Trump calls mass shootings ‘a mental illness problem’
While Governor Greg Abbott, R-Texas, turned his focus to “mental health” issues after the shooting in El Paso, former Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich called for “reasonable gun control legislation” to reduce gun violence after the shooting in Dayton.“I can pray with the best of them but prayer without action doesn’t matter,” Kasich said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And people say, well, it’s all white nationalism. OK, yes, that we should condemn it, of course. And frankly, that’s a cause for people to look at whether somebody is stable or not. But at the same time, we need reasonable gun control legislation.”Trump, “in honor of the victims of the tragedies in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio,” said he ordered the lowering of flags to half-staff at the White House and all Federal Government buildings.“These are two incredible places. We love the people,” he told reporters. “Hate has no place in our country and we’re going to take care of it.”The president didn’t say what he planned to do to “take care” of hate.
The resignation of national intelligence director Dan Coats, who publicly contradicted Donald Trump’s rosy view of Russian and North Korean threats, opens old wounds. Trump has long publicly denigrated the spy community, which has infuriated seasoned espionage hands. But he isn’t the only chief executive who’s had run-ins with this nation’s intelligence apparatus. Go back to the Civil War and you find that spycraft posed a headache for another Republican president.
Although both Abraham Lincoln and Trump struggled to navigate the intelligence landscape during their presidencies, Lincoln ultimately succeeded in piecing together a makeshift information network, while Trump so far has failed, still relying too often on his gut instinct rather than empirical evidence from his spy agencies.
Granted it may be a stretch, but there are parallels between these two men. Trump assumed the presidency with no government experience. Lincoln had not much more seasoning—one term in the U.S. House of Representatives and four terms in the Illinois state legislature.
Both men inherited a nation deeply divided politically. With members of Congress assaulting one another on the House and Senate floors before the war and 750,000 square miles of the United States cleaved off to form a rebel nation after the fighting started, Lincoln, of course, faced a far worse situation and tried his mightiest to hold the country together at the outset. Trump has been content to further exploit the divisions that existed before he took office.
Trump entered office contemptuous of the CIA, FBI, and the military’s intelligence agencies, claiming at campaign rallies that he understood world threats better than the generals or spymasters, and later accusing government agencies of snooping on him when he was a candidate.
There was no spy organization for Lincoln to disdain when he became president. At the war’s outset, General Winfield Scott, the Union Army’s commander, had no intelligence staff and hired off the street a former San Francisco vigilante named Lafayette Baker to spy on the Confederate force gathering at Manassas Junction.
In the first year of the war, Lincoln had good reason to be contemptuous of the military intelligence capability that evolved. Neither the White House nor the Union army ever had a centralized spy service. Local commanders, none of whom had any training in the dark arts during their cadet days at West Point, were expected to organize their own spy services for their divisions and corps.
The closest to a spymaster the Union force had was Allan Pinkerton, a nationally known Chicago detective who became the secret service chief for the Union’s all-important Army of the Potomac commanded by General George B. McClellan. But Pinkerton, who operated under the pseudonym E. J. Allen, ended up being a failure as a military intelligence officer, feeding McClellan wildly inaccurate reports that inflated the number of Rebel troops the Union general faced. Pinkerton also spied on Lincoln for political intelligence he thought might be useful for McClellan.
By the winter of 1861, the president suspected McClellan, with Pinkerton’s help, was dialing up the Confederate numbers to justify his not moving against the enemy until he had more soldiers. Lincoln reportedly once deadpanned to a visiting New England delegation that he knew the Confederates had a one-million-man army. Why? Because whenever his generals fought the Rebels they always told him they faced two-to-one odds. “Now I know we have a half million soldiers in the field,” he said, “so I am bound to believe the rebels have twice that number.”
Intelligence collection in the Army of the Potomac improved dramatically when it was taken over in February 1863 by Colonel George Sharpe, an erudite New York lawyer who pioneered what spy agencies today call “all source intelligence.” Sharpe raked in information not only from his spies but also from prisoner interrogations, aeronauts flying balloons over the battlefield, signal officers intercepting Rebel telegraph messages, and cavalry scouts on reconnaissance patrols—all to produce intelligence reports that outpaced anything the enemy could muster.
But even Sharpe had his intelligence failures. In the summer of 1864, he lost track of an entire Confederate corps, whose 12,000 men turned up at the gates of Washington, D.C., embarrassing a president already under fire for lack of progress in the Union war effort.
Lincoln and Trump could not be more different in their response to a president’s intelligence conundrum. Lincoln checked out books on military strategy from the Library of Congress and paced back and forth in his bedroom at night digesting them for a crash course on how to wage war. Trump doesn’t read books.
Early in his presidency, Lincoln had the Army begin sending him daily intelligence reports on what it learned about Confederate military movements and throughout his tenure he carved out time in his busy schedule to interview news correspondents on what they learned during visits to the South and to grill Army officers for information they picked up from the front. Trump does not regularly read intelligence summaries that have been prepared for him and sits for relatively few briefings by his spy agencies. He does stay glued to Fox News each morning.
When Pinkerton met with Lincoln to milk him for political information McClellan would find useful, the president, realizing what the Chicago detective was up to, turned the tables and pumped the unwitting Pinkerton for intelligence on his general. Such nuance and mental dexterity as president are not Trump’s strong suit.
Douglas Waller’s next book, Lincoln’s Spies, will be published by Simon & Schuster on August 6.
Russian opposition plans new protest despite over 1,000 arrests
By Andrew Osborn and Maxim Rodionov
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition said it was planning a nationwide protest next weekend despite police forcibly detaining over 1,000 people on Saturday for attending what they said was an illegal march in Moscow to demand free elections.
Saturday’s protest, conceived by opposition activists as a peaceful walk to protest against the exclusion of their candidates from a Moscow election next month, was systematically and sometimes violently dispersed by police.
OVD-Info, an independent monitoring group, said on Sunday that police had detained 1,001 people on Saturday, up from its earlier estimate of just over 800 people. Many but not all of those detained were later released by police, but OVD-Info said 19 were kept in custody overnight.
It said some of those detained had their phones confiscated and had been denied access to a lawyer. Russian investigators had initiated a criminal case against one man, accusing him of injuring a police officer, the TASS news agency reported.
Faced with a wave of summer protests, authorities have opened criminal proceedings for what they term mass civil unrest, an offence punishable with up to 15 years in jail.
Although they have rejected protesters’ complaints, they have said they’ll allow protests in Moscow on Saturday and Sunday next weekend, albeit in a location away from the city center which the opposition has rejected in the past.
But Leonid Volkov, an ally of jailed anti-Kremlin opposition politician Alexei Navalny, said late on Saturday that Navalny’s political movement planned to organize another of its own protests on Aug. 10 which he said would be nationwide.
He said protesters would demand that jailed activists be released, that opposition candidates be allow to run in the Moscow election, and that the mayor of Moscow and other top officials resign.
„This is a matter of human dignity, about the right to choose and express your opinion,” Volkov wrote on Twitter.
„Muscovites have had their elections stolen, are being arrested by the thousand, hundreds are being beaten and dozens jailed. Therefore we’ll have to prove our existence on the streets of our cities.”
He said the opposition did not plan to ask Moscow officials for permission to protest but would do so in other cities.
Activists say the Russian constitution allows them to freely protest. But authorities say they need to agree the timing and location in advance, something that was not done ahead of Saturday’s protest.
The focus of protesters’ anger is a prohibition on a number of opposition-minded candidates, some of whom are allies of Navalny, from taking part in a September election for Moscow’s city legislature.
That vote, though local, is seen as a dry run for a national parliamentary election in 2021.
Authorities say opposition candidates failed to collect enough genuine signatures to register and say the election will be competitive. The excluded candidates say that is a lie and insist on taking part in a contest they believe they could win.
Navalny and at least seven of his allies are currently in jail for breaking protest laws. The ruling United Russia party dominates the national parliament and Navalny and his allies are starved of media air-time.
President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin have not commented on the standoff with the opposition, but Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a Putin ally, has condemned the protests as cynically orchestrated mass disorder.
At well over 60 percent, Putin’s approval rating is still high compared with many other world leaders, but is lower than it used to be due to discontent over years of falling incomes.
Last year the 66-year-old former KGB intelligence officer won a landslide re-election and a new six-year term until 2024.
(Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized an Iraqi oil tanker in the Gulf which they said was smuggling fuel and detained seven crewmen, Iran’s state media reported on Sunday, in a show of power amid heightened tension with the West.
The vessel was intercepted near Iran’s Farsi Island in the Gulf, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said. The elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has a navy base on Farsi Island which is located north of the Strait of Hormuz.
„The IRGC’s naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries,” the Guards commander Ramezan Zirahi told state TV.
The state news agency IRNA, quoting the Guards, said it was an Iraqi ship that was seized on Wednesday night in the Gulf.
Zirahi said it was carrying 700,000 litres of fuel, without elaborating on the nationalities of the detained crewmen.
Iraq’s oil ministry, however, has said that it has no connection with the tanker. Two Iraqi port officials told Reuters that initial information obtained show that the seized „small ship” is owned by a private shipping company, which is owned by an Iraqi private trader.
Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy state subsidies and the fall of its currency, has been fighting rampant fuel smuggling by land to neighbouring countries and by sea to Gulf Arab states.
„The tanker was transferred to the Bushehr port, where its fuel was handed over to the authorities,” Zirahi told TV.
A spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said they had no information to confirm the media reports.
Iran’s English-language Press TV aired a video that it said „shows the process through which the IRGC have halted the ship and taken it into custody”. „The ship was seized in Iranian territorial waters and had been transporting diesel fuel,” it added.
Another oil tanker, the Panama-flagged MT Riah, was captured by the elite force last month for allegedly smuggling fuel.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the West since last year when the United States pulled out of an international agreement that curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme in return for an easing of economic sanctions on Iran.
Fuelling fears of a Middle East war with global repercussions, the Guards seized the British tanker Stena Impero near the Strait of Hormuz in July for alleged marine violations, two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar accused of violating sanctions on Syria.
Britain said on July 25 it had started sending a warship to accompany all British-flagged vessels through the Strait.
Iran has repeatedly said it will not allow any disturbance in shipping in the key oil transport waterway, claiming responsibility for the security of the Strait. In an apparent bid to calm tensions in the Gulf, Shi’ite-dominated Iran has called for improving relations with its regional Sunni rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Last month, Iran and the UAE revived maritime security talks in Tehran that had been off since 2013. Iranian media reported on Sunday that Iranian and Qatari coast guards will meet to „improve maritime and border cooperation”.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a mass shooting at an El Paso shopping complex (all times local):
The grandparents of the 21-year-old man suspected of killing 20 people at an El Paso Walmart say they are „devastated” and are praying for the victims.
KDFW reports a family friend read a statement from Larry and Cynthia Brown, grandparents of Patrick Crusius, on Sunday outside the couple’s Allen, Texas, home.
The Browns say Crusius lived at their home while he attended Collin College in nearby McKinney. They say that while his driver’s license shows the Allen residence, Crusius moved out of the home six weeks ago.
KDFW also reports officers from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been at the Browns’ home since the shooting.
Allen is more than 600 miles from where Saturday’s rampage occurred. More than two dozen people were also injured.
The FBI says the gunman didn’t have any contacts in El Paso.
An FBI official in El Paso, Texas, says there’s no credible intelligence that the suspected gunman in a mass shooting was working with a group planning other attacks.
FBI Special Agent Jeanette Harper said Sunday at a news conference that federal investigators were focusing their interviews related to the shooter around Dallas and San Antonio. Harper also made a plea for anyone with pictures or video from the shooting scene or the Dallas area to upload them to the FBI’s website.
The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius, was from a Dallas suburb more than 600 miles from where Saturday’s shooting unfolded at a Walmart. Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured.
Harper says the gunman didn’t have any contacts in El Paso.
Police in El Paso, Texas, say all bodies have been removed from a Walmart store and parking lot more than a day after a mass shooting killed 20 people.
El Paso police Sgt. Robert Gomez said Sunday the shooting was confined to the Walmart and its parking lot, and that the attack did not spread to other nearby shopping areas. More than two dozen people were also injured in Saturday’s shooting.
Gomez says the majority of victims were inside the store. Authorities have not yet released victims’ names or ages.
The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius, has been booked on capital murder charges.
A Justice Department official says the federal government is treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.
Mexico’s foreign minister says the country plans to take legal action against whoever sold the gun to the man suspected of killing at least 20 people and wounding more than two dozen others in El Paso, Texas.
Marcelo Ebrard said Sunday that „it’s urgent that we take corresponding actions against weapons.” Ebrard has frequently cited the flood of illegal weapons from the U.S. to Mexico as a factor in Mexico’s rising rate of violent crime.
Gun ownership is highly restricted in Mexico, requiring special permits, and gun shops are rare. The average Mexican has trouble legally acquiring a handgun, much less an assault weapon.
Ebrard also called Saturday’s shooting „a terrorist act” against Mexicans and urged the U.S. government to „set a clear position against hate crimes.”
The city of El Paso, Texas, has issued a local disaster declaration following a shooting that left at least 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.
The declaration by Mayor Dee Margo allows for state financial assistance and activates the city’s emergency management plan.
Margo issued the declaration on Sunday, one day after a gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping area.
Margo says the El Paso community is resilient and will not be defined by the rampage.
President Donald Trump has denounced two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, saying „hate has no place in our country.”
Addressing reporters in Morristown, New Jersey, Trump said Sunday that „we’re going to take care” of the problem. The president says he’s been speaking to the attorney general, FBI director and members of Congress, and will be making an additional statement Monday.
He says the problem of shootings has been going on „for years and years” and „we have to get it stopped.” Trump also pointed to a mental illness problem in the U.S., calling the shooters „really very seriously mentally ill.”
The shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend left at least 29 people dead.
Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says the number of Mexicans killed in the shooting in the border city of El Paso, Texas, has risen to six.
López Obrador made the comments during a visit Sunday to a rural hospital in the western Mexican state of Michoacan. He had previously said three Mexicans were killed.
López Obrador also says that the events in Texas reaffirm his conviction that „social problems shouldn’t be confronted with the use of force and by inciting hate.”
The FBI has not publicly released the names or nationalities of the 20 people killed Saturday at a shopping complex in El Paso.< https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-suspected-texas-shooter-booked-140814475.html >
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke out Sunday about the El Paso, Texas, shooting in which the suspected gunman ― a 21-year-old white man who may have shared a white supremacist manifesto online before the attack ― killed at least 20 people at a Walmart, injuring dozens more.
“As the son of a Cuban immigrant, I am deeply horrified by the hateful anti-Hispanic bigotry expressed in the shooter’s so-called ‘manifesto,’” Cruz tweeted. “This ignorant racism is repulsive and profoundly anti-American.”
The senator then called Saturday’s violence “a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy,” calling on the nation to “speak clearly to combat evil in any form it takes.”
As the son of a Cuban immigrant, I am deeply horrified by the hateful anti-Hispanic bigotry expressed in the shooter’s so-called ‘manifesto.’ This ignorant racism is repulsive and profoundly anti-American.
We must speak clearly to combat evil in any form it takes. What we saw yesterday was a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy. There is no place for this in El Paso, in Texas, or anywhere across our nation.
We are all Americans and we are all standing united with El Paso.
Cruz’s statement ― unlike those of several Democratic presidential candidates ― made no reference to racist and xenophobic remarks routinely made by President Donald Trump, which have been widely condemned on the left while the GOP has remained overwhelmingly silent.
Federal authorities are treating Saturday’s shooting as an act of domestic terrorism and said the suspect may face hate crime charges. They are investigating a manifesto posted online shortly before the attack, which may have been written by the gunman. It decries a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” labeling immigrants as “instigators” and warning against “race-mixing.”
“I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” the four-page screed reads.
In an ABC News interview Saturday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), an El Paso native who launched an unsuccessful bid for Cruz’s seat in 2018 and is now running for president, condemned Trump as a “racist” who “stokes racism in this country,” linking his rhetoric to the violence.
On Sunday, O’Rourke told CNN, “We’ve got to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing.”
“There is an environment of it in the United States,” he continued. “We see it on Fox News, we see it on the internet, but we also see it from our commander in chief. He is encouraging this. He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it.”
Last month, Cruz neglected to directly renounce Trump’s racist attacks on four lawmakers of color ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) ― whom the president urged to “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
All are American citizens. All were also born in the U.S. with the exception of Omar, who emigrated from Somalia as a child.
Though the president’s comments were widely rebuked by Democrats, Cruz was one of numerous Republicans who said nothing.
That Trump statement was just one example of the many displays of bigotry that have punctuated his presidency. Most recently, he launched a spate of attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and his majority-black district, which Trump described as a “rodent infested mess.”
In addition to calling out racism since the shooting, Democratic lawmakers have also been demanding gun control measures. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), another 2020 hopeful, told CNN on Sunday that if elected, she would give Congress 100 days to get legislation on her desk, or she would take executive action to implement background checks and ban the importation of assault weapons. She would also seek to revoke licenses from gun dealers who violate the law.
Meanwhile, Cruz, who reaps hefty campaign contributions from his cozy relationship with the National Rifle Association, has made no such promises, even after a second mass shooting of the weekend occurred Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, in which a gunman killed nine people and injured 27.
According to data from Open Secrets, an initiative of the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, during the 2018 election cycle, only one candidate, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), received more NRA money than Cruz.
Open Secrets’ running tally of NRA donations last updated in April shows that by that month, Cruz had received a career total of $176,274 from the NRA, which has given him an A-plus rating.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
Boris Johnson has promised that the UK will leave the EU on October 31 “no ifs no buts”. And unless something changes fast, it looks like we will be exiting without a deal.
But what does this mean? Can a no-deal Brexit still be stopped? In short: yes.
1. MPs vote for a deal
MPs repeatedly rejected the agreement Theresa May made with the EU.
But the PM’s argument is that because the EU leaders never really thought May would take the UK out of the EU without a deal, they did not see the need to concede to demands for the controversial “backstop” be deleted.
The backstop, Brexiteers say, is could keep the UK indefinitely tied to EU rules.
The PM’s plan is that by making the EU truly believe he will force a no-deal Brexit, Brussels will buckle and agree a new deal that MPs will vote for before the end of October. Job… done?
2. The EU extends Article 50
If no new deal emerges, the government could ask the EU to delay Brexit by once again extending Article 50.
Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission, has said she would be open to this. French President Emmanual Macron is less keen – but has not closed the door to the possibility.
Johnson, however, has categorically ruled out asking for an extension. And if he tried it, Tory MPs would go ballistic.
3. MPs vote to block no-deal
A no-deal exit on October 31 is the current legal default. Senior MPs from across the Commons have been holding talks on how to prevent it.
But while a majority of MPs are against no-deal, it is far from clear what there is a majority for.
Some MPs want Brexit, but for it to be delivered with an agreement. Others want a second referendum. And some want Article 50 to simply be revoked.
4. What if Johnson is no longer prime minister?
There is just about time to squeeze in a sneaky general election before October 31. Johnson has insisted he will not call a snap election – but he could be forced into it.
Jeremy Corbyn has said he could call a vote of no confidence in the governmentwhen parliament returns on September 3. The Commons vote would be held on September 4.
Ominously for the prime minister, several Tory MPs have not ruled out siding with Labour to bring down their own government in order to stop no-deal Brexit.
If the government loses it would have until September 18 to try and persuade MPs to change their minds and win a second confidence vote.
Corbyn could try to cobble together a majority with other parties to take over as prime minister without holding an election.
There has also been talk of a government of national unity being assembled by MPs of all parties under the leadership of a senior pro-Remain Tory or Labour MP.
If not, a general election would be triggered. Parliament would dissolve 25 working days before polling day.
This means the earliest day a general election could be held would be October 25. Just one week before the October 31 exit day.
If Labour wins the election, Corbyn could then theoretically ask the EU to extend Article 50 at the last minute.
5. What would Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn do?
Labour has been ever-so-slowly inching itself towards a pro-Remain position.
On Sunday, Corbyn suggested as prime minister he would negotiate a new Brexit deal with Brussels and then put this to a referendum.
Many senior Labour figures have been piling pressure on Corbyn to explicitly back Remain. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, said the party would be “off our bloody rockers” to not back EU membership.
But while Corbyn has now said he would hold a referendum, he has not confirmed whether he would campaign for a Labour Brexit or for Remain.
It is also not clear what would be on the ballot in any second referendum. It could include the option of no-deal. And no-deal could win.
The Tory candidate for one of the party’s target parliamentary seats has sought to distance himself from a column he wrote accusing Scotland of “fleecing” English taxpayers and claiming that Scotland remaining in the UK would be a “catastrophe” for England.
Ryan Henson was selected last year as the Conservative candidate for Bedford and Kempston, which Labour won from the previous Tory MP, Richard Fuller, in 2017 with a wafer-thin majority of 789 votes.
In a 2014 article for Conservative Home, Henson wrote that, except for its contribution to Britain’s armed forces, “Scotland’s single biggest offering to the union over the past 50 years has been to provide the Labour party with parliamentary lobby fodder.
“In exchange, the people of England have seen their prescriptions and their university fees go up, while in Scotland both have been abolished – using English taxes to pay for it.”
A year before the SNP’s huge gains in the 2015 general election, he wrote: “Like a marauding tribe from the Dark Ages, Scottish Labour MPs have travelled south every four years to pillage their hard-working, wealthier and more politically sound neighbours. Enough is enough.”
“Scotland faces economic ruin,” he added, “should it continue with its socialist policies after losing the power to fleece the Conservative-voting English taxpayers. It is we English who bankroll her free health prescriptions; fund the entirety of her children’s four-year-long university courses; and subsidise her bloated, private-enterprise-killing, left-leaning public sector.”
It is we English who bankroll Scotland’s free health prescriptions
He also said that, after Scottish independence, the English economy would thrive and that the English should say “what everyone’s really thinking: Scotland, it’s time for you to go”.
Last night Henson said the article had been intended as satire. “This was intended as a light hearted take on the Scottish Referendum campaign, and was taken as such at the time. It does not reflect my views – I passionately believe in the importance of the Union especially at this time.”
The revelations about Henson come at a difficult time for the Conservatives in Scotland. Boris Johnson was jeered loudly when meeting Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in Edinburgh last week; while the Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, voiced her opposition to a no-deal Brexit after her ally David Mundell was sacked by Johnson from the cabinet.
The SNP’s constitution spokesperson, Pete Wishart, said in a statement: “These comments are typical of the contempt for Scotland that is increasingly in the mainstream of the Tory party – right up to, and including, the prime minister, who himself has spread the subsidy myth.
“Indeed, a recent poll found that – far from being the party of the union – most Tory members would now be happy for Scotland to become independent if that meant delivering Brexit.
“The Tories under Boris Johnson are completely out of touch with Scotland. No wonder more and more people are concluding that independence is the only way forward.”
Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary, Lesley Laird, said: “This is just yet another example of the dangerous nationalism taking hold within the Tory party under Boris Johnson.
“Labour’s message is clear, the real division in society is not the division between Scotland and England. The real division is between those who own the wealth and those who, through their hard work and endeavour, create the wealth.”
The Conservative party did not respond to requests for comment.
A range of stories from the political world make headlines on Sunday – from the latest on a no-deal Brexit and its implications through to a funding boost for the NHS.
The Sunday Times leads with a “revolutionary procedure” which could allow women to delay the menopause by up to two decades, alongside a report of Boris Johnson pledging a £2 billion “blitz” to help patients and doctors.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that MPs have been told it is “too late” to stop a no-deal Brexit, with aide Dominic Cummings reportedly telling ministers that even a no-confidence vote will not stop Britain leaving on October 31.
The Observer also leads with Brexit, reporting that a “secret report” has suggested schools may have to close and exams would be disrupted in a no-deal departure from the Union.
Brexit features on the front of the Mail on Sunday, saying that Mr Johnson has “ramped up his war of words with Brussels”.
The Independent leads with calls from new Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson for anti-no-deal Tories to work together.
Moving away from politics, the Sunday Mirror leads with a “race row” on Strictly Come Dancing following the appointment of Motsi Mabuse as a judge.
The Sunday People leads with an interview with the mother of Karen Matthews, jailed for staging the kidnap of her daughter.
Tomorrow’s front page: Kidnap Karen blames mum for Shannon hell #tomorrowspaperstoday https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/karen-matthews-blames-mum-kidnap-18824521 …
Canadian police divers are searching a river for two missing teenagers suspected of a double murder, after finding an abandoned boat on its shores.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been chasing Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, for weeks since the pair were connected to two separate killings in British Columbia earlier this month.
Authorities announced on 31 July that they were scaling back the search, which had taken officers to the remote town of Gillam in northern Manitoba.
On Friday RCMP officers, travelling in a helicopter, spotted a damaged aluminium boat on the shores of the Nelson River, near Gillam.
RCMP divers have now travelled to the town to search a section of the river.
Their hunt began on Sunday.
“RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) will conduct a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest today,” the force said on Twitter.
The teenagers have been tracked in a series of stolen cars as they have travelled thousands of miles across Canada, from its Pacific coast in the west all to the way east to rural Manitoba.
RCMP units believe the pair have been cornered in this region of rural Manitoba.
The manhunt began on 12 July when Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky, childhood friends, left their home in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and travelled 1,500 miles north to Whitehorse, in the Yukon, claiming that they were looking for work.
But on 15 July police discovered the bodies of a young couple near Liard Hot Springs, back in British Columbia. The RCMP has said the teenagers are suspects in the case and are wanted for questioning.
A few days later a burnt-out truck driven by the pair was discovered, along with the body of Leonard Dyck. Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky have been charged with his murder and chased across Canada by the RCMP ever since.
The father of Mr Schmegelsky has told reporters he believes his son is on a “suicide mission” and expects him to eventually die in a confrontation with the police.
“A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people,” he said. “A child in some very serious pain does.”