News Daily: Trump fights back

Donald Trump speaking in Harrisburg, PA

When Donald Trump sacked FBI director James Comey, questions were asked over whether this was connected to his organisation’s inquiry into alleged links between the Trump election campaign and Moscow. But the US president has come out fighting, insisting he is “not under investigation”.

In an interview with NBC News, he attacked Mr Comey as a “showboat” and a “grandstander”. But acting FBI director Andrew McCabe has cast doubt on the White House’s claim that Mr Comey had lost the confidence of his staff, speaking of a “deep and positive connection”.

Corbyn: I’m not a pacifist

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will set out his position on defence in a speech later, insisting that he will do “everything necessary” to protect the UK. He’ll say that military action under international law should be a “last resort”, but is to state: “I am not a pacifist.” The Conservatives say Mr Corbyn has “spent a lifetime trying to disarm Britain”.

May: Labour’s deserted working class

The prime minister will make a pitch to the electorate in the north east of England, arguing that the Conservatives can win over working-class voters “deserted” by Labour. Theresa May will say the leak of Jeremy Corbyn’s draft manifesto this week shows he wants to go back to “the disastrous socialist policies of the 1970s”. But Mr Corbyn says the party’s final manifesto – likely to include nationalising the railways and ending tuition fees – will be very popular.

Samurai swords found in schools

More than 2,000 weapons were found in schools in England and Wales in the two years to 2017, according to figures from police forces. A fifth of those, according to the Press Association, were knives or blades, with police chiefs saying there had been a “worrying” increase in possession. Among the more unusual weapons discovered were samurai swords.

Analysis: Young people on the general election

By Laurence Cawley, BBC News

“We’re not voting for a government but a Member of Parliament,” says 18-year-old Poppy Borges-Wilby. “So you’ve got to think about the MP and not just those at the top.”

Read Laurence’s full article

What the papers say

Telegraph/Guardian

Friday’s front pages are dominated by the general election campaign, with the Times saying Labour is fighting a “civil war” over a “hard-left” manifesto, while the Guardian reports Jeremy Corbyn saying the document will “transform the lives” of many. The Sun shows a picture of the BBC cameraman whose foot was run over by Mr Corbyn’s car on Thursday. And the Mirror leads on a letter from nurses to Theresa May, urging an end to curbs on pay rises.

Daily digest

‘Threat to Jews’ – Outrage over video of Danish imam’s sermon

Zika virus – Brazil declares emergency is over after cases decrease

Smacking ban – Scottish consultation over proposal

Seven days quiz – Who’s been clearing beaver dams?

If you watch one thing today

Street food vendors in Bangkok

‘Don’t get rid of our street food’

If you listen to one thing today

Man and child in Venezuela

How did Venezuela get so poor?

If you read one thing today

People walking

What does the way we walk say about us?

Friday lookahead

From 10:30 Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and the EU’s main Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, address a meeting of the centre-right European People’s Party in Dublin.

13:00 Nasa’s Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer perform a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

20:00 Chelsea will be crowned Premier League champions if they beat West Bromwich Albion away.

On this day

1967 The government announces that Stansted, a small airfield in Essex, is to be turned into London’s third airport.

1994 Labour leader John Smith dies after suffering two heart attacks.

2000 Ford announces it is to stop car production at its plant in Dagenham, Essex, after more than 70 years.

Best of the rest

A cold war among cosmologists turns hot (The Atlantic)

This girls’ soccer team joined a boys’ league and won (New York Times)

Is Jilly Cooper as good as Dickens? (Daily Mail)

How the music box set has managed to survive (Guardian)

[“Source-bbc”]