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News Daily: 'Treacherous' ice warning and Brexit 'optimism'

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

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Drivers warned of 'treacherous' ice

Be careful on the roads. With much of the UK covered in snow up to 30cm (12in) deep and temperatures in places well below 0C overnight, drivers are being warned of "treacherous" ice.

Western Scotland and Northern Ireland are set for more wintry showers until 12:00 GMT, while hundreds of schools in England and Wales will be closed for the day. National Rail said travellers should check with train operators before heading out.

Meanwhile, yellow weather alerts have been issued for Wales, the Midlands and south-east England. If you're not sure how such warnings work, have a look here. We'll also have the latest on the disruption around the UK on our live page.

And, to make you feel even worse (or, perhaps, in a few cases, better) on this freezing Monday, have a look at how the temperature where you live compares with those in more than 50 cities around the world.

May: EU trade talks can start this week

After some setbacks, she got a deal with the EU last week to move Brexit forward and, when she addresses MPs later, Theresa May will speak of a mood of "optimism". The prime minister will say she expects talks on a future trading relationship to begin as soon as the EU summit on Thursday, while insisting she didn't give in to Brussels over the "divorce bill" (expected to be between £35bn and £39bn) and EU laws.

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Cities under threat as California fires rage

The largest of the wildfires in California is burning out of control, with the coastal cities of Santa Barbara and Carpinteria coming under threat. Fanned by winds, the Thomas fire has so far brought ruin to an area larger than the size of New York City. "Firefighters making brave stands," actor Rob Lowe, who lives in Santa Barbara, tweeted. "Could go either way. Packing to evacuate now."

California Governor Jerry Brown has described the breakout of forest fires as "the new normal", adding that, with climate change, they "could happen every year or every few years".

Who are the poor Americans?

By Prof Jay Shambaugh, Brookings Institution

In the US, the median income for a four-person household is $91,000 (£68,000). However, using the official measure of poverty, based on pre-tax income and nutritional needs, families of four in poverty have a household income of less than $24,300 (£18,200) each year. This may sound high when compared with countries that the World Bank classifies as lower-middle income - those with Gross National Income per capita between $1,000 (£760) and $4,000 (£3,100). But both the high cost of living in the US and the growing gap between themselves and the middle classes can result in difficult lives for poor Americans.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Photographs of the traffic chaos and children's enjoyment brought by the snow dominate the front pages. The Daily Mirror calls today "black Monday", warning of transport "chaos", while the Daily Express says the UK faces "Arctic conditions" until Christmas Day. Meanwhile, Metro reports that house prices have experienced their biggest fall in five years. And the Daily Mail leads on a report saying one in four councils in England are not recycling everyday plastics.

Daily digest

Salmonella fears Global recall of Lactalis baby milk

Funding problems Lord Kerslake quits as head of NHS trust

Rock star's apology Queens of the Stone Age frontman kicks female photographer

Clue: Not Ben Nevis Which mountain has been classified as Britain's highest?

If you see one thing today

Image copyright Peter Dench

Britain on the verge

If you listen to one thing today

Who are the Winklevoss brothers?

If you read one thing today

Image copyright Getty Images

R2-D2: The British lampshade connection

Lookahead

11:00 The draw for the Champions League Round of 16 takes place, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham all involved.

13:00 Nominations are announced for the Golden Globe awards for film and television.

On this day

1941 Germany and Italy announce they are at war with the United States, which immediately responds by declaring war on the two Axis powers.

From elsewhere

How to farm fish in the Egyptian desert (Independent)

The dark side of racing (Spectator)

16 pictures that defined modern history (BuzzFeed)

The film festival that's all about cats (New York Times)

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