivor: Brett Freeman was one of dozens of people to be injured

King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill and The Royal London in Whitechapel, which received the bulk of the casualties, said all their patients had survived.  NHS England confirmed that apart from French national Xavier Thomas, 45, whose body was found in the Thames, all seven other fatalities were at the scene.

By midday yesterday 29 victims were in hospital, 10 in critical care. St Mary’s in Paddington, St Thomas’ in Lambeth and UCLH in Bloomsbury were others to receive casualties.

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Roy Larner was in a pub with friends when the attackers

Duncan Bew, clinical director of the major trauma centre at King’s, operated throughout Saturday night and into Sunday and said: “It was very challenging but what we have trained for.

“Getting there early to receive them [on admission to the emergency department] was the key, or it would have been different. The vital role of public and professional first responders in the chain of survival at the scene is a very significant factor, and they should be praised. No one died who got to hospital.

“We had 15. Some arrived in police cars or vans that ‘scooped and ran’ people from the scene. That decision saved lives. London Ambulance Service also did a fantastic job faced with significant personal risk.”

Sunday Express business editor Geoff Ho treated in intensive care after being stabbed in the neck as he confronted the attackers. He tweeted from his hospital bed yesterday urging people to vote.

Football fan Roy Larner is also out of intensive care after being treated for wounds all over his body as he fought off all three attackers with his fists after declaring: “F**k you, I’m Millwall.”

Brett Freeman, who was stabbed four times and described as a “warrior”, is now home in Dagenham, according to the friend who photographed him in hospital. But doctors warned that some patients face weeks in critical care.

Dr Tom Hurst, a consultant in major trauma at King’s, said there was often a “long tail” in the need for treatment. He was on the scene as a London’s Air Ambulance medic but not called into action, and was back on shift at King’s on Sunday after a few hours’ sleep.

He said: “We made eight to 10 intensive care unit beds available, most of which were needed. The incident has this really long tail. There are a handful of patients, maybe four or five, who [will need intensive treatment for] more than a week, perhaps many weeks.”

Police investigating the attack today arrested a 29-year-old man in Newham on suspicion of terrorism offences. Four men remained in custody. It has emerged that a gym in Ilford raided by officers yesterday had been reported to police two years ago over fears  jihadists were being trained there.

Terrorists Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30 and Youssef Zaghba, 22, met outside Ummah Fitness Centre five days before the attack. Butt worked at the gym and Zaghba was known to exercise there.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the local Pakistani Christian Organisation, told the Times a man who ran gym classes there had boasted to him about “training jihadists”.

Dr Hurst and fellow clinicians are doing the Three Peaks Challenge this weekend in aid of the critical  care appeal at King’s. Visit here for details.

TORY PARTY SPOKESPERSON SAYS MAY HAS JUST 6 MONTHS IN DOWNING STREET BUT TWO THIRDS OF PARTY MEMBERS THINK SHE SHOULD RESIGN NOW

Theresa May was today set to name the rest of her top team as a bitter civil war threatened to engulf her party.

The PM has positions to fill in her government after a humiliating election in which the Conservatives shed seats as Labour made stunning gains across the country.

In London, two ministers were ousted in Battersea and Croydon Central as blue constituencies turned red.

Eight MPs short of a majority, Mrs May now has limited room for manoeuvre after her presidential-style campaign left senior figures keen to pin the blame on the party leader.

Amid reports that senior Tories were sounding out potential replacements for Mrs May, prominent Conservative MP Heidi Allen said the Prime Minister had six months at most left in Downing Street.

Former minister Anna Soubry called on Mrs May to sack her joint chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, after she complained about their central roles in the campaign.

The PM has already confirmed that key names will keep their jobs in her new government, which is set to be propped up by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

After speculation the PM would use a solid win in the election to move Philip Hammond from the Treasury, he and other potential successors as Tory leader, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, remained in place.

With Brexit Secretary David Davis and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon also staying put, there were suggestions changes could just centre on replacing the eight ministers who lost their seats as the Tory Commons tally fell to 318.

Mrs May’s decision to seek a deal with the DUP, and the role of her two closest advisers in the faltering election campaign drew criticism in Tory ranks.

 

Meanwhile, it has emerged that almost two thirds of Conservative Party members believe Theresa May should resign and trigger a leadership contest as the Prime Minister looks to shore up her minority Government by appointing ministers to her new Cabinet today.

A snap survey conducted by the Conservative Home website revealed that 60 per cent of party members believe Mrs May should quit while just 37 per cent of the 1,500 members who took part said she should stay in post.
Mrs May has been left clinging onto power after a disastrous set of general election results which saw her party lose its majority with senior Tories believed to be taking soundings over whether she needs to be replaced.  Party sources suggested Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and David Davis were being sounded out as possible replacements.
Mrs May has refused to quit despite calls from her opponents as members of her own party criticised her campaign and suggested she should consider her position.
The Conservatives finished the election with 318 seats, eight short of the 326 needed for a majority, and she is now pursuing a deal with the hard-line Democratic Unionist Party and its 10 MPs to ensure she can pass legislation through a hostile House of Commons.

CROYDON GUN TOTTING KILLER ON MOTORBIKE SHOOTS VEHICLE PASSENGER IN THE HEAD

A young man has died after he was blasted in the head by a gun-toting killer on a motorbike in south London, police say.

Detectives think the 24-year-old was sitting in the passenger seat of a Volkswagen car which was being driven down Wellesley Road in Croydon when the attack happened.

A motorcyclist with a pillion passenger pulled up alongside the car and shots were fired at the vehicle.

The car driver, who suffered minor injuries, took his stricken friend to hospital.

He died on arrival after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, police say.

A large section of the street, a main road through the town centre, was cordoned off by officers as they investigated the scene.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 10.06pm on Friday, 9 June, to reports of a shooting in Wellesley Road, Croydon.

“Six minutes later, officers were notified that a 24-year-old man had been taken to a south London hospital suffering a gunshot injury to his head. He died upon arrival at the hospital.”

He said: “Croydon town centre is usually very busy on a Friday night and detectives are appealing for anyone in the area who witnessed the shooting or the events leading up to the incident to contact them.

“No arrests have been made and enquires continue.

“Local road closures are in place and members of the public are advised to avoid the area to enable police to conduct a full examination of the crime scene.”

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Crimes in the capital by masked moped and motorbike gangs is on the rise. Recently, reports were made of criminals on bikes snatching mobile phones and handbags. Also coming in are reports of acid being sprayed on or thrown at drivers stopping at traffic lights. This new incident is the latest of cimes by bike riderd although no link has been made to any of the other crimes. This could very likely be an isolated incident and not a randon attack like the other crimes.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8721 4054, dial 101, or tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit thewww.crimestoppers-uk.org website.

AMERICAN PROGRAM OFFERS RAY OF EDUCATIONAL HOPE TO BRILLIANT BUT UNDERPRIVILEDGED NIGERIAN STUDENTS

A helping hand for study opportunities have finally come the way of highly intelligent Nigerian students willing to further their education in any American college, but had been constrained from following their dreams by their financial circumstances. This assistance has been made available to brilliant Nigerian students through EducationUSA Opportunity Funds Program (OFP) offered by United States Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria. it is a program designed to identify determined, talented, low-income students in Nigeria who only require financial resources and access to information to better their educational future in American colleges.
The Press Statement reads that “There are many determined and talented, low-income students in Nigeria who only require financial resources and access to information to better their educational future. For the 11th year, the United States Embassy, Nigeria seeks to identify academically qualified and highly motivated, low-income students in Nigeria to join the EducationUSA Opportunity Funds Program (OFP).”
OFP’s mission is to assist talented and determined, low-income students who are good candidates for financial assistance from United States (U.S) colleges and universities but lack the financial resources to cover the up-front cost of obtaining admission.
The statement further states that “OFP works closely with students through regularly scheduled meetings and seminars to assist them throughout the application process to secure admission and scholarships to attend colleges and universities in the United States. OFP finances the cost of the application process, including registration fees for required standardized examinations and provides free membership to the U.S. EducationUSA Advising Center for its participants. OFP expects a sincere commitment from the students to give their energy and time to the program so that they may achieve their dreams of study in the United States.”

Applicants MUST visit U.S Embassy
On steps to be taken by Nigerian students, “Applicants are welcome from all the states in Nigeria. However, students must be able to reach our offices in Abuja or Lagos on a monthly basis during the program for full participation. Participants will work with our EducationUSA Advisors from June 2017 – August 2018 to try to secure places and financial assistance to begin study in the U.S. in August 2018.”
There is a caveat in the statement which reads that “Entrance into this program is no gurantee of a scholarship or financial assistance to study in United States.”

 

SELECTION CRITERIA
So what are the selection modules to be used to select these Nigerian students? “The selection of finalists for OFP is highly competitive, given limited funding, “We look for applicants with: Strong academic record/ transcript, Robust participation in extracurricular activities, Involvement in leadership roles, Excellent community service participation.”
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
The statement displayed on U.S Embassy & Consuate official website says: “Undergraduate Applicants– If WAEC results are not available; the student must be currently in SS3. If WAEC results are available, they must be from May/June WAEC.

Students who have already started a University education are NOT eligible to apply.”

 

HOW TO APPLY
Prospective undergraduates and graduate students are to send an email to AbujaEducationusa@state.gov or LagosEducationusa@state.gov to request an electronic undergraduate or graduate application form.”
Fill out the document and send with the following attachments to our email.

  • Undergraduate Applicants:  Attach a copy of your WAEC “O” Level results (from WAEC website). Include Cambridge A’Level or IGSCE results if applicable or available. Request a teacher or your school principal to complete a letter of recommendation form, attesting to your character, talent and skills. Please do not include a basic testimonial that does not talk about you as an individual. Send also a scanned copy of your transcript from JS1 to SS3 including your mock and first term results, if possible
  • Graduate Applicants: Attach a copy of your Final year results and degree results (if available) First Class only (STEM majors preferred). Provide the details of a lecturer, professor, or Head of Department (HOD) that we can contact to find out more about you.”
    Include a scanned copy of your transcripts that show a GPA of 4.5 or above on a 5.0 scale.

Essays:
Expectedly, the statement says: “Write two essays, one from Group A and one from Group B, each of about 250– 300 words. The essay topics will be on the application form you receive. (Essay topics will be found on the form). Send a scanned copy of any relevant supplementary certificates of achievement. NOTE: Please send all documents to AbujaEducationusa@state.gov or LagosEducationusa@state.gov as attachments with proper titles e.g. “Femi King Transcript”, “Femi King WAEC” etc.

 

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE- JUNE 16, 2017

 

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