Tony Blair says the 2003 invasion of Iraq is not to blame for the current crisis gripping the country, describing the idea that the two are connected as “bizarre”. Writing on his website, the former PM said: "We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that 'we' have caused this. We haven't." Instead, he argues, the violence is a “predictable” effect of inaction in Syria.
WORLD CUP: ENGLAND LOSE 2-1 TO ITALY
England were defeated in their opening tie of the World Cup, losing 2-1 to Italy. A header from Mario Balotelli just after the interval sealed Italy’s victory after Daniel Sturridge had equalised Claudio Marchisio's fine strike. Although England received praise from many pundits for their performance, they now go into Thursday’s clash with Uruguay desperately in need of victory.
TAX BOMBSHELL TO HIT MIDDLE CLASS
Soaring house prices and the recovering economy are set to force tens of thousands more people above the death tax threshold, says the Sunday Telegraph. In what is being described as a middle-class bombshell, the number of families hit with inheritance bills will rise by a third this year as more people are forced over the £325,000 threshold for paying the duty.
PM: BRITS SHOULD BE ‘MUSCULAR’
UK residents should stop being “bashful” about being British, says David Cameron. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the prime minister says the people of this country should be “far more muscular” in their championing of values and institutions. He says that “division” and “extremism” have flourished as pride has declined.
POLL REVEALS FAITH SCHOOL DISQUIET
Some 58% of British voters say taxpayers’ money should not be used to fund faith schools, says a new poll. The research, for The Observer, also found that 60% believe faith schools promote division, and 41% feel they are contrary to the promotion of a multicultural society. Fewer than one in three (30%) said they had no objections to faith schools being funded by the state.
80 ARRESTS AFTER ISRAELI BOYS DISAPPEAR
The Israeli army says it has arrested 80 Palestinians as part of efforts to return three Israeli teenagers who are thought to have been kidnapped from the West Bank. Israel believes the three boys have been snatched by a "terror group". The army has launched an "intensive operation" to find the two 16-year-olds and one 19-year-old.
FIFA IGNORED QATAR TERROR WARNING
Fifa bosses ignored a warning that the lives of fans and players would be put at risk if the World Cup is held in Qatar, says The Sunday Times. A report handed to Fifa just 17 days before Qatar was chosen stated there is a “high risk” of a terrorist attack shutting down the entire event. Qatar was the only one of the nine countries bidding which carried such a level of risk.
‘100 KILLED’ BY PAKISTANI JETS
Pakistani fighter jets have killed as many as 100 militants in air strikes against their hideouts in the north-west of the country. The strikes were in a stronghold for Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants, in the mountainous Dehgan area in North Waziristan. This was the second set of strikes in the region following an attack by the Pakistani Taliban on Karachi airport last Sunday.
POPE DITCHES ARMOURED CARS
Pope Francis says he is ditching his bulletproof ‘popemobiles’. The armoured vehicles were introduced after the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. “It is true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose,” said Pope Francis. “I know that something could happen to me, but it's in the hands of God.”
ALLIGATORS ‘INVADE’ LONG ISLAND
An ‘invasion’ of alligators is causing panic in Long Island, claims the Daily Star on Sunday. Up to 20 adult alligators have been found on the island over the past year. It is believed the animals had been kept as exotic pets before being dumped when they became too much for their owners. Last weekend an alligator was caught “after almost chewing off the finger of a curious local”.