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Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Divisions exist but a sense of Ukrainian national identity is still strong (Independent)

It’s too simple to describe this crisis as a case of east vs west, says Mary Dejevsky. 

2. Salmond offers the independence of a granny flat (Guardian)

It would be a strange sort of freedom in which all the decisions that matter are made in London, writes Larry Elliott. 

3. What the hell is Barack Obama's presidency for? (Guardian)

His ascent to power had meaning, but now his interventions are too rare and too piecemeal to constitute a narrative, writes Gary Younge.

4. Even Henry VIII could afford sea defences (Times)

The money available from the Treasury for river and coastal projects is completely inadequate, says Ross Clark. 

5. Protesters in Ukraine remind us of the priceless benefits of being EU members (Guardian)

Demonstrators in Kiev are fighting for the things European Union countries take for granted – freedom, democracy and peace, says Chris Huhne.

6. Europe cannot ignore deflation problem (Financial Times)

The ECB sees the evidence but its economic models ignore financial markets, writes Wolfgang Münchau.

7. Only Britain can make the North Sea pay (Daily Telegraph)

David Cameron has a valuable Scottish ally to support the case he will make in Aberdeen on Monday, writes Allan Massie. 

8. The north is still not feeling this recovery – and the Conservatives are likely to pay for that at the polls (Independent)

There has been little pick-up recently in house price to earnings ratios, writes David Blanchflower. 

9. Russia needs a ‘Finland option’ for Ukraine (Financial Times)

Kiev must have no participation in any anti-Moscow alliance, writes Zbigniew Brzezinski.

10. We’re not the bad boys of Europe – just ask our ski instructors (Daily Telegraph)

As the most law-abiding of countries, it’s time we insisted others reform their abuses, says Boris Johnson. 

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.