A Malaysia Airlines flight has crashed into water near Vietnam’s Tho Chu island, says Vietnamese state media. Malaysia Airlines said earlier it had lost contact with a plane travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The airline says it is "currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft".
PUTIN MOCKS WESTERN DIPLOMACY
Vladimir Putin insists he does not want a “new cold war” but is threatening to turn off European gas supplies. Through his official spokesman, the president said the West’s diplomatic activity “puts a smile on our face”. Meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the US not to take "hasty and reckless steps".
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REFORM INTRODUCED
A scheme that allows people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence has been introduced in England and Wales. The initiative is known as Clare’s Law – named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009. It allows police to disclose information on request about any record a partner has of domestic violence.
LAWRENCE DEMANDS ‘DECISIVE ACTION’
The mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence is demanding “decisive action” from the Metropolitan Police chief after a report concluded officers had spied on her family. Writing to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Baroness Lawrence described the latest revelation as a “devastating blow”. The Met chief has vowed to win back public trust.
NIGEL FARAGE FACES FUNDING PROBE
Ukip is facing an official inquiry into allegations of abuse of party funds, says The Times. Party staff were told to send invoices for work done in Britain to a European organisation. According to a whistleblower, this meant the money was diverted back to the party headquarters, in contravention of parliamentary rules. The growth of the party has brought greater scrutiny.
‘ONLY A MIRACLE’ CAN SAVE SCHUMACHER
“Only a miracle” can save Michael Schumacher, say reports this morning. Sources claim that doctors treating the seven-time Formula One champion have spoken to his family and “given it to them straight”. One source has claimed: “He is in a bad way but until the family issues a formal statement, we cannot publish anything."
SHOCKING DATA RELEASED ON IWD
One in three women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime, in 10 countries around the world women are legally bound to obey their husbands, and it will take 70 years at the current rate of progress for there to be an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies. These are some of the statistics published by The Independent on International Women’s Day.
TV LICENCE FEE EVASION REFORM
Dodging the television licence fee would become a civil, rather than criminal, matter under new rules backed by ministers. Non-payment of the £145.50 fee can currently leave you with a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record. Refusal to pay the fine can ultimately lead to a jail sentence. More than 100 backbenchers are supporting reform which would make non-payment a civil matter.
ISLAMISTS IN UK SCHOOL PLOT
Extremist Muslims plotted to take over non-faith schools in Birmingham. A joint investigation by the police, city council and the Department for Education found that hardline Muslims planned to infiltrate school staff and push through plans to transfer the establishments out of local authority control, with an end game of imposing Islamic fundamentalist values.
WENGER BACKS WILSHERE FOR BRAZIL
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he will do “absolutely everything” to get Jack Wilshere to the World Cup. The midfielder has been ruled out for eight weeks with a foot injury. England’s World Cup bid begins against Italy on 14 June. The Gunners face Everton today in the FA Cup quarter-final. Wenger insists the cup is “one of the priorities” of his season.