Dominic Raab: We can get Brexit deal done by October

A deal with the EU can be reached by October but the UK is preparing for the possibility of no deal, the new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has said. He said he would return to Brussels for talks on Thursday and « strain every sinew » to get « the best deal ». But a responsible government puts plans in place in case talks do not end well, he told the PCF. Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey said a no deal scenario would be « catastrophic » for business. « No deal…

Cabinet still being persuaded over Brexit – Dominic Raab

The UK’s new Brexit secretary says he is still persuading other cabinet ministers that the government strategy for leaving the EU is the « best plan. » Dominic Raab told the Sunday Telegraph the prime minister’s blueprint for leaving the EU was « pragmatic. » Theresa May’s proposal for a future trade relationship with the EU sparked two cabinet resignations, including Mr Raab’s predecessor David Davis. Mr Davis told the Sunday Express the PM should « start again » on her plan. The UK is due to leave the European…

Prince George turns five: Official birthday picture released

A new official picture of Prince George has been released as he turns five. The eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was photographed in the garden of Clarence House. The picture, showing the prince grinning at something – or someone – off camera, was taken after the christening of Prince Louis. The photographer, Matt Porteous, had also taken private pictures for William and Kate at the christening of two-month-old Louis earlier this month. In pictures: George’s first five years Royal Family tree and line of succession George…

Fur sales: MPs call for consultation to ban real fur

A ban on sales of real fur should be considered, a committee of MPs has recommended. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee investigation into the issue came after some real fur was found wrongly labelled as fake. They described the current labelling of fur products as « not fit for purpose ». The government said Brexit would allow the UK to « go further » when it came to introducing further restrictions on the fur trade. Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2000, but it is…

Wand-waving Johnny Depp appears as ‘Fantastic Beasts’ character

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Actor Johnny Depp gave Harry Potter fans a look at his coming portrayal of the pale and disheveled villain Grindelwald, delivering a monologue in character to a cheering audience at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Actor Johnny Depp performs with the Hollywood Vampires band during the Hellfest music Festival in Clisson, France, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe Depp surprised the crowd of science fiction and pop culture fans by stepping out of the darkness with blonde hair and in full costume, drawing applause from 6,500 fans…

Mystery surrounds Chris Pine return to ‘Wonder Woman’ film series

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Actor Chris Pine surprised superhero fans with an appearance alongside “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot on Saturday but offered no explanation for how he will return to the film franchise following his character’s fiery death in the last movie. Cast member Chris Pine poses at the premiere of « Wonder Woman » in Los Angeles, California U.S., May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni At San Diego Comic-Con, Pine joined Gadot and director Patty Jenkins in a packed, 6,500-seat convention hall to talk about “Wonder Woman 1984,” which…

Britain’s Prince George celebrates his fifth birthday

LONDON (Reuters) – A picture of a smiling Prince George was released by Britain’s royal family on Saturday as Queen Elizabeth’s great grandson, who is third in line to the throne, prepares to celebrate his fifth birthday. Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, sucks a sweet as he leaves following the morning Christmas Day service at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, near Bucklebury in southern England, Britain, December 25, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Matthews/Pool George, the oldest of Prince William and Kate’s three children, was photographed in…

Chic guitarist Rodgers gets back to his busking roots

LONDON (Reuters) – Nile Rodgers, the guitarist and founding member of disco band Chic, got back to his busking roots in London on Saturday, delighting fans with stripped-down versions of some of his best-known songs. Musician Nile Rodgers poses for photographs as he launches International Busking Day at Wembley Park, in London, Britain, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Peter NichollsWearing a white beret, Rodgers, 65, said playing on the streets of New York was how his career had started, and he performed Chic tunes “Good Times” and “Le Freak”, as well as…

Hundreds attend Alesha MacPhail farewell

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of a six-year-old girl who was killed while on holiday on a Scottish island. Mourners were asked to wear pink to remember Alesha MacPhail, who was found dead after disappearing from her grandmother’s home on the Isle of Bute on 2 July. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with her rape and murder. In one of the tributes her uncle described her as « the brightest thing ». Dozens of bows were tied to the railings of the building while cuddly toys including…

Japan heatwave: Warnings issued amid scorching temperatures

People across Japan have been urged to take precautions against a heatwave that has killed about 30 people. Thousands more have sought hospital treatment for heat-related conditions over the past two weeks. Temperatures reached 40.7C (105F) in central Japan earlier this week, a five-year nationwide peak. In the city of Kyoto temperatures have stood above 38C (100.4F) for seven days in a row for the first time since records began in the 19th Century. The Japanese education ministry told schools to take thorough measures to prevent heat stroke after a…

Collection of late actor Robin Williams to hit auction block

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Artwork, memorabilia, personal possessions and other ephemera from the collection of actor Robin Williams and his former wife Marsha will hit the auction block in October with a portion of proceeds benefiting causes they supported, Sotheby’s said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Billy Crystal takes the stage to pay tribute to the late Robin Williams, shown on a large screen, during the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California August 25, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni The “Creating a Stage” auction will take place on Oct. 4, Sotheby’s…

CBS announces four-part series of short ‘Star Trek’ episodes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – CBS Corp’s next voyage into the “Star Trek” universe will come in the form of a four-part series of 10-to-15-minute episodes released starting this fall on the CBS All Access streaming service, the network said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: The cast of the television series « Star Trek: Discovery » attends a panel on set during the TCA CBS Summer Press Tour in Studio City, California, U.S., August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni /File Photo“Star Trek: Short Treks” will be released monthly, and each episode will tell…

Smart meters to cut energy bills by just £11, say MPs

Customers who get smart meters installed are expected to save just £11 a year off their energy bills, a group of MPs has found. It was originally thought that the new meters would save consumers at least £26. In one of the most critical reports yet on the £11bn programme, the MPs also said the government was now likely to miss its own deadline. As many as 53 million of them are due to be installed by the end of 2020. Grant Shapps, the chair of the British Infrastructure Group…

Nine US ‘duck boat’ victims from the same family – governor

Media playback is unsupported on your device Nine of the 17 people who died when a tour boat sank in a Missouri lake were from the same family, according to the governor of Missouri. Governor Michael Parson said that he spoke to a woman who « lost nine of the 11 members of her family ». « It’s difficult to find the right words to say, » he said, describing the conversation to CNN. The « duck boat » was carrying 31 people when it overturned on Table Rock Lake,…

Trump ‘secretly recorded discussing payment to Playboy model’

US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded his client discussing payments to a former Playboy model, US media report. The tapes were reportedly discovered during an FBI raid on Mr Cohen’s property earlier this year in New York. The New York Times reports that on the recording Mr Trump and Mr Cohen discuss paying Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Mr Trump. The tape was reportedly made two months before the election. The Department of Justice is looking into alleged hush money paid to…

Taylor Swift cast in movie version of ‘Cats’: Hollywood reports

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Taylor Swift has been cast in a big screen version of the stage musical “Cats,” in what will be the pop singer’s biggest movie role so far, entertainment publications Variety and the Hollywood Reporter said on Friday. Singer Taylor Swift performs during her reputation stadium tour at Wembley Stadium in London, Britain June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson The 28-year-old “Look What You Made Me Do” singer will join Oscar-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, talk show host James Corden and veteran British actor Ian McKellen in…

Extradite accused killer of Chilean singer Victor Jara, daughter pleads

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The daughter of popular Chilean folk singer Victor Jara has urged the Chilean government to act quicker to push for the extradition from the United States of the man found liable for the 1973 murder of her father. A man plays a guitar with an image of Victor Jara (top) during « Mil guitarras para Victor Jara » (One thousand guitars to Victor Jara) music concert in Santiago, September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado Amanda Jara was eight years old when her father, Victor Jara, a celebrated singer,…

‘Breaking Bad’ creator teases crossover with ‘Better Call Saul’

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – The casts of television shows “Breaking Bad” and its spinoff “Better Call Saul” united at the annual Comic-Con festival in San Diego ahead of what producers teased as a screen crossover for some characters later this year. FILE PHOTO: Executive producer Vince Gilligan poses at the premiere for season 3 of the television series « Better Call Saul » in Culver City, California U.S., March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni Stars Bryan Cranston, who played teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White in the Emmy-winning “Breaking Bad,” on…

Michel Barnier questions Theresa May’s Brexit White Paper

Michel Barnier has said Theresa May’s plan for a future trade relationship with the EU could weaken the single market and create burdens for business. The EU Brexit negotiator said the White Paper opened « the way to a constructive discussion » but must be « workable ». He questioned whether plans for a common rulebook for goods and agri-foods were practical. Earlier, Theresa May urged the EU to « evolve » its position on Brexit and not fall back on unworkable proposals. Mrs May is hoping the White Paper…

Baby in Birmingham car-jacking ordeal reunited with mum

A mother was run over as she « battled » to stop car-jackers driving off with her four-week-old baby. Clare O’Neill, 39, said the two men who stole her Audi « clearly knew » daughter Eliza was in the back seat when they fled the scene in Birmingham. The pair had, Ms O’Neill said, put their « personal greed » before the life of her baby girl. Mum and daughter were reunited after Eliza was found in her car seat, dumped at a health centre three miles away. Ms O’Neill…

Trump ‘ready’ to tax all Chinese imports

US President Donald Trump says he is ready to intensify his trade war with China by slapping tariffs on all $500bn of imports from the country. « I’m ready to go to 500, » he said in an interview with the CNBC channel. Mr Trump’s comments come before the most recent round of US tariffs has had time to take effect. Last week, Washington listed $200bn (£150bn) worth of additional Chinese products it intends to place tariffs on as soon as September. The list named more than 6,000 items including…

Custody for ‘Columbine’ plot schoolboys

Two teenage boys who plotted a Columbine-style shooting at a school have been detained. The boys, both 15, planned to shoot and kill pupils and teachers at the school in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. One of the boys was handed a 12-year custodial sentence while his co-defendant was given 10 years. The teenagers, who were 14 at the time, were found guilty of conspiracy to murder following a trial at Leeds Crown Court in May. Jurors heard they were motivated by their « worship » of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,…

Biker jailed after filming himself riding at 189mph

A motorcyclist who filmed himself doing wheelies and riding at 189mph (304km/ph) has been jailed for 21 months. Adam Campion, 26, pleaded guilty to five counts of dangerous driving at Nottingham Crown Court. When police raided his home in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, they found hundreds of videos and images of motorcycles being ridden dangerously, including one video that showed Campion driving one-handed and filming his speed with his mobile phone. Source: BBC

Theresa May says EU must ‘evolve’ its Brexit position

Media playback is unsupported on your device The European Union must « evolve » its position on Brexit and not fall back on unworkable proposals regarding the Irish border, Theresa May has said. The prime minister made the remarks in Belfast on Friday, during a two-day visit to Northern Ireland. The issue of the Irish border has been the key sticking point in Brexit talks so far. The UK and EU have agreed that there should be no hard border in Ireland, but are at odds over how to achieve…

Oasis return? Liam Gallagher urges end to estrangement from brother

LONDON (Reuters) – Singer Liam Gallagher wants to reconcile with his brother and former Oasis bandmate, Noel, almost 10 years after the famous British rock group split. FILE PHOTO: Members of British rock band Oasis rhythm guitarist Gem Archer, lead guitarist Noel Gallagher, bass guitarist Andy Bell and lead vocals Liam Gallagher pose during a news conference in Hong Kong February 25, 2006. REUTERS/Paul Yeung/File PhotoThe brothers have been involved in a heated public row since Noel quit the band in 2009. Formed in the northern English city of Manchester…

Trump Putin: Russian leader invited to visit US

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump has invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to visit the US in the autumn, his press secretary says. Sarah Sanders tweeted that discussions for the visit were already under way. Earlier Mr Trump rejected a proposal by Mr Putin to allow Russia to question US citizens. The two leaders held a summit in Finland on Monday but few details of what they discussed have emerged. There has been no word from Russia about a second Trump-Putin meeting. Your toolkit to…

Eleven dead as US ‘duck boat’ capsizes

At least 11 people have died after an amphibious « duck boat » carrying tourists sank in stormy weather in the US state of Missouri, police say. The vessel was carrying about 30 people on Table Rock Lake, a popular tourist attraction near the town of Branson, when it capsized, local media say. Divers have been searching the lake for about five others who are missing. Seven people were taken to hospital, one of whom was seriously injured, police said. Emergency crews said they responded to the incident shortly after…

Sir David Attenborough calls on public to count butterflies

Spending time with nature offers a respite from the modern life, Sir David Attenborough has said, as he called on the the public to take part in the world’s biggest butterfly count. The naturalist says watching butterflies in his garden « never fails to bring me great pleasure ». The exercise involves spending 15 minutes counting butterflies and submitting the sightings online. The majority of butterfly species have been in decline for the past 40 years. However, this year, weather conditions in the UK – a cold winter followed by…

Battle of Britain RAF Spitfire pilot Geoffrey Wellum dies

Media playback is unsupported on your device The youngest Spitfire pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain during World War Two has died, it has been announced. Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Wellum, who was just 18 when he joined the RAF in August 1939, died at his home in Cornwall on Wednesday evening aged 96. He served with 92 Squadron and his first missions included the « dogfights » above London and the Home Counties for which the battle became known. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust said it was…

Widower of Thorn Birds author Colleen McCullough wins legal battle over her estate

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The widowed husband of Australian author Colleen McCullough, whose 1977 best-selling novel The Thorn Birds became a smash hit television miniseries, has won a bitter legal dispute over her estate after a court found in his favor on Friday. Barrister for Selwa Anthony, Kim Morrissey, is seen leaving the Supreme Court, Sydney, Australia, July 20, 2018. AAP/Peter Rae/via REUTERSRic Robinson, who had been battling McCullough’s executor over whether the author intended to leave her estate to him or to the University of Oklahoma, where she had been…