Manchester United mess has been coming since José Mourinho was hired

 The Times

There comes a time in a football manager’s life when he cannot make a simple philosophical point in a press conference — not even quoting Georg Hegel, for goodness sake – without being likened to David Brent in The Office. José Mourinho is at that point right now, mockingly cast as the under-fire middle-manager retreating to his office at a paper merchant’s in Slough, swotting up on Dostoevsky so that he can come back armed with enough trivia to bluff his way through his next encounter with an overqualified temp next to the photocopier.

That is not Mourinho, though. As unspontaneous as his latest press conference yesterday appeared — “Did you read any philosopher, or in your formation you never spent time reading, for example, Hegel?” —…

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How to save the Labour Party: Jeremy Corbyn must step up and unite the faithful – and they must respect his mandate

These are frustrating times for anyone who wants to see a Labour Government. With the Tories tearing themselves apart over Brexit, communities struggling with the impact of austerity and public services buckling under the strain of cuts, this should be when Labour is giving voice to the concerns the rest of the country is singing.

Instead, it has spent its summer trying to firefight claims about anti-Semitism, bullying and intimidation.

The uneasy truce established within the Parliamentary Party after Jeremy Corbyn saw off the leadership challenge by Owen Smith in 2016 is at risk of being shattered.

The party is awash with rumours of splits and defections.

Other MPs could follow Frank Field by resigning the whip and some may try to establish a new party.

This is not a new situation for Labour.

Throughout its history, the tensions between the left and right of the party have flared up, whether it was fury at Ramsay MacDonald’s decision to form a national government, frustration at Clement Attlee’s caution or the bitter factionalism of the early 1980s.



Ramsay MacDonald’s decision to form a national government caused a stir in the Labour Party

During most of those moments, the party found a way to cling together and maintain the broad church which saw Herbert Morrison and Nye Bevan in the 1940s, and Peter Mandelson and Tony Benn in the 1990s, stay in the same congregation.

The lessons of what happened when the Labour Party did split still act as a cautionary warning for those contemplating a new party.

They witnessed the creation of the Social Democrat Party and saw the only outcome of this ultimately fruitless endeavour was to cost Labour victory in the 1983 and 1987 general elections.

Sentimentality and solidarity are intrinsic to Labour’s DNA but the situation at the moment is so dire even these strong values may not be enough to keep the party together.

It is personality rather than policy which lies at the heart of Labour’s problems. The majority of the party has embraced Corbyn’s agenda, albeit some more willingly than others.

The battles are not over the domestic agenda of renationalisation, greater redistribution and investing in our public services. The exception is Brexit where the party is still wrestling with the need to appeal to those who believe our departure is a disaster without alienating many traditional Labour voters who welcome the opportunity to regain control of our borders and thrive as an independent nation.



MP Frank Field

Other MPs could follow Frank Field by resigning the whip

While Corbyn’s stance on Brexit remains a source of frustration, there is an understanding as to why he has adopted a nuanced position, not least because this ambivalence proved successful at the general election.

The dissatisfaction with him stems from his style of leadership and the perception that he has not done enough to tackle the alleged anti-Semitism and abuse of party members carried out in his name.

Supporters will rightly point out that Corbyn has a long history of fighting racism and deplores any form of hatred, intolerance and intimidation.

They also argue that the allegations of anti-Semitism have been whipped up by a right-wing media which found its other attacks on Labour to have fallen flat.

Accusations of racism and entryism can also be levelled at the Conservatives but they receive far less coverage.

However unfair, the responsibility lies more heavily on Labour to adhere to the highest standards in order to ­protect itself from a biased press. This requires stronger leadership from Jeremy ­Corbyn.



Those opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership need to respect the mandate given to him in two leadership contests

He cannot trade on his reputation for decency and a history of fighting injustice when Jewish Labour MPs are receiving appalling and unjustifiable anti-Semitic abuse.

Nor is it sufficient to stand aside or issue only the mildest of rebukes when supporters acting in his name turn on those who are not ­unswervingly loyal to the leadership.

Equally, those opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership need to respect the mandate given to him in two leadership contests.

For Labour to win the next general election, it needs to remain that broad church that welcomes people from all sides of the party.

And the only person who can deliver that message to those trying to divide the faithful is the leader.

Aretha Franklin: Stars and fans say goodbye at emotional, seven-hour funeral

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Media caption‘Thank you, Lord, for Aretha’

Musicians, family, friends and fans have said a final goodbye to Aretha Franklin at her funeral in Detroit.

Lasting over seven hours, the memorial was both mournful and celebratory, with the crowd breaking into a spontaneous dance of praise at one point.

Focusing on Franklin’s gospel roots, the service featured music from Ariana Grande and Chaka Khan, with Stevie Wonder delivering an emotional finale.

Franklin died earlier this month of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.

Her final send-off involved 100 pink Cadillacs, a gold-plated coffin, three presidential tributes and eulogies by more than a dozen preachers.

They remembered her not just as the Queen of Soul, but as an aunt, grandmother, friend, civil rights activist and icon of black womanhood.

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Stevie Wonder: “I look forward to that time, if I’m so blessed, to be with her again.”

“The reason that we are here today is because of love. Because of how much we love this woman,” said Stevie Wonder, who led the congregation in a rendition of his song As, which carries the refrain: “I’ll be loving you always”.

“One of my longest friends has gone home,” added Motown star Smokey Robinson, who grew up with Franklin in Detroit.

“You’re going to be one of the future voices in the choir of angels,” he added, before breaking into an a capella rendition of his ballad Really Gonna Miss You.

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The singer’s hits included Respect, Chain Of Fools and Dr Feelgood

“Aretha will be influencing others literally for centuries to come,” said record label boss Clive Davis, who praised her “once-in-a-lifetime voice”.

Pop star Ariana Grande sang one Franklin’s signature songs (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman but elsewhere, the service was like a Who’s Who of gospel with powerful and uplifting performances from The Williams Brothers, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and The Clark Sisters.

Jennifer Hudson’s stirring rendition of Amazing Grace; and Gladys Knight’s version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, in particular, drew mourners to their feet, with others raising their arms in praise.

Franklin’s son Edward also sang Marvin Gaye’s Mercy, Mercy Me; while her niece Cristal remembered the aunt who “taught me bad shopping habits” and “chartered a bus so our family could go to President Obama’s inauguration”.

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Smokey Robinson addressed his comments directly to Aretha

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Ariana Grande performed (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Obama was unable to attend the funeral, but sent a speech to be read to the mourners.

“Through her voice, her own voice, Aretha lifted those of millions empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love,” read his message.

George W Bush also sent a letter to Franklin’s family; while Bill Clinton spoke from the pulpit, describing himself as an “Aretha Franklin groupie” and praising the star’s work ethic.

“Yeah, she had the voice of a generation, maybe the voice of the century… but she also worked for years when nobody was paying particular attention.”

“She lived with courage – not without fear but overcoming her fears.

“She lived with faith – not without failure but overcoming her failures.

“She lived with power – not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses.

“I just loved her.”

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AFP / Getty Images

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Jennifer Hudson delivered a passionate rendition of Amazing Grace

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Getty Images

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Aretha Franklin, pictured in 2015, died from pancreatic cancer earlier this month

Franklin’s contribution to the civil rights movement – both spiritual and financial – was honoured by Rev. Al Sharpton, who said: “She represented the best in our community and she fought for our community until the end.

“She gave us pride and she gave us a regal bar to reach. And that’s why we’re all here. We don’t all agree on everything but we agree on Aretha.”

He went on to criticise President Trump, whose initial tribute to Franklin two weeks ago said, “she worked for me on numerous occasions”.

“No, she used to perform for you,” scolded the pastor. “Aretha never took orders from nobody but God.”

At the funeral: Nada Tawfik, BBC North America reporter

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Outside of the Greater Grace Temple, there is an outpouring of love for the Queen of Soul.

Aretha Franklin fans lined up hours before sunrise to get one of the 1,000 seats open to the public for her star-studded funeral.

Many said that they never met her, but knew her intimately through her songs.

Her music continues to move this city, people on the street, in their cars and in their homes have been playing and singing her songs loudly.

In her 1985 hit single, “Freeway of Love,” Aretha Franklin sang about cruising around in a pink Cadillac.

In her honour, the streets here were filled with more than 140 pink Cadillacs that will be part of the funeral procession.

Dignitaries and legends may be attending her funeral, but it is the overwhelming admiration and gratitude of the public that underlines her impact on America.

Earlier this week, Franklin’s body lay in state at the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History – where she was dressed in a new outfit every day.

For the funeral, she was clad in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels.

Her body arrived at the Greater Grace Temple on Friday morning in the same white Cadillac that carried her father, Rev. CL Franklin in 1984; as well as civil rights activist Rosa Parks in 2005.

The singer will be buried in a 24-carat, gold-plated casket made of solid bronze.

The interior is finished with champagne velvet, and stitched with her name and her title, “Queen of Soul”, in gold metallic thread.

The funeral followed a tribute concert, starring The Four Tops, Angie Stone and Regina Belle on Thursday evening.

Speaking during the memorial service, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the concert’s riverside venue, Chene Park, would be renamed Aretha Franklin Park, so that “performers from generations to come” would be “reminded they are performing at the home of the Queen of Soul”.

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Media captionStars have marked the life of Aretha Franklin in a tribute concert in Detroit

In a musical career spanning seven decades, Franklin won 18 Grammys, and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits.

She gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

In his speech, Robinson said the star would never be forgotten.

“The world is celebrating you,” he said. “The world is mourning you. The world is going to miss you.”

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Isis recruit jailed for 30 years over plot to kill prime minister

An Islamic state recruit who planned a bomb, knife and gun attack on Downing Street in which he wanted to assassinate Theresa May has been jailed for 30 years.

Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, intended to carry out a “full frontal assault” on the gates and the door of No 10 and expected to die in the attack.

He was caught after an undercover investigation by MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI that involved handing him a fake bomb in an undercover sting. He discussed his plan with MI5 officers posing as Isis operatives online.

Rahman, from Finchley, north London, was arrested in November for planning the attack with his uncle, who had joined Isis in Syria and was killed in an airstrike. Rahman was found…

Solihull murders: Man charged over mother and daughter deaths

Raneem Oudeh and her mother Khaola Saleem

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West Midlands Police

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Raneem Oudeh (left) and her mother Khaola Saleem were pronounced dead at the scene

A man has been charged with the murders of a mother and daughter in Solihull.

Khaola Saleem, 49, and Raneem Oudeh, 22, were found stabbed to death outside their home in Solihull in the early hours of Monday.

Ms Oudeh’s former partner Janbaz Tarin, 21, will appear before magistrates in Birmingham on Saturday.

He was arrested in the Sparkhill area of the city on Thursday, following an extensive search by West Midlands Police.

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West Midlands Police

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Ms Oudeh’s ex-partner Janbaz Tarin was arrested on Thursday in Birmingham

The pair were stabbed at Ms Saleem’s home in Northdown Road, Solihull, shortly after 00:30 BST on Monday and were confirmed dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination concluded they died from multiple stab wounds.

Ms Oudeh, who has a two-year-old son, and Mrs Saleem, who has five other children, were born in Syria.

Det Insp Caroline Corfield, from West Midlands Police, said: “The response to our appeals over the last few days has been fantastic and resulted in arresting and charging Tarin.

“I would like to personally thank the community for their support.

“Our thoughts continue to remain with Raneem and Khaola’s family who have been kept fully updated by this development.”

Ms Saleem’s brother-in-law said: “The family would like to express their sincere thanks for all the police are doing to bring justice for Khaola and Raneem.

“They would also like to thank the local Birmingham community and general public for their continued help and support.

“At this time, their [the family’s] hearts go out to their loved ones who had their lives so tragically cut short and especially to the young children they left behind.

“May they soon rest in peace and may justice be done.”

Donald Trump to visit Ireland and France in November

Donald Trump will visit Ireland in November, it was confirmed on Friday. The president will also visit France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war.

The exact timing of the European trip was not announced. The leader of the Irish Labour party promised to oppose the visit.

In a statement, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said Trump’s time in Ireland would “renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations”.

In Dublin, a government spokesman said: “The Taoiseach understands that President Trump will stop in Ireland for a brief visit on his way to or from the Armistice commemorations in Paris.”

Trump’s visit will follow his short and controversial trip to England and Scotland in July. There, he was the target of huge protests and caused political uproar with remarks about Brexit and Boris Johnson and unconventional behaviour while visiting the Queen.

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In Scotland, he also visited one of his golf courses. In Ireland, the president owns the Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg in County Clare, where plans for a sea wall to combat the effects of climate change have caused considerable controversy, given the president’s professed skepticism on the issue.

On Friday the Irish government spokesman said the November visit would be “an opportunity to follow up on the issues discussed in the White House in March” with the Irish leader, Leo Varadkar, “including migration, trade, climate change and human rights issues”.

Varadkar found himself enmeshed in his own Trump-related controversy in March, after it was revealed that he called a local council about a proposed windfarm near Trump’s golf course which the president opposed.

Trump’s opposition to windfarms is well known, and was recently expressed in rambling remarks about birds at a Republican fundraiser in upstate New York.

In a tweet on Friday, the Irish Labour leader, Brendan Howlin, said his party would “join with likeminded people to oppose this visit”, as Trump “has been no friend of democracy or human rights”.

Howlin wrote: “We will always be firm friends of the American people, but Ireland will not welcome a man with Trump’s record of discrimination, sexism and lies.”

Trump will also visit Argentina in November, for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, and Colombia.

Belfast Primark fire: Blaze put out after three days

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Media captionDrone footage shows the extent of the destruction caused by the fire at the Bank Buildings

A huge fire that destroyed a Primark store in Belfast city centre has been extinguished, three-and-a-half days after it began.

The charred sandstone facade is all that is left of the historic Bank Buildings at Castle Junction.

It started near the top of the building at about 11:00 BST on Tuesday, causing the roof and floors to collapse.

The fire service said on Friday evening that the blaze had been put out after what had been a “complex operation”.

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The fire started near the top of the Bank Buildings are quickly spread through the floors

The landmark five-storey building was quickly evacuated on Tuesday morning and no-one was hurt by the fire.

A cordon remains in place around the Bank Buildings and 14 businesses that fall within it have been closed since Tuesday.

The businesses will have their rates reviewed as a result of their forced closure.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing and firefighters will remain at the scene over the next few days.

The fire service praised the crews who tackled the blaze, saying that their efforts in the “challenging incident” had been “tremendous”.

It also said it was “grateful” for the “support from the public”.

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Media captionThe landmark building was gutted by the fire within a matter of hours

The Primark store was being refurbished and extended at an estimated cost of £30m.

Firefighters were able to prevent fire spreading to the extension at the rear of the Bank Buildings.

Structural engineers have assessed the buildings amid concerns that it could collapse.

A senior firefighter said on Thursday that he was “optimistic that it could be saved”.

Design for Princess Diana’s ‘burka with a bow’ on sale

Princess Diana

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Getty Images/ RRAuctions/BNPS

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The Emmanuels designed a number of dresses for Princess Diana’s trip to the Gulf states

A design of a burka prepared for Princess Diana’s 1986 tour to the Gulf region will be auctioned in the US this month.

Other items up for auction include dress designs and fabric samples.

The pieces come from the shop of David and Elizabeth Emmanuel who designed the princess’s wedding dress.

In a letter ordering the designs for the Gulf tour, Princess Diana’s lady-in-waiting wrote: “In all cases modesty is the order of the day.”

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RRAuctions/ BNPS

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The ‘burka with a bow’

One folder from the designers is marked “The Gulf Tour 1986 Day & Evening Wear Designs”.

It contains five original hand-drawn outfit designs including:

  • A burka marked as: “H.R.H. The Princess of Wales, Visit to Saudi Arabia, Nov. 1986, Reserve Outfit”
  • A “navy and white stripe coat over white faconné dress”
  • An evening dress of “purple faconné with diamanté buttons”
  • Another evening dress in “white silk crepe embroidered with bugle beads and tiny crystals and diamanté”

The designs are offered with the associated fabric samples. The collection is being sold by a private collector, with a guide price of $30,000 (£23,000).

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RRAuctions/BNPS

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A photo of Princess Diana choosing from the designs with the Emmanuels will also be sold at an auction

The collection also includes a letter from Diana’s lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth Emmanuel in which Anne Beckwith-Smith requests designs for the Gulf tour.

Setting out requirements for the tour Ms Beckwith-Smith says: “In all cases modesty is the order of the day.”

Princess Diana and Prince Charles made a six day tour of the Gulf states – including Saudi Arabia – in 1986.

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RRAuctions/ BNPS

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A letter from Princess Diana’s lady-in-waiting requesting outfit sketches

The auctioneers said that during the trip Princess Diana “tried to conform to local customs by wearing concealing clothes but still exposed her neck and left her head uncovered”.

“Notably, she did not have to wear the ‘reserve outfit’ burka depicted in this archive.

“At evening banquets, she appeared in the long-sleeved demure dresses made especially for the tour.”

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Getty Images

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Princess Diana attending a picnic in the desert near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1986

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RRAuctions/ BNPS

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The designs will be auctioned with samples of the fabric

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RRAuctions/ BNPS

SCALLOP WARS: France and UK plan PEACE TALKS to avoid further violence

On Tuesday, French vessels rammed British trawlers off the coast of Normandy, hurling projectiles and insults in a dispute which erupted after a previous agreement broke down.

French fishermen accuse the British of unfairly catching scallops in the Baie de Seine in the summer months when French boats are banned from doing so under rules imposed by the Paris government to conserve stocks of the shellfish.

French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert told Europe 1 radio he had discussed the issue with a British minister on Thursday night and that the industry representatives would meet next week to work out an agreement.

“We both condemn the violent acts and we want to return to a spirit of responsibility,” Mr Travert said.

Mr Travert said he had asked British fisheries minister George Eustace to ensure UK vessels do not sail south of the Barfleur-Antifer line, the scene of this week’s clashes.

The industry representatives would meet in London on Wednesday and French government officials would also attend, said Dimitri Rogoff, who heads the Normandy fishing association.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said it was time for calm, for rational discussion and peaceful resolution, not conflict at sea.

“As control over access and fisheries resource changes in the next few years, it will be imperative that the rules are agreed, accepted and, where necessary, enforced,” he said.

Scallops – known as Coquilles Saint Jacques in France – are one of a handful of species whose catch is governed by national rather than European Union regulations.

While British ships have no access to French territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles (22 km) off the coast, they can legally operate in the expansive Baie de Seine between Cherbourg and Le Havre.

France bans its fishermen from scallop dredging between May 15 and Oct. 1, but Britain allows its vessels to operate year-round.

After similar clashes in 2012, French and British fishing organisations negotiated an agreement each summer under which the UK fleets do not start scallop dredging in the Baie de Seine before the French, in exchange for part of the French fishermen’s dredging permits.

But small British vessels were excluded from that agreement. The French say the British have undermined the spirit of the deal by sending more and more small vessels. In protest, the French have not signed any agreement this year.

British fisherman face losing access to EU waters after the country leaves the bloc next year, in the absence of any deal.

Rogoff said that ahead of Brexit, British fishermen had increased scallop trawling, risking wiping out the seafood during their breeding season.

“The British scallop harvest has grown more than tenfold in the past decade, they now catch more than we do,” he said, adding that by the time the season opens in October there are few scallops left for the French fleet.