Friday briefing: Trump draws Israel into war on congresswomen | World news

Top story: Netanyahu ‘implements president’s Muslim ban’

Good morning – Warren Murray with the news you need to know, now.

There has been widespread condemnation after Donald Trump recruited Israel into his dispute with outspoken congresswomen by encouraging it to deny entry to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim congresswomen elected to Congress.

“Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected members of Congress,” said Omar. A raft of US politicians as well as peak Jewish lobbying groups condemned Israel’s decision and Trump’s part in it.

Netanyahu defended his government’s rationale, claiming the sole purpose of Tlaib’s and Omar’s visit had been “to damage Israel and to foment against Israel”. Netanyahu said his government would consider allowing Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, to visit the occupied West Bank if she requested it on humanitarian grounds.

Warning of heavy downpours – Up to a month’s worth of rain is predicted to drench north and south-western England as well as most of Wales today. A yellow warning will remain in place until 10pm, with some places potentially getting 80mm of rainfall (more than three inches). Forecasters have said there is a low risk some homes and businesses could be flooded, while bus and train services are likely to be delayed, and slow and careful driving is called for on roads.

‘Lesser of two evils’ – The Lib Dem leader has been urged to think again after rubbishing Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to replace Boris Johnson and call a general election in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Jo Swinson has called instead for any unity government to be led by the Tories’ Ken Clarke or Labour’s Harriet Harman. With Corbyn also directly courting Conservatives, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said it was “extraordinary” that any MP from his party would consider “even for one minute installing Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street”. The newest Lib Dem recruit, ex-Tory Sarah Wollaston, said a temporary Corbyn-led government may be the “lesser of two evils”. She added: “Frankly, I don’t have confidence in Corbyn but for me the bigger picture here is we have to register as a parliament we want to stop no deal. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what I would do, it’s about what Tory MPs would do.”

Money talk – If you only read one bit of business and finance news today, or this week, it ought to be Larry Elliott and Phillip Inman’s clear and succinct explanation of the forces roiling global markets at the moment and the countries that are pivotal – from Donald Trump’s US-China trade war, through to the slump in demand for Germany’s exports, Brexit in the UK, China’s slower growth and Italy’s flagging business confidence.

‘Backroom stitch-up’ – The Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has accused the Labour leadership of “trading” seats intended for female candidates in order to allow “favourite sons” to take up the safest vacated Labour seats at the next election. Prentis’s letter, which was leaked to the Guardian, warns that the party risks alienating “strong, talented women” who are seeking candidacy. A Labour spokesperson said: “Labour has more women MPs than all other political parties combined and we are committed to improving diverse representation at all levels of the party.”

Defeat for eat apps – A judge in Buenos Aires has banned food delivery apps after one company’s courier was run over – and its first concern was whether the pizza could still be delivered. Judge Roberto Gallardo ordered the suspension of the apps until they comply with transport and labour laws. Since February in Buenos Aires there have been 13 to 40 road incidents per month involving couriers. In April a 20-year-old courier and journalism student from Bolivia was run over by a lorry and killed – witnesses said his phone kept beeping with orders while emergency teams did their work.

Today in Focus podcast: Gangs, guns and ‘ghost bullets’

Kenneth Rosen explains how British gangs are using a loophole in the law to get hold of antique firearms and untraceable bullets. Plus: Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner on the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre.

Today in Focus

Old-school gang warfare

Lunchtime read: How Peterloo echoes today

Thousands of people are to take part in a huge re-enactment of the Peterloo massacre to mark the 200th anniversary of one of the defining moments in British political history. Around 3,000 people will perform a “combination of giant karaoke and autocue” today near the square in Manchester where 18 people were killed and more than 650 injured by a sabre-wielding cavalry on 16 August 1819. Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s north of England editor, explains what happened at Peterloo, why, and its legacy of parliamentary democracy.

A commemorative glass of the Peterloo massacre, 1819.

A commemorative glass of the Peterloo massacre, 1819. Photograph: People’s History Museum

“It was soon dubbed the Peterloo massacre,” writes Richard J Evans, Cambridge regius professor of history, “an ironic reference to the allied victory at the Battle of Waterloo some four years previously.” He explores how, still today, conservatives are hostile to the idea that an instance of street protest brought about permanent, positive change. “We’re only a few weeks away from what’s looking increasingly like a no-deal Brexit, with warnings multiplying about social unrest, street violence and public disorder … The establishment’s anxiety is palpable.” A good point at which to ask whether the Peterloo marchers would be satisfied with Britain as it is today.


Jofra Archer is one day into his Test career but already on a revenge mission after a bouncer barrage from Australia left England’s batsmen reeling at Lord’s. The second Ashes Test resumes today with England 228 runs ahead after Jonny Bairstow rescued the home side who suffered a mid-order collapse on Thursday afternoon. There were promising signs in Chelsea’s Super Cup defeat by Liverpool but Frank Lampard has to start winning soon, writes Eni Aluko.

Should Australia beat New Zealand for the second consecutive weekend, the winner of the match between Wales and England in Cardiff is poised to take over as the world’s top rugby union side just over a month before the World Cup kicks off in Japan. A Super League hat-trick by Kevin Naiqama in a 36-20 defeat of Leeds has primed St Helens for their march on Wembley. The number of trainers and jockeys signing up to links with betting firms has trebled in three years. And an aeroplane carrying retired Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr and his wife and daughter has been involved in a fiery crash at an airport in Tennessee.


Asian shares have been mixed as turbulence continued on global markets amid ongoing worries about US-China trade conflict. Prices for everything from stocks to gold to oil have been heaving as investors flail from one moment of uncertainty around Trump’s trade war to another around what central banks will do with interest rates. The pound is trading at 1.089 and 1.209 this morning while the FTSE looks like opening higher.

The papers

“Rebel Tories hint support for Corbyn as interim PM” – the Times headline sums up the state of play quite well. The Telegraph goes a bit further: “Tory rebels side with Corbyn bid to topple PM”.

Guardian front page, Friday 16 August 2019

Guardian front page, Friday 16 August 2019.

“I’d put Corbyn into No 10”, Nicola Sturgeon tells Britain from the front page of the i. The Guardian says Lib Dems are “under pressure” to back Corbyn’s parliamentary putsch.

Others seem to have moved on for the moment. “Burford’s demotes chief’s wife in push to calm governance storm” says the FT – if you’ve heard the name Muddy Waters bouncing around, it’s got to do with that. “How COULD they have missed her?” asks the Daily Mail, after Nora Quoirin’s body was found in Malaysia. The Mirror tells of a solicitor and dad stabbed to death in Newcastle. “Millions of crime victims denied justice”, says the Express, reporting on a decline in prosecution rates.

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