News Daily: More Anti-Russia action and Labour anti-Semitism row

By Victoria King
BBC News


Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image source, EPA/ Yulia Skripal/Facebook
Image caption, Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain critically ill

Australia backs anti-Moscow action

Russia may deny involvement in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but the international community's condemnation continues nonetheless. Australia is the latest country to announce it is expelling Russian diplomats, and while the number thrown out may be small - just two - the strength of the language used by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is striking and uncompromising. "We will not tolerate this reckless undermining of international law, this reckless assault on the sovereignty of nations," he declared.

Russia has vowed to retaliate, just as it has with other nations who've already taken this step following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

The BBC's Jonathan Marcus calls the show of international solidarity "remarkable". He says Russia perceived Britain as weak and increasingly isolated, the EU as distracted, and the Trump administration as off-balance and compromised by the president's curious unwillingness to castigate Moscow, but President Putin may have made a serious mistake.

It all has echoes of 1971, when Britain expelled 105 Soviet officials linked to espionage. That move hit Moscow's intelligence capability hard, but what will the impact of the current expulsions be? Our security correspondent Gordon Corera gives his thoughts.

Labour anti-Semitism row rumbles on

"Root it out, completely, 100 per cent." That's the message on anti-Semitism from former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair to the party's current leader Jeremy Corbyn. His intervention came after hundreds of protesters gathered in Parliament Square demanding action too. For his part, Mr Corbyn has apologised for "pockets of anti-Semitism" and vowed to do more.

The anti-Semitism row is complex to say the least - here's how it unfolded - and the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg says some of Mr Corbyn's most ardent supporters continue to believe it is simply the latest attempt to undermine his leadership, rather than a genuine concern. But, she adds, the distress felt by many in the Labour movement about what's been happening is real.

Grammar school success 'down to privilege'

The scramble to access a grammar school place is a familiar annual sight, but now research suggests they are no more or less effective than other schools once the ability and social background of pupils is taken into account. Academics at Durham University found the "apparent success" of these wholly selective schools was down to the brighter and more advantaged pupils they choose to admit in the first place. The government says it believes grammars do boost achievement for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and it is right to be working to widen access. But the lead academic for the study argues they "endanger social cohesion for no clear improvement in overall results".

Should Trump be worried about Stormy Daniels?

By Jon Sopel, BBC North America editor

In Washington we move from story to story with lightning speed. Everything is here today gone tomorrow. I honestly struggle to remember which story I covered two days ago, such is the breathless pace. Stormy Daniels has been in the news for weeks now.

It may not affect the Trump core of supporters. But the 52% of white, college educated women who voted for him in 2016? The evangelicals? The independents? Old-school Republicans? There are important mid-term elections coming up in November, remember.

What the papers say

The mass expulsion of Russian diplomats is the lead for most. "World unites against Russia" is the headline in the Daily Express, and the Daily Mirror has "Putin the pariah". The Daily Telegraph says the unprecedented show of solidarity outstripped even Downing Street's expectations. The demonstration by Jewish groups against anti-Semitism within Labour is the other big story. The Daily Mail says the sight of so many MPs from both sides of the Commons showing their support was remarkable. The Times carries a warning from senior MPs that the row could "destroy" the Labour Party. The Jewish Chronicle says the protest included a broad section of the community, who responded to the call at only 24 hours' notice.

Daily digest

Madeleine hunt Police granted more funds for search

Buying Viagra What you should know about the little blue pill

Ball tampering What is it and why is it so serious?

'Greatest Dancer' Simon Cowell to make first show for BBC

If you watch one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

Image source, National trust / John Miller

If you read one thing today



10:30 Cambridge Analytica "whistle-blower" Christopher Wylie gives evidence to a committee of MPs investigating the issue of "fake news".

20:00 England continue their World Cup preparations as they take on Italy in a friendly at Wembley.

On this day

1977 At least 560 people die after two jumbo jets collide on a runway in Tenerife - ultimately, the crash was blamed on one of the pilots who hadn't checked if he was clear for take-off.

From elsewhere

Related Topics