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May braced for historic defeat in Brexit vote

MPs will vote today on Theresa May’s proposed terms of exit from the EU – and they are expected to reject the deal, in what The Times predicts will be “the heaviest defeat suffered by a government in modern politics”. The Prime Minister warned rebels last night that defeat could lead to a no-confidence vote and a Corbyn government.

Warning of new ‘gay purge’ in Chechnya

Human rights activists are warning a new purge has been mounted in Chechnya against gay people. The Russian LGBT network says 40 people have been imprisoned since December, of whom two died under torture. The government said the claims were “complete lies”. It has previously said there are no gay people in Chechnya.

Iran told imprisoned woman: ‘Spy for us’

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Richard Ratcliffe, says the Iranian regime told her on 29 December that she would be released after more than 1,000 days in detention if she agreed to spy on the UK for Iran. The British-Iranian charity worker and mother of one has been imprisoned since April 2016, accused of espionage.

Study finds Britons lose virginity ‘too soon’

A new study by the London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has found that more than half of British women – and two in five men – are losing their virginity sooner than they want to. Kay Wellings, co-author, said some people felt pressured to have sex when they reached the legal age of consent of 16, whether they were ready or not.

US judge blocks Trump birth control laws

A federal judge in Philadelphia has temporarily blocked new Trump administration rules on birth control from applying anywhere in the US. The regulations, due to come into force yesterday, allow employers and insurers to refuse to provide birth control to women if they feel it violates their “religious beliefs” or “moral convictions”.

Government ‘failing to learn Carillion lessons’

The government has been accused by unions of failing to learn its lesson after the collapse of contracting firm Carillion. Instead of reining-in investment, says the GMB, the government has pumped even more money into outsourcing companies. The lifetime value of contracts awarded last year was £95bn, up 53% on the previous year.

Machete-wielding man Tasered in London

A man caused panic among rush-hour commuters in south London yesterday when he chased them around Tulse Hill station with a large machete. Witnesses described “chaos” as he wielded the “massive” blade, the BBC reports. Police Tasered the 59-year-old on the station platform before he could injure anybody, and arrested him.

Thousands gather to mourn Gdansk mayor

Thousands gathered in cities across Poland last night to mourn the mayor of port city Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, who died in hospital yesterday after being stabbed at a charity concert. One of the loudest liberal voices in the country, Adamowicz had been mayor since 1998. His alleged assailant has a record of violent crime.

Trump orders burgers as shutdown continues

US President Donald Trump yesterday posed for photographs in the White House with a huge fast food order for a meeting, saying it was “paid for by me” because the longest-running budget dispute in US history meant there were no catering staff available. Asked what his own favourite food was, Trump said: “If it’s American, I like it.”

Briefing: who is Carrie Symonds?

Boris Johnson and former Tory PR chief Carrie Symonds are preparing to go public with their relationship, according to reports.

With Johnson widely expected to run for prime minister if Theresa May is ousted, Symonds has already been nicknamed ‘Flotus’. So who is Symonds and how did she meet Johnson?

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