Newspaper headlines: Brexit passports and police 999 calls

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Newspaper headlines: Brexit passports and police 999 calls


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A European firm could make British passports after the UK leaves the EU, according to the Daily Telegraph. Gemalto is thought to be signing a contract to make the blue passports – which is considered a symbolic gesture of the UK leaving the EU – after undercutting other firms, including a British company, by about £50m.

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Advertisers have threatened to abandon Facebook as the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica continues to unfold. British advertising group IBSA, which represents 3,000 brands, has demanded answers and added that companies like Unilever and P&G would not tolerate an association with Facebook if it emerges users’ data found its way into the hands of brokers and political campaigners.

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The Guardian reports police forces are taking days to respond to 999 calls that should be dealt with in an hour. The worst performing forces are West Midlands, Great Manchester and South Yorkshire, according to a report on HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue. Labour claims the findings of the report show that cuts to police budgets have left the service at breaking point.

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A pay rise for NHS workers is the lead story in the Metro, with some staff receiving a pay rise of up to 29% over the next three years. Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Rarely has a pay rise been so well deserved for staff who have never worked harder.” The paper also has a picture of TV presenter Ant McPartlin attending Kingston police station on Wednesday, where he was charged with drink driving.

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The i also leads on news of the NHS pay rise, which is expected to cost the Treasury about £4bn. Newly-qualified nurses will get an extra 12.6% under an agreement with unions and the government. It adds that the end of the pay cap in the NHS has led teachers to demand a salary boost.

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The Daily Express highlights comments made by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson about Vladimir Putin, amid growing diplomatic tensions over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Salisbury. On Wednesday Mr Johnson likened the way President Putin is promoting the World Cup in Russia to Hitler’s notorious use of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

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The Financial Times leads on news that the US Federal Reserve lifted short-term interest rates and forecast rates as its new chairman Jay Powell responds to stronger economic growth at home and abroad. In domestic news the paper claims Cambridge University “resorted to external arbitration” with Dr Aleksandr Kogan, the academic who developed a Facebook survey which was used to harvest the data of 50 million users in work for Cambridge Analytica. The article says academics raised questions about the use of Cambridge University research to develop an app which could be used commercially.

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The Daily Mirror leads with news that Saturday Night Takeaway presenter Ant McPartlin has been charged with drink-driving after being arrested in south-west London on Sunday. The paper says the 42-year-old star was checked into rehab on Wednesday evening.

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Lincolnshire Police is giving police officers two “yoga days” a year to beat stress, the Sun reports under the headline “bend coppers”. Pictures of Ant and Dec are also prominent on the front page.

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Declan Donnelly will present the final two episodes of this year’s Saturday Night Takeaway as McPartlin suspends his TV commitments for the foreseeable future. The paper adds about 200 audience members will be flown out to the USA for one of the final shows.

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