UK

Sunday Morning Headlines: Nick Clegg, Missing Jet And UK Weather

09/03/2014 08:23 GMT | Updated 09/03/2014 08:59 GMT

CLEGG TO MAKE THE CASE FOR THE EU

Nick Clegg will build up to his head-to-head European election debates with UK Independence Party (Ukip) leader Nigel Farage by promising today to take on "backwards-looking politics" and making the case for membership of the EU.

The Deputy Prime Minister will acknowledge the EU needs reform, but in a swipe at his Tory coalition colleagues will stress that the UK cannot demand changes with "one foot out of the door".

He will warn that "pulling up the drawbridge" would wreck the economy, make it harder to catch international criminals and hamper efforts to tackle climate change.

ID OF MYSTERY JET PASSENGERS PROBED

Malaysia intelligence agencies are investigating how up to four passengers with suspect identities were able to board the missing Boeing 777 jet.

The development came as planes and ships from across Asia resumed the hunt today for the plane.

There was still no confirmed sighting of wreckage from the Boeing 777 in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam where it vanished from screens early yesterday morning en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board.

EXTRA CASH TO MEND DAMAGED ROADS

Councils are to get an additional £140 million to fix roads damaged by England's record wettest winter, the Government announced.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said a fund specifically targeting the worst-hit areas would be raised by £36.5 million to £80 million.

All councils will also share in a £103.5 million boost to the money available for fixing potholes and other dangers facing drivers.

PRISON DAY RELEASE TO BE RESTRICTED

Day release from prison is to be scaled back following a series of serious crimes committed by offenders temporarily out of jail, such as murderer Ian McLoughlin.

Tighter rules about who is eligible for the scheme are to be introduced, while prisoners will only be allowed out for a specific purpose, such as gaining work experience, the Ministry of Justice said.

Day-release prisoners will also have to wear electronic tags, once technology is made available, the department added.

BRITAIN SET FOR WARMEST DAY OF YEAR

Britain is set to bask in the highest temperatures of the year so far today - warmer than some holiday spots in the Mediterranean, according to forecasters.

Temperatures will reach 18C (64.4F) in parts of England, making it "exceptionally mild" for the time of year and warmer than parts of Greece and Turkey, according to the Met Office.

And after the wettest winter on record in England and Wales, the rain is also set to stay away in the coming days due to a band of high pressure across Britain.

WORLD WIDE WEB ANNIVERSARY MARKED

The 25th anniversary of the world wide web will be celebrated around the globe this week.

The milestone will be marked on Wednesday, a quarter of a century since it was first proposed in 1989 by British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

For anybody under the age of 20 it is hard to imagine what life would be like without the web, which is not to be confused with the internet - a massive chain of networks, which the web uses.

MURRAY KEEPS QUIET ON INDEPENDENCE

Andy Murray will not make his views on Scottish independence known because he does not want a repeat of the furore that followed his comments about the England football team.

Murray joked in an interview ahead of the 2006 World Cup that he would be supporting anyone but England and the remark has dogged him ever since.

It is still cited by some English people as a reason not to support him, even though the reigning Wimbledon champion has explained many times that it was not a serious comment.

DON'T GIVE UP ON AFGHANS - GENERAL

The former head of the armed forces has appealed to Britain and other Western powers not to give up on Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of international forces later this year.

General Lord Richards of Herstmonceux warned war-weary Nato leaders that it would be "on their conscience" if they failed to honour the commitments their countries had made to the Afghan people.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Gen Richards, who stood down last year as chief of the defence staff (CDS), said it was "very disappointing" that the West was hesitating over its continued support.

PROBATION SERVICE CHANGES SLAMMED

Plans to privatise probation services are being pushed through to an "impossible timetable" as ministers battle to claw back millions of pounds, campaigners have claimed.

Union leaders have raised a number of concerns about Government plans to privatise 70% of the service, and claim that more criminals could reoffend while on probation or parole as the changes are made.

General secretary of probation union Napo Ian Lawrence said: "These plans are ill thought-through, are proceeding to an impossible timetable and they are dangerous. They will increase costs and will lead to communication breakdown between probation workers.

RADIATION PROBLEM APOLOGY DEMANDED

Alex Salmond has demanded an apology from David Cameron for failing to tell Scottish ministers about a radiation problem at a nuclear submarine test reactor.

The First Minister said the UK Government had "disrespected" Holyrood and the people of Scotland by not alerting the Scottish Government to the problem for almost two years.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed on Thursday that Britain's oldest nuclear submarine, HMS Vanguard, is to have its reactor refuelled at a cost of £120 million after a test reactor operating in Scotland was found to have a small internal leak of radiation.