The disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totaling $5m (£3m) to secure the 2022 World Cup for Qatar, says The Sunday Times. The newspaper has obtained millions of “bombshell” documents which it says proves the right to host the tournament was sealed by a covert campaign by Bin Hammam, the country’s top football official.
POLL: CLEGG ‘LEAST POPULAR LEADER EVER’
Nick Clegg is the least popular leader in modern British political history, according to a new poll. The YouGov study reveals the Lib Dem’s personal rating is the lowest ever recorded by the pollster. Just 13% of voters believe he is doing a good job while 78% say he is doing badly, leaving the beleaguered leader with a rating of -65.
MERIAM ‘TO BE FREED WITHIN DAYS’
The woman who was sentenced to death for abandoning the Islamic faith is to be freed, says a Sudanese foreign ministry official. Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in custody this week, will be freed in a few days, the official told the BBC. International outrage over the death sentence had been growing in recent days.
SPECTATORS KILLED AT CAR RALLY
Three spectators were killed and six others injured following two separate crashes at a car rally in Scotland. Questions over safety have been raised after organisers at the Jim Clark Rally only abandoned the event following the second crash. Police say one woman and two men died when a car came off the road and struck four spectators.
COLLECTIVE PENSION OPTION PLANNED
Radical pension reforms will be announced on Wednesday in the Queen’s Speech, says the Sunday Telegraph. Workers will, for the first time, be able to contribute to “collective pension” funds which they will share with thousands of other members. They will pool their investments in a “mega fund” of the style used in the Netherlands.
MILIBAND FACES BACKBENCH REVOLT
Backbench Labour MPs have told leader Ed Miliband to take a tougher line on “mass migration” from Europe. In a letter in The Observer, the MPs say that the unrestricted entry of EU citizens from eastern Europe is hurting the “very communities that the Labour party was founded to represent”. The MPs include Frank Field, Kate Hoey and John Mann.
PRESENTER: BBC HQ A ‘TOXIC WASTE PIT’
The BBC’s new flagship £1bn headquarters is a “toxic waste pit” that is making newsreaders ill, claims a presenter. Staff at the building say there is a “trend of filth, human waste products and a badly built building”, according to an email sent by BBC World news presenter Peter Dobbie to the corporation’s new head of human resources.
US POW SWAPPED FOR TALIBAN FIGHTERS
America's only prisoner of war has been freed in Afghanistan in exchange for five Taliban fighters held at Guantánamo Bay. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had been released nearly five years after he was captured near the Pakistani border, announced president Barack Obama. The 28-year-old is reported to be in a good condition, but struggling to speak English.
BRING BACK ‘HOW DO YOU DO?’
The English should resurrect “how do you do?” as a greeting as it is the “only nation on the planet” lacking a straightforward ritual for greeting someone, says a social anthropologist. Kate Fox, the co-director of the Social Issues Research Centre, said: “Since 'how do you do' declined as a standard greeting we haven't known what to say.”
ROY BEMOANS ROONEY “OBSESSION"
The nation is obsessed with Wayne Rooney and should show more appreciation of the England squad as a whole, says Roy Hodgson. “It is a bit sad that the country is so Wayne Rooney-obsessed,” he said. “We also think that people like Danny Welbeck, Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana are in there to play well and help us score goals, too. That’s what a squad is about.”