News Daily: Trump denies being racist and crisis talks for Carillion

By Justin Parkinson & Laura Lea
BBC News Magazine


Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

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Trump: 'I am not a racist'

President Trump's reported remarks during an Oval Office meeting last week about some African nations drew widespread condemnation and a call from the African Union for him to apologise. On Sunday, however, President Trump told White House press pool reporters he was the "least racist person you will ever interview".

So was Mr Trump's alleged slur actually racist? Charlton McIlwain, professor and dean at New York University, and Drew Liquerman, from Republicans Overseas, offer some contradicting opinions on the matter.

Crunch time for Carillion

Creditors for troubled contractor Carillion are due to meet government officials on Monday in a last-ditch bid to prevent the construction giant's collapse. The meeting comes as pressure grows on the government to explain why major public contracts continued to be awarded to the firm despite warnings about its financial woes. "Alarm bells have been ringing for over six months," Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said. Carillion employs 43,000 staff worldwide - 20,000 in the UK - but it has debts of £1.5bn and a £587m pensions shortfall. Without a financial restructuring, it looks set to go into administration.

Thousands struggle to access childcare on glitchy website

The introduction of 30 hours a week free of childcare was music to the ears of millions of parents, but problems with the government-run website that administers the system has left thousands frustrated. Some have been unable to pay nursery bills while their money has got stuck in tax-free childcare accounts. The government says the website is running smoothly for the majority of people. But many have ended up relying on the goodwill of nursery bosses, writes BBC education reporter Hannah Richardson.

Selling British puddings to America

By James Jeffrey, business reporter

As celebrity-backed reviews go, pudding-maker Tracy Claros got a pretty good one. A UK expat in Texas who was trying to introduce Americans to the joys of traditional British desserts, in 2008 her sticky toffee pudding was enthusiastically reviewed by Oprah Winfrey's magazine, O. The popular publication described the mixture of sponge, chopped dates and toffee sauce as "the sexiest English creation since [actor] Colin Firth". But did this help sales?

What the papers say

Concern for the future of Carillion - and the consequences for its employees and public sector contracts if it collapses - is widely covered. Why, the Mail asks, was it given £1.5bn of state contracts as it teetered on the brink of collapse? The i newspaper, meanwhile, reports that British exports to the world's most repressive regimes have risen by almost a third since Brexit, as the government "singles out arms" as a trade priority. Elsewhere, a number of the tabloids speculate on the cost of TV presenter Ant McPartlin's divorce.

Daily digest

Sexual harassment Women urged to share their stories

Brexit Scots economy 'could lose £12.7bn'

Jerusalem row Trump's actions the 'slap of the century'

'Crossbow murder’ Wanted man found dead

Top tips Last-minute advice for choosing a school

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Today Pope Francis begins a visit to Chile before travelling on to Peru.

Today North and South Korean football teams Gangwon FC and April 25 Sports Club play a match in China.

On this day

1982 The prime minister's son, Mark Thatcher, is found safe and well after going missing in the Sahara for six days during the Paris-Dakar rally.

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