Women ‘need to know egg freezing risk’

Frozen embryos being removed from storage Image copyright Science Photo Library

Women who freeze their eggs need to be aware of the “relatively low success rates” of becoming pregnant, a leading gynaecologist has said.

With more women freezing eggs past the age of 35, when chances of conceiving fall, Prof Adam Balen said: “Egg freezing does not guarantee a baby.”

However, Dr Jara Ben Nagi says freezing can help single women wait until they meet the right partner to have a baby.

She said women should not be pressured into a relationship to get pregnant.

Two groups of experts have been debating the benefits and risks associated with social egg freezing and IVF treatment for women in their late 30s in BJOG: An International Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology.

‘Punished with childlessness’

Prof Balen, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “Success rates for egg freezing have improved significantly in recent years, so offer an opportunity for women to freeze their eggs for social reasons if they’re not ready to have children yet.

“While women should be supported in their choices, they must be informed about the relatively low success rates, high costs and side-effects.

“Women should also be aware that in the UK the storage limit for eggs frozen for social reasons is currently limited to 10 years.”

He warned that women should speak to a reproductive specialist and choose an experienced clinic to visit, adding that the best time to freeze eggs is in a woman’s early 20s and certainly under the age of 37.

However, Dr Ben Nagi, from the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, and her colleagues argue that the preservation of eggs offers more time for single women to find a relationship and gives them hope at a time that their pregnancy chances may be receding.

They point out that in a study of 1,382 women who underwent social egg freezing, 120 returned to use their eggs after an average time of just over two years and that 45 of 95 women who were single at the time came back when they had a partner.

They add that the survival rate of the frozen egg using the new vitrification method was 85%, with pregnancy rates of 27% – similar to a 23% success rate for IVF in women aged 35 to 37.

They said: “Women should no longer be punished with childlessness for not finding a partner, nor should they feel pressured into a relationship because of their declining ovarian reserve.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Dr Timothy Bracewell-Milnes, from Imperial College London, and co-authors from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, warn that the majority of women are taking measures to preserve their fertility too late.

They said it is being done as a “last-ditch effort” instead of a planned and informed choice in their early to mid-30s.

They said research has shown young people are not aware of the natural limits of female fertility and “significantly overestimate” the success rates of freezing eggs to get pregnant later.

“Egg freezing is indirectly encouraging women to have children at an advanced maternal age, which carries with it significantly increased risk of medical complications in pregnancy,” the authors said.

For women in their late 30s, they said 30 eggs would be needed to have a good chance of getting pregnant.

This would require three cycles of ovarian stimulation which would cost around £15,000. On top of this there will be an annual storage fee of £200-400 and the cost of future fertility treatment to use the frozen eggs.

They agree egg freezing should be available to single women in their late 30s “who accept the high costs and low successes, but they must be provided with accurate and balanced information on the safety and likelihood of success”.

But they do agree that women need to be made aware of all the information to make an informed choice.



Man grieved at wrong grave for 30 years due to misplaced headstone

George Salt
Image caption George Salt was “gobsmacked” to find the gravestone had been moved

A council has apologised after a man discovered he had been grieving for his daughter at the wrong grave for 30 years because of a misplaced headstone.

George Salt’s daughter Victoria died less than two days after being born in July 1988 and was buried at Southern Cemetery in Manchester.

Mr Salt said he felt “let down” that he found out by being faced with an empty spot where the gravestone had been.

Manchester City Council apologised for the distress he has suffered.

Mr Salt, who has visited the grave twice each year for 30 years, said: “I looked down and was completely gobsmacked. I thought ‘where’s the stone gone?’.”

He then found the grave, which also has 17 other names inscribed on it, in a different spot.

The headstone had been moved in error during the 1980s to a vacant plot, but the mistake was only discovered this year when cemetery workers checked the grave records and moved it to the correct place.

Image caption Victoria’s gravestone in Southern Cemetery

“I just wasn’t told. I feel so let down,” Mr Salt said.

“When you go to a grave, you sit and talk and say what your troubles are but the annoying thing is you’re talking to a piece of ground where she isn’t there.”

The council said they accepted something clearly went wrong in the 1980s and had offered “sincere apologies” to Mr Salt for the distress he has suffered.

The passing of time meant they were unable to say why it was moved to the wrong plot, the authority added.



The Brooklyn scene you don’t hear about

Brooklyn has become known the world over as a hipster’s paradise. But black-owned businesses are challenging the perception that gentrification in this part of New York City has pushed out African American entrepreneurs.

Video by Olivia Lace-Evans



Paisley faces UK’s first MP-recall petition

Ian Paisley Image copyright Charles McQuillan
Image caption Mr Paisley could lose his seat and face a by-election if 10% of voters in North Antrim sign the petition

A petition that could force a by-election in North Antrim and unseat the current MP Ian Paisley has opened.

In July, MPs voted to suspend Mr Paisley for 30 sitting days over his failure to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government – triggering the recall procedure.

The DUP MP apologised in the Commons, but will face a by-election if 10% of his constituents sign the petition.

The recall petition is the first in UK parliamentary history.

What is a recall petition?

This is a fairly recent addition to politics, becoming law under the Recall of MPs Act which came into effect in 2016.

It states that MPs who are convicted of a criminal offence and jailed, convicted of providing false information on allowance claims or barred from the House of Commons for 10 sitting days or longer can lose their seat if there is a successful petition to recall them.

Last month, Mr Paisley received a ban from Westminster of 30 sitting days for breaching parliamentary rules, beginning on 4 September, which triggered the recall procedure.

How many signatures are needed?

According to the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI), the number of people entitled to sign the petition (ie eligible registered voters) is 75,478.

The Recall of MPs Act 2015 says a petition needs 10% of that number in order to trigger a by-election, therefore 7,543 signatures are required.

It would have been 7,547 but last week the Electoral Office said the figure was 7,543 – due to a “sweep” of the register removing deceased voters and others who were not eligible.

How long is the petition open?

The petition is open for signing for six weeks from 8 August to 19 September from 09:00-17:00 BST, Monday to Friday.

Opening hours at the designated centres will be extended to 21:00 on 6 and 13 September.

Image copyright Charles McQuillan

Who can sign it?

Letters have already been sent to constituents informing them about the details of the petition.

Anyone wanting to sign it must live in the North Antrim constituency and be 18 years old, or have their 18th birthday before the end of the signing period on 19 September.

But just like in any normal election, anyone wanting to sign it must also be registered to vote in parliamentary elections.

Where can the petition be signed?

The Electoral Office selected three designated venues which are located at:

  • Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre, Ballymoney
  • Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena
  • Sheskburn House Recreation Centre, Ballycastle

Legislation allows for up to 10 locations for the petition but the electoral office has opened three, a decision which drew criticism from some political parties.

Image caption A map showing the locations of the petition signing venues

Voters can also apply to sign by post or proxy. Applications for those must be returned to the Electoral Office by 4 September.

The chief electoral officer, Virginia McVea, said there had been a change in the law in relation to the postal application so anyone who chooses not to attend in person will be able to apply for the postal option and if their details are verified, can receive it within six weeks.

Applications can be downloaded at

There are two help lines for constituents who have queries about the process.

They are 02890446600 and 02890446668.

What happens when the petition closes?

If the number of signatures reaches or surpasses 7,543 it will trigger a by-election and Mr Paisley will lose his seat.

There would be nothing to stop him from standing in the by-election, however, and he has already indicated that he would do so.

He has been the MP for North Antrim since 2010.



Brain injury expert calls for ban on heading in football

Dr Bennet Omalu, one of the world’s leading experts on brain injuries, believes heading in “dangerous” and “does not make sense”

Heading a football should be restricted in the professional game and banned for those under the age of 18, according to one of the world’s leading experts on brain injuries.

Dr Bennet Omalu discovered the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The condition has long-term effects and is caused by repeated head trauma.

“It does not make sense to control an object travelling at a high velocity with your head,” Dr Omalu said.

“I believe, eventually, at the professional level we need to restrict heading of the ball. It is dangerous.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live’s Phil Williams programme, Omalu added: “No child under the age of 18 should be heading the ball in soccer.

“Kids under the age of 12 to 14 should play a less contact form of soccer which we should develop for them. Kids between 12 and 18 can play but should not head the ball.

“I know this is difficult for many people but science evolves. We change with time. Society changes. It is time for us to change some of our ways.”

An inquest into the death of former England and West Brom footballer Jeff Astle ruled he died from brain trauma caused by heading heavy leather footballs.

He died in 2004, aged 72, after suffering with Alzheimer’s for almost 10 years following his 16-year football career.

On Wednesday, his daughter Dawn repeated calls for the game to investigate possible links between CTE and the heading of footballs.

“This is fact now. We are not just assuming other players may have died of the same illness as Dad, this is now fact,” said Dawn.

Her latest comments come after the death of Rod Taylor, a former wing-half with Portsmouth, Gillingham and Bournemouth, who died in April having suffered from the condition.

An inquest into the death of famed England and West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle ruled he died from brain trauma caused by heading heavy leather footballs

Several high-profile ex-players have also been diagnosed with dementia, including 1966 England World Cup winners Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson, Liverpool legends Ron Yeats and Tommy Smith and Celtic’s European Cup-winning captain Billy McNeill.

Speaking about the effect heading a football has on the head, Omalu said: “The human brain floats like a balloon inside your skull so when you head the ball you suffer brain damage. You damage your brain when you head the ball.

“Playing soccer would increase your risk of suffering brain damage when you are much older and developing dementia and CTE.”

There have been a number of moves across professional sport to combat head injuries.

For example, concussion substitutes have been introduced to county cricket this summer, allowing teams to replace a player who has concussion or suspected concussion, while rugby union chiefs introduced an eight point action plan to make the sport safer in March.

1966 England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles has endured a 15-year battle with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia



The Papers: Johnson apology call and ‘Wild West Britain’

i front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The calls for Boris Johnson to apologise for comments he made about Muslim women who wear the burka leads several papers. After the former foreign secretary said they “look like letter boxes”, the i shows him peering out through a narrow strip on its front page.
Metro front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Metro says Mr Johnson has come under growing pressure after Theresa May and Tory chairman Brandon Lewis called on him to say sorry.
Guardian front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Guardian also leads on Theresa May’s intervention over Mr Johnson. It says she has rebuked him over the comments but sidestepped the question of whether he was Islamophobic.
Daily Telegraph front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Daily Telegraph reports Mr Johnson’s refusal to back down on the comments – made in his column in the paper, saying an ally said he was speaking up for liberal values. It says the row is the first significant clash between Mrs May and Mr Johnson since he resigned from the cabinet.
Daily Mirror front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Daily Mirror calls Theresa May spineless for refusing to take disciplinary action against Boris Johnson after his refusal to apologise. The paper claims the Tories are “at war” over the row.
Sun front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Sun leads on the death of seven-year-old Joel Urhie in a house fire that is being treated as murder by police. It pictures Joel in a fireman’s play outfit – reporting he was the innocent victim of a suspected gang attack on his family home in south London.
Daily Mail front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Daily Mail says Joel is the latest victim of “Wild West Britain”. His mother and sister jumped 15ft to safety but he was unable to escape, it reports.
Times front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Times leads on the taxpayer-funded HS2 rail project – reporting a freedom of information request found a quarter of its 1,346 staff were paid more than £100,000 in salary and perks last year. HS2 says it is committed to controlling costs and the programme remains within budget.
Daily Express front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Daily Express focuses on Brexit – and a suggestion from tycoon Peter Hargreaves that leaving without a deal could be the best option for the UK. The Leave campaign backer, who founded an investment company, says he believes the EU’s biggest economies would then demand Britain be given a free trade deal.
Financial Times front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Financial Times says Tesla founder Elon Musk has dropped a “bombshell” by declaring he wanted to take the electric carmaker private in a $70bn (£54bn) deal. It says the move sent the company’s shares up more than 7%.
Daily Star front page - 08/08/18
Image caption The Daily Star leads on an interview Britain’s youngest lottery jackpot winner gave to ITV’s This Morning. Callie Rogers, who scooped nearly £1.9m aged 16, told the programme she is happier than ever despite blowing her fortune, says the paper.

Many of Wednesday’s papers focus on the row surrounding Boris Johnson’s comments about women wearing the burka and niqab.

“Spineless” is the Daily Mirror’s headline, reflecting Labour’s accusation that Theresa May is “weak” for her refusal to suspend him.

Image copyright Getty Images

Its columnist, Alison Phillips, describes Mr Johnson’s remarks as “clanging klaxon xenophobia” calculated to put himself at odds with the Conservative establishment in “the pursuit of power”.

A politics professor tells the Financial Times his comments were “intended to appeal to the grassroots of the party”, because “the key to his appeal to Tory supporters is his continued newsworthiness”.

The Times warns of the “potentially lethal consequences” of “the politics of division”. It says the murder of the MP Jo Cox “should weigh on political campaigners”.

Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

Elsewhere, images of seven-year-old Joel Uhrie – who died in a suspected arson attack on his home in south-east London – feature prominently.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Joel Urhie dreamed of becoming a firefighter, his family said

One poignant photograph shows him in a firefighter outfit. The Daily Mail says the “tender family portrait” is “enough to break your heart”, while the Sun laments he “never got the chance to be a real fireman”.

First intervention

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is said by the Daily Telegraph to have accused Labour of “undermining” efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism, by refusing to accept its definition of the term.

In what the paper calls its first intervention in the row, the organisation warns that adding or removing sections of its guidance risks damaging efforts to prevent racism by causing division.

Meanwhile, Dame Margaret Hodge, who was threatened with an inquiry after she clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over Labour’s approach to anti-Semitism, tells the Guardian the party is “trying to purge” the leader’s “parliamentary critics”.

Image copyright PA

She called on officials to drop their disciplinary proceedings against her fellow backbencher, Ian Austin.

He is understood to have been accused of “abusive conduct in parliament” – but Dame Margaret said he should not be punished for “arguing passionately for what he believes in”.

Foodbank ‘directive’

The Independent online newspaper carries claims by Amnesty International that European countries – including the UK – are “complicit” in a rise in the number of refugees dying in the Mediterranean and a surge in the number being kept in “squalid” detention centres in Libya.

The report insists EU policy is designed to contain migrants in Libya, while undermining the humanitarian effort to save lives.

There is no official response, although the paper says the Home Office has been contacted for comment.

Huffpost reports that Jobcentre workers are told not to keep a record of the number of people they direct to foodbanks.

A directive, issued by the Department of Work and Pensions, is said to inform staff they must not use the term “referral” or “voucher” when “signposting” claimants to food aid, and can make a note only if the foodbank requests authentication.

Image copyright Getty Images

A spokesperson for the DWP insists it’s “constantly reviewing research carried out by organisations” to add to its understanding of foodbanks.

And striking photographs of World War Two soldiers in drag, which were banned by the Ministry of Information, are published in the Daily Telegraph.

The servicemen are seen running to man the coastal defences in Kent while wearing dresses and bonnets, after an air raid siren interrupted their rehearsals for a variety show.

One man did not even have time to grab his helmet.

Officials were said to be “alarmed” that the images could give the impression British troops were not as manly as they might be.



Premier League 2018-19: BBC Sport pundits pick champions and top four

No team has managed a successful defence of the Premier League title since Manchester United in 2009 – but will this season be different?

That is the aim of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, a winner of three consecutive league titles in both Spain (Barcelona, 2008-11) and Germany (Bayern Munich, 2013-16), who saw his side finish 19 points clear of the pack last time out.

But who will challenge them in 2018-19? Can big-spending Liverpool mount a serious challenge? Will Manchester United narrow the gap? Can Tottenham improve? And are Chelsea and Arsenal contenders after changing their managers in the summer?

We asked 24 BBC TV and radio pundits to pick their top four with explanations for their selections.

The predictions were made on the basis of how each squad shaped up on Wednesday, 8 August, before the opening weekend of the season, but two days before the deadline for incoming transfers and with the potential for players to leave up until the transfer window shuts in the rest of Europe at the end of August.

Predictor 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Ian Wright Liverpool Man City Man Utd Arsenal
Ruud Gullit Liverpool Man City Chelsea Man Utd
Martin Keown Liverpool Man City Tottenham Man Utd
Dion Dublin Man City Man Utd Liverpool Tottenham
Alex Scott Man City Liverpool Man Utd Arsenal
Joleon Lescott Man City Liverpool Man Utd Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson Man City Liverpool Man Utd Arsenal
Matthew Upson Man City Liverpool Man Utd Arsenal
Alan Shearer Man City Liverpool Man Utd Tottenham
Danny Murphy Man City Liverpool Man Utd Tottenham
Pat Nevin Man City Liverpool Man Utd Tottenham
Lindsay Johnson Man City Liverpool Man Utd Tottenham
Charlie Adam Man City Liverpool Man Utd Tottenham
Danny Mills Man City Liverpool Man Utd Chelsea
Mark Schwarzer Man City Liverpool Man Utd Chelsea
Rachel Brown-Finnis Man City Liverpool Chelsea Tottenham
Sue Smith Man City Liverpool Chelsea Tottenham
Paul Ince Man City Liverpool Chelsea Man Utd
Kevin Kilbane Man City Liverpool Chelsea Man Utd
Stephen Warnock Man City Liverpool Chelsea Man Utd
Jermaine Jenas Man City Liverpool Tottenham Man Utd
Chris Sutton Man City Liverpool Tottenham Man Utd
Chris Waddle Man City Liverpool Tottenham Chelsea
Leon Osman Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal

Six teams feature in the forecasted top fours, and only Manchester City and Liverpool feature in all 24.

In terms of who will win it, Manchester City are favourites, with 21 votes. Liverpool get the other three.

Overall predicted ranking, using all BBC predictions
(using system of 4 pts for a 1st place, 3 pts for 2nd, 2 pts for 3rd and 1 pt for 4th)
1. Man City 2. Liverpool 3. Man Utd 4. Tottenham 5. Chelsea 6. Arsenal
93 pts 74 pts 34 pts 18 pts 15 pts 6 pts

Man City – a well-oiled machine managed by a serial winner

This is the third season running where City have featured in everyone’s forecasted top four. Last season, only 5% of people we asked thought Guardiola’s side would finish lower than third. This season, no-one thinks they will finish below second.

Alan Shearer: It has been a long time since anyone won back-to-back titles but I think City will win the Premier League again because of Pep – he won’t want their standards slipping. He will play exactly the same way and they are going to be very hard to stop, although I think Liverpool and United will both be a lot closer to them this time.

Shearer joins Ian Wright and Gary Lineker on Match of the Day at 22:20 BST on Saturday on BBC One and the BBC Sport website for highlights of seven Premier League games (including Friday night’s season opener).

City won the 2017-18 title with a century of points, scoring 106 goals

Chris Sutton: Pep will not allow City to become complacent. Their consistency levels last season, when they won 32 out of their 38 league games, including a run of 18 wins in a row, were unbelievable.

Paul Ince: Guardiola is a serial winner – you can see that from the way he rants and raves on the touchline demanding more even when his team are two or 3-0 up. That is his mentality, and his players buy into it.

Matthew Upson: City are about to start their third season under Guardiola and it is clear they are a well-oiled machine. They know his philosophy and the way he wants to play. As we saw in the Community Shield, when they were missing Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva, the personnel does not really matter – when one player steps out another one steps in – and that is their great strength.

Upson and Alex Scott are the guests on Football Focus on BBC One and the BBC Sport website at 12:00 BST on Saturday.

Community Shield: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester City highlights

Sue Smith: If anything City will be stronger because their problem area was left-back last season. Benjamin Mendy is now back and fit and is a real threat down that flank. Look through the rest of the team and it is top quality throughout.

Lindsay Johnson: I cannot see City not winning the title because they have improved an already very strong squad by bringing in Riyad Mahrez, and they seem to be a happy camp.

Jermaine Jenas: I still think City will win the league, but everyone has had a couple of years now to look at this Guardiola side and work out what they are about, like Liverpool did against them last season. It is hard for Pep to keep thinking up new things and if other teams do clock how to cause them problems then that will make life a lot more difficult – and it will not matter how big the gap was in the past.

Liverpool – Man City’s Kryptonite have done the best business of the summer

Klopp on pressure, expectation and Karius

Only 43% people we asked thought Liverpool would make it into the top four last season, and only 13% thought they would be higher than third – they finished fourth. This year 14% think they will win the title and 96% think they will finish in the top two.

Ian Wright: I want this season’s title race to be more spicy and I think it will be. If Liverpool can get some impetus, then we don’t know how Manchester City will react under pressure if a team can stay close to them at the end of the season.

You also have to consider that Liverpool are City’s Kryptonite. That’s why I am backing Jurgen Klopp’s side to pip them to the title.

When Liverpool are doing well in the league, the league seems better. And, when they have got a good team, with the crowd at Anfield they are literally unstoppable – as we saw against City in the Champions League last season.

Ruud Gullit: If City have to battle for the league, we don’t know if they can do that. They will be up there at the top but I am backing Liverpool to win it. They are contenders because of the way they play, and how they control games but they also want to entertain and they want to attack – they play the right way.

Liverpool were Manchester City’s bogey team last season – Walker

Stephen Warnock: Liverpool have arguably done the best business in the window so far, albeit the most expensive. They are going to be stronger everywhere but, if they had not signed Alisson, I would not be backing them to finish second. Getting the goalkeeper right is that important, you only have to look at how many points David de Gea earned United with his saves last season.

Danny Murphy: Getting their signings done so early was beneficial because it gives Klopp time to show what he wants from them, and get them up to the fitness levels he requires for the way he wants to play.

Kevin Kilbane: Alisson is the signing of the summer. I have heard people say that they are one or two players short of a title-winning team but I don’t agree with that – there have been a couple of seasons over the past three or four years when they have been serious contenders but have been one short, and it was a keeper they needed.

I have tipped City because of the way they played last season, and how they play but it would not surprise me if Liverpool won the league.

Join Kevin, Jason Mohammed and Dion Dublin for Final Score on Saturday, from 14:30 BST on the Red Button and from 16:30 on BBC One.

Joleon Lescott: As well as all their signings, it looks like Daniel Sturridge is back in contention at Liverpool now and I think both parties have to recognise the part he can play this season. Klopp has got to see that Sturridge has the close control to unlock teams who sit deep, and Daniel has to realise that when Liverpool are playing on the counter-attack, he has got a lot of work to do off the ball and, like Firmino, is not there just to score goals.

Chris Waddle: They have spent some big money and Klopp cannot keep saying ‘we are building’. This is the year for me where Liverpool have got to come out and say ‘we are competing for the Premier League title’. I know they won’t but they are in a place now where they are trying to win everything City and United are trying to win, so why deny it?

Danny Mills: I suppose the one problem they face is whether they are going to be so heavily reliant on Mo Salah’s goals again. I still think he will score loads, but I cannot see him getting as many as he did last season.

Manchester United – lots of quality, but lacking harmony

Last season, 33% of people we asked thought United would be champions – they finished second. This time, no-one thinks they will win the title, and only one pundit – Dion Dublin – thinks they will finish second.

Dion Dublin: United have got so much quality in their squad and they definitely progressed under Jose Mourinho last season. What they are missing at the moment is harmony, but if he can find that and get all his good players smiling and happy, they will be very close.

You can listen to Dion Dublin and Conor McNamara’s commentary of United’s opening game of the season against Leicester on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website on Friday. Build-up from Old Trafford starts at 18:30 BST.

Mourinho wants two signings, but only expects one

Ruud Gullit: United already had the players to challenge City last season, but they couldn’t do it. So are they going to do it now? Are these players going to perform? You have to ask why so many of their players underachieved.

Chris Waddle: Jose always seems to get out of bed the wrong side every morning. He just has to get on with things and start smiling. If he does that, it will rub off on the team.

Chris Sutton: United just seem to be an unhappy camp and it all comes down to the manager. I wonder what the owners make of him telling fans not to turn up to their tour games in the United States, plus his criticism of his players and all his comments about needing new players but not getting them – he has basically been telling the centre-halves already at the club that they are hopeless.

It has resulted in a negative feeling about the club, at a time when almost every other club in the land has an air of positivity going into the new season. I think Mourinho’s frustration probably comes from him looking at City and Liverpool, and the way they play, and he is probably jealous. You wonder about the impact it will have on United at the start of the season, and what it means for his own future too.

Jermaine Jenas: I don’t see it ending well. There are too many internal issues with existing players, issues over their style of play, and also issues with potential signings supposedly saying they do not want to go and play there for him because of that style of play. United fans are not convinced by the football they play under him, or where they are heading under his leadership, so it is going to be an interesting few months.

Danny Mills: You have to be very careful with the way you read Mourinho because of the way he plays the media, and deflects attention from other things. Don’t write them off on the back of him messing about in a press conference, saying I haven’t got this or that. In fact, write them off at your peril.

Mourinho praises ‘phenomenal’ players during pre-season

Paul Ince: Last season, from a footballing point of view, United weren’t great. Their fans were moaning that they did not attack enough and although I think Mourinho has tried to address that, they really need to hit the ground running this time.

The signs are not great, though. Everything should be geared towards the first game of the season but instead it is all about Mourinho. There are some positives, and I am expecting a big season from Paul Pogba after his World Cup, but I definitely think they need another striker as back-up to Romelu Lukaku – someone in a similar mould to the Belgian.

Ian Wright: It is blatantly obvious that United need central defenders, which is why he has shown an interest in Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld. I am not sure whether he will get either of them before Thursday’s deadline though.

Tottenham – will this season be ‘like Groundhog Day?’

Last time out, 55% of people thought Tottenham would finish outside the top four – they finished third and are the only team to make the top three in each of the past three seasons. This time, 46% think they will miss out on the Champions League spots, and no-one thinks they will break into the top two.

Joleon Lescott: Are Spurs trying to win the league? Do they believe they can win it? I think they hope they can, but they won’t expect it, like the City players do. They remind me of Arsenal a few years ago, when they were just content with finishing in the top four.

Jermaine Jenas: This is a team whose manager knows them inside out and vice versa, and I can see them making a fast start to the season because of that connection. Spurs have also got a group of young players who have been together for a long time and their experience of falling short of winning a trophy will be with them. I just think that, along with them moving into their new stadium mean there are a lot of positives for them.

Ian Wright: Tottenham have a lot of players who came back late to pre-season after the World Cup and having to wait a few games to get into their new ground is going to be another disruption. I just think they might make a stuttering start that other teams might take advantage of.

Chris Waddle: Spurs will definitely be in the top four and I think they have an outside chance of winning the title because their strongest XI is as good as anyone’s in the Premier League, but my worry is that they will be affected by fatigue and injuries, and their squad is not good enough. They are also going to be going into their new stadium, and even if it only takes them a few weeks to settle in, it will be an issue.

Chris Sutton: Tottenham have not signed anyone yet but I still think they have got good strength in depth in their squad. On top of that they are strong defensively and have lots of creative options and have the best striker in the league in Harry Kane.

The making of England’s Kane

Stephen Warnock: Spurs don’t make my top four because I think they have to strengthen. If Kane gets injured, then they are in massive trouble. A couple of quality late signings could tip things in their favour though.

Kevin Kilbane: How do Spurs make that step-up, that improvement they need to go from third-place to champions? It is hard to see them making the signings that would make that happen, and I think this season might be like Groundhog Day for them, where they are just challenging for a Champions League place. It is top four at best for them, because I don’t think they have got enough to seriously challenge Liverpool and City over the course of the season.

Danny Murphy: For the fans, and just to push everyone in the squad, you always need to buy at least one big name, someone who is going to come in and make them better. Of the players Spurs have being linked with this summer, Wilfried Zaha and Anthony Martial would fit the bill, but it looks unlikely either of them will be arriving now.

Chelsea – ‘things are complicated right now’

Community Shield: Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea players will ‘have to work’

Only one BBC pundit predicted Chelsea would finish outside the top four last season – their former manager Ruud Gullit. They finished fifth. This season, Gullit thinks they will finish third, but 63% think they will miss out on the top four.

Mark Lawrenson: I look at Chelsea and it is just a mess, isn’t it? The whole thing.

Ian Wright: They have got a new keeper lined up to replace Thibaut Courtois and I think Eden Hazard will stay, but who is going to score all the goals?

At the moment it looks like they will be relying on Olivier Giroud because it is not happening for Alvaro Morata and we have seen that Michy Batshuayi is not going to do it at this level. So they need another striker which is why, as things stand, they don’t make my top four.

Pat Nevin: Things are complicated with Chelsea. I think they are in exactly the same situation they were in before the season started last year, which is they need to buy. I suspect they will try to bring one more centre-back in but, if David Luiz is back to his best after his injuries last season, then that will not be a problem.

The last couple days of the Premier League transfer window could change everything because they could sell one of their big outfield players and get in three others, and that would completely change the picture.

Upson & Dublin say Chelsea were ‘outplayed’

Stephen Warnock: Keeping Hazard is crucial for Chelsea. He is their match-winner and almost irreplaceable, especially at this stage of the transfer window. Without him, I would not pick them to finish third, but I do think the way Maurizio Sarri plays suits the players he has got, and not having Champions League football will help them a lot.

Ruud Gullit: Players want to win trophies – you know your career is short. Hazard came to Chelsea to win things, not just to play well and earn a lot of money, and he still wants to win trophies – major ones – now.

Chelsea have to create that opportunity for him – if they can’t, then you cannot blame him if he does want to leave. Can they do it this season? It is too early to tell.

Matthew Upson: What Sarri saw in the Community Shield will have told him a lot about what his players are capable of, in terms of fitting into his system or reaching the required standards. He has issues to tackle right through his team and, with Thursday being the transfer deadline for incoming players, there is not much time to decide whether to address them in the transfer market.

Read more from Upson here on the issues faced by new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

Arsenal – A good start under Emery will be crucial

Some 70% of BBC pundits, presenters and commentators predicted Arsenal would finish outside the top four last season, and they finished sixth. This season, 75% think they will miss out on Champions League football again, and no-one thinks they will finish higher than fourth.

New Arsenal boss Emery thanks Wenger for ‘his legacy’

Ian Wright: I have faith in Arsenal finishing fourth because I think their attacking players will cause all the other teams problems – but I am still worried about the defensive side of things and the way the players start the season under Unai Emery, and grasp what he wants from them, is going to be so crucial.

They start against a City team who know exactly what they are doing, but this might be a good time to play them because some of their players are late back from the World Cup. Arsenal are going to play this pressing game and could they catch City off guard? If they do, have they got enough defensively to stop City even if City are rocked by a couple of punches? That might just be my wishful thinking.

After that, they play Chelsea, West Ham and Cardiff, and depending on results, that could be an unbelievable opening, or a case of ‘uh oh’. By the time they get to West Ham, when they will be up against Jack Wilshere, well there is a story waiting to be written there, isn’t there?

Martin Keown: It will be a really close battle to make the top four; Arsenal and Chelsea will push Manchester United all of the way and have an outside chance of claiming a Champions League place. Emery has had longer with his team than anyone else – they’ve largely all been together for the whole of pre-season – and they could potentially cause an upset against City on day one.

Stephen Warnock: Emery has a fantastic record and his appointment is a massive coup for Arsenal. He has signed some excellent players, but a lot depends on how quickly they adapt to the Premier League.

Kevin Kilbane: They won’t challenge for the title but I think Emery will make them more pragmatic and harder to beat. That will be the biggest difference with Arsenal this season compared to when Arsene Wenger was in charge and they played more off the cuff. It is a change that they have been crying out for.

Jermaine Jenas: After 22 years of Wenger running the club, from the way they train to the way they play, the initial shock of playing under Emery will be great for them. That change might feel good to the players in the early stages but nobody really knows how they are going to translate that to the pitch, or which style of play they will adopt and they are a bit of an unknown quantity.



WW1 centenary: William and PM to mark Battle of Amiens

Amiens Cathedral Image copyright PA
Image caption The service is being held at Amiens Cathedral

The Duke of Cambridge and the prime minister are attending commemorations in northern France later to mark the centenary of the Battle of Amiens – the beginning of the end of World War One.

Prince William and Theresa May will give readings at a service at Amiens Cathedral and lay wreaths.

They will also meet descendants of the soldiers who fought.

The British-commanded Fourth Army was involved in the battle, heralding the start of the Hundred Days offensive.

General Sir Henry Rawlinson had learnt the lessons of the bloody Somme offensive and employed improved tactics and new equipment.

  • William and Kate remember WW1 battle
  • Princes pay tribute to fallen soldiers
  • Somme fallen honoured 100 years on

More than 500 UK tanks were deployed, alongside 1,900 British and French aircraft, and more than 2,000 guns from the Royal Artillery.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Forces from Britain, Australia, Canada, France and the US were involved in the Battle of Amiens

A string of military victories by combined air and land forces from Britain, Australia, Canada, France, and the US followed, leading to the surrender of German forces and the end of the conflict on 11 November 1918.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster and Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter will also attend the service.

Gen Carter said the Battle of Amiens was a “remarkable achievement… moulding a new citizen-based force into a very accomplished fighting force, against a backdrop of rapid technological change”.



Deptford fire: Boy, 7, found dead after ‘suspicious’ blaze

Joel Urhie Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Joel Urhie’s body was found inside the home in London after the blaze

A seven-year-old boy has died in a “suspicious” house fire.

Joel Urhie’s body was found after a “very severe fire” in the house in Adolphus Street, Deptford, south-east London, in the early hours of Tuesday.

His father John said: “It’s terrible, the pain we cannot forget.”

Two women jumped to safety from the first floor, while 35 firefighters were sent to the scene, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said. Police have launched an arson investigation.

The Met said it was working with fire investigators and had “deemed the fire as suspicious”.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Scotland Yard has launched an arson investigation

Speaking outside the house Mr Uhrie described his son as “a very lovely boy who was just loving life”.

The 54-year-old said he moved out of the family home about five years ago but had been called at about 04:00 BST to say there had been a fire.

“When I came, the first thing I saw was my daughter inside the ambulance. They said, ‘Joel’s dead’, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.

Image copyright @jenniP1v
Image caption Joel Urhie’s body was found after a “very severe fire”

Neighbours have spoken of their shock at Joel’s death.

A family friend, who asked not to be named, described his mother Sophie as “an angel” who “would come to anyone’s aid”.

“She doesn’t deserve this. She’s so nice,” she said.

Fire crews were called shortly before 03:30 and it took more than 75 minutes to bring the flames under control.

Clive Stagg, who lives in a nearby flat, said he had rushed to the house after hearing a woman screaming and discovered “all hell was breaking loose”.

“I have never seen anything like it. The whole house was ablaze,” he said.

At the scene: Thomas Magill, BBC London News

Image copyright PA
Image caption London Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire was “under investigation”

Friends and neighbours say the family affected by this tragic blaze are “lovely”.

One said Joel would often play outside during the summer holidays.

All morning neighbours have been gathering on street corners offering each other hugs and support.

Many of them have been visibly upset, struggling to come to terms with the news that a young boy has lost his life.

Kayla McClellan lives next door to the family and said that as she tried to leave her house “a wall of fire came through the front and we immediately closed it and went out through the back”.

Joel’s mother Sophie and sister Sarah were taken to hospital by paramedics. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The ground floor of the house was badly damaged by the blaze, as well as the whole of the first floor and the stairs from the ground to the first floor.

Surrounding homes were evacuated as a precaution. LFB said the cause of the fire was “under investigation”.



Boris Johnson told to apologise for burka jibe

Boris Johnson Image copyright PA

Tory chairman Brandon Lewis has asked Boris Johnson to apologise for his remarks about people wearing burkas.

The ex-foreign secretary was accused of Islamophobia after writing in his newspaper column that Muslim women wearing them “look like letter boxes”.

He rejected a ban on full-face veils but said they looked “ridiculous”.

He was criticised by Labour MPs, some Tories and Muslim groups, who said the party was not doing enough to tackle prejudice.

Earlier, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said there was a “degree of offence” in Mr Johnson’s comments.

On Twitter, Mr Lewis said he agreed with Mr Burt and called on the MP and former London mayor to apologise.

  • Johnson burka ‘letter box’ jibe sparks anger

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, Lord Sheikh, who founded the Conservative Muslim Forum, suggested Mr Johnson was “using Muslims as a springboard” for his ambition to lead the Tory Party.

“It is a joke but in very, very bad taste,” he said, adding that the former foreign secretary had a “weird sense of humour”.

Former Tory chairwoman Lady Warsi called for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, telling Channel 4 News: “Muslim women should not be a useful political battleground for Old Etonians.”

But Conservative backbench MP Andrew Bridgen said Mr Johnson had raised an important subject in a “light-hearted way”.

The reaction “says a lot about internal Conservative Party politics” he told the BBC.

Another Conservative MP, Nadine Dorries, said the government should apologise and that “Boris didn’t go far enough”.