The Tories will promise to eradicate illiteracy within a generation, says The Times. Michael Gove, the education secretary, is said to be keen to include the bold commitment in the Conservative Party manifesto for the next general election. In a speech to a think tank, he will outline his plan to save lives that are "wasted" due to a lack of basic skills.
HILLARY BOOK FUELS SPECULATION
Hillary Clinton has distanced herself from President Obama over Syria in another move seen as evidence she is planning to run for the White House. In an advance extract of her forthcoming memoir, Hard Choices, she writes that she favoured intervention and the arming of moderate Syrian rebels. Hard Choices will be published next week.
‘MONSOON BRITAIN’ FACES LASHING
Britain faces half a month’s rain in just one hour today as severe weather warnings are issued covering much of the country amid fears of flooding. Some parts of the country could see between 0.8in (20mm) and 1.2in (30mm) of rain fall in an hour today. The thundery rain is expected to start in the morning, with downpours unlikely to clear up until the evening.
CAN POROSHENKO BRING PEACE?
Petro Poroshenko is to be sworn in as president of Ukraine, shouldering hopes that his appointment could help put an end to deadly fighting in the east of the country. The 48-year-old tycoon briefly met with Russian president Vladimir Putin yesterday. However, fighting continues in the country, with pro-Russian rebels reportedly shooting down government aircraft.
BBC SLAMMED FOR MOUNTBATTEN JOKES
A BBC radio comedy which made fun of the IRA murder of Lord Mountbatten has been described as “obscene” by critics. Lord Tebbit, whose wife was paralysed in the IRA attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton, said the Radio 4 show Blocked, which was co-written by comedian Frankie Boyle, was typical of the BBC’s “arrogance”.
HEALTH: CAN FAT HELP YOU LIVE LONGER?
A few extra pounds on your body may help you to live longer, claims a new book. In The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier, Dr Carl Lavie writes that “fat is not always the devil”. While treating patients for heart failure he noted that those who were overweight or obese were living longer than thinner people with the same problems.
SOVIETS BANNED VILLAGE PEOPLE
An official Soviet guide in the 1980s declared the music of the Village People to be “violent”. Alongside the camp five-piece on the blacklist were Tina Turner, Madness, and Kiss. The solo singer Julio Iglesias also featured, dubbed a “neo-fascist”. Donna Summer, meanwhile, was slammed for the “eroticism” of her music.
RISE OF WHITE VAN WOMAN ‘A MYTH’
The proportion of women in manual trades such as plumbing, building and plastering is still worryingly low, say industry campaigners. Despite the perception that the ‘white van woman’ is on the rise, the Women And Manual Trades organisation says only around one percent of people in skilled trade occupations are female.
CIA JOINS TWITTER WITH A QUIP
The CIA has launched its Twitter account with a clever quip. “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet,” read the first post from the account yesterday afternoon. Twitter quickly verified the account of the nation’s intelligence service with a blue tick. Within hours the account attracted over 300,000 followers.
NADAL KNOCKS OUT ANDY MURRAY
Rafael Nadal has knocked Andy Murray out of the French Open. The Spanish eight-time champion beat Murray 6-3 6-2 6-1 to set up a final against Novak Djokovic, who defeated Ernests Gulbis in four sets. This means the world’s top two players will meet at Roland Garros for the third year running. Wimbledon fortnight begins on June 23.