George Washington named Britain’s greatest ever foe

The American was voted the winner in a contest run by the National Army Museum to identify the country’s most outstanding military opponent.

He was one of a shortlist of five leaders who topped a public poll and on Saturday was selected as the ultimate winner by an audience of around 70 guests at a special event at the museum, in Chelsea, west London.

In second place was Michael Collins, the Irish leader, ahead of Napoleon Bonaparte, Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

At the event, each contender had their case made by a historian giving a 40 minute presentation. The audience, who had paid to attend the day, then voted in a secret ballot after all five presentations had been made.

Dr Stephen Brumwell, who had championed Washington, said: “As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent.”

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Eurozone crisis roars back to savage Spain

Just when you hoped it really was “solved”, the eurozone crisis has roared back on to the global agenda.

Like a lingering bad smell, the fundamental contradictions at the heart of monetary union can be blanked out for a while but refuse to go away. The busted banks, the grotesque indebtedness, the inherent contradictions – in recent days they’ve all burst back into view.

The eurozone has deeply entrenched economic, financial and political problems. No amount of tub-thumping – by Sarko, European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, or anyone else – can change that fundamental truth.

The focus has been on Greece but now it is most definitely on Spain. Will Spanish debt woes spiral out of control and, if so, can they then be contained? That’s the €1 trillion question. But how much is that in pesetas?

Spain is the fourth-largest eurozone economy and the 12th biggest in the world. Spanish GDP last year was almost five times that of Greece. On the surface, Spain’s government finances don’t look bad, with national debt at 68pc of annual GDP – around half that of Italy.

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UN Security Council votes to send ceasefire monitors to Syria

UN Resolution 2042 approved the first 30 unarmed military monitors, who are expected to to leave within days.

The resolution also calls upon the Syrian government to “implement visibly” all commitments under special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan – including the withdrawal of all troops and heavy guns from Syrian cities.

The vote had been expected Friday but was held up by Russian objections to much of the text. Russia’s ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that “substantive changes had been made to make it more balanced.”

Before the vote Mr Churkin said: “Having reported to our capital we are now satisfied we can vote on the resolution.”

Russia and China vetoed the last two attempts by the council to pass a resolution on the crisis.

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Judges signal distaste for Theresa May’s human rights reform

The Home Secretary disclosed last week that immigration rules will be changed by the summer to ensure the “right to private and family life” can only be used to avoid deportation in “rare and exceptional cases”.

But the country’s most senior immigration judge has delivered a ruling in a landmark case which, experts say, reinforces the rights of immigrants who commit serious crimes to avoid deportation.

Mr Justice Blake, the president of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, said a “settled migrant” could not be removed from the country unless there were “very serious reasons” to do so.

Having lived in the UK from a young age, or having a child or partner here, can strengthen a criminal’s claim to stay.

The judge has flagged up his ruling as a “reported determination”, which means that it will used by other judges to decide similar cases.

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David Cameron: I was right to fly the flag for Britain on Asian trip

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister says the UK ignored key trading partners such as Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia for too long, and that he needed to “put things right.”

His trip – which also saw him become the first Western leader to meet Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma since her release by the country’s ruling military regime – has attracted charges of travelling out of personal vanity.

Mr Cameron has been likened to Tony Blair amid claims he is spending too long out of the country chasing photo-opportunities while voters face a series of problems back home, many of them traced back to last month’s Budget.

However, the Prime Minister describes the countries he visited as “powerhouses of the world economy” and insists he was right to lead the “most high-powered British business delegation ever to visit the region”.

“I’ve not been afraid to put myself on the front line of the sales pitch for British business and encouraging investment into the UK,” he writes, citing a number of deals done with Asian companies that will boost jobs at home.

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Ministers sound retreat in charity tax row

Treasury officials are looking in detail at a scheme used in America to encourage philanthropy, amid intense – and mounting criticism – of plans set out in the Budget to restrict tax relief.

The attempt to find a way of dampening the row came as leading philanthropists unite in The Sunday Telegraph to condemn the “confusing and dispiriting” proposals and warn that they will put rich people off giving.

Signatories include three daughters of Lord (David) Sainsbury, the Labour peer and leading philanthropist, Gordon Roddick, co-founder of The Body Shop, and Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Concerns were also raised by Philip Spedding, head of the Prince of Wales’s arts philanthropy charity, who branded the plans “astonishing”, Sir John Ritblat, the chairman of the Wallace Collection in London, and Sir David Tang, the entrepreneur.

Conservative MPs and Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary have already expressed strong reservations.

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