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News Daily: Police funding criticised and Barnier's Brexit 'optimism'

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Policing pressures

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Whitehall's spending watchdog has accused the Home Office of failing to understand the impact of funding cuts on police forces - or the struggle officers are facing to maintain an effective service. The National Audit Office called the approach "ineffective" and "detached", and said ministers didn't actually know whether the system was "financially sustainable".

The NAO found officers taking, on average, four days longer to charge suspects now than in years past - something our home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani says is an indication of workload rather than rising crime - and there's less "proactive work", such as motorway stops of dangerous drivers and breathalyser tests. Here Reality Check explains what exactly has been happening funding-wise.

The Home Office insists it does understand the pressure on policing, and later today, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will tell police superintendents he is doing all he can to support them. However, the president of their body will tell the same conference that many forces are "on the verge of crisis".

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Deal 'is doable'

Theresa May's critics have been coming up with lots of reasons why her Brexit strategy - the so-called Chequers plan - is doomed to fail. However, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has now injected a note of optimism, saying agreement on a future UK-EU relationship is possible by early November if both sides are "realistic". He said there were "many, many points of convergence" - although he did warn that the UK's proposals for trading relations were a direct challenge to the founding principles of the EU.

BBC Europe editor Katya Adler said Mr Barnier's more upbeat tone showed Brussels was aware of Mrs May's domestic political troubles and "planned to throw her as much of a lifeline as possible". Those troubles most recently took the form of warnings of a Conservative Commons rebellion against the Chequers plan. Our political editor Laura Kuenssberg says the government's plan is Keep Calm and Carry On - and hope, in the end, that MPs will vote in favour of whatever deal is reached because the alternative - no deal - is a more scary option.

Read our at-a-glance guide to the Chequers plan, and here, see a breakdown of the key dates looming in the Brexit timeline.

Arch enemies?

Great Britain's railway arches are home to a wide range of businesses from cafes and car repair shops to gyms and micro-breweries. Now though, Network Rail is selling off those sites - along with the rest of its commercial property portfolio - raising £1.46bn to help fund railway upgrades. Tenants say they fear their rents will rise or that they'll be forced out altogether.

Serena Williams and 'angry black women'

By Ritu Prasad, BBC News

The "angry black woman" trope has its roots in 19th Century America, when minstrel shows mocking African Americans became popular. Blair Kelley, associate professor of history at North Carolina State University, says black women were often played by overweight white men who painted their faces black and donned fat suits "to make them look less than human, unfeminine, ugly". "Their main way of interacting with the men around them was to scream and fight and come off angry, irrationally so, in response to the circumstances around them," she says.

Read the full article

What the papers say

The smiling face of Alastair Cook leaving the field for the last time as an England cricketer appears on many front pages. In terms of stories, many lead with Michel Barnier's somewhat upbeat Brexit prognosis. The i calls his intervention "Operation Save Theresa", but warns that any deal still faces "sabotage" in the House of Commons and around Europe. The Daily Express sees it slightly differently, calling it a "shock climbdown" by the EU's chief negotiator. The Times reports that the prime minister has sent her ministers on a "final drive" to sell her Chequers agreement to her "divided party" ahead of the Conservative conference later this month. Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror reports that Debenhams could shut up to 80 of its shops in the "latest blow" to the British high street, with an expert telling the paper that the department store is "knackered".

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Lookahead

09:30 Latest UK unemployment and earnings figures published

20:00 England play Switzerland in a friendly at Leicester's King Power Stadium

On this day

1978 Writer and broadcaster Georgi Markov dies, four days after being stabbed with a poison-tipped umbrella at a London bus stop

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