News Daily: Hong Kong stand-off and business election focus

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Police and protesters in Hong Kong university stand-off

There have been further tensions in Hong Kong overnight, as police surrounded a university campus which has been occupied by students for several days. When those inside tried to leave the Polytechnic University first thing on Monday morning, they were met with tear gas and petrol bombs. University authorities have accused the protesters of vandalising the campus, and its head said he had done a deal with police which would mean the students could leave if they stopped using force.

The university stand-off is the latest in a long-running series of protests by Hong Kongers against their government, which can be traced back to June. Get the background to the dispute in 100 and 500 words, and an understanding of Hong Kong’s relationship with China here.

Party leaders pitch to business bosses

Business is the big focus for Monday on the campaign trail, as all three main party leaders address the annual conference of industry group the CBI. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to tell the bosses that while their organisation made it clear it didn’t want Brexit, they do want certainty and his Conservative Party will help them make the most of leaving the EU. This will include a review of business rates with a view to reducing companies’ tax burden. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn will pitch to the CBI his plan to create 320,000 new apprenticeships, and also the party’s Green Industrial Revolution, which would use public money to “create good, clean jobs” and “tackle the climate emergency”. Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats will tell business leaders her party is the “natural party of business” because it is anti-Brexit and she is also expected to criticise the other parties’ approach to spending on infrastructure projects.

Elsewhere, the Scottish National Party will argue in the High Court later that its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, should be included in ITV’s election debate. The SNP said Ms Sturgeon’s exclusion was a “democratic disgrace”. The Lib Dems are also in court, where they are also challenging Jo Swinson’s exclusion from the same programme.

For more on the TV debates, click here, and for rolling coverage of the election campaign across the day, as well as the latest news and analysis, visit the BBC’s Election 2019 page.

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Folau: Australia wildfires ‘little taste of judgement’

Israel Folau, the Australian rugby player who was sacked from the national team for making anti-gay remarks, has been criticised for seemingly linking the country’s bushfire crisis to its same-sex marriage and abortion laws. Folau’s comments came in a sermon he gave at a church in Sydney, where he told worshippers the country needed to repent for passing those laws, before questioning whether the fires were a “little taste of God’s judgement”. Australia’s prime minister said Folau’s words were “insensitive” as six people have died in the fires. Folau is suing Rugby Australia over his dismissal from the national side, arguing his contract was unlawfully terminated due to his religious beliefs.

A desk to work at ‘key for university aspiration’

By Katherine Sellgren, education and family reporter

Having a desk to work at, good grades and high expectations from parents, as well being happy at school, are key factors in encouraging children to go on to university, a study suggests.

Researchers in Croatia found these influences were more important than class size, school, average grades at the school or the wealth of an area.

And they say this suggest schemes to raise aspirations should be targeted at an individual rather than school level.

Read the full story

What the papers say

Almost every one of Monday’s papers leads on the fallout from Prince Andrew’s Saturday night TV interview with the BBC. While the Times reports the prince stands by his decision to be questioned by Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis about his relationship with the American businessman Jeffrey Epstein – a convicted sex offender who took his own life in August – the Sun says it was “disastrous”. The Daily Mail uses the same word to describe the prince’s grilling, but adds he has since told friends he regretted not expressing sympathy for the victims of Epstein’s abuse. Elsewhere, the Daily Star hits out at a higher education union which has told its members they can self-identify which race they are. More on this and other stories in our paper review.

Daily digest

Disease Woman who inherited Huntington’s gene sues NHS

Wildfire Huge blaze ‘doubled Scotland’s emissions’

Staff Shortages ‘put cancer survival rates at risk’

Bolivia Fuel and food shortages amid political crisis

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Boris Johnson’s rise to power

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13:00 A book written by Charlotte Bronte when she was 14 goes up for auction in Paris, with the Bronte Parsonage Museum bidding to bring it back to the UK.

19:45 The Republic of Ireland host Denmark in their final Euro 2020 qualifier. A win will see them qualify for the finals.

On this day

1987 Twenty-seven people are killed in a fire at King’s Cross underground station in central London.

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