Live by the sword…?

Amid a lack of certainty or official clarification, British Prime Minister David Cameron reacted this morning to news of the possible killing in a US drone strike of the terrorist known as “Jihadi John”.

The Guardian reports that “the debate over the legal basis for targeted killings remains confused.”

What has confused debate about the legal basis for targeted killings is that the UK’s permanent representative at the UN has given an alternative justification, explaining that the attack was justified by the right of collective self-defence of Iraq – a conflict the UK is supporting at the request of the Baghdad government. Changes to the ministerial code, which removed references of the need for ministers to respect international law, have further fuelled suspicions.

And the basis for these strikes, as well as the existence of an alleged “kill list”, is coming under scrutiny from a newly launched parliamentary inquiry.

Meanwhile..

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ISIS, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for yesterday’s suicide bomb attacks in Beirut which killed more than 40 people.

A key meeting is scheduled for this weekend in Vienna to help decide the political future of Syria. Naturally, no Syrians are invited.

The ‘turning point’ for Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination has been predicted so often in past weeks and months that it would seem unwise to do so again. Yet the combination of three stories in the past 48 hours may indicate that a tipping point may have been reached.

This weekend sees the 30th anniversary of the Anglo-Irish agreement.

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BUSINESS

After yesterday’s warning by the Bank of England’s chief economist that 15million jobs could be lost to automation, there’s some number-crunching over which jobs and how soon.

The FT writes:

“Technology appears to be resulting in faster, wider and deeper degrees of hollowing-out than in the past. Why? Because 20th century machines have substituted not just for manual human tasks, but cognitive ones too. The set of human skills machines could reproduce, at lower cost, has both widened and deepened.”

Roughly 15m jobs in the UK, notably those including administrative, clerical and production tasks, could be at risk of automation, Mr Haldane said.

But he added: “To bring that down to planet earth, no one any time soon is, I think, going to choose a robot to cut their hair.”

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SPORTS

The IAAF decides today whether to ban Russia as a result of this week’s WADA report on doping. But the pressure continues to build on IAAF President Lord Coe.

Protests greet Modi’s London visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in London for talks with PM David Cameron, who is under pressure to raise freedom of speech issues with his guest, while widespread street protests are under way.

The Guardian writes that:

Modi will visit the Queen, stay at Chequers and address a joint session of parliament. The Red Arrows aerobatic display team will mark his presence with a fly-past over Westminster, and the visit culminate in a concert and fireworks display at Wembley stadium, billed as an “Olympics-style” reception.

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Meanwhile, over at FIFA…

EU approach to refugee crisis ‘must focus on human rights’

European and African leaders are in Malta today for a two-day summit on the refugee crisis, with Amnesty International warning that strategies for addressing the situation must focus on human rights rather than mobility.

It is the biggest-ever summit held on the Mediterranean island.

Meanwhile, the all-too pressing nature of the problem remains sadly obvious in the daily headlines.

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Speaking of refugees, one candidate at last night’s GOP debate had a pretty clear solution..

But that was in the apparently meaningless “undercard” warmup encounter. In the main event there seemed to be no clear winner – rather, a clear loser.

In Portugal, a step towards ending austerity.. or, er, not?

German chancellor Angela Merkel – now the EU’s longest-serving leader – says David Cameron’s demands on EU reform might be manageable. Others, predictably, aren’t so sure.

And a German leader of the past died. Helmut Schmidt, leader of West Germany from 1974 to 1982, was 96.

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BUSINESS

The latest UK unemployment numbers are out.

In that context, it’s worth thinking about the amount of unpaid work in the economy – particularly carers.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Chancellor George Osborne appeared at an Open Forum this morning on trust in financial institutions.

https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/664371692274393088

meanwhile…

Betamax, the technically superior technology that lost out in the format wars, will finally bring down the curtain in March 2016. Which means, yes, said curtain is still up, somehow…

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and, closing this particular loop, perhaps unsurprisingly…

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Finally, at the going down of the sun….

The never-closer union

Negotiations over Britain’s position within the EU are set to begin after Prime Minister David Cameron outlined his criteria for reforms that would be acceptable to ensure continued membership.

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President Obama’s executive order on immigration was ruled unconstitutional, so its implementation was halted.

GOP presidential hopefuls are preparing for their second debate on the economy, set for Fox Business tonight.

Some of the trailing candidates appear increasingly desperate. If Jeb Bush was the front-runner, for example, instead of dropping in the polls, you have to ask would he even have answered this question?

But hey, in what passes for intellectual debate..

In serious news, meanwhile…

Uh-oh. If it turns out there are actually grain silos in there, we might all be sorry.

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BUSINESS

Forget Black Friday, it’s Singles Day tomorrow.

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A journalism professor is under fire in the wake of upheaval at the University of Missouri.

Sea World is changing the nature of the Orca shows at its San Diego park.

Big sale last night in New York.

And there I was thinking I was just getting funnier as I got older…

The dying Star Wars fan got his final wish.

Finally,

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SPORTS

Russia could be banned from athletics worldwide – including next year’s Rio Olympics –  after a damning report by the anti-doping body that alleged widespread irregularities.

The IAAF will meet at the weekend to discuss its next steps, while a supplementary part of the WADA investigation will be released next month.

Eleven-time champion jockey Pat Eddery died, aged 63.

https://twitter.com/Spaasn/status/664051683815727104 

 

Myanmar’s military-backed ruling party ousted in landslide

After a half-century of military rule, results from the weekend’s election in Myanmar indicate a near-landslide for the opposition National League for Democracy party,  led by human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is herself constitutionally barred from becoming President.

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DEVELOPING:

The Irish and British prime ministers meet in London on Monday with the expectation that an agreement may be close to re-animating the Northern Ireland Assembly. The meeting comes after David Cameron summoned the leaders of the DUP and Sinn Fein to talks over the weekend to try to resolve an impasse over various issues, which has left the province’s devolved government limping along for the past few weeks.

But Irish PM Enda Kenny might have other things on his mind…

Cameron meanwhile, is set to spell out tomorrow his requirements for reforms he says are necessary for Britain to stay in the EU.

It was an eventful Remembrance Sunday for Jeremy Corbyn, as the Labour leader got into a public back-and-forth with one of the country’s top military officers over Trident, and found himself attacked for – maybe – not bowing low enough at the Cenotaph.

In the US, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits President Obama – the first time they have talked face-to-face in more than a year.

One year from election day, meanwhile, the race to be lobbied by Netanyahu continues its steady path to weirdness, as Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live..

.. while the story surrounding the man who appears to be his chief rival for the nomination, Ben Carson, is getting increasingly bizarre as he has been – as the Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple says – “utterly blindsided by media scrutiny.”

But all of this is probably music to the ears of the executives at Fox, ahead of Tuesday night’s next round in the ongoing miniseries that is the GOP debates.

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BUSINESS

Today is the CBI Conference and during his speech, David Cameron found himself heckled by two – apparently teenaged – anti-EU protesters.

Meanwhile, the government is set to announce a new prison-building program, which will see nine new “self-financing” prisons – five in the next five years – funded in part by selling off the old inner-city victorian prison buildings.

EU ministers meet today to discuss the state of the steel industry.

A cabin crew strike at Lufthansa led to the cancellation of a thousand flights.

Sometimes, there’s a very fine line between reality and satire – or just clever brand advertising.

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Last night was, apparently, the end of the latest series of Downton Abbey. A lot of people watched it. That’s all I can tell you.

Ever wondered when the phrase ‘creepy as all get out’ is totally appropriate?

Sigh…

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SPORTS

Athletics is braced for the release of a major doping report, which is said to have significant implications for Russian athletes and their governing body.

Baseball’s off-season maneuverings get under way with the start of the GMs’ winter meetings.

Chaos as tourists try to leave Egyptian resort

There was widespread confusion in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday after authorities cancelled a number of flights out of the local airport, leaving stranded passengers frustrated as they wait for so-called “rescue” flights to bring thousands of tourists out of the area.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the suspension of his country’s flights to the region until the cause of last weekend’s crash is established. Separately, Turkish Airlines cancelled all flights to the area for Friday and Saturday.

and, if their situation wasn’t bad enough…

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One step at a time, there, ma’am…

How many fingers am I holding up…?

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We’ve all been there…

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Egypt, Russia push back against airliner ‘bomb’ claim

As Prime Minister David Cameron hosts Egyptian President Sisi, Egypt and Russia are pushing back against British statements that a bomb was likely responsible for the downing of the Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula last weekend.

mail(Daily Mail/Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

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The fault…lies not in our stars, but in ourselves

Twitter managed to upset the Twitterati by springing a “hearts for stars” switcheroo.

It wasn’t universally loved.

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Britain’s home secretary Theresa May is set to spell out the details of the Investigatory Powers Bill – the so-called “Snooper’s Charter”- covering the limits of online surveillance.

Meanwhile…

In the US election outlook, more polling that’s pretty meaningless this far out…

Having said that, though, folks certainly seem to be interested.

And even more folks might get a say.

News of an historic meeting set for the weekend.

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And talking of emissions… VW shares are off sharply in wake of the latest news

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If it’s Wednesday, it must be another investigation of a sporting official.

A good night for the Manchester clubs in the Champions League, with City qualifying for the knockout stages after winning 3-1 at Sevilla, and Wayne Rooney ending the red half’s recent drought, scoring the only goal against CSKA Moscow to take United top of their group.

A city united? Ah, baseball…

Former England cricket captain and MCC chairman Tom Graveney died aged 88.

German football under investigation

The German football federation and some of its leading officials are reported to be under investigation over suspicion of tax evasion, possibly connected to Fifa’s award of the 2006 World Cup finals.

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In Berlin, meanwhile, British chancellor George Osborne is set to spell out exactly what Britain wants out of Europe. Basically, a never-closer union.

In the wake of Osborne’s boss, PM David Cameron, apparently backing down over plans for the UK to bomb Syria, there seems to be a possibility of progress in talks following a nudge from the Russians.

graun(The Guardian/Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

As for the US, President Obama says the boots aren’t really on the ground. Or they’re not boots. Or something along those lines.

Meanwhile, in what seems like an echo from a bygone time, one of the figures responsible for encouraging the US to invade Iraq died.

As investigations continue into the Sinai air disaster, with reports of a ‘heat flash’ detected by satellite at the time of the crash, the plane’s black boxes have been recovered.

There are local elections in the US today.

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Bad news for workers at a local tyre plant here in Northern Ireland.

Still early, but this could well be the read of the day…

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MEDIA

The New York Times has apparently begun its search for a successor to publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

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Russian airliner ‘disintegrated at high altitude’

Speculation continues into what caused an Airbus A321 operated by a Russian tour company to crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula at the weekend, with the loss of 224 souls.

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Elections in Turkey appeared to reinforce the position of President Erdogan and his governing AKP party.

But there was caution as to what might lie ahead…

In the US, wrangling continues among Republican candidates ahead of their next televised debate, on FOX next Wednesday night.

Robert Costa of the Washington Post, meanwhile, had a fascinating account on his timeline of Sunday night’s bartering between the respective campaigns.

Former Republican Presidential hopeful and Law and Order stalwart Fred Thompson died.

Australia decided it will be doing away with Knights and Dames. Not literally, though, just the titles.

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Also – is the apple watch really in trouble?

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So it was pretty foggy this morning.

Silver lining among the clouds:

https://twitter.com/theodelaney/status/661224840960057344

Hmmmm… swipe right?

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One premier league team is about to get a new boss…

but the media still seems obsessed with the travails of another

mourinho(Daily MirrorTomorrow’s Papers Today)

In Game Five of the World Series… well, probably best to let the New York papers tell the tale…

newsday dailynews

Best sporting story of the weekend, though was the aftermath to New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup Final victory over old rivals Australia.