Communications systems on board the missing Malaysian Airlines plane were deliberately disabled, says Malaysia’s prime minister. Najib Razak said new evidence, based on satellite and radar tracking, is “consistent with the deliberate action of someone on the plane”. The investigation is "now entering a new phase", he said, focusing on the crew and passengers on board.
GOVE: PM’S ETONIANS ‘PREPOSTEROUS’
Michael Gove says the prominence of Old Etonians in David Cameron’s inner circle is “ridiculous” and “preposterous”. The education secretary said: “I don’t know where you can find some such similar situation in a developed economy.” He compared Cameron’s team with that of former prime minister Robert Gasgoyne-Cecil, who was criticised for nepotism and cronyism.
MOSCOW: CRIMEA IS OUR FALKLANDS
The Crimea is our Falklands – that was the message of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday. Warning that Moscow is ready to use force to keep its hands on Crimea, he insisted the Kremlin has a “right” to invade the east of the country. “The Crimea means immeasurably more to Russia than the Falklands means to Britain,” he said.
EU CITIZENSHIP ON SALE FOR £150K
European Union citizenship is on sale in Bulgaria for £150,000, says the Daily Telegraph. Undercover reporters were told that a Bulgarian passport could be legally obtained without living or working in Bulgaria. Agents brokering the deal said even someone with a criminal record can qualify for Bulgarian citizenship under the scheme.
WILL OSBORNE EASE TAX BURDEN?
George Osborne will ease the tax burden on middle-earners by promising to raise the 40p rate threshold, says The Times. The chancellor is also expected to help the less well-off by increasing the personal allowance to £10,500 in the budget. He has been facing pressure after it emerged this week that more than a million extra workers will be paying the higher rate next year.
CRESSIDA ‘NOT READY’ TO WED HARRY
Cressida Bonas is not ready to marry Prince Harry, says the Daily Telegraph. Her two recent public appearances with Harry have swelled speculation of an imminent royal engagement, but she has told her close friends she is not ready to settle down. “People talk to her all the time about Harry and she gets quite cross and says ‘I don’t want to get married yet’,” said a friend.
BRIT SCOOPS £107.9M EUROMILLIONS PRIZE
A British ticket-holder won a jackpot of £107.9m in last night’s Euromillions draw. The prize was the fourth biggest figure won by a UK winner in the history of the National Lottery. The winning numbers were 6, 24, 25, 27 and 30, with the lucky star numbers 5 and 9. Based on the Sunday Times Rich List for 2013, the lucky winner will be the 745th richest person in the UK.
WEST BROM SACK NICOLAS ANELKA
West Bromwich Albion have sacked “unprofessional” Nicolas Anelka after the ever controversial French striker announced he was quitting the club. Anelka announced on Twitter he was leaving “with immediate effect” after he and WBA failed to reconcile their differences over his quenelle gesture. The club said later that Anelka’s termination was “invalid”.
FRESH BIN LADEN RAID CLAIMS EMERGE
US navy seals fired hundreds of bullets into the dead body of Osama bin Laden, claim special operations sources. A report says that “operator after operator took turns dumping magazines-worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body” during the 2011 raid. It is also alleged that this bombardment is the reason the US government never released photos of the terror chief’s body.
CAN MAN CITY GET BACK IN THE RACE?
Manchester City hope to reignite their title bid during the lunchtime kick-off at Hull today. After exiting the FA Cup and Champions League over the past six days, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are keen to secure the three points which would take them into second place. Leaders Chelsea face Aston Villa in the teatime kick off. Chelsea have gone 14 Premier League games unbeaten.