UK

News Daily: US sanctions over spy poisoning and cash-strapped council cuts

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image caption Yulia and Sergei Skripal were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury

US sanctions over spy poisoning

The US has announced it will impose sanctions on Russia over the nerve agent attack on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK. The state department says the US has determined Russia broke international law by using chemical or biological weapons in the attack in March. It had expelled dozens of Russian diplomats shortly after the poisoning but, as the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue points out, it previously stopped short of formally declaring Russia had broken international law.

The sanctions come into force later this month and target exports of sensitive electronic components and other technologies. Britain is welcoming the move, but Russia's not happy - describing the sanctions as "draconian". The Kremlin has denied involvement in the attack.

Here is a recap of what happened to the Skripals in Salisbury and what nerve agents can do to the body.

Cash-strapped council set to approve massive cuts

Drastic cuts to jobs and services are expected to be approved by councillors in Northamptonshire when they meet later to consider a plan to deal with a £70m budget shortfall.

The struggling county council has already said it would likely have to reduce services for vulnerable adults and children, which sparked a warning from the Children's Commissioner for England that there could be "catastrophic consequences" as a result. Waste management and road maintenance are also in line for cuts.

Other councils are facing similar issues, with East Sussex planning to strip back services to "the legal minimum".

Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

Are your 20s really the best time of your life?

A new index looking at people's wellbeing found 20 to 29-year-olds today feel more distant from their family and close friends than 20-somethings in the previous two decades. It also suggests they are less likely to feel a sense of belonging in their community and wider society. The BBC found out whether the research, by independent think tank the Intergenerational Foundation, rings true for people today.

The mentally ill woman helped to die by Dutch doctors

By Linda Pressly, BBC News, The Netherlands

In January a young Dutch woman named Aurelia Brouwers drank poison supplied by a doctor and lay down to die. Euthanasia is legal in Holland, so hers was a death sanctioned by the state. But she was not terminally ill - she was allowed to end her life on account of her psychiatric illness.

Aurelia argued she was competent to make the decision. But could a death wish have been a symptom of her mental illness?

Read the full article

What the papers say

Image copyright Daily Mail, Daily Mirror

The criticism of Boris Johnson from within his own party for his remarks about burkas continues to dominate headlines. "Tory civil war at prospect of Johnson in No 10," is the i newspaper's take, while the Daily Mirror says 15 top Conservatives are demanding the former foreign secretary apologise. The Times though reports that a prominent imam has come to Mr Johnson's defence. Elsewhere, the Guardian reports on the fall in the pound amid mounting concerns the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal. And the Daily Express leads on a warning from a pensioners' campaign group that energy price rises will lead to more winter deaths.

Daily digest

Rock fall Nine-year-old girl dies at a beach in North Yorkshire

Footballers' hearts Study suggests the risk of players dying because their heart stops beating is higher than experts thought

'I'm white' A US drink-drive suspect appealed for special treatment based on her race, officers say

Jolie v Pitt Actor rebuts claims by his ex-wife that he has failed to support their children

If you see one thing today

Image copyright NASA

The spacecraft set to 'touch' the Sun

If you listen to one thing today

Image copyright PA

How buying cocaine helps the government

If you read one thing today

Image copyright BBC Three/iStock

Inside the Revenge Porn helpline

Sign up for a morning briefing direct to your phone

Lookahead

Today A ceremony in Nagasaki marks the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on the Japanese city.

16:25 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas will be welcomed back to Cardiff at a homecoming celebration event.

On this day

1969 Actress Sharon Tate, the heavily pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, is found murdered in her Los Angeles home, along with four other people. Members of the Manson Family cult are later convicted.

From elsewhere

Photos of abandoned Russia (The Atlantic)

Spare change is dying and homeless people are worried (Wired)

China's 200 million singles are a big business (Spiegel Online)

While we sleep, our minds go on an amazing journey (National Geographic)

Related Topics