Newspaper headlines: Irma ‘hell’ and Brexit plans in ‘disarray’ – BBC News

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British companies have been asked to publicly state their support for the government’s approach to Brexit, reports the FT. The newspaper says Downing Street has drawn up a letter backing PM Theresa May’s EU exit strategy, praising her attempt to secure a transition period and asking for businesses to sign it. It claims the letter says despite differences during the EU referendum campaign ministers “all share an understanding that Brexit is happening”. But the paper adds executives are “angered” by the move, saying they will not be “strong-armed” by ministers.

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The Guardian leads on the second day of leaked documents about Brexit. It says the EU plans to publish five “combative” position papers based on the day of exit in March 2019. One of those, the paper adds, places the responsibility on the UK to solve the problem of the Irish border. According to the Guardian, Europe’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will call on Britain to work out “solutions” that avoid the creation of a hard border and guarantee peace on Ireland. It also reports on claims by Myanmar’s de facto leader that the Rohingya violence is “fake news” and that there has been “a huge iceberg of misinformation”.

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Meanwhile the prime minister’s Brexit plans are in “disarray”, says the Daily Telegraph. It reports two of Theresa May’s most senior ministers have distanced themselves after the revelation of her leaked post-Brexit immigration policies. The paper says Home Secretary Amber Rudd and First Secretary of State Damian Green have “reservations” about the plans. It also reports on government plans to fine universities unless they can justify paying their vice-chancellor more than the PM. The minister for universities and science said the best way for them to respond to their critics was to show “beyond doubt that they offer excellent value for money”.

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The crackdown on what universities pay their vice-chancellors features on the front of the Times. It reports any institution paying its head £150,000 must submit a “written explanation” to a new watchdog, the Office for Students. Universities will also need to publish details of all staff earning more than £100,000 and the ratio between its best-paid employee and the average salary among its staff, the paper says. It adds they must explain pay rises for senior staff that are higher than average rises across the university.

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The Britons and celebrities caught up in Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean feature on the front of the i. It reports millions being at risk across the United States and Caribbean islands. Mass evacuations, warnings of mudslides, storm surges and flooding are still expected – the paper adds – as the storm continues its path of destruction. It also reports on the “fury” of businesses being asked to sign Downing Street’s public letter of support for the PM’s Brexit strategy.

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Another paper leads on the first casualties of Hurricane Irma. The Daily Star says singer Mick Jagger, US President Donald Trump and businessman Richard Branson are among those “trapped in [the] hell storm”. It adds the storm is “one of the worst hurricanes ever”.

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Half of GPs want to close their lists to new patients, reports the Daily Mail. It says doctors claim the step is necessary to “provide safe care” to those already on their books. The paper reports 54% said they were at “breaking point” in a survey of almost 2,000 senior family doctors. It adds unions will now decide if doctors should take action in a show of protest against the government, with GPs saying they are angry at being told to work more weekends and evenings without extra funding.

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“Proof statins can save your life” is the headline on the front of the Daily Express. The paper reports on a study suggesting the pills are the quickest and safest way to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. It adds the research claims taking one-a-day reduces the chance of death by 28% and says they should now be prescribed more widely. The paper also reports on the “200mph” hurricane Irma which hit the Caribbean on Wednesday, killing two people.

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The Metro leads on comments made by Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg about abortion. Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the paper says Mr Rees-Mogg told the programme terminations in all circumstances were “morally indefensible” and that he believes life begins at conception. It reports the Conservative MP as saying he opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest as well.

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A school has banned skirts to cater for a “small number of transgender children”, reports the Mirror. The paper says a school in East Sussex is making girls wear trousers. It adds parents are “furious” boys and girls are being made to wear identical outfits at Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex. One told the paper “my daughter has got a gender and it’s female”. The Mirror also reports on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments on abortion being “morally indefensible”.

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The latest on Wayne Rooney’s marriage is reported by the Sun. The paper also reports the chancellor has pledged to give young people a “massive boost” in the next Budget. It claims Philip Hammond has signalled a series of “major” policy changes and warned Conservative MPs “people of your age have never had it so good”.

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