EU pours cold water on UK hopes of Chequers Brexit breakthrough

EU leaders expressed their deep scepticism over the viability of the UK’s plans for a future relationship with Brussels, as details emerged of an agreement struck by the British cabinet at an away day in Chequers. Reports that Theresa May’s inner cabinet had agreed on a policy of “managed divergence” during eight hours of talks …

Yarl’s Wood women feel desperate, says Diane Abbott

Women held at the controversial immigration detention centre Yarl’s Wood felt desperate at being kept there indefinitely, Diane Abbott said after she was given rare access to the site. The shadow home secretary was there with Shami Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, as campaigners said around 120 women there were staging a hunger strike over …

Missing Nigerian girls declared ‘national disaster’ by president

President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria has suffered a “national disaster” after dozens of girls went missing following an attack by Boko Haram jihadis on their school in north-east Nigeria. “This is a national disaster. We are sorry that this could have happened,” he said in a statement, issued five days after the attack in …

What happened to US diplomats in Cuba? – Science Weekly podcast

Subscribe and review on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud and Acast, and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter Between 2016 and 2017, a number of US diplomats in Cuba reported distressing symptoms including headaches, dizziness, eyesight, hearing, concentration and balance problems. Many claimed to have heard curious sounds either at home or in hotel …

Can UK designer Paul Surridge save Roberto Cavalli’s leopard prints?

Can a British minimalist save Italy’s most famous purveyor of leopard print? That was the question on Friday in Milan when Paul Surridge presented his second collection for Roberto Cavalli. His muse for autumn/winter 2018, he said, was Sharon Stone’s character, Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct. “I like the idea of a powerful seductress,” the …

Ben Stokes set for England return in first ODI against New Zealand

Ben Stokes is set to make his international return on Sunday as England open their five-match ODI series here against New Zealand. Stokes has not played for his country since his arrest in Bristol last September. He pleaded not guilty to affray at Bristol magistrates court this month and then flew to New Zealand. Since …

Northern Ireland abortion law violates women’s rights, says UN committee

The UK is violating the rights of women in Northern Ireland by restricting their access to abortion, exposing them to “horrific situations”, a UN committee has said. The committee on the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) said thousands of women and girls in Northern Ireland faced “systematic violations of rights through being compelled to …

‘I added a few Queeny touches’: Richard Quinn – the designer who had Her Majesty in the frow

How often does the head of state attend London fashion week? Never, until last Wednesday, when the Queen made her first ever appearance on the front row, aged 91, at designer Richard Quinn’s autumn show – primarily to present the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II award for British design, based on “value to the community and/or …

UK FGM trial: father says failed case put intolerable pressure on him

A father cleared of allowing his six-year-old daughter to undergo female genital mutilation has said the failed prosecution put intolerable pressure on him and his family. The man described the evidence against him as unsatisfactory and claimed the police and Crown Prosecution Service had important lessons to learn. A judge at Bristol crown court halted …