Transcribe your podcast

It's 10:00. This is Sky News at 10:00, live from Jerusalem. Israel strikes back against Iran five days after Tehran launched a huge missile and drone attack. The target, the province of Isfahan, home to nuclear facilities, but Iran downplays the strike. The international community calls for calm and an end to the escalation in the Middle East.


Also ahead on Sky News at 10:00 tonight, a man sets himself on fire outside Donald Trump's trial in New York. Police say he's a conspiracy theorist. Nicola Sturgeon speaks out for the first time after her husband, Peter Murrell, is charged with embezelment of SNP funds.


It's incredibly difficult, but that's not the main issue here.


So I can't say any more.


I'm not going to say any more.


Richie Sunack promises to tackle the UK sick note culture, but campaigners say it's a full-on assault on disabled people.


Plus, Fans rejoice as mega star Taylor Swift releases a surprise double album.


And we'll take a first look at tomorrow's front pages in our press preview from 10:30, right through to midnight.


Good evening from Jerusalem. The world had waited five days to see how Israel would respond to the first ever direct attack on its soil by Iran. And in the early hours of the morning, it appears that Israel carried out its promise to retaliate. Details are sketchy, with both sides remaining tight-lipped about exactly what happened. But it's now clear that a limited Israeli strike was aimed at the strategically important Iranian city of Isfahan. The attack follows an escalation of tensions between the two countries over the past two and a half weeks. On the first of April, a suspected Israeli strike hit Iran's consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing at least 13 people, including senior commanders in Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Last Saturday, Iran retaliated, firing around 300 missiles and drones in Israel. Almost all All of them were shot down before entering Israeli airspace. Today, US officials suggested that Israel had fired a missile at a military base in Isfahan, close to a major Iranian military airbase and nuclear facilities. Iranian state TV reported that three Israeli drones were destroyed above the city. The attack has drawn a muted response from an international community keen to avoid the crisis escalating further.


Our first report tonight is from our Middle East correspondent, Alister Bunkle. After five days considering its next move, Israel launched an attack on Iran in the early hours of Friday morning. The target was an air base near the central city of Isfahan. My first light, the skies were calm again. This was filmed at the nearby Isfahan nuclear facility. Not itself, a target. But by hitting close by, Israel had made a point. By breakfast time, Iranian state media was reporting that a few small drones had been shot down. Nothing has happened. Everything is back to normal. The sound heard early in the morning today in Isfahan was not an explosion. It was our powerful air defense firing at a suspicious object. Social media in Iran mocked Israel's attack, another indication that the government was starting to play it down. Iran's President gave an address on television later in the morning and only had this to say on recent tensions with Israel.. Striking Israel was necessary, obligatory, unifying, and a source of pride and power for our great country. There has been no official comment in the Israeli government. Although the far-right National Security Minister, Ben Gevir, put out this tweet describing the strikes as feeble.


Israel's allies, who this week had been urging restraint, were noticeably coy today. I'm not going to speak to that, except to say that The United States has not been involved in any offensive operations. Calm heads should prevail. Any significant escalation in the region is not what anyone needs. It wouldn't be in anyone's interest. There have been no reports of casualties from the Israeli attack, and Iran state TV hasn't shown any video of damage caused. Benjamin Netanyahu would have been given a menu of options for a response against Iran by the IDF. On the more provocative end of the scale would have been a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Lower down, an attack on pro-Iranian militia in Syria, for example. In one ear, he would have had the extreme right wing elements of his coalition demanding that Israel take out a strong response. In the other ear, the US President and other Western allies telling him to take the win and walk away. In the end, he sided with neither and chose something in the middle, a limited response, which Iran appears to be brushing off. Alister Bunkle, Sky News in Jerusalem. It appears that Israel's strike was calculated to send a signal that it's capable of striking Iranian territory without provoking a retaliatory response from Iran.


Our Security and Defense Editor Deborah Haynes has been looking at what we know about the attack in more detail. A muted response by Israel and Iran to this apparent Israeli attack seems to indicate that neither side is seeking an escalation to all-out war for now. While the region is still on a knife edge, the crisis could have been much worse. This map gives a sense of the Iranian military bases and nuclear sites Israel may have considered hitting in retaliation to Iran's unprecedented missile and drone attack last weekend. Yet the response looks to have been limited focused on the city of Isfahan, a center of Iranian missile production, research, and development. Local media reported explosions caused by Iranian air defenses shooting down drones. At least some of the activity appears to have happened at an Air Force base in the city. This picture shows the entrance office windows in the area were reportedly shattered. Satellite imagery from a few years ago gives a sense of why this place might be of interest. With aircraft hangers as well as jets on the tarmac. Also in the area is a facility that's part of Iran's nuclear program. This still from a video shows multiple air defense positions nearby.


A local news reporter describes the site as nuclear energy mountain, and the place is well guarded. Any attack by Israel would have been a way to test Iranian air defenses and to send a message. I think Israel is sending a very clear message to Iran that it can target very precisely deep inside Iran. It's also sending a message at the same time that it is not keen to escalate. It's basically responding very precisely. While recent fears have been about all-out conflict, Israel and Iran have long been locked in a shadow war of deniable attacks and counterattacks. Attacks. An Israeli drone was suspected of a strike back in January last year, also in the central city of Isfahan. Western and regional leaders have spent the past few days urging restraint on both sides. And while a direct war could yet happen, there will surely be renewed hope that further confrontation between Iran and Israel will return to the shadows. Deborah Haynes reporting Well, as well as the direct confrontation with Iran, Israel is continuing military action against Iranian proxies in the region. Skirmishes along Israel's border with Lebanon between Israeli forces and the militant group Hezbollah have increased in recent days, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes, fearing for their safety.


Well, from the Lebanon capital, Beirut, our special correspondent, Alex Crawford, reports. The Iranian influence looms large in Lebanon. Hezbollah is the strongest and most powerful of Iran's proxies. This fighter's funeral was a chance to show not just the Hezbollah's strength in numbers, but the loyalty it can call on against the common enemies. And they start this devoted allegiance very young. Those of us in Lebanon, and everyone who is part of the axis of the resistance everywhere, we're not going to surrender, and no one can frighten us or any partner in this axis. And that is the real risk, and the message from Hezbollah and Iran. Hit us, and you hit us all. The Axis covers Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, as well as Lebanon's powerful militia. It's not really known how strong Hezbollah is in terms of numbers of fighters. Some say it could be as many as 150,000 fighters.


It's impossible to tell.


All we can tell is that there are a lot of them, and they are growing stronger. Tensions on the Southern border have soared over the past week with fears that any direct Israeli attack on Iran would tip Lebanon and the region into all-out war. But in the first Hezbollah response, the group's political wing scoffed at the reports. If there was an attack against Iran. I've never heard of such thing. You don't think there was an attack? I heard it in the news, actually. So you don't think there has been an attack? That's the Iranian Hezbollah view. My understanding is that the Israelis up till now, they want to save their face, but so far, do you believe this is a retaliation for what happened two days ago? I've got no idea, but I am interested in Hezbolar's view. I did say that the Israelis with the Western support, if they get the green light, they would do it. But with tens of thousands of Lebanis already forced out of their homes by bombing and now living rough, Hezbollah insists they have no desire to escalate. Like many others, the Hijazi family, with their elderly and very young dependents, are sleeping in a classroom now, uncertain about when they'll return.


When the phosphorus bombs hit the ground, they produce some yellow powder, and there's a disgusting smell. All our lands are like this. All the south is like this. War is stressful, and in these conditions, it doesn't take much to spark a fight. They've suffered a lot here already, and Right now, the funerals of fighters are several times a day. But Hezbollah are signaling, whilst they don't seek all-out confrontation, they're very ready if pushed. And that will draw in the entire so-called Axis of Resistance across multiple countries countries, not just in Lebanon. Perhaps the only certainty is that the dangers of an escalation still very much remain. Alex Crawford, Sky News in Southern Lebanon. Where do this week's events leave the Middle East and the chances of a regional war. Here's our international affairs editor, Dominic Wagon. In protests in Tehran, they chanted down with Israel and stuck to the official script in the wake of Israeli attacks. The Israelis didn't do anything special, based on what I heard from news agencies.


I don't think they have the courage to do anything after Iran's successful strike.


There is relief across the region that Iran is responding by putting on protests, not retaliating again with missiles. Middle East to step back from the brink after Iran's unprecedented missile onslaught on Israel at the weekend. But analysts here say the rules in the region have changed, and Iran has now forever upped the ante. Now, every time that Israel might do something against the IRGC or might do some sabotage against their nuclear program, as we've seen countless times over the years, this could be the excuse that the Iranians want to launch another salvo of drones and ballistic missiles at Israel. For almost half a century of assassinations, proxy wars, secret operations, Iran and Israel have fought each other in the shadows. After Israel's massive airstrike on Iranian commanders in Damascus earlier this month, the fear was of all-out conflict engulfing the region. That hasn't happened yet.


But Israeli observers of Iran say something fundamental has now shifted all the same.


Yes, the shadow war came out of the shadows. It will return to the shadows, but this is not permanent. Now we have a precedent for Iran firing at Israel in such large numbers. I think they could do it again somewhere along the line, but I think they're going to choose a more convenient time. Israel still faces the threat of attacks from Hezbollah from the north, missiles from militia in the east, and its war in Gaza has yet to neutralize Hamas. On any of those fronts, there is the risk of escalation to a much bigger war. That threat has been averted for now with Iran, but it remains an ever present danger. Well, let's bring in Dom, who joins me here live in Jerusalem. And Dom, does it for now feel like the lid has been shut on this crisis. I think on the immediate crisis, on the immediate fear of an all-out war engulfed in the region, yes, the lid has been put back on the bottle. The genie has been stuffed back into the bottle in that sense. Israel struck in a limited way. Iran has played down what's happened. We're not standing here tonight expecting hundreds of missiles to be fired and drones towards Israel.


But I think for Israelis, the lid is not on that tightly, not that securely, because the Uranians have crossed this red line. They've done something that they've never done before. And so as we're hearing in that report, the analysts are saying here that when it weighs up its response to future attacks, future provocations, as the Uranians will see it, they are more likely to respond with some direct retaliation. And next time, there may not be a 12-day warning period that they will give the West and the allies of Israel to come around and protect Israel. The other really important point for the region is that lid can be blown off again, regardless of what's happened over the last few days because of the war in Gaza. As we've been saying for six months, this war has the potential to expand and escalate through misunderstanding, through the wrong shell landing in the wrong place, through escalation to become a much bigger war anyway. And the bad news on that is there is really no sign of the Gaza War coming to an end. We're back to where we were really a month ago, where the whole process of the strike and counter-strike distracted us.


The Americans aren't happy with the way that war has been prosecuted, but they are, it seems, going to allow Israel to go into Raqqa, this densely populated area in the south of Gaza, where as many as 2 million Palestinians have sought refuge, many of them coming down from areas where the war has been raging and where Israel feels it needs to go in to hunt Hamas leaders. They have not managed to kill key Hamas leaders to get all the hostages back. Still 130, at least, hostages still stuck in Gaza, held by Hamas. And also they have not been able to neutralize and destroy Hamas. So Israel hasn't reached and has not has achieved any of those war aims, and therefore it feels it has to carry on. And for as long as this conflict continues, the more there is the possibility, or the longer this goes on, the possibility of an escalation leading to a much bigger conflict, which is why, as well as applauding the Israelis for their restraint, its allies are tonight saying that much more effort needs to go into easing the situation in Gaza and trying to bring that war to some an end.


Tom, thank you, as always. Well, that's it from the team here in Jerusalem. Good night for now. I'm back to you in London, Gillian.


Yalda, thank you. A man has set himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump's trial is taking place. It's unclear why he committed the act, although police said he was a conspiracy theorist. He remains in a critical condition. Our US correspondent, James Matthews, joins me now from Washington, DC. James, an horrific event. What more do we know about what actually happened?


Yeah, horrific would be the word. Extremely distressing for those who were outside that court building in Lower Manhattan. And I do warn viewers that this will be distressing imagery that we are about to show. It took place in a park just across the road from the court building, some 100 feet from the building itself. And Donald Trump was inside there, the court case ongoing. One man, a 37-year-old, Max Azzerello from St. Augustine in Florida, went into the park. This was just around lunchtime, just after a jury had been in panel, 12 members of a jury and six alternates. At that point, he was carrying pamphlets, threw the pamphlets in the air, covered himself in some accelerant and set himself alight. Nypd officers and court staff came to his aid, put out the fire using fire extinguishers. He was taken to hospital, where he remains in a critical condition. In terms of the contents of the pamphlets, the New York Police Department, news conference, news conference, and they shed some light on the content, the written material that this individual had in his hand. The pamphlets seem to be propaganda-based, almost like a conspiracy theory type of pamphlet.


Some information in regards to Ponzi schemes and the fact that some of our local educational institutes are fronts for the mob. So a little A bit of a conspiracy theory going on here. Donald Trump was asked about that by reporters, asked about the incident. He didn't make any comment, but it was typical Trump. He called the court case, Again, a witch hunt, came into court with a fist in the air. We can show you pictures of him winding his way back to Trump Tower. After the weekend, come Monday morning, that's when the trial will begin in earnest with opening statements. Donald Trump was asked, once more, will you testify? In the past, he has said he would, and he reaffirmed that today. So Monday, the big day for Donald Trump. Openings statements, and thereafter, evidence from witnesses.


James, thank you. Incredibly difficult. That's how Nicola Sturgeon has described her situation in her first public statement since her husband was charged over allegations of embezelment. Ms. Sturgeon's partner, Peter Murrell, who's the former chief Executive of the Scottish National Party, was charged last night by police investigating the SMP's finances. Skye's Scotland Correspondent, Conor Gillis, reports.


Ms. Sturgeon, just your reaction to the news. Look, this is a difficult time. Seen for the first time after the most dramatic moment in this country's highest profile police probe. How difficult is this for you personally? It's incredibly difficult, but that's not the main issue here. I can't say any more. I'm I'm not going to say any more. Her husband, Peter Murrell, charged with embezelment of SMP funds, a party the pair dominated for decades. He was the CEO of the SMP for almost 20 years, but it all changed last year for the couple who were both arrested and questioned by detectives. She was released without charge, pending further inquiries and an investigation focused on £600,000,raised for a second Scottish Independence referendum. A really serious A headache for Hamza Youssef, who says Peter Murrell is no longer part of his party. These are serious, serious developments. As per the police statement, we now know that an individual has been charged, Peter has been charged, where the allegation of embezelment from party funds, and that's a really serious matter indeed. Many people in the SNP, right across Scottish politics will be shocked by the news. This is an investigation involving some of the most senior specialist detectives in the whole of the UK, and they have been clear that the case into the SNP's funding and finances very much continues.


But lawyers north of the border have also said that if there is to be a criminal trial involving Peter Murrell, then it could still be a long way off. The police have charged Peter Murrell, so they believe they've got enough evidence to charge him with a crime of embezelment. They will be preparing a report, which they'll send to the prosecutors who will then decide the next stage of the time frame. That will result in a court hearing where the charges are presented and Peter Murrell will have to make a plea of guilty or not guilty. Nicola Sturgeon is now pleading for privacy in a story that has a long way to go. Conor Gillis, Sky News in Glasgow.


Richie Sunack has vow to put an end to what he call the UK's sick note culture. The Prime Minister said the number economically inactive young people in Britain was a tragedy and unveiled planned reforms to the welfare system. But campaigners have described the plans as a full-on assault on disabled people. Our political correspondent, Tamara Cohen, reports. Can you get it?


Carol, who lives with her assistance dog, has mental and physical health conditions which affect her daily life.


I have times when I can't get out of bed, and I have times when to anybody on the street, I'd look perfectly well.


Good girl.


She's able to work from home, but relies on personal independence payments and says the assessments are already rigorous.


It's so traumatic and so stressful, and the constant reassessment just exacerbates people's symptoms, especially if they've got mental health problems. If you're depressed or anxious and you're living on edge like that all the time, it's awful.


Rishi Sunak says these benefits need reform and suggested some people with mental health conditions could receive treatment instead of payments. We need to be more more ambitious about helping people back to work and more honest about the risk of overmedicalising the everyday challenges and worries of life. He said mental illness is real and serious, but the bill is rising. We now spend 69 billion pounds on benefits for people of working age with a disability or health condition. That's more than our entire school's budget, more than our transport budget. 2.8 million working age people are not in a job due to long term sickness. That compares with 2 million in 2019. He's also concerned about sick notes, with 11 million issued by GPs last year. Nosely in Liverpool has the highest rate of what's called economic inactivity. People not in a job or seeking one, including because of illness. People here were concerned about the proposed changes. There's no compassion whatsoever. That's the thing is.


If you haven't been through it, then you don't understand it.


If you haven't been through the depression where you physically can't get yourself out of bed in the morning. People want to wear. People don't want to sit on the backside. Charities say these reforms would have a significant impact. This feels like a full on assault on disabled people, and it feels like we're trying to split out mental health from physical disability. It's really worrying, and I think probably deeply distressing for lots of people to hear our Prime Minister say that their condition isn't as serious as they think it is and doesn't deserve the support that they've been getting in the past. Hi. Good morning, Mr. Prime Minister. After the speech, meeting workers, the Prime Minister says his welfare plans are a moral mission. The finer details will have to wait until after the election. To Mara Cohen, Sky News.


The Metropolitan Police has apologized after an anti-Semitism campaigner was threatened with arrest at a pro-Palestine protest. The Met has also apologized for It's a subsequent response to the incident. The video shows Gideon Corsaire, in full of the INAS, that he was quite openly Jewish and causing a breach of peace. Well, the Met initially responded, stopping short of apologizing for the incident. Tonight, the Met retracted that statement and said the use of the term 'openly Jewish' by one of our officers is hugely regrettable. We know it will have caused offense to many. We reiterate our apology. In an effort to make a point about the policing of protest, we caused a further offense. This was never our intention. We have removed that statement and we apologize. Two police officers are being investigated over contact they had with a 27-year-old mother who was killed in Bradford early this month. Kulsumah Akta was stabbed as she was pushing her pram. West Yorkshire police had been notified that she had received death threats. Police say they're reviewing available information concerning the politician Mark Menzies. The MP stepped down yesterday from the conservative Parliamentary Party over allegations he misused campaign finances.


Mr. Menzies denies wrongdoing. The mega star, Taylor Swift, has surprised her huge fan base with the release of a new double album. In the early hours, she announced that her record, called the Tortured Poets Department, contained retained twice as many tracks as expected. Emma Birchley reports.


It was an unexpected early hours update that sent Swifties into a spin. And for a fortnight, there News that the 11th studio album from global mega star Taylor Swift would come with 15 extra tracks. It followed the release of a short video teasing what was to come. Then at 07:00 AM UK time came this on social media. It's a 07:00 AM surprise. The Tortured Poets Department is a secret double album. The result said the star of wanting to share the tortured poetry she'd written over the past two years. This period of the author's life is now over, she wrote in another post. The chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. It's a break-up album that's got fans speculating about exactly who she's singing about. Two British exes are certainly contenders, actor Jo Elwyn, as well as Matty Healey, singer from the 1975. But there's also a song thought to refer to her current love, American footballer Travis Kelsey. Jody Ward works at Banquet Records in Kingston and bought her a copy as soon as she got in. Your flatmates are all fans as well.


Oh, big fans. They're very excited to get their hands on this as well as me. Do you think you'll all have your own version?


Yeah, definitely.


Even though we normally use the one record player in our house, we all have our own. John Tolley took delivery of 250 copies first thing. We're selling more and more records, and vinyl is at a 25-year high. And whilst there's hundreds and thousands of artists putting out records on vinyl, no one is selling as many records as Taylor Swift. The vinyl version doesn't include the full list of bonus tracks, but it'll still set you back £42. But the billionaire isn't just bolstering her own bank balance. The six-day Los Angeles leg of her Eres tour is said to have boosted the local economy by the equivalent of £250 million. It's going to be called the Eres Tour. See you there. Her current show has sold out stadiums across the world and is projected to become the highest grossing tour in history. This latest album is just more fuel for fans' adulation while keeping them guessing. Emma Birchley, Sky News.


Swifties are in heaven. That was Sky News at 10:00. Coming up, we'll take a first look at tomorrow's Newspapers in the Press Preview. Tonight, we're joined by the Guardian columnist, Surrey Williams, and the former Conservatives Special Advisor, Anita Guatte. Amongst the stories we'll be discussing, a This on the front of the Financial Times. It's headline, Israel launches limited strike on Iran in response to missile attack. We'll be right back. Do stay with us.


Welcome back. You are watching Sky News. In just a moment, the press preview. A first look look at what's on the front pages as they arrive. But first, our top stories. The international community calls for calm as Israel strikes back against Iran after last weekend's attack. A man has set himself on fire outside Donald Trump's Hush Money trial in New York. Police say he's a conspiracy theorist. Nicola Sturgeon has spoken publicly for the first time since her husband, Peter Murrell, was charged with embezzlement, saying the situation is incredibly difficult. You are watching the Press Preview, a first look at what's on the front pages as they arrive. It's time to see what's making the headlines with the Guardian economist, Zoe Williams, and the former Conservatives Special Advisor, Anita Boateng. Let's see what's on some of those front pages for you now. Israel launches a limited strike on Iran in response to missile attack. That's the page lead of the Financial Times. Now, as the mirror puts it, the world is waiting to see what response, if any, comes from Iran. But Zoe's paper, The Guardian, says world leaders are calling for calm to try to break the cycle of tit-for-tat military strikes.


The Telegraph reports on the threatened arrest by police of a man walking near a pro-Palestinian protest in London because he was, in officers' words, openly Really Jewish. According to the eye, the Conservatives intend to drastically cut the personal independence payment disability benefit and change its eligibility rules. I can't put my teeth in tonight. In the hope of winning votes at the next election. Richie Sunak's proposed benefits crackdown also makes top story in the mail. The Times, meanwhile, says that the Conservatives are planning a stamp duty cut in the autumn statement to win voters at the next election. The Express leads with news of its 200,000-name petition supporting Dame Esther Ranssen in her calls for MPs to get a free vote on assisted dying. An armed raid on the home of Premier League footballer, Deli Alley, is top story in the sun, as recounted by a former girlfriend who was there. And ratzilla. That's how the star describes rats, the size of cats that some of the country's rubbish collectors are now encountering. I need to see photographic evidence for that story. A reminder that by scanning the QR code you'll see on screen during the program, you can check out the front pages of tomorrow's newspapers while you watch us.


We are joined tonight by Zoe Williams, remotely, and Anita Buatse. Let's start with the FT. Anita, take us into this top story, Israel launches a limited strike on Iran in response to that missile attack. Are these the headlines that you were expecting?


Yes. I think the good thing about the coverage of this strike attack is that the reaction has been muted. There are signs that an escalation can be averted. Let me let's go back to the weekend when Israel decided to take action against some Israeli the Iranian commanders in Damas because they were said to be part of the plotting and working with the likes of Hezbollah that had been launching a series of continuous attacks on Israel for quite some time. Obviously, That was on consulate grounds. That is against the rules, and so Iran retaliated. Now, Israel has launched a limited strike. The situation now is that both sides are talking down the impact of this, in in terms of collateral damage and that thing. There's been a lot of Western pressure from the likes of the US and, of course, the UK for Israel to show some restraint. The problem with this situation is that the military attacks that are taking place between Israel and Iran are to make a political point, which is, I'm not happy with what you're doing. The challenge with that is, what does military victory look like? Because ultimately, what you're doing is trying to have the last word.


So although there is a lot of muted reaction and no one is giving escalatory language, there is a bit of a concern that neither side is quite going to be able to completely let go of minor skirmishes, which then through the incident could escalate further.


Zoe, what are your thoughts? Are you positive in the sense that it does seem that all sides are playing down this latest retaliation and seemingly not wanting to to take it any further.


I really agree with Anita, actually, very strongly on that question of wanting the last word and what that means in terms of military strategy, because it actually doesn't allow very much strategic thinking, and it doesn't really lead to any obvious, predictable outcome. It's very much a, I can't let that stand. That was Iran's reaction to the Damascus attack, which is why they sent those Those 300 attacks, which were all fruitless, actually, apart from one. It did seem more about display than any military objective. The reason everybody's so terrified about that is because if it's not about objective, if it's all about display, then they can really ratchet up one another's response. The FT seems very sober-headed. The Guardian's gone with this idea that the rest of the world can put some pressure on Israel, but I think we You should be mindful of the fact that very little concrete pressure has been put on Israel so far that you could actually point to and say it's been successful. The Mirror is worried, and it's worried for a reason. One of the Israeli attacks on Iran was very near a nuclear base. You can't assume that that was an accident.


Again, it could be saber rattling. It must be saber rattling, otherwise they would have hit the nuclear base. But it's a very loud saber, and if itif there is a conflict of who's got the biggest arsenal, then things could go wrong very, very easily. Things could go wronger than they could go right in this situation, I think.


Yeah, Anita, the mirror is very much on that note, isn't it? Now the world waits on Iran, and they're suggesting that Middle East has edged closer to an all-out war.


Yes, and I completely agree with Zoe. In the sense that there's been a unspoken detente, you might call it, between Israel and Iran, in that Iran has never directly attacked Israel, and that rule has now been broken. And so the The question of how you put that genie back in the bottle is really now quite front and center of the conversation, because we've talked many times, Gillian, about the risk of Hezbollah being drawn quite clearly into a more direct conflict with Israel. But that really was, and that is a very scary prospect, but nevertheless, that's quite different to a direct Israel-Iran skirmish. That may be what we are looking at here, even though both sides recognize the peril of that as demonstrated by the language. I think that it isn't quite a everyone rush for this is the end, but it does mark a distinct different element and component and complexity in the conflict. Of course, even though the road is paved with good intentions, we may end up in a situation where those direct skirmishes continue and therefore escalate, either by intent or incidentally. Just on Zoe's point around what the intent was, I mean, Iran would not have wasted the number of missiles that it used in retaliation to Israel's attack in Damascus, just to make a point not intending to damage and hurt Israel.


I think that there was a need for a military display there. As Zoe said, the response that came quite close to the nuclear bases or suspected nuclear bases in Iran shows that this is serious as much as it is political, too.


But certainly all around, the rules have changed, haven't they now from this point onwards? Let's have a look at another story. We'll start with the mail on this. And benefits to be axed after a year on the doll. This is the Prime Minister announcing his intentions in terms of a shakeup of the welfare system. Zoe, let's go to you on that.


Well, look, there's absolutely no way this could ever be put into policy, right? Because if people are already punished incredibly severely for failing to seek work, effectively, they're already an amazing system of benefit sanctions which cast people into absolute penury. People have starved to death on benefit sanctions already. Strategy. The idea that you could make that system harsher and more punitive and that would fly is just for the birds. It just wouldn't work. Therefore, I don't actually think it's designed to work. I think the play is the Conservatives don't realistically expect to get into government after the next election. They're just trying to build a trap for Labor where they look incredibly harsh on benefits claimants, and Labor has to either meet them and lose a lot of their core support or oppose them and say who they actually are. Now, I don't think it's an unintelligent play, but I think it's unbelievably cruel to people who are receiving benefits, especially since most people on benefits are also working. I think it's extremely cruel to use their livelihoods and their ability to stay alive in this power play between the Labor and the Conservatives. But I don't think it's meaningful policy.


I don't think there's any chance in hell that this will ever happen.


Do you think that's the case, Anita, that it is playing policy? It's the Prime Minister saying that he's determined to prevent people staying on benefits as a lifestyle choice.


Yeah, I think that actually his speech was a lot more thoughtful and engaged in real policy challenges than Zoe is giving him credit for. I mean, I quite understand her political position, but I think that it's worth view as We're looking at the whole piece because fundamentally, we are dealing with a situation now with the amount of economic activity in the UK, in contrast to all other countries in Europe, pretty much, and the pattern that we're seeing across the Western world. We are a serious outlier, and particularly post-pandemic, we are seeing these rising challenges. It feels as though everyone says, Well, that's not a good thing. Something must be done. But why don't we deal with how we the pipeline of people who are becoming sick, which isn't really quite the problem, because right now we have a lot of people who are leaving the workplace or who are not present in the workplace. We do know, and there are studies that show the benefits of work for people of all sorts But what do you think of the Prime Minister's tone, though, saying that too many young people are complaining of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression?


What do you think about the tone?


I don't think he was saying too many people were complaining. He was saying that, I mean, this is, I think, paraphrased. I think What he was saying was that young people in particular are getting further and further away from the workplace because of mental health conditions. And he was saying there is some benefit to even if you're suffering from anxiety or depression with work support being part of work. I think there is evidence of that. Actually, I disagree that this is about the politics of it. I think this is about policy. No one really has a solution. No one's really grappling seriously with how you get people who have been out of work for a long time back in.


Very quickly, Zoe, because we've got to go to the break. Is it a vote winner, though? I just want to come back on that.


We have an absolute pandemic of mental illness in this country, thanks to chronic underfunding of mental health services and a number of other poverty-driving factors. Poverty drives people into mental illness, and those illnesses are severe. You don't just get told by somebody in a Jobcentre Plus to go and work if you've got catastrophic depression and can't get out of bed. So This whole idea that Richie Sunak could make a policy that would make severely mentally ill people better is completely fanciful.It's a conservative fantasy.How.


Do you get people back into work?


You have to actually systemically... But the thing is, you have to actually... Sorry, I can't. If the question is, how do you get mentally ill people back to work, then you need a whole system approach to the fact that they're mentally ill, which includes people in dire housing conditions do become mentally ill. People with no money to feed themselves do become mentally ill. If you ignore all that and say, just bully them back into work, that's basically a creed of a de-developing nation. That's basically saying we don't care about those people anymore.


Okay, Zoe and Anita, we could go on, but we must leave it there to take a break. Coming up, we'll look at some of the fiscal policies the Conservatives are hoping might win them. Votes will be right back with that, Amal.


I'm Adam Parsons. I'm Skye's Europe Correspondent, based here in Brussels. More flares going off. A volley of rocks, cobbles have been pulled up out and are being used as missiles the hole at this place. We take you to the heart of stories that shape our world. We aim to be the best and most trusted place for news. We We have now left Italy and entered France. Nobody's asked to check our identity. Made by people who dare to challenge. Nice to see you again, Mr. Barna. How are you? Why? I'm meeting you. Fishing does have the potential to stymie an enormous economic deal. What strikes you when you come to this glacier is not just the way in which the environment is changing, but the speed at How much those changes are happening. It's devastating, actually.


We've got your Sunday mornings covered. From the front page and the sounds of the streets to the voices of the people who make the major calls and big picture politics beyond Westminster. We'll put you at the heart of our story. A new start to Sunday. I'm ready. Are you? Join me, Trevor Phillips, Sunday Mornings on Sky News.


Welcome back. You are watching the Press Preview. Still with me, the Guardian columnist, Zoe Williams, and the former Conservatives Special Advisor, Anita Boiting. Let's take a look at The Times front page story, and this regarding the conservative plan to cut stamp duty, describing it as a pre-election giveaway. Anita.


Yes. The most interesting component of this story from a very respected and well-networked political editor, Stephen Sminford, is that there are possible plans for an autumn statement, which obviously means that the plans for a November election is certainly something that the Treasury perhaps are hoping might be in the case. What it talks about is one of the ideas that was being grappled with as part of the spring budget that might now be brought in in the autumn, and that is a counter stamp duty. That would mean people paying the stamp duty, which is obviously a tax on When you buy a home, from £250,000 to £300,000, you could increase that threshold. It would mean nearly half of all people buying houses would not pay any stamp duty. This would cost about £3 billion a year by 2028, 2029. An expensive budget measure, but not a catastrophicly expensive budget measure. That's probably about the right a lot for a government that doesn't have a lot of options when it comes to public finances.


Zoe, do you view this as another example of playing politics?


I mean, it's interesting because Anita is completely right. It does signal that there are Certainly people in government who are thinking November for the election. Loads of Labor MPs I've spoken to have been planning on November for a long time. In the inside pages of the Times, they cover a large number of Conservatives, however, who are still gunning for summer. I just think you maybe use a lot of headroom wondering what this autumn statement would look like. Nobody knows whether this stability exists within that government to even have the election when they decide to do it, let alone when they've decided to do it. If you see what I mean. They haven't decided, but nobody knows whether soon that can weather a trouncing in May in the calls without actually some destabilizing move against him. Long story short, I wouldn't take it that seriously. I think it's a little bit pointless. I don't think it's going to be a huge vote winner, and I'm not sure that it's not just more posturing.


Anita, what about when we look to the FT Weekend, the Chancellor targeting 2P National Insurance Cut in more giveaways?


In a way, I guess the key thing is that if you're the Chancellor and you're the Treasury, you should responsibly be planning and thinking about what you might do to shepherd the economy if there's an ultimate statement that arises. I don't think it locks soon, I can, in any case, and you'd quite want a government to be doing its homework. The idea here is really that you could have a fiscal event. Yeah, I promise you. Jeremy Hunter said many times that he's very keen on getting taxes as low as possible. There might be another 2P national insurance cut, which is a lot more expensive than stamp duty. It costs about £9 billion a year. That could be another thing that the Treasury puts on the table for consideration if we end up with an autumn statement.


Yes, Zoe, senior Tories said the Treasury was preparing for another fiscal event But everything depends on the timing, as we said, of the election.


Everything depends on the timing. Sunak has tried a number of times since he started launching the locals to persuade people that they should feel a lot richer because of the There's a lot of international insurance cuts that have already been made. But nobody is feeling richer. I mean, combination of his inflation not coming down fast enough, food prices remaining high, even though they're not going up anymore, is making people look at these vaunted cuts and think, It's not going to make any difference to me.


I'm not sure about that. I think that inflation now being at 3.2% and possibly heat-hitting 2% by the end of the year, and if we see a Bank of England interest rate cut, I think that will make a difference.


Anita and Zoe, Great. Thank you so much for taking us through the papers. We'll see you at the top of the 11..