News Daily: EU citizens and Catalan deadline

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PM offers more assurances to EU citizens

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There's another cross-Channel trip for the UK's prime minister, as Theresa May returns to Brussels on Thursday for the second time in a week, when European Union leaders will gather to consider how Brexit negotiations are going - among other things.

Mrs May has attempted to provide some clarity over one of the main sticking points in those talks - what will happen to EU citizens living in the UK once Britain leaves the bloc.

She has promised the application process for settled status would be "streamlined" and the cost kept "as low as possible". But the EU's 27 leaders are expected to be told at their gathering that "insufficient progress" has been made in this area.

With the UK keen to get on to talking about its future trading relationship with the EU, the Creative Industries Federation has warned that the money that it generates could be hit by a post-Brexit restriction on immigration.

Spain ultimatum looms over Catalan independence push

In another corner of Europe, Spain has warned Catalonia's leader he has until 09:00 BST to drop his region's bid for independence or it faces being stripped of its autonomy.

Carles Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence after 1 October's referendum result backed separation. Since then, politicians in Barcelona and Madrid have been engaged in a tense stand-off over what happens next.

Reports suggest Mr Puigdemont will press ahead on independence if the central government moves to take direct control. On Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on him to "act sensibly".

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UK banks 'linked to money laundering'

Labour peer and former cabinet minister Lord Hain has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond accusing UK banks of being inadvertently involved in laundering money stolen from South Africa.

The accusation is based on alleged ties between South African President Jacob Zuma and a wealthy business family, the Guptas.

Peter Hain, a leading anti-apartheid campaigner who grew up in South Africa, urged UK authorities "to track that stolen money down" and "help return it to South African taxpayers".

The Treasury said it took allegations of financial misconduct "very seriously", and Lord Hain's letter had been passed to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Hundreds of families block organ donation

BBC Radio 5 live has found that objections from relatives meant that more than 500 organs from registered donors were not available for transplant.

While the law says consent lies with the deceased, relatives' wishes are always respected. Almost a third of families rejected use of their loved one's organs because they said the process took too long, 5 live discovered.

The NHS is keen to see fewer so-called "overrides", and is encouraging prospective donors to talk to their families.

Whiff of foreboding about Brexit talks

Analysis by Laura Kuenssberg, political editor

First, the UK-EU talks are significantly behind. The UK hoped that by autumn we'd be able to move onto trade talks properly. That's not going to happen, underlining the change since those heady days when Brexiteers promised it could be straightforward.

Second, there is not likely to be any answer to the main bind on Friday. The UK does not want to put any more cash on the table, beyond the 20bn euros implied by Theresa May's Florence speech.

The strongest voices in the EU, although not every country agrees, think the UK ought to have to wait for the next phase of talks unless it is willing to offer hypothetical extra cash.

Read Laura's blog in full

What the papers say

Theresa May's latest offer on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and the current impasse in Brexit negotiations feature on Thursday's front pages. Elsewhere, concerns over the financial health of Britons revealed in a Financial Conduct Authority survey are also reported, with the Financial Times saying half of adults are vulnerable, with millions resorting to borrowing money from friends and family. The i paper reports that 15 million Britons aren't saving for their retirement. The Guardian leads with calls for FA chiefs to resign, after chief executive Martin Glenn was accused of behaviour "bordering on blackmail" by former England player Eniola Aluko.

Read our paper review in full here.

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Today's lookahead

09:30 Office for National Statistics releases annual figures for fly-tipping in England.

13:00 EU leaders meet in Brussels, with a review of Brexit negotiations on the agenda.

On this day

1989: Guildford Four released after 15 years in prison.

From elsewhere

More than 12m 'Me Too' Facebook posts, comments and responses in 24 hours (CBS News)

The revolutionary design of communist currency (CNN)

Clinton praises NHS after broken toe disrupts book tour (STV News)

Country Life tells Mary Berry: The dining room is not dead (Daily Telegraph)

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