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Posted by: Jemma Puzey


Donald Trump prepared to apologise for retweeting far-right group Britain First. In the interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Trump said that he knew nothing about Britain First when he shared the video online which had originally been posted by deputy leader of the organisation, Jayda Fransen. Trump said that he originally retweeted the post because of his opposition to Islamic terrorism. When questioned by Piers Morgan he stated: ‘if you are telling me these are horrible, racist people I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that. Perhaps it was a big story in the UK, but in the United States it wasn’t a big story.’ Morgan interviewed Trump on Thursday, and his comments followed a 15-minute meeting with the prime minister in Davos, Switzerland. He said that Theresa May was doing a very good job and the US would always ‘be there for Britain.’ May invited Trump for a state visit within days of him being sworn in as president, but the visit was postponed in light of Trumps retweets. May also criticised him for the comments. Trump also cancelled his trip to London in February because of his displeasure of the new US embassy in London being sold for ‘peanuts’ by Barak Obama. (Source – The Guardian)

Some of the BBC’s leading male presenters agree to take pay cut after revelations over equal pay. Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys and Huw Edwards have agreed to reductions, either formally or in principle. It follows Carrie Gracie’s resignation from her post as BBC China editor in protest at unequal pay between male and female international editors. An independent audit into equal pay at the BBC will be published next week. Some have even admitted to the pay cut live on air. Carrie Gracie is due to appear before a select committee of MPs next week, shortly before the director general of the BBC, Tony Hall his deputy Anne Bulford and the director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth. All called to discuss what action the corporation is taking to address the gender pay gap. Tony Hall pledged to close the gap by 2020, saying that the corporation should be an ‘exemplar of what can be achieved when it comes to pay, fairness, gender and representation.’ (Source – The BBC)

The UK economy expanded by a better than expected 0.5% in the last three months of 2017. In 2017 overall growth was down 1.8% compared with 1.9% in 2016 -the slowest since 2012, the ONS said. The services sector, which accounts for the bulk of the economy, expanded by 0.6% in the fourth quarter – stronger than the 0.4% rise in the three months to September. The boost to the economy at the end of the year came from a range of services including recruitment agencies and letting agents, said Darren Morgan, head of GDP at the ONS. John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC said construction appeared to be the sector most affected by Brexit-related uncertainty, deterring commercial property investment and dampening the housing market, particularly in London. (Source – The BBC)

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