US ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick defrocked over abuse claims

A former Roman Catholic cardinal has been defrocked after historical sexual abuse allegations. Theodore McCarrick is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times. US Church officials said allegations he had sexually assaulted a teenager five decades ago were credible. Mr McCarrick, 88, had previously resigned but said he had « no recollection » of the alleged abuse. The alleged abuses may have taken place too long ago for criminal charges to be filed because of the statute of limitations. Mr McCarrick was the…

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s visit to China not going ahead

A visit to China by Chancellor Phillip Hammond has been called off amid reports a speech by the UK’s defence secretary angered Beijing. There were plans for trade talks between Mr Hammond and senior Chinese government figures during the brief visit next week. But a Treasury spokesperson said: « No trip was ever announced or confirmed. » Earlier this week, Gavin Williamson had indicated the UK’s intention to send an aircraft carrier to the Pacific. Unconfirmed newspaper reports claimed the Chinese government was unhappy about Mr Williamson’s speech on Monday.…

Electronic GPS tags to track thousands of criminals in England and Wales

Thousands of criminals in England and Wales will be tagged with GPS trackers to allow authorities to trace them 24 hours a day. Currently, electronic tags are linked to a box at a fixed address, such as an offender’s home, with alerts generated if they are not there at certain hours. But the new location tags will track a person’s movements wherever they go. Justice Secretary David Gauke said the tags will better protect victims of domestic abuse or stalking. The new GPS tags are already being used in some…

Shamima Begum: Family of pregnant IS teen plead for return

The family of Shamima Begum – the teenager who went to Syria to join the Islamic State group – have called on the UK to bring her back « urgently ». Her family, from east London, said the 19-year-old’s unborn baby is « a total innocent » and had the right to grow up in the « peace and security » of the UK. Ms Begum told the Times she feared her child would be taken from her if she came back to the UK. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has…

Is there a suicide crisis for British veterans?

Military charities say they are not coping with the increased demand for mental health support. Campaigners estimate that last year, at least 58 veterans took their own lives. The Ministry of Defence spends £22 million pounds a year on mental health for veterans, while the NHS has dedicated around £6m annually since 2016. Reporter: Jonathan Beale, Production, filming, editing: Claire Read. If you’re affected by emotional distress, click here for help and support, or wider information is available via the BBC Action Line. Source: BBC

‘Killer car seats’ sold online for £8

Children’s car seats, dubbed « killers » by trading standards officers, have repeatedly appeared for sale on online marketplaces, Which? has warned. The consumer group said the fabric seats, which can cost as little as £8, offered almost no protection in a crash and were illegal to use in the UK. The online sites – Amazon, eBay and AliExpress – all said they had removed the seats from sale. But Which? said the listings should have been deleted quicker. Crash tests Which? said the seats had been described online as…

Aurora shooting: Five dead in Illinois workplace attack

Media playback is unsupported on your device Five people have been killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire at an industrial park in Illinois, police say. The gunman was also killed, a police spokeswoman said. She added that the five officers had been hit by gunfire. The attack on Friday took place in Aurora, a suburb about 40 miles (65km) west of Chicago. It comes a day after the first anniversary of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead. Police reported an « active…

Mexico border wall: Trump confirms emergency move

Media playback is unsupported on your device President Trump has confirmed he will use emergency powers to build a wall on the US border with Mexico, saying « walls work ». Building the wall was a key pledge of Mr Trump’s campaign, but Democrats have described the emergency as a « gross abuse of power ». He is due to sign the plan along with a spending bill aimed at preventing a repeat of a recent government shutdown. He announced the plan after Congress refused to pay for a wall…

Trump to declare ’emergency’ over Mexico border wall

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump is to declare a national emergency to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, the White House has said. He will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown – but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said. Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a « gross abuse of power » and a « lawless act ». Building the wall was a key election promise by…

PM defeated over Brexit strategy

Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered a fresh defeat in a Commons vote on her Brexit strategy by 303 to 258. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the prime minister – who was not in the Commons chamber for the vote – to « admit her Brexit strategy has failed ». This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You…

Shamima Begum: IS runaway teen ‘could face prosecution in UK’

A British woman who ran away to Syria as a schoolgirl to join the Islamic State group has been told she could face prosecution if she returns home. Speaking from a Syrian refugee camp, Shamima Begum, now 19, told the Times newspaper she had no regrets but wanted to come back to the UK as she was nine months pregnant. In Syria, she married an IS fighter and had two children, who have both died. Security minister Ben Wallace said she would be investigated if she came back. In her…

Patisserie Valerie rescue saves 2,000 jobs

Patisserie Valerie is being bought out of administration in a deal that will save nearly 2,000 jobs. The management team at the coffee and cake chain has secured backing from investment firm Causeway Capital to take over 96 shops. Sister brand Philpotts has also been sold in a separate deal, saving a further 21 stores. Collectively the chains fetched £13m – a fraction of what the group was once worth. Patisserie Valerie’s parent company, Patisserie Holdings, collapsed in January following an accounting scandal. Patisserie Valerie’s chief executive, Steve Francis, who…

Sofija Kaczan death: Mugger jailed for killing 100-year-old woman

A mugger who killed a 100-year-old widow in a handbag robbery has been jailed for 15 years. Sofija Kaczan suffered a broken neck in the attack and died of pneumonia brought on by her injuries on 6 June. Artur Waszkiewicz, 40, preyed on her as she walked to church near her home in Normanton, Derby. Judge Nicholas Dean QC said Waszkiewicz was a « cowardly petty criminal » whose dangerous attack had led to « awful consequences ». Nazi prison camp survivor Mrs Kaczan was robbed near her home in…

Shamima Begum: Ex-Bethnal Green schoolgirl who joined IS ‘wants to come home’

One of three schoolgirls who left east London in 2015 to join the Islamic State group says she has no regrets, but wants to return to the UK. In an interview with the Times, Shamima Begum, now 19, talked about seeing « beheaded heads » in bins – but said that it « did not faze her ». Speaking from a refugee camp in Syria, she said she was nine months pregnant and wanted to come home for her baby. She said she’d had two other children who had both…

Prince Philip will not be prosecuted over crash

The Duke of Edinburgh will not face prosecution over his road crash near the Sandringham estate, the Crown Prosecution Service has said. The 97-year-old voluntarily gave up his driving licence on Saturday after his Land Rover Freelander collided with another vehicle in Norfolk last month. He later apologised to the occupants of the other car – two women and a baby. The CPS says it decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute the duke. Chris Long, Chief Crown Prosecutor from CPS East of England, said:…

Patisserie Valerie’s managers rescue chain

Patisserie Valerie is being bought out of administration, saving 96 shops and nearly 2,000 jobs. The management team at the coffee and cake chain has secured backing from investment firm Causeway Capital to take over its ownership. The deal does not include outlets belonging to sister brands Philpotts and Baker & Spice. Patisserie Valerie’s parent company collapsed in January following an accounting scandal. Patisserie Valerie’s chief executive, Steve Francis, who is leading the management team buy-out, said the move would end « a disruptive period of uncertainty for the business…

Airbus scraps A380 superjumbo jet as sales slump

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has pulled the plug on its struggling A380 superjumbo, which entered service just 12 years ago. Airbus said last deliveries of the world’s largest passenger aircraft, which cost about $25bn (£19.4bn) to develop, would be made in 2021. The decision comes after Emirates, the largest A380 customer, cut its order. The A380 faced fierce competition from smaller, more efficient aircraft and has never made a profit. What has prompted Airbus’ decision? The A380’s future had been in doubt for several years as orders dwindled. But in…

Brexit: No 10 says Tory revolt could damage EU talks

Downing Street has warned that a revolt by Tory Brexiteers could « seriously damage » the prime minister’s attempts to get a revised Brexit deal. MPs will vote on the next steps in the process later but BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says some Tories are refusing to back the government. They say the government’s motion would rule out a no-deal Brexit and undermine the UK negotiating position. But Liam Fox warned MPs against sending the « wrong signal » to Brussels. The international trade secretary, who campaigned for Leave…

Brexit choice of deal or delay ‘not policy’

Media playback is unsupported on your device The Brexit secretary has played down a report that Theresa May could force MPs to choose between backing her deal or accepting a delay to EU withdrawal. ITV News said chief UK negotiator Olly Robbins was overheard in a Brussels bar saying the EU was likely to allow an extension to the Brexit process. But Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said this did not reflect government policy. The government is committed to Britain leaving the EU on 29 March, he added. His comments come…

Ford warns no-deal Brexit would be ‘catastrophic’

Ford has said a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the firm’s manufacturing operations in the UK and that it would do « whatever is necessary » to protect its business. The comments come after a report the carmaker was stepping up preparations to move production out of the UK. Ford declined to comment directly on The Times’ report, but said it had long warned against a « hard Brexit ». The company is the latest carmaker to warn on the risks of a no-deal Brexit. « Such a situation…

Exeter murder probe after three men in 80s found dead

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three men in their 80s were found dead in two homes. Police have confirmed they are linking the men’s deaths. The body of an 80-year-old man was found in Bonhay Road, Exeter on Monday, and two men, both 84, were found at a property in Cowick Lane on Tuesday. A 27-year-old man has been held on suspicion of murder. Supt Matt Lawler described the deaths as « an unprecedented event in our city ». Source: BBC

UK inflation falls to two-year low in January

UK inflation fell to a two-year low in January, dragged lower by falling energy bills and fuel. The Office for National Statistics said the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was 1.8% last month, from 2.1% in December. January’s fall, partly offset by higher air and ferry fares, was bigger than economists’ forecasts and comes as latest data shows wages rising by 3.3%. Inflation peaked at a five-year high of 3.1% in November 2017, was last at 1.8% was in January 2017. Economists had forecast that CPI would fall in January to…

London knife crime: ‘I don’t know how many people I’ve stabbed’

Media playback is unsupported on your device « I started carrying a knife when I was 12 because everyone was doing it at the time. « To fit in more you had to do certain things so I started to stab people. I didn’t do it because I wanted to be bad. » Robert Bragg was once heavily involved in the world of knife crime. The 26-year-old served six years in prison for a range of gang-related crime and tells Radio 1 Newsbeat he believes tougher sentences would have encouraged…

Police shortages: ‘Working alone left me with PTSD’

The day PC Mick Johnson confronted a knifeman changed his life forever. Stabbed in the arm in the 2017 incident in Hartlepool, it left him suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He says staff shortages caused by cutbacks left him no choice but to operate alone that day. A Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) survey found nearly 90% of officers say they are under-staffed. The Home Office says it wants to ensure forces have the necessary resources. The PFEW survey is the only national policing study of its kind,…

El Chapo trial: Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán found guilty

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín « El Chapo » Guzmán has been found guilty on all 10 counts at his drug trafficking trial at a federal court in New York. Guzmán, 61, has yet to be sentenced but the verdict could mean life in jail. The Mexican was accused of being behind the all-powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, which prosecutors say was the biggest supplier of drugs to the US. He was arrested in January 2016 after escaping from a Mexican prison through a tunnel five months earlier. Tuesday’s unanimous verdict by…

Brexit: Theresa May says MPs must ‘hold our nerve’

Theresa May will urge MPs to « hold our nerve » to get the changes needed to get a Brexit deal through Parliament. The prime minister is due to update MPs on her Brexit talks later, as she continues to seek backing for her deal. Mrs May has been trying to secure changes to the backstop arrangement – the « insurance » policy to avoid a return to border checks on the island of Ireland. The EU has reiterated it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. But Mrs May will…

US border security deal reached to avert new US shutdown

Media playback is unsupported on your device Democrats and Republicans have reached an agreement in principle over border security to fund the US government and avert another partial shutdown. Lawmakers said the deal had been struck in a closed-door meeting in Washington. No details have been released. Talks had stalled on the detention of undocumented migrants and funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall. Speaking late on Monday, he did not say whether he would back the deal. « We’re building the wall anyway, » he stressed. He told supporters…

The new Picasso? Meet Ai-Da the robot artist

FALMOUTH, England (Reuters) – Can robots be creative? British gallery owner Aidan Meller hopes to go some way towards answering that question with Ai-Da, who her makers say will be able to draw people from sight with a pencil in her bionic hand. Meller is overseeing the final stages of her construction by engineers at Cornwall-based Engineered Arts. He calls Ai-Da – named after British mathematician and computer pioneer Ada Lovelace – the world’s first “AI ultra-realistic robot artist”, and his ambition is for her to perform like her human…

Rudd links food bank rise to benefit problems

Amber Rudd says the increased use of food banks is partly down to problems in rolling out universal credit. The work and pensions secretary said she was « absolutely clear there were challenges with the initial roll-out » of the benefit and that the difficulty in accessing money was « one of the causes » of the rise. But she said the government had made changes to help tackle food insecurity. Universal credit has been plagued with problems since its inception in 2010. The monthly payment merges six different benefits…

UK economic growth slowest since 2012

The UK economy expanded at its slowest annual rate in six years in 2018 after a sharp contraction in December. Growth in the year was 1.4%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and the lowest since 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. It blamed falls in factory output and car production for the slowdown, among other factors. It follows forecasts of slower growth in 2019 due to Brexit uncertainty and a weaker global economy. According to the ONS, quarterly growth also slowed, falling to 0.2% in the three months…