In the United States, the city of Baltimore has declared a state of emergency after protests descended into riots on Monday night. Protests had been held over the death of a black man injured in police custody. A week-long curfew has been announced, and National Guard troops have been deployed in the city. Riots broke out after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died in hospital on 19 April after sustaining a broken neck. It is believed that Gray received his injuries while being arrested one week earlier. A criminal inquiry into Gray’s death is underway, and six police officers have been suspended. Fifteen police officers were injured during Monday’s riots, meanwhile, with 27 arrests made. One community building under construction was set alight. Gray’s family have called for calm.
Eight million people have been affected by Saturday’s serious earthquake in Nepal, the United Nations has said. 1.4 million will also require food aid after the disaster. Nepal’s Prime Minister warned on Tuesday that the death toll could rise to over 10,000. Victims of the disaster have expressed anger over the government’s slow response to the crisis; food, water and electricity have all been in short supply. Villages around the quake’s epicentre are in the most critical situation, with a high proportion of buildings destroyed, though accessing these villages has been difficult due to landslides and poor weather.
A Conservative government would use fines levied on Deutsche Bank to fund 50,000 apprenticeships, Prime Minister David Cameron will announce on Tuesday. The Conservatives have also pledged three million apprenticeships over the course of the next parliament. The apprenticeships announced today will be aimed at unemployed 22-24 year-olds, and will cost £200 million. Earlier in April, Deutsche Bank was fined £1.6 billion by US and UK regulators for its part in manipulating Libor and Euribor lending rates.
The President of Chinese energy conglomerate Sinopec Group is to be investigated for disciplinary violations, Chinese authorities have announced. Sinopec has said it fully supported the investigation into one of its senior executives, Wang Tianpu. Sinopec Group is the parent company of Sinopec Corp, the biggest oil refiner in Asia. China’s ongoing anti-corruption drive announced it would set its sights on State-owned enterprises such as Sinopec in February, with several high-level executives all coming under investigation for corruption. China’s oil industry was known to have been dominated for years by the associates of Zhou Yongkang. Zhou, formerly one of China’s most powerful men, is expected to stand trial in May or June.
Headlines focus more on political stories today. The Guardian leads with news that Deutsche Bank’s fine for rigging the Libor rate “will be used for apprenticeships”, according to the Prime Minister. The proposal is an “attempt to steal ground from Labour”, whose election pledges have generally been seen as more socially progressive. The Times leads with a warning from the Prime Minister that the UK has “ten days to save the Union”. In an interview with the paper, David Cameron launches his “strongest attack so far” on a Labour-Scottish National Party (SNP) coalition. The Independent leads with a similar thread, writing in its headline that “Fear of SNP alliance dents Labour support”. A quarter of voters are “put off” by the idea of a Labour-SNP deal, the paper reports, in what is a “Vindication” of the Conservatives’ strategy of stirring English fear of the SNP. The Financial Times leads with news that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has been “sidelined” after months of fruitless talks with EU creditors over bailout negotiations. EU officials have felt “encouraged” by the news, with a stock market “rally in Athens”. The Daily Telegraph leads with news that “Switching to organic milk can harm an unborn baby”. According to a study, organic milk “is less healthy than ordinary milk and could lead to children having a lower IQ”.
British Media on China
On wine-growing in China: China has overtaken France to become the world’s second-largest wine growing area in the world after Spain, the BBC and The Independent have reported. The BBC writes that “China has rapidly emerged as a major player in viniculture, accounting for 11% of the territory given over to vineyards last year, up from 4% in 2000”. France remains the world’s biggest producer of wine by volume, however, the BBC notes. The Independent writes that celebrities including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have “fallen victim to Chinese counterfeiters” of wine, who had made “fake bottles of the couple’s Miraval Rosé”.