China looks to have cooled fears of a “hard landing” for its economy, with robust manufacturing data published on Sunday. China’s purchasing managers’ index, an important gauge of factory activity, defied most analysts’ forecasts for a slowdown and rose to 53.1 in March from 51.0 in February. It was the strongest reading in a year and signalled a modest acceleration of industrial output.
The Mail on Sunday.
British financial authorities are drawing up emergency plans to cope with the fallout from the Spanish financial crisis as fears over Madrid’s ability to curb its debts grow this weekend. The Treasury, the Financial Services Authority and the Bank of England have been discussing the risks to public confidence here posed by the strong financial links between Spain and Britain.
More than 3,000 jobs will be saved by a deal to rescue part of stricken Game Group by an investment firm planning to keep its stores on the High Street. Investment group Opcapita is set to announce that it is buying a substantial part of the computer games chain, keeping open 333 shops and saving 3,100 jobs, according to the BBC. Game went into administration last Monday, shutting the doors of 277 shops and making 2,104 employees redundant. Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk
The Sunday Telegraph.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s party claims she has won a seat in Burma’s parliament, marking a major milestone for the Southeast Asian nation, where the government is seeking legitimacy and th lifting of Western sanctions.The victory, if confirmed, marks a major milestone in the Southeast Asian nation, where the military has ruled almost exclusively for a half-century and where the government is now seeking legitimacy and a lifting of Western sanctions. The victory claim was displayed on a digital signboard above the opposition National League for Democracy’s headquarters in Rangoon. Earlier, the party said in unofficial figures that Ms Suu Kyi was ahead with 65 per cent of the vote in 82 of her constituency’s 129 polling stations.
Peter Cruddas, the disgraced former Tory party treasurer, claimed to have direct access to Prime Minister David Cameron on at least 13 occasions – even bankrolling a dinner at Chequers, it was reported today. Cruddas was forced to resign last week after he was secretly filmed by undercover reporters from The Sunday Times boasting that he could provide access to Mr Cameron and other ministers and influence over policy for “premier league” donors giving £250,000 to the party. In the wake of the disclosures the Conservatives released details of party donors attending dinners and lunches held at the Prime Minister’s official residences at No 10 and Chequers.
The Labour party leader, Ed Milliband, predicts that the Conservatives will be thrown out of office by Labour after one term in Downing Street, as David Cameron faces fresh allegations over failing to declare numerous secret meetings with rich Tory donors in the “cash for influence” scandal. After a week that has seen the Tories battered by rows over party financing, embarrassed by a row over VAT on takeaway food and accused of stoking a crisis at the petrol pumps for political gain, the prime minister was accused of a “cover-up” by the Sunday Times.
A new drug that tackles advanced prostate cancer in three different ways has passed its first hurdle towards being approved. Scientists reported promising early trial results using galeterone, which is designed to treat cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy. However, researchers counselled caution as tests on the “triple whammy” drug have been carried out on only a small number of patients. In their tests, scientists based at Harvard University reported that galeterone reduced levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a prostate cancer blood marker, by 30% or more in about half of patients. Eleven patients had PSA reductions of 50% or more, and in some there was significant shrinkage in tumour size.
The Sunday Express.
Thousands of lorry drivers are preparing to join strike action by tanker drivers to bring Britain to a standstill within a month. Plans by 4,000 truckers to stop strike-busting soldiers in their tracks are well advanced. They want to blockade refineries and are aiming to cause gridlock on motorways to stop the Army movement of tankers. An alliance has been formed between Unite union tanker drivers, whose grievance is mainly over terms and safety issues, and the resurgent Fuel Lobby whose supporters are furious about rocketing fuel prices.
DINNERGATE, Pastygate and Garagegate… the Government is in danger of turning itself into a gated community. Shut off from ordinary voters and facing charges from its own backbenchers that Ministers are seen as “toffs”, David Cameron needs to get a grip. The Government was adrift and desperately in need of a narrative. The danger of failing to fill the vision void is now painfully obvious for all to see. If you cannot convey to voters what you stand for, they will fill in the lines themselves and Team Cameron risks being painted by a weary and frustrated public as a gang of out-of-touch Hoorays. It is not too late for the Prime Minister to shake off his “toff week” but the need for action is pressing.
The Sunday Mirror.
Tragic gang war victim Thusha Kamaleswaran has only one wish for her seventh birthday this summer. While other girls her age might hope for toys and a party with friends, all she wants is to get out of her wheelchair and walk again. But, as Thusha’s heartbroken parents reveal today in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mirror, it’s a wish that is never likely to come true. Their agony is that they can’t bring themselves to tell their little girl the terrifying truth. That the moment one year ago when she was captured on video skipping down the aisle of her uncle’s shop into crossfire between gun gangs could have been the last time she will ever walk.