News Daily: Putin expels US diplomats, MPs employing family

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Putin expels hundreds of US diplomatic staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that 755 US diplomatic staff will have to leave his country by 1 September. It's believed to be the largest expulsion of its kind in modern history, and follows the US's decision to impose new sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and alleged interference in last year's US presidential election.

The US says Mr Putin's decision is "regrettable" and that it's working out its reaction, after Mr Putin warned that he could not see relations between the two countries changing "anytime soon".

More mental health workers promised

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is promising to recruit thousands more mental health workers in England, to address a "historic imbalance" between mental and physical health services. He says the main focus will be on child and adolescent services, therapy for adults and nurses working in crisis care. But Labour argues the plan offers "no real answers" on funding or how vacancies will be filled.

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Hammond: UK won't undercut EU

Chancellor Philip Hammond has predicted that the UK will "remain a country with a social, economic and cultural model that is recognisably European" after Brexit. And, as part of that, it will not reduce taxes and regulations in an attempt to undercut the EU, he told French newspaper Le Monde.

Many MPs still employing relatives

New MPs - those who've only been in the House of Commons since June's general election - are banned from employing members of their own family. But the restriction doesn't yet apply to those who've been there longer, among whom one in five is continuing to give work to spouses, partners, children, parents and others. Campaigners say there needs to be a clear deadline for the practice to end.

Analysis: Putin and Trump

By Steve Rosenberg, in Moscow

The day after America's presidential election, one Russian state official told me that she had celebrated Trump's victory with a cigar and a bottle of champagne. But, after six months of President Trump, US sanctions against Russia remain in place.

Read the full article

What the papers say

The Daily Telegraph reports that car insurance costs are routinely being inflated, while the Daily Mail claims that some car hire firms are not carrying out repair work for which they bill British tourists. Meanwhile, the Times leads on Chancellor Philip Hammond's remarks that the UK will not become a tax haven after Brexit, and the Guardian says senior Conservative MPs are warning cabinet ministers not to air their differences over a transitional deal with the EU in public.

Daily digest

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After Brexit Race to host EU agencies relocated from London

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What do we mean by sun worship?

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Today's lookahead

10:00 Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo appears in court for a pre-trial hearing over allegations of tax evasion.

Today US President Donald Trump begins an 18-day holiday.

On this day

1991 The United States and the Soviet Union sign an agreement reducing their stockpiles of nuclear warheads by about a third.

From elsewhere

Spain's economic nightmare is finally over (New York Times)

I revisited every place I have ever lived (Guardian)

What you'll regret most at the end of your life (Sydney Morning Herald)

The dream of living like Jane Austen (Telegraph)