Pressure on Blatter to step down
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has come under renewed pressure to resign before tomorrow’s planned leadership election after the darkest day in its scandal-strewn history ended with a slew of senior officials being arrested on suspicion of corruption.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke last night insisted Mr Blatter “has to go as Fifa president,” while former England striker Gary Lineker said “enough is enough” and called on the presidential elections to be postponed.
The comments came as US investigators blew the lid on “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption inside Fifa.
EU referendum question revealed
Voters will be asked if the UK should “remain a member” of the European Union when they go to the polls for the in/out referendum, Downing Street has confirmed.
The wording of the question that will appear on ballot papers means supporters of Britain retaining its ties to Brussels will form the “Yes” campaign.
Details of the question and a commitment to staging the popular vote by the end of 2017 are contained in a Bill introduced into Parliament as David Cameron embarks on a whirlwind diplomacy tour across Europe to garner support for his plans to renegotiate Britain’s relations with the EU.
David Miliband’s warning to Labour
David Miliband has warned the Labour Party has been sent “back to the classroom for the second time in five years” after their crushing defeat in the general election.
The former foreign secretary has previously said “deep and honest thinking” is required after his brother Ed led Labour to its worst election defeat since 1983.
In comments that will add to speculation he plans a return to British politics, Mr Miliband said he was part of a Labour team that won elections rather than lost them.
Methodist church apology for abuse
The Methodist Church in Britain has apologised for failing to protect children and adults following nearly 2,000 reports of physical and sexual abuse within the institution dating back to the 1950s.
Publishing a 100-page report today, the Methodist Church in Britain said it wanted to be open about the past and to have stronger safeguarding procedures in the future.
Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, general secretary of the Methodist Conference said: “On behalf of the Methodist Church in Britain I want to express an unreserved apology for the failure of its current and earlier processes fully to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by some ministers in Full Connexion and members of the Methodist Church.
Consumer confidence up after poll
Consumers’ confidence strengthened in May and is now close to pre-financial crisis levels, according to a report.
With the general election now out of the way, people’s economic optimism has reached the strongest level recorded since May 2014, the research compiled by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found.
The confidence index reached 115.1 in May, marking an increase of 1.5 points on April and the highest reading since May 2014. It is also the second highest reading since April 2007, the report said.
GPs are ‘slower on cancer tests’
GPs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are less likely to immediately refer people with possible cancer for tests or to a specialist than those in comparable countries, according to a survey.
Cancer survival is also higher in the likes of Australia, Canada and Sweden because of delays in referrals in the UK, the results of the international survey published in the BMJ Open show.
The study of 2,795 primary care physicians across 11 countries and regions found a relationship between the readiness of the doctor to investigate or refer for suspected cancer and cancer survival in each jurisdiction.
New chicken bug details released
The latest rates of campylobacter contamination of fresh shop-bought chickens will be published today by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
In February, the FSA reported that contamination had increased since November, with every major retailer failing to meet targets to reduce the bug.
The FSA said then that the cumulative results from the first three quarters of its year-long survey of fresh chickens found 73% tested positive for the presence of campylobacter, up from 70% in November and 59% in August.
Smoking ban ‘cuts child infections’
The number of children admitted to hospital for chest infections has dropped sharply since the introduction of the smoking ban, a major new study suggests.
Admissions for other respiratory infections including nose, throat and sinus problems has also slumped.
Researchers estimate that 11,000 children a year have been spared the ordeal of going into hospital following the introduction of the smoking ban in England in 2007.
Pussy galore! Bond must be dreaming
James Bond and Pussy Galore are to be reunited in the latest novel based on Ian Fleming’s creation.
Anthony Horowitz’s novel, called Trigger Mortis, teams up 007 with one of the most famous Bond girls of all time.
The writer revealed details of the story which will begin in 1957 two weeks after the end of Fleming’s original novel Goldfinger.
Mankini ban cuts Newquay crime
Newquay’s decision to “ban” mankinis from public areas has helped reduce anti-social behaviour and resulted in a boom for the local tourist economy, police and community leaders have said.
Officers in the Cornish town of Newquay said a “robust” attitude to inappropriate behaviour in public has helped shed its “Wild West” image as a haven for stag and hen parties, in favour of a family-friendly destination.
They say a determination to tackle anti-social behaviour such as excess drinking, public disorder and the wearing of inappropriate clothing such as mankinis – skimpy male bikini-style bathing costumes popularised by the comedy character Borat – has helped reduce crime in the town.