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News Daily: Leaders in TV showdown, and Mourinho is new Spurs boss

By Rob Corp
BBC News


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Brexit and NHS dominate leaders' TV debate

As expected, the live TV face-off between the two main party leaders boiled down to this general election's big issues - Brexit and the NHS. The first half of the primetime showdown on ITV was dominated by the UK leaving the EU, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he wanted to get a majority in the Commons so his Brexit deal could pass and Britain would be out by 31 January. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his plan was to renegotiate with the EU, keeping the UK in the customs union and closely aligned to the single market - adding voters would get the final say on that deal.

The two also debated the National Health Service. Mr Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of "selling our NHS to the United States and Big Pharma". The prime minister responded by saying there were "no circumstances" in which the health service would be on the table in any trade negotiations with the US.

Other issues which came up during the hour-long programme included trust in politics and the Royal Family.

Our political editor, Laura Kuenssberg's verdict on the debate was that Mr Johnson didn't throw away his poll lead, while Mr Corbyn didn't manage to close the gap. But she was also taken by how the ITV audience was prepared to laugh at both men's statements.

The other party leaders weren't included in the debate. The Scottish National Party's Nicola Sturgeon was "not impressed at all" by either man. Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats said their performances were "bluster and diversion". Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage criticised Mr Corbyn's position on quitting the EU.

There was also criticism of the Conservative Party for rebranding its Twitter account as "factcheckUK" during the debate. The genuine fact-checking group Full Fact said it was "inappropriate and misleading", while Twitter itself said any "further attempts to mislead people by editing verified profile information... will result in decisive corrective action".

We've done our own fact-check of what was said last night - you can read it here. You can also read the five things we learned from watching the debate, and if you didn't manage to catch it, here is our three-minute highlights package.

Mourinho to Spurs

Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is making a return to English football, after being named as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur. He will take over from Mauricio Pochettino following the Argentine's sacking on Tuesday night. While Pochettino led the north London side to the Champions League final during his five years in charge, the board sacked him after a string of poor results, saying it was "in the club's best interests". Mourinho, who has signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season, said he was excited by the quality of players in the Tottenham squad and academy.

Millions 'missing out on NHS dentistry'

Access to NHS dental services is a problem across every English region, BBC research suggests. More than two million people are unable to see a NHS dentist, according to the figures, while an estimated 1.45 million have tried and failed to get an appointment in two years. Dental leaders say the problem is caused by underfunding, failed contracts and recruitment problems. NHS England says it is taking steps to tackle the issue and is urging patients to use its website to find a local health service dentist.

Why do billions of people still not have glasses?

By Tim Harford, presenter, 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

Historically, the World Health Organization has collected data on people who have really serious problems with their vision only. Many more can see well enough to muddle through daily life but would still benefit from spectacles. But how many? The world's leading lens-maker, Essilor, decided to find out, one assumes not for entirely selfless reasons.

In 2012 came the answer: around the world, some two and a half billion people need glasses and don't have them. That's an eye-popping figure, but serious people think it's credible.

What the papers say

The TV showdown between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn is the lead for most of Wednesday's papers. The Daily Mail and Daily Express accuse the Labour leader of failing to say nine times what his Brexit stance is. The FT considers Mr Johnson to have "survived" the duel, as a snap poll afterwards suggested viewers thought he had won the debate by 51% to 49%. The Times says that means the two leaders are "neck-and-neck", with the i remarking that neither man landed any "killer blows". Here's our full review of the papers.

Daily digest

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If you watch one thing today

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On this day

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