Dallas Attack and Cancer Breakthrough

By Rowan Williams

One of two gunmen who attacked a Texas exhibition of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed had been known to the FBI, it has been reported. Gunmen Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi had been room-mates, US government sources have said. Both men were shot dead by a policeman in Dallas on Sunday after opening fire on a police car outside the indoor arena where the exhibition was being held. A security guard was also wounded in the attack. Simpson had been under surveillance since 2006, and had been convicted in 2011 of lying to the FBI over his desire to join violent jihad in Somalia. FBI agents and police searched the pair’s apartment on Monday. Islamic extremist group the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ovarian cancer could be diagnosed earlier in 86 percent of cases by carrying out regular blood tests on women, a new study has shown. The results of a 14-year trial that involved 46,000 women suggest that tumours could be detected early. Ovarian cancer can often be deadly, as tumours are usually caught too late. The results of the study could lead to the introduction of a national screening programme for the illness. The authors of the study have cautioned that it is still unknown whether more lives were saved by early detection in the study. In the UK, around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually, while 4,200 women die from the disease each year.

Leaders of Britain’s political parties are to stage a two-day marathon tour of Britain, ahead of the general election on Thursday. Labour has warned of huge cuts to the NHS under a Conservative government, while the Conservatives have cautioned against the prospect of a Labour government backed by the Scottish National Party (SNP). SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon has, meanwhile, questioned the legitimacy of a UK government that does not include Scottish MPs. Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg is likely to retain his own parliamentary seat in the Sheffield Hallam constituency, it has also been reported. Earlier polls had suggested Clegg may have been on course to lose to the Labour candidate for the seat.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China for the first time since his election next week, China’s Foreign Ministry has announced. Modi will be in China from 14-16 May. Growing commercial links between the two countries have been overshadowed by tensions over disputed borders near Tibet. Disagreements were highlighted during President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in September 2014, when announcements of Sino-Indian trade deals were eclipsed by news of clashes between Chinese and Indian armed forces in the two countries’ border region.

The Papers

The newborn child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continues to make the headlines in the tabloids, while political news dominates broadsheet front pages. The Guardian leads with news of a warning from Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband that the National Health Service faces a “financial bombshell”. A leaked document showed that the NHS is expected to run a deficit of nearly £2 billion this year, with warnings of cuts to two-thirds of hospitals. The Times leads with news that Miliband has asked unions “to save his No 10 bid”. Labour will meet union leaders as part of plans “to justify minority rule”, should it wish to form a government without a Commons majority. The Daily Telegraph leads with a warning from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that a vote for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) would be a “suicide note for Britain”. Voting UKIP would, Duncan Smith warns, risk the formation of a Labour government instead, which would deny Britain a referendum on EU membership. The Independent leads with news that 60 percent of Britons “want voting reform”, according to a survey by the paper. Fears over the legitimacy of a minority government have fuelled a “surge in support for proportional representation”, the paper reports. The Financial Times leads with news that China’s “migrant miracle” has ground to a halt, with the country’s rural labour supply running dry. China’s labour force is shrinking and removing a major driver of growth in the country, the paper writes.

British Media on China

On China-Taiwan ties: cross-strait relations received coverage in UK media after Eric Chu and Xi Jinping, Chairmen of Taiwan and China’s respective ruling parties, held talks for the first time on Monday. The BBC reports that the meeting is the “highest level talks between the two sides in six years”. Although the talks suggest “warming relations”, the BBC warns that “rapprochement is controversial in Taiwan”. The Financial Times writes that the two leaders are seeking a “cordial veneer” to a “tense relationship”. The paper writes that Taiwan’s 2016 general election will test the public popularity of Taiwan’s “engagement policy” with the mainland. The Guardian’s agency piece reports that Chu reaffirmed his party’s “support for eventual unification with the mainland” on Monday.

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