Politics Summary: Thursday, September 24th

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Foreign affairs dominate the front pages this morning, with all eyes on the United Nations summit in New York, where the Prime Minister has reportedly been snubbed by US President Barack Obama, a story the Guardian and Telegraph both lead on. Coloned Gadaffi also featrures prominently, The Times accusing the Libyan dictator of “hijacking the UN” with his 94-minute speech – six times longer than scheduled – in which he tore up a copy of the United Nations charter, thought swine flu was a biological weapon and demanded to know who killed JFK.

The war in Afghanistan is the lead story in The Independent, with the paper drawing parallels with Vietnam, though such comparisons are refuted by ex-Marines commander Julian Thompson, who is quoted as saying “I honestly don’t see it as being parallel to Vietnam. In that situation, America was alone – here, one of the most crucial things is for them to persuade Nato to share the load.”

The prospect of sanctions against Iran look increasingly likely, with both the Times and Guardian reporting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the Chinese Government have bowed to pressure from Iran’s neighbours to support economic sanctions, with Medvedev conceding that “sanctions are seldom productive but they are sometimes inevitable.”

Nick Clegg’s closing speech to the Liberal Democrats is not covered as prominently as the party might have hoped. Clegg said his ambition was to replace Labour as the UK’s dominant progressive force, and spoke of his wish to become Prime Minister, telling his audience that he wanted “to live in a country where prejudice, insularity and fear are conquered by the great British traditions of tolerance, pluralism and justice.”

The Telegraph report on a “crisis meeting” at the Bank of England next Tuesday with all of London’s major economists summoned to Threadneedle Street. The paper highlights fears that the Bank’s quantitative easing policy is failing to deliver, pointing out that although £175 billion has been pumped into the economy, “much of this cash is sitting in banks’ reserve accounts rather than being recycled and flowing around the broader economy.”

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