News Daily: Sajid Javid on stabbings and May offers towns Brexit boost

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‘Senseless violence’

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to meet police chiefs in an effort to deal with an increase in the number of young people being stabbed to death. This follows the killings of two 17-year-olds in London and Greater Manchester over the weekend. Figures show the number of children aged 16 and under in England being treated for stab wounds has increased by 93%.

Yousef Ghaleb Makki, from Burnage, Greater Manchester, was stabbed to death in the village of Hale Barns, near Altrincham, on Saturday. Two boys, also aged 17, have been arrested on suspicion of murder. Jodie Chesney was killed in a knife attack in an east London park on Friday night.

Mr Javid said: “Young people are being murdered across the country, it can’t go on.” He promised to work to end the “senseless violence” occurring. We look at efforts to stop knife crime before it starts.

Brexit ‘cash boost’ for poorer towns

Theresa May has announced a £1.6bn fund to help less well-off towns after Brexit happens. More than half of the money will go to the north of England and the Midlands. “For too long in our country prosperity has been unfairly spread,” the prime minister said, adding: “We want it to work for all communities.”

But Labour says this is a “bribe” to its own MPs in Leave-supporting areas to help Mrs May get her Brexit deal with the EU through Parliament. Former Conservative-turned-Independent Group MP Anna Soubry has said the same. A second vote on the PM’s deal is due to happen by 12 March. Here’s our simple guide to Brexit.

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Deadly US tornadoes

Tornadoes bringing winds of up to 165mph (266 km/h) have hit the US state of Alabama, killing at least 23 people. Rescuers have yet to reach some areas of Lee County. Thousands of homes are without power. Cold weather is forecast after the tornadoes, with temperatures predicted to drop to near freezing.

Homophobia, HIV and hoax calls: The history of a helpline

By Alice Evans

Lisa Power used to think of herself as a supporter or ally of the gay community, rather than a member. But in 1976 at a march in Lancashire protesting against an employee at a BHS department store losing his job after coming out as gay, Lisa “accidentally” revealed herself as a loud and proud lesbian.

“Somebody handed me their placard while they went to the loo… I didn’t even see the photographer from the local paper,” she says. “The next thing I know there’s a big photo in the local paper with me carrying a placard saying ‘BHS unfair to gays’… oops!”

After that Lisa thought she “might as well” go along with her new identity. She’s been a sharp-tongued LGBT activist ever since.

Read the full article

What the papers say

The deaths by stabbing of two teenagers over the weekend are covered in detail by the press. The Daily Mail says figures showing a sharp increase in such violence are “shocking”, while Metro’s headline, quoting the comments of a grandmother of one of the victims, is “This has to stop.” The Daily Express demands more police on the streets. Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph reports that the UK’s attorney general has dropped his attempts to secure a hard time-limit on the Irish backstop – the mechanism designed to prevent a hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And the Financial Times says there will be a multi-billion pound windfall in next week’s spring statement.

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Lookahead

Today The Car of the Year winner is revealed ahead of the opening of the 89th Geneva car show.

13:30 The funeral of former World Cup-winning England goalkeeper Gordon Banks takes place in Stoke-on-Trent.

On this day

1989 Six people die and 80 more are injured in a train crash at Purley in Surrey

From elsewhere

The hidden nightmare of sexual violence on the border (New York Times)

The funny, fearless women who revolutionised TV (Guardian)

Parents can better cuddle premature babies thanks to tiny new sensors (National Geographic)

Britain from the air: 1945-2009 (Cambridge University)

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