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Two fishermen rescued after boat sinks off Sunderland

Two fishermen have been rescued after spending nine hours aboard a life raft when their boat sank.

The pair had been fishing in the North Sea 12 miles east of Sunderland when their boat appeared to hit a submerged object, sinking so quickly they did not have time to make a distress call.

The pair were picked up by a Dutch yacht Jager at 4.40pm yesterday, Humber Coastguard said.

The crew contacted the coastguard which arranged for a lifeboat from Hartlepool to pick up the fishermen and bring them to shore.

Labour 'run in a totally dysfunctional way'

Damian McBride, who was forced to resign as former prime minister Gordon Brown's adviser in 2009 after being linked to a plot to smear Tory MPs on a gossip website, said:

Labour currently has no clear idea who its target audience is, no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.

– Damian McBride

The former spin doctor urged Labour to acknowledge its mistakes in government and to better communicate a coherent plan for the country. He wrote:

If Labour currently has central, underlying messages that it is trying to communicate to the electorate about itself, its policies, and its leader, the best you could say at present is that it's not quite coming across.

If the message is 'We're not the Tories or the Lib Dems, and you hate them', that may work up to a point, but it won't do much for those people who would happily express their antipathy by voting for Ukip or just staying at home, let alone those who hate Labour as well.

– Damian McBride

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McBride: Labour policies 'are a steaming pile of fudge'

Ed Balls and Ed Miliband come under attack from Gordon Brown's former adviser.
Ed Balls and Ed Miliband come under attack from Gordon Brown's former adviser. Credit: PA

The Labour Party is being run in a "totally dysfunctional" way with policies that amount to "a great steaming pile of fudge", according to a former party spin doctor.

In an apparent attack on Ed Miliband's leadership, Damian McBride warned that the party has a problem in communicating positive messages to voters and that its policies either do not stand up to scrutiny or "go unnoticed in the pub".

In an updated version of his memoirs, serialised in the Daily Mail, Mr McBride said Mr Miliband should position himself as an outsider like Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage rather than an establishment politician directed by PR advisers.

High Streets 'adapting' to changing consumer demands

Britain's High Streets may be enjoying a rejuvenation after a wide ranging study found town centres were adapting to the demands of modern consumers with more convenience stores.

Read: Convenience store openings offset dwindling High Street

High Street
The British High Street had been in the throws of long-term decline. Credit: PA

A long-term investigation into British shopping habits from researchers at Southampton University, found the definition of convenience had changed for consumers.

Convenience retail on high streets, both independently and corporately owned, experienced significant growth over the past 15 years which was sustained during the economic crisis and subsequent period of austerity, the report finds.

Modern shoppers were more inclined to see convenience as topping up their groceries on a daily basis, rather than buying everything bulk by visiting an out-of-town shopping centre, the report said.

Read: 'Biggest drop in shoppers' on the High Street in a year

Hamas leader's house and TV stations targeted in Gaza

Overnight:

  • Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the house of Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh
  • Eleven people were killed in a strike on a house in the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza City
  • Hamas said that its broadcast outlets Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio were targeted
  • A number of rockets fired from Gaza were launched toward various regions in southern and central Israel, including the Tel Aviv area. No casualties or damage were reported.
The target of an Israeli strike smoulders at a port on the Gaza coast.
The target of an Israeli strike smoulders at a port on the Gaza coast. Credit: ITV News / Sean Swan

Five Israeli soldiers killed in tunnel attack near Gaza

Gaza militants who crossed into Israel via a tunnel killed five Israeli soldiers in a gun battle near the community of Nahal Oz close to the border with the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said.

"(The) soldiers were killed during combat when terrorists attempted to execute an attack using a tunnel shaft, which led from the Gaza Strip to Nahal Oz. The soldiers thwarted the attempt by identifying the squad and neutralising one of the terrorists," the military said in a statement.

The incident on Monday raised to 10 the number of military fatalities for the day.

Fifty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on Gaza on July 8 In which almost 1,100 Gazans, mostly civilians, have died in the conflict.

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PM: You can't come to UK to get something for nothing

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, David Cameron said:

We changed the rules so that no-one can come to this country and expect to get out-of-work benefits immediately; they must wait at least three months.

And we are announcing today that we are cutting the time people can claim these benefits for.

It used to be that European jobseekers could claim JSA (jobseeker's allowance) or child benefit for a maximum of six months before their benefits would be cut off, unless they had very clear job prospects... we will be reducing that cut-off point to three months, saying very clearly: you cannot expect to come to Britain and get something for nothing.

Taken together, this is about building a different kind of Britain - a country that is not a soft touch, but a place to play your part; a nation where those who work hard can get on.

– David Cameron

PM to limit migrant benefits to three months

European immigrants will only be able to claim benefits for three months unless they have serious job prospects under plans outlined by David Cameron.

The Prime Minister insisted the change would make it clear to migrants that they cannot get "something for nothing" in Britain and further address what he claims is the "magnetic pull" of the benefits system.

The PM says he wants to get rid of a "something for nothing" culture.
The PM says he wants to get rid of a "something for nothing" culture. Credit: PA

The plans will build on changes announced in January that mean European migrants have to wait three months after arriving in Britain before claiming out-of-work benefits.

After that three months, migrants will now only be able to claim benefits for three months unless they have "very clear job prospects" - a cut from the six months of claiming announced in January.

Union: Tribunal fees 'are victory for UK's worst bosses'

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said:

Employment tribunal fees have been a huge victory for Britain's worst bosses.

By charging up-front fees for harassment and abuse claims the Government has made it easier for bad employers to get away with the most appalling behaviour.

Tribunal fees are part of a wider campaign to get rid of workers' basic rights. The consequence has been to price low-paid and vulnerable people out of justice.

– Frances O'Grady

Employment tribunal fees see claims drop 80%

Introducing fees for employment tribunals has been a "huge victory" for the country's worst bosses and has led to a collapse in the number of claims, according to a new report.

The TUC said women and low-paid workers had been worst affected since the Government brought in fees of up to £1,200 last year.

The total number of claims had fallen by 79%, but there had been an 80% cut in sex discrimination claims, while cases of unpaid wages and holiday pay were down by 85%, a study found.

TUC boss Frances O'Grady said the introduction of tribunal fees were a victory for bad bosses.
TUC boss Frances O'Grady said the introduction of tribunal fees were a victory for bad bosses. Credit: PA
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