Climate change: COP24 deal to bring Paris pact to life

Negotiators in Poland have finally secured agreement on a range of measures that will make the Paris climate pact operational in 2020. Last-minute rows over carbon markets threatened to derail the meeting – and delayed it by a day. Delegates believe the new rules will ensure that countries keep their promises to cut carbon. The Katowice agreement aims to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C. « Putting together the Paris agreement work programme is a big responsibility, » said the chairman of the…

‘Yellow-vest’ protesters defy government to gather in Paris

« Yellow vest » protesters have gathered on the Champs-Elysées in Paris for a fifth consecutive weekend of demonstrations. Thousands of police will be deployed in case of violent clashes and disruptions that have marked previous protests. The movement began five weeks ago, initially against a rise in fuel taxes, but has since spread to take in other issues, including education reforms. Dozens of people have already been arrested this Saturday. However, so far the number of arrests is much lower than the 500 made around the same time last…

Trump names new acting chief of staff

US President Donald Trump has named Mick Mulvaney, the director of the office of management and budget, as acting White House chief of staff. Mr Mulvaney, 51, replaces General John Kelly, who is leaving by the end of the year. In a tweet, Mr Trump described Mr Kelly as a « great patriot », who had served the country with distinction. But earlier this year, General Kelly was forced to deny he had called Mr Trump an « idiot ». This came after the quote was included in a book…

Brexit: Amber Rudd urges MPs to ‘forge a consensus’

MPs across the political divide should « abandon outrage » and attempt to « forge a consensus » over Brexit, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has said. In the Daily Mail, Ms Rudd wrote: « Brexit is in danger of getting stuck ». It comes after the PM’s bid to make her Brexit deal more acceptable to MPs suffered a blow when EU leaders said it was « not open for renegotiation ». Meanwhile, ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told the PCF that he thinks there might be another…

Hastings cliff fall: Rock crashes into bedroom

A large rock which fell from a cliff came crashing into the bedroom of a seafront flat. The occupant of the first-floor flat, in Hastings, East Sussex, was not at home when two boulders weighing several tonnes tumbled into a building on Thursday. One caused damage to the room, while the other landed on the flat roof of a ground floor shop in White Rock. Fire crews evacuated the building and deemed it structurally unsafe. Hastings Borough Council said the tenant of the flat had been found alternative accommodation along…

Australia recognises West Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that his government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, he said Australia’s embassy would not move from Tel Aviv, until a peace settlement was achieved. He added Australia also recognised the aspirations of the Palestinians to a state with a capital in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians. US President Donald Trump drew international criticism last year when he reversed decades of American foreign policy by recognising…

Johnson & Johnson shares drop after asbestos report

Shares in Johnson & Johnson plunged more than 10% on Friday, after Reuters reported that the US pharmaceutical giant had known about asbestos tainting its talcum powder for decades. The report comes as the company faces thousands of lawsuits claiming that its talc products caused cancer. Reuters’ review of documents found the company was aware of trace amounts of asbestos since at least 1971. J&J lawyers said: « Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free. « The Reuters article is one-sided, false and inflammatory. Simply put, the Reuters…

May: Still work to do on Brexit deal

Media playback is unsupported on your device Prime Minister Theresa May has said there is still « work to do » to reassure MPs that the Brexit deal agreed with the EU but that it « is possible ». Speaking after EU leaders stressed the deal was « not open for renegotiation », she said she had discussed with them the need for « further clarification ». She admitted having a « robust » discussion with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He urged more clarity from the UK after «…

Brexit: No visa but Britons will pay €7 to travel to EU countries

Britons will have to pay €7 (£6.30) every three years to travel to EU countries, as a consequence of Brexit. The European Commission has confirmed that while UK travellers will not need a visa, they will need to apply for and buy another document from 2021. It is called an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) and although not launched yet, is expected to come into force in 2021. The travel requirement is not just for the UK but for many non-EU countries. What is the ETIAS? Citizens of…

Royal Family: Christmas card images by Harry, Meghan, William and Kate

Members of the Royal Family have revealed their Christmas cards – including a new wedding photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan are seen watching fireworks at their evening wedding reception in the black and white image. They are shown with their arms wrapped around each other at Frogmore House, with their backs to the camera. Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children are pictured at their Norfolk home. In the card’s autumnal image, Kate is holding Prince Louis – now nearly…

Gary Lineker row: What can BBC presenters say and not say?

PCF Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker is not shy when it comes to airing his political views on social media. But his latest comments – lamenting Brexit and the « state of our politics » – have seen him get a public dressing down by his PCF colleague Jonathan Agnew. The cricket correspondent tweeted Lineker, saying that he should follow PCF editorial guidelines and keep his political views to himself. Agnew, like Lineker, supported Remain in the EU referendum. Skip Twitter post by @Aggerscricket @GaryLineker Gary. You are…

Man who had ears sliced off in Blackburn street attack dies

A man who had his ears sliced off in a street attack has died. Sajed Choudry also suffered a fractured skull in what police said was a « large-scale disturbance » on Rhyl Avenue in Blackburn on the night of 27 November. The 43-year-old father-of-four had his ears reattached in hospital but died on Thursday, Lancashire Police said. A 13-year old boy and three men – Rafaqat Ali, 38, Fazal Ilahi, 62, Sadaqat Ali, 36, from Blackburn – were earlier charged with attempted murder. They are due to appear at…

Brexit: EU says no to May on renegotiating deal

European Union leaders have said the Brexit withdrawal agreement is « not open for renegotiation », despite appeals from Theresa May. She wanted legal assurances on the Irish backstop to help her deal get through Parliament, after she delayed a Commons vote in anticipation of defeat. The PM said the deal was « at risk » if MPs’ concerns could not be addressed. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said there could be clarifications but no renegotiation. He urged the UK to set out more clearly what it wants, adding that…

Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote

Theresa May is heading to Brussels for an EU summit, less than 24 hours after surviving a vote of confidence. The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the Irish backstop – a key obstacle for MPs who oppose her Brexit deal. The EU will not renegotiate the deal but may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, the PCF understands. The PM won the ballot on her leadership by 200 votes to 117 on Wednesday night. The secret ballot…

Theresa May no confidence vote: BBC coverage of result

Conservative MPs have cast their ballots in a no-confidence vote called on Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership. Mrs May has said she will contest the vote and fight to remain Prime Minister. Watch the results here. This rolling TV coverage may be interrupted by other news stories Source: The Guardian

Theresa May survives confidence vote

Prime Minister Theresa May has won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117. The result was greeted by cheers and applause from Tory MPs as it was announced by backbench Tory chairman Sir Graham Brady. It means Mrs May is immune from another leadership challenge for a year. The vote was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be…

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen jailed

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for him, has lashed out at his ex-boss’ « dirty deeds » as he was given a 36-month prison sentence. Cohen is the first member of Mr Trump’s inner circle to be jailed over the special counsel’s inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He admitted lying to Congress, campaign finance violations and tax evasion. In a New York court Cohen, 52, blamed his crimes on…

Strasbourg shooting: Police appeal to find Chérif Chekatt

French police have issued a call for help to find the man suspected of opening fire near a Christmas market in Strasbourg. Hundreds of police, soldiers and border agents on both sides of the Franco-German border are trying to find Chérif Chekatt, 29. Two people died and 13 were injured in the gun attack in the eastern French city on Tuesday evening. The gunman shouted « Allahu Akbar » (« God is greatest ») as he opened fire. Chérif Chekatt was already known to the French authorities as someone who…

Scottish budget: Higher earner income tax gap to widen

Media playback is unsupported on your device Scotland’s finance secretary has said he will not pass on a tax break for higher earners that was announced by the chancellor in his UK budget. Derek Mackay said « now is not the time » to cut taxes for higher rate tax payers as he unveiled his Scottish budget. It means the gap between how much higher earners in Scotland pay has widened compared to the rest of the UK. But Mr Mackay said most people would continue to pay less in…

Theresa May to face leadership challenge

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will face a vote of no confidence in her leadership later on Wednesday. Conservative MPs will vote between 18:00 GMT and 20:00 GMT. The challenge to Mrs May’s position comes after the required 48 letters calling for a contest were delivered. Mrs May, who has been prime minister since shortly after the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, has faced criticism in her party for the Brexit plan she has negotiated. Guide: Rules for the challenge to Theresa May Who has written…

Strasbourg shooting: One dead, 10 wounded and gunman at large

Two people have been killed and 10 others wounded in a shooting in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, officials say. Police said the gunman had been identified and was being pursued. He had been injured in an exchange of gunfire with a soldier, they said. The shooting is said to have happened close to a Christmas market in one of the central squares, Place Kleber. France’s counter terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation. Confirming the death toll had risen to two, the French interior minister, who is on the…

Brexit: Theresa May meeting EU leaders in bid to rescue deal

Theresa May is meeting European leaders and EU officials later for talks aimed at rescuing her Brexit deal. She is holding talks with Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Germany’s Angela Merkel after postponing a Commons vote on the deal. The UK PM has said she needs « further assurances » about the Northern Ireland border plan to get backing from MPs. European Council President Donald Tusk insisted the EU would « not renegotiate » but said leaders would discuss how to help « facilitate UK ratification ». Work and Pensions…

Brexit: Theresa May understood to be delaying key vote

Theresa May is to make a statement to MPs at 15:30 GMT amid reports Tuesday’s vote on her Brexit deal is being delayed. That will be followed by a statement from Commons leader Andrea Leadsom – and then a statement from the Brexit secretary on Article 50. Two cabinet sources have told the PCF’s Laura Kuenssberg Tuesday’s planned Brexit vote will be delayed There is not yet any official confirmation of the move. Downing Street had been insisting the vote would go ahead, despite Mrs May being widely expected to…

Brexit vote: What could happen next?

MPs will vote on the proposed Brexit deal, agreed by the UK and the EU, on 11 December. If they reject it then a lot of different things could happen. The EU Withdrawal Act, passed by Parliament in June, sets out some rules. The government would have to produce a new plan of action within 21 days and then allow a further vote within another seven sitting days in the House of Commons. However, the government could act much more quickly than that. And it’s possible that political events would…

Interserve rescue plan prompts share collapse

Shares in Interserve – one of the UK’s largest providers of public services – have collapsed after it revealed it is seeking a rescue deal. The firm, which works in prisons, schools, hospitals and on the roads, has £500m of debts and says its rescue plan will involve issuing new shares. In early trade, its shares fell to 6.5p, down 70% from Friday’s level. The shares were worth 100p a year ago. On Sunday, the firm said it was « making good progress » on a recovery plan. However, it…

Teenager denies Bute child rape and murder

A 16-year-old boy is to stand trial charged with abducting, raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute. The teenager – who cannot be named for legal reasons – made his first public appearance in court on Monday. His QC Brian McConnachie pled not guilty on his behalf and he will stand trial in February. Alesha’s mother was given special permission to be present in court to see the proceedings. Prosecutors allege the accused boy was armed with a knife when he took Alesha from her bed…

Ambani-Piramal wedding: Beyoncé sings at A-list Indian event

US singer Beyoncé has performed as part of the lavish festivities at the latest extravagant Indian celebrity wedding. Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest man, is tying the knot with Anand Piramal, son of another Indian billionaire, this week. Beyoncé was one of many celebrities flown in, along with Bollywood stars and guests like Hillary Clinton. It comes on the heels of several recent Indian weddings competing for glamour, excess and attention. The Ambanis themselves recently attended the wedding reception of Bollywood actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. And…

UK can cancel Brexit, says EU court

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the UK can cancel Brexit without the permission of the other 27 EU members. The judges ruled that this could be done without altering the terms of Britain’s membership. A group of anti-Brexit politicians and campaigners argued that the UK should be able to unilaterally halt the Brexit process if it wants to do so. But their case was opposed by the UK government and the EU itself. A senior ECJ official – the advocate general – said last week he…

Grace Millane: Man appears in court charged with backpacker’s murder

A 26-year-old man has appeared in court in New Zealand charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane. Miss Millane disappeared in Auckland on 1 December – police ended their search on Sunday after finding a body on the outskirts of the city. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is due in court next month. Court documents showed he had been living at the Citylife Hotel on Queen Street in central Auckland, which is where Miss Millane was last seen. The judge acknowledged Miss Millane’s family’s…

Brexit: Key MPs’ vote ‘is going ahead’ as critics urge renegotiation

The Commons vote on Tuesday will not be delayed, the Brexit Secretary has said, amid growing calls for the PM to go back to Brussels to renegotiate. Stephen Barclay also said Theresa May could stay in post if, as expected, MPs reject her Brexit plan. The PM has warned Tory rebels it could lead to a general election, and there was a « very real risk of no Brexit ». Boris Johnson said the PM could stay on but must renegotiate the deal and get rid of the controversial «…