British ash trees 'virtually finished' as killer fungus spreads

From the Sunday papers: ban imports to save woods, David Miliband back on political frontline

LAST UPDATED AT 10:54 ON Sun 4 Nov 2012

THE NUMBER of sites infected with the killer 'ash dieback' fungus that threatens Britain's 80 million ash trees has doubled in the space of a week, reports The Sunday Telegraph. Chalara fraxinea, which kills trees by making their leaves die, has now been found at 52 locations. The Sunday Times reports that the British ash tree is "virtually finished" and says scientists are calling for imports of other woods including oak, pine and plane to be banned to stop other tree diseases from coming into the country...

DAVID MILIBAND is back on the political frontline after joining forces with his brother, Labour leader Ed Miliband, to back plans for a "living wage" of at least £7.20-an-hour. In an article for The Observer Miliband and Dave Prentis, general secretary of the public service union Unison, came out in favour of an "hourly rate of pay that allows workers to earn enough to provide them and their families with the basics of a decent life". The paper says that David's backing of the Labour campaign shows that relations between the Milibands are now thawing after the 2010 Labour leadership election, which was narrowly won by Ed...

THE TALE of a recovering heroin addict and a stray cat from north London could be the next box-office pet sensation, says The Sunday Times. Busker James Bowen's book, A Street Cat Named Bob, about his relationship with a stray ginger tom he found under a stairwell in his block of flats in 2007, has sold 250,000 copies since it was published in March. Bowen, who was discovered busking with Bob outside Angel Tube station, is already writing a sequel and is now in talks with a Hollywood agent about bringing the book to the big screen...

THE Mail on Sunday has details of the Tory rebellion over Europe that saw David Cameron lose a Commons vote on the EU budget last week. The paper says a senior cabinet minister almost quit his post to side with the rebels, a move that "would have split the Tory Party in two and,  ultimately, could have brought down Mr Cameron". In the end, MP Mark Reckless told the paper, the minister elected not to leave the government to become leader of an anti-EU faction in the Conservative party. Reckless also claimed that Chancellor George Osborne supports his calls for a cut in the EU budget and had tried to persuade Cameron to back the idea. He said Osborne had "no strong belief" in Cameron's position...

MASS MURDERER Fred West had a secret love child, the result of a liaison with a Butlin's chalet maid, reports the Sun on Sunday. Dean Barry, 33, only found out about who his real father was after his mother saw West on TV when he was arrested on murder charges in 1994. Barry's mother Lyn had a fling with West while he was on holiday with his wife, Rose, at Butlin's in south Wales. West hanged himself in 1995 while on remand charged with 12 murders...

SCOTTISH soul singer Emeli Sande was the star of the show as she scooped three prizes at the Mobo Awards on Saturday night reports the Independent on Sunday. Guest of honour, Dione Warwick, was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony in Liverpool. London rapper Plan B won two awards, including best male act. Sande won the best female, best album and best R&B/soul act awards...

TWO SENIOR Conservative figures were named during an investigation into child abuse at children's homes in north Wales in the 1990s, but their idenities were protected by a judge, reveals The Sunday Telegraph. The paper says there are now calls for the allegations to be re-examined in the light of the Jimmy Savile scandal, and one of the alleged victims has asked for a meeting with David Cameron. The politicians, including a confidante of Margaret Thatcher, were named in evidence to the Waterhouse inquiry in 1997, but the judge said the claims they took part in abuse were "fantasy"... 

X-FACTOR hopeful Lucy Spraggan has quit the show after missing a second week through illness. But the Sun on Sunday reports that she has already been invited back to appear in the show's live final and is on track to make a fortune after receiving offers from "major labels". However, she is unlikely to be offered a berth on the X-Factor tour next year. Fellow contestant Rylan Clark bid her farewell during last night's show interrupting his performance to shout: "This one's for you, Spraggan, I love you."...   

INTERNATIONAL Development Secretary Justine Greening is set to slash Britain's controversial £280m-a-year aid budget for India by as much as half. The Mail on Sunday says the move comes amid mounting criticism of the government's overseas aid programme, which could cost as much as £12bn a year by 2014. But the paper also says that money no longer earmarked for India will be diverted to other nations rather than spent domestically. · 

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