News Daily: 'Months' to rescue cave boys and LGBT+ survey

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Cave group face long wait

Image copyright Thai Navy SEAL

Thailand - and indeed the world beyond - has been gripped by the story of the 12 young footballers and their coach trapped in a cave, and there was joy on Monday when they were found alive after nine days. However, it's now emerged they may have to stay underground for up to four months until flood waters recede, unless they can learn to dive. Given that would mean children as young as 11 making it through dangerous corridors of muddy, zero-visibility waters, it would be a very risky operation.

The BBC's Howard Johnson, who's been watching events at the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai, says rescuers will first battle through the still rising water to get food and other supplies to the group. Doctors will also go in to check their condition. Then work begins on a longer term plan for getting them out. What options are there? And what should you do if you find yourself trapped in a cave?

More than 1,000 people have been involved in the operation, from all over the world, but the first voice the group heard was that of Briton John Volanthen. "How many of you are there?" he asks. "Thirteen? Brilliant". You can read more about him and the two others UK rescuers.

LGBT+ experiences revealed

More than two-thirds of LGBT+ people living in the UK are afraid to hold hands in public, according to the biggest ever survey carried out by the government. Some 40% had faced abuse in the previous year. The BBC's Jonathan Blake says for many, the slogan for this year's Pride month sums up their feelings: We've come a long way, but there's a still a long way to go.

In response to the survey, the government has produced a 75-point plan, including banning what it calls "abhorrent" gay conversion therapy, appointing an LGBT+ health adviser and diversifying sex education in schools.

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When is a plan not a plan?

A new plan for post-Brexit customs will offer "the best of both worlds", according to a Downing Street source. Ministers will be asked to give it their backing on Friday after months of deadlock. However, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says questions are swirling in Westminster about whether the plan actually exists yet - not least because key ministers, including the Brexit secretary, don't appear to be involved in it.

Second thoughts about women soldiers

By Maija Unkuri, BBC News, Sakyla, Finland

For the first time since Finland's military was opened up to women in 1995, the idea has been floated of temporarily excluding them as a way of cutting costs. "We have to find savings somewhere," said Defence Minister Jussi Niinisto. A couple of days later, after a heated debate, he rejected the idea and said he didn't even back it himself. But his short-lived proposal has shone a light on the separate roles of men and women, in a country where men have to serve up to a year of military or community service from the age of 18 while women can choose.

Read the full article

What the papers say

There's more talk of cabinet "schisms" and "infighting" over Brexit. An unnamed source tells the Times the mood in Downing Street is "a bit end of days". Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Guardian reports that the government is close to raising fuel duty, ending its eight-year freeze. It would help pay for Theresa May's promise to spend an additional £20bn on the NHS by 2023, the paper says. A "CO2 bidding war" is predicted in the Daily Telegraph, as factories restart production of the gas used in food and drinks manufacture. Finally, as the heatwave goes on, the i says firefighters trying to extinguish a huge wildfire near Saddleworth Moor are appealing for donations of essential supplies. The Daily Star, though, has a different focus - fears of a potential crisp shortage caused by rising temperatures.

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If you listen to one thing today

Image copyright PA

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