Peake excitement

British astronaut Tim Peake blasted off on Tuesday morning from Kazakhstan on a six-month European Space Agency mission to the International Space Station. He’ll be the first Briton to visit the station and the country is just beside itself, in a very British way.

and, never one to miss a marketing trick…

And as always, the Daily Mash gets to the crux…

“Man says ‘f**k you’ to careers advisor who claimed ‘astronaut’ not a proper job”

***

WORLD

A BBC reporter’s flight over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea made for some dramatic footage, and revealed the extent of Australian surveillance flights in the area surrounding China’s artificially-created island airstrips.

On the eve of tonight’s CNN Republican debate, a Monmouth poll shows Donald Trump with his biggest lead yet over the rest of the field, and breaking 40 per cent for the first time (even if a week ago, he wasn’t sure what a “monmouth” was…)

Meanwhile…

 

 

Climate deal ‘best chance to save the one planet we’ve got’

UPDATE:

observer

but not everyone is convinced…

Earlier – World waits on climate change agreement

The Paris conference on climate change has been extended into Saturday as delegates attempt to negotiate a deal on carbon emissions targets and, crucially, how paying for such an agreement would unfold. The BBC writes that French foreign minister Laurent Fabius “said he was confident of presenting the final draft early on Saturday morning.”

***

WORLD

The first opinion polls after Donald Trump’s “ban muslims” comments showed his lead solidifying.

***

BUSINESS

***

JOURNALISM

***

CULTURE

***

SPORTS

Uefa boss Michel Platini lost his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with Fifa officials apparently suggesting that he would be banned from football for a lengthy period.

The ruling means Platini will not be able to attend the draw on Saturday in Paris for next summer’s European Championship finals.

Britain ‘won’t ban Trump’

The British government said it would not take steps to ban Donald Trump from entering the country after more than 300,000 people signed a petition urging them to do so on grounds of promoting “hate speech”. The GOP front-runner compounded his recent statements on muslims entering the US by saying that there are areas of London that are “so radicalised the police are afraid for their lives”.

Senior police officials rejected the assertion, although somehow the Daily Mail was able to find some differing opinions..

London Mayor Boris Johnson responded that:

“I think he’s betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States”

before giving this great soundbite:

Meanwhile, coverage in the US of Trump’s latest pronouncement has become significantly more acute.

The New York Daily News continued its recent run of stunning fronts:

As Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post writes, the Philadelphia Daily News “goes there” in its front page.

Trump did pick up some support, though…

The Concord Monitor, in the early primary state of New Hampshire, run a WaPo story saying that what’s happening “isn’t chaos, it’s a campaign strategy.”

Trump uses his Instagram account, which has more than 650,000 followers, to deliver snarky messages and short videos of him scowling as he delivers pronouncements from his Trump Tower desk. On Twitter, Trump’s 5 million followers can keep up with his next appearance (“Will be on ABC News tonight at 6:30 pm”) and new poll numbers (“Just won IOWA CNN Poll BIG”). Trump has posted more than 6,000 tweets since launching his campaign in June.

***

WORLD

(with a brilliant cover painting by Belfast artist Colin Davidson, incidentally..)

***

BUSINESS

The Bank of England monetary policy committee meets on interest rates on Thursday morning. Reuters writes:

All 52 economists in a Reuters poll believed the Bank will announce on Thursday that it is keeping its benchmark lending rate at 0.5 percent, where it has sat since early 2009 when Britain was in the grip of the financial crisis.

Interesting approach to hiring here…

***

SPORTS

The BBC reports that French authorities are investigating the IAAF’s award of the 2021 World Athletics Championships to Eugene, Orgeon; hometown of Nike.

Arsenal and Chelsea will join Manchester City in the knockout stages of the Champions League. The draw for the last 16 will be held on Monday afternoon. The Gunners needed to win by two clear goals in Greece on Wednesday and were seen home by Olivier Giroud’s first hat-trick for the club.

giroud

‘An ever-escalating torrent of outrages..’

Trumpstatement

Aware that controversial statements in the recent past have made his poll numbers rise, Donald Trump came out with – yet another – breathtaking headshaker on Monday.

Democratic adviser David Axelrod called Trump’s campaign “..an ever-escalating torrent of outrages.” while other candidates went further:

But of course, the circus as ever cries out for its clown..

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post finally folded on it’s “entertainment” label for the Trump campaign.

Trump’s statement followed widespread criticism from the right of President Obama’s response to last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, which the FBI is investigating as a terror attack. Both the New York Post and, rather more crudely, Fox News left their audiences in little doubt what they thought.

obama

***

WORLD

Following the weekend’s knife attack at a London tube station, a man appeared in court charged with attempted murder. Meanwhile, “You ain’t no Muslim. Bruv” was trending on Twitter after the widespread video of the incident went viral.

but then…

and inevitably,

There is much analysis of the outcome of the weekend’s elections in France, which saw a strong performance by the right-wing Front National.

In northern England, 40,000 homes are still without power after yesterday’s floods, with more rain apparently on the way.

Mirror(Daily Mirror/Tomorrow’s Papers Tonight)

***

BUSINESS

Oil prices hit another new recent low in the wake of Opec’s meeting on Friday.

times(The Times/Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

***

CULTURE

An architecture collective won this year’s Turner Prize for a project regenerating the streets of Liverpool.

The Eagles Of Death Metal returned to the stage in Paris, as guests of U2.

***

SPORTS

Michel Platini’s appeal against his 90-day ban from football will be heard tomorrow by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The hearing, which could see the ban upheld and Platini effectively ruled out of seeking the Presidency of Fifa, comes the day after a BBC Panorama special on world football’s governing body and its current President Sepp Blatter, by veteran investigative journalist Andrew Jennings.

Watch on iPlayer here.

 

Shooting rampage at California health facility kills 14

At least 14 people were killed and several wounded on Wednesday after two people were understood to have attacked a local social services center in San Bernardino, California. The two heavily-armed shooters, a man and a woman, were later killed in a gunfight with police.

A motive for the attack remains unclear.

***

WORLD

After a 10-hour debate in parliament on Wednesday, British lawmakers voted to extend existing military action – specifically air strikes – against ISIS in Iraq into Syria. Hours after the action was approved, RAF jets attacked oilfield facilities inside Syria.

***

CULTURE

***

SPORTS

 

The rise and rise of the Trumpire

So, we haven’t looked in on the Republican primary for a while…

And, maybe that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile…

or maybe not…

and then…