Official estimates of the impact of Brexit, shown to MPs after they were leaked to Buzzfeed News, reveal those parts of the UK that voted strongly to leave the EU will be the hardest hit. North-east England and the West Midlands will see the worst slow-down. The Government says it will make a better exit deal than the research considered.
Big council tax hikes, and increases in other local authority charges, are on the way. Think tank the Local Government Information Unit surveyed local authorities and found that 95% plan to increase council tax this year, while 93% will put up other charges. Some 80% said they were worried about getting into dire financial straights this year.
Britain’s Caribbean island Bermuda has become the first territory in the world to repeal marriage equality after Governor John Rankin signed a bill into law. Same-sex couples can no longer marry but must seek civil partnerships instead. Labour MP Chris Bryant said the law “totally undermines [the] UK effort to advance LGBT rights”.
One of Donald Trump’s most senior aides, staff secretary Rob Porter, has quit after his ex-wives alleged abuse. One former wife said he physically and verbally abused her, the other that she filed a protective order against him after allegedly punched a door in their home. Porter said the allegations were “outrageous” and “simply false”.
A graduate of Oxford University who was suing for damages, complaining that “inadequate teaching” had led him to get a 2:1 not a first, has lost his case at the High Court. Faiz Siddiqui said his degree cost him entry to a US law school and wanted £1m in compensation for lost earnings. He graduated from Brasenose College in 2000.
Police in Spain say they did not use their guns when a group of 20 stormed a hospital to free a suspected drug trafficker “to prevent the situation from turning into a drama”. The suspect was taken for treatment after being injured while police were chasing him. The mayor of La Linea has complained drug dealers feel “total impunity”.
Police in Las Vegas are appealing for help from the public to identify a suspected serial killer who has approached homeless people on the street and then shot them. The suspect has killed two men and wounded two others in recent days. Las Vegas police told the media: “If he isn’t a serial killer, he’s on his way to being one.”
Chefs for Norway’s Winter Olympics team have admitted ordering 15,000 eggs instead of 1,500 by mistake. It is thought a complex Korean counting system could be the cause of the mix-up. Norway has a delegation of 109 athletes in Pyeongchang for the games and the chefs were able to return the excess eggs to the grocer which supplied them.
Legendary record producer Quincy Jones, now 84, has recalled meeting the Beatles for the first time, saying: “They were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing motherf***ers. Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Don’t even talk about it.” Jones gave the startlingly frank interview to New York magazine.
Reports that two Freemason lodges are operating in the heart of Westminster, with MPs among their members, are a conspiracy theorist’s dream come true.
The suggestion that politicians, judges and police could be members of the secretive society has long raised concerns about transparency and nepotism.