‘Walls work’: Trump confirms emergency move

President Trump confirms he’ll use emergency powers to build a wall on Mexico’s border, saying « walls work » 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 PCF News App. You can also follow @PCFBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. Source: The Guardian

Shamima Begum: IS teen’s return to UK ‘could be prevented’

A British woman who fled to Syria as a schoolgirl to join the Islamic State group could be prevented from returning to the UK, the home secretary has said. « My message is clear, » Sajid Javid told the Times: « If you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return. » He added that if Shamima Begum, 19, did come home she could be prosecuted. Ms Begum, who is pregnant, told the paper she had no regrets but wanted to have her baby in…

Climate strike: Schoolchildren protest over climate change

Pupils at schools around the UK have gone on strike as part of a global campaign for action on climate change. Students around the country walked out of school to call on the government to declare a climate emergency and take active steps to tackle the problem. « Save our planet » was the message chanted by thousands of people gathered in Parliament Square in London. Organisers Youth Strike 4 Climate said protests were taking place in more than 60 towns and cities across the UK. According to the UK…

Brexit: Theresa May pushes on with her deal after latest defeat

Theresa May will press on with efforts to secure a revised Brexit deal, despite another Commons defeat, and will return to Brussels « within days ». MPs voted against a motion endorsing the government’s strategy by 303 to 258, with 66 Tory MPs abstaining. Steve Baker, of the Conservative backbench European Research Group, which led the rebellion, called the loss a « storm in a teacup ». Business Minister Richard Harrington accused the ERG of « treachery ». Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay met EU ambassadors in London on Friday morning…

Andrea Levy: Small Island and Long Song author dies aged 62

British author Andrea Levy, whose award-winning novels captured the black British experience in the years after Windrush, has died at the age of 62. A statement released on behalf of her family said she died of cancer. Levy was born in 1956 to Jamaican parents who had travelled to England on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Sir Lenny Henry, who played a slave in the PCF adaptation of her novel The Long Song, said he had « loved hanging out with this pugnacious woman ». Levy was best known for…

Trump to sign border security bill and declare emergency over wall

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, the White House says. He is to 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 ». Congress must first pass the bill before it is signed…

Brexit: Theresa May suffers fresh Commons defeat

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May has suffered a fresh defeat in a Commons vote on her approach to Brexit strategy by 303 to 258. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the prime minister – who did not take part in the debate – to « admit her Brexit strategy has failed ». Tory Brexiteer rebels abstained, saying the government’s motion implied a no-deal Brexit would be ruled out. Ministers said that was not the case but defeat would make life more difficult for the PM…

Brexit: MPs voting on next steps

MPs are voting on whether to back the government’s Brexit strategy. They have rejected a Labour call for another vote on the withdrawal deal by 27 February by 322 votes to 306. The Commons also rejected an SNP call to delay Brexit by at least three months by 315 votes to 93 votes, after Labour abstained in the vote. Conservative backbencher Anna Soubry has withdrawn her amendment calling for official papers on the impact of a no-deal Brexit to be published. Brexit Minister Chris Heaton-Harris indicated that Cabinet Office Minister…

British IS schoolgirl ‘wants to return 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 camp in Syria, she said she was nine months pregnant and wanted to come home for the sake of her baby. She said she’d had two other babies who…

Sofija Kaczan death: Mugger guilty of killing 100-year-old

Media playback is unsupported on your device A mugger has been found guilty of killing a 100-year-old woman whose neck was broken in a handbag robbery. Sofija Kaczan died of pneumonia on 6 June in Normanton, Derby, days after the attack. Mrs Kaczan was robbed near her home in Empress Road, Normanton, on 28 May as she made her way to church. Artur Waszkiewicz, 40, of Wolfa Street, Derby, had denied manslaughter and robbery but was convicted at Derby Crown Court. Heroin addict Waszkiewicz knocked his victim to the floor,…

Cannabis use in teens linked to depression

Parents should not be complacent about the risks of teenagers using cannabis, experts are warning. UK and Canada researchers said they had found « robust » evidence showing using the drug in adolescence increased the risk of developing depression in adulthood by 37%. They said the findings should act as a warning to families who saw cannabis use as part of the growing-up process. The team added that the developing brain was particularly susceptible. The researchers – from University of Oxford and Montreal’s McGill University – said cannabis use in…

Inside the illegal world of organised dogfighting

Media playback is unsupported on your device A PCF investigation into the dark world of organised dogfighting discovered an illegal trade of fighting dogs stretching from Eastern Europe to Wales. The fighters face each other, ready. One rushes forward into a clash of jaws. The ground is already flecked with blood. The lighter one is winning, locked onto its opponent. The black one has lost the ability to fight back. Now, it simply fights for survival. Eventually it attempts to walk, but collapses, legs giving way, head hitting the ground.…

Alesha MacPhail: Woman denies killing six-year-old schoolgirl

A woman named by a murder accused as the person who killed six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has denied being involved in her death. Toni McLachlan was giving evidence during the trial of a 16-year-old boy, who denies abducting, raping and murdering Alesha last July. The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, has claimed it was Ms McLachlan who killed Alesha. Ms McLachlan told the court that she had loved the little girl « to pieces ». And when asked by prosecutor Iain McSporran QC whether she had anything…

Brexit: Theresa May plays down ‘deal or delay’ report

Theresa May has played down reports that she 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. The PM suggested MPs should not rely on « what someone said to someone else as overheard by someone else, in a bar ». « It is very clear the government’s position is the same, » she said. «…

Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ found guilty in US

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín « El Chapo » Guzmán has been found guilty at his drug trafficking trial in the US. Guzmán, 61, was arrested in January 2016 after escaping from prison through a tunnel five months earlier. 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 PCF News App. You can also follow @PCFBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. Source: The Guardian

Brexit: Theresa May promises meaningful vote after more talks with EU

Theresa May has promised MPs a final, decisive vote on her Brexit deal with the EU – but not until she has secured changes to the Irish backstop clause. Speaking in the Commons, the PM said she had a « mandate » to seek changes to the backstop as MPs had voted for it. « We now need some time to complete that process », she added. If no agreement is reached by 26 February, then MPs will get more non-binding votes on Brexit options the following day. The final…

Alesha MacPhail’s father ‘sold cannabis to murder accused’

Jurors in the Alesha MacPhail murder trial have heard that her father sold cannabis to the teenager accused of killing her. Robert MacPhail admitted doing deals with the 16-year-old boy who lived on the Isle of Bute. The teenager – who cannot be named because of his age – denies abducting, raping and murdering Alesha last July. He has lodged a special defence claiming the crime was committed by a woman called Toni Louise McLachlan. Jurors were earlier shown pictures of the crime scene. Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC issued a…

Gordon Banks: World Cup winning goalkeeper dies aged 81

Media playback is not supported on this device England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died aged 81. Regarded as one of the game’s greatest in his position, Banks was named Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England. He is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil. Born in Sheffield, he won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester, before retiring in 1973. « It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon…

Brexit: Theresa May to update MPs on talks

Theresa May will update Parliament later on her latest round of Brexit talks, as she continues to try to gather backing for her deal. The PM is due to make a statement to MPs, ahead of a debate on Thursday on the next steps for Brexit. She visited Dublin and Brussels last week seeking changes to the backstop – the « insurance » policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The EU has reiterated it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. Speaking after a dinner with…

Tamworth hospital: Suspect, 43, held over George Bryan Centre fire

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a « severe » blaze broke at a mental health centre in Staffordshire. The 43-year-old, from Tamworth, was detained over the fire in the George Bryan Centre at the Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital in the town. There were no reports of casualties in the fire, which broke out at about 21:15 GMT on Monday. « All occupants and staff have been evacuated from the centre, » Staffordshire Police said. « The area remains closed whilst the fire service to…

Taxi and private hire drivers to face enhanced checks

All taxi and private hire drivers could have to pass enhanced criminal record checks under new government proposals. The Department for Transport has launched a consultation on new licensing guidelines to better protect vulnerable passengers. Last year a government report found that current laws regulating drivers were not « fit for the modern world ». The consultation will also consider whether cabs and private hire vehicles should be fitted with CCTV. Any video recording systems would be encrypted so that footage could only be accessed if a crime was reported.…

Facebook and Google news should be regulated, report says

A regulator should oversee tech giants like Google and Facebook to ensure their news content is trustworthy, a government-backed report has suggested. The Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry said such sites should help users identify fake news and « nudge people towards reading news of high quality ». It also backed tax reliefs to encourage the provision of local journalism. In addition, the report called for a new Institute for Public Interest News. Such a body, it said, could work in a similar way to…

Equine flu: British horse racing to resume after shutdown over virus

Horse racing in Britain will resume on Wednesday after a six-day shutdown following an outbreak of equine flu. Two scheduled jump racing fixtures will go ahead at Musselburgh and Plumpton, alongside the all-weather fixtures at Southwell and Kempton. Racing was suspended after three cases of equine flu at Donald McCain’s Cheshire stables. Three further cases were later reported at his yard. A total of 174 racing stables had been placed in lockdown. Trainers will be assessed before they are given the all-clear to have runners, while five races called off…

Amber Rudd links universal credit to rise in food bank use

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…

Girlfriend pays tribute to kitesurfer who died in Saunton

The girlfriend of a kitesurfer who died in strong winds has said she is « absolutely devastated » by his death. Ben Witts was kitesurfing at Saunton Sands near Barnstaple in north Devon on Saturday when he was fatally injured. His girlfriend Cheylee Howson, who said she pulled Mr Witts from the sea, thanked people who had « rushed to help me ». Mr Witts was an experienced instructor and owner of Saunton-based North Devon Kitesurfing. He was pulled from the sea at about 11:00 GMT and taken to North…

Alesha MacPhail murder accused, aged 16, blames woman

A boy accused of abducting, raping and murdering a six year-old girl is blaming someone else for the crime. The 16-year-old went on trial charged with killing Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute in July last year. The teenager – who cannot be named because of his age – pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court. Brian McConnachie QC lodged a special defence on behalf of his client claiming the crime was committed by a woman called Toni Louise McLachlan. At a hearing at the High Court in…

Food industry warns Gove on Brexit ‘crisis’

The UK food industry has threatened to stop co-operating with government policy consultations, saying it is busy trying to stave off the « catastrophic impact » of a no-deal Brexit. The warning came in a letter to Environment Secretary Michael Gove from more than 30 business leaders. They said it looked « ever more the likeliest outcome » that the UK would leave the EU without an agreement. They added that it was a « moment of potential crisis » for their industry. Those signing the letter included the heads…

Gavin Williamson: Drone ‘swarm squadrons’ to be deployed by military

« Swarm squadrons » of drones are to be deployed by British armed forces to overwhelm enemy air defences, the defence secretary has said. Gavin Williamson said the specially-adapted drones could be in operation by the end of 2019. He also warned in a speech that the UK needs a bolder and stronger armed forces prepared to use « hard power ». Labour has said the military’s role on the international stage had been « completely undermined » by Tory cuts. South China Sea Speaking at the Royal United Services…

Brexit: Theresa May responds to Jeremy Corbyn’s letter

Theresa May has responded to Jeremy Corbyn’s letter setting out his five demands for a Brexit deal. The prime minister queried his call for the UK to stay in a customs union with the EU – but welcomed more talks with Labour on a Brexit agreement. Mrs May wants the two parties to discuss how « alternative arrangements » to the Irish backstop – a commitment to avoid a hard border – could work. She did not reject any of his conditions outright in her reply. Writing her response to…

Brexit: MPs may not get ‘meaningful vote’ vote this month

Prime Minister Theresa May will ask MPs to give her more time to secure changes to the controversial part of her Brexit deal – the Northern Irish backstop. Mrs May is due to report back to MPs this week, after trying to persuade the EU to make last-minute changes. According to the PCF’s Iain Watson, the PM will promise Parliament another vote on other Brexit options if a deal is still not ready by the end of February. Labour wants to hold Mrs May to her word and make sure…