News Daily: Cardinal Pell convicted, and ministers' Brexit 'revolt'

By Rob Corp
BBC News


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Cardinal Pell guilty of sex offences

Australian Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexual offences - the most senior figure in the Roman Catholic Church to be convicted of such crimes, Pell, 77, had pleaded not guilty to abusing two choir boys under the age of 16 in 1996, but was convicted by a jury in December. Details of the guilty verdict could not be reported at the time for legal reasons. Pell is a former Vatican treasurer, making him one of the church's most powerful figures.

The offences took place while Pell was in his first year as archbishop of Melbourne. He was convicted by a second jury after a first trial failed to return a verdict. Pell is due to be sentenced on Wednesday, but is appealing against his conviction. News of his conviction comes just a few days after the Pope held a four-day summit aimed at tackling the child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church.

The BBC's Australia correspondent, Hywel Griffith, followed the trial. You can read his account of covering a trial held in secret here, as well as a profile of George Pell.

May faces no deal 'revolt' by ministers

Freshly back from a two-day EU summit in the Egyptian desert and Prime Minister Theresa May faces more headlines about government ministers threatening to resign over Brexit. This time it's three Remain-supporting members of her team who are threatening to walk unless she takes no deal off the table. According to BBC Newsnight's political editor Nick Watt, Mrs May is expected to "lean in" to the demands of ministers who fear the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. The threat comes ahead of a meeting of the cabinet later on Tuesday, with Brexit the only item on the agenda, and where the prime minister will be under pressure to spell out her next steps ahead of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March. Adding to the pressure on the government is Labour's announcement on Monday evening that it will back another referendum on the EU if its own plan for Brexit is rejected. The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg has blogged about Labour's move, while our Really Simple Guide to Brexit is available here.

Max and Keira's organ law set to pass

Organ donation is set to change to an opt-out system in England, when new legislation clears the House of Lords later on Tuesday. Known as Max and Keira's Law after a boy who received a heart transplant and the girl who donated it, the change means that instead of donors having to give permission for their organs to be given to others after their death, it will be presumed that consent has been given unless people have opted out. A similar system has been operating in Wales since December 2015. That move has led to the country having the highest donation rates in the UK. The BBC's medical correspondent, Fergus Walsh, has been speaking to the families of the two children the law is named after.

Jihadist takeover in Syria's last rebel enclave sparks alarm

By Lina Sinjab, BBC News, Beirut

The Islamic State group may have lost all its territory in Syria but a rival jihadist group has been making gains in the last remaining opposition stronghold in the north of the country - and it has got residents nervous. In a dramatic takeover last month, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) swept through towns and villages in Idlib province, as well as adjoining parts of Aleppo and Hama. The group - which was known as al-Nusra Front before it broke off formal ties with al-Qaeda three years ago - expelled some rebel factions and forced others to surrender and recognise a "civil administration" it backs. With almost 20,000 fighters in its ranks, HTS wants to impose strict Islamic rule in areas it controls. Civilians say the group's practices are similar to those of IS.

What the papers say

image copyrightDaily Mirror, Metro

Labour's announcement that it will support another referendum on Brexit dominates Tuesday's front pages. The Daily Mirror reports that the party has made the move because it rejects the prime minister's plan and wants to prevent a no-deal exit from the EU being "forced" on the country. But the Daily Telegraph says the decision is likely to provoke a backlash from Labour leavers. The Daily Express says the country had its final say at the EU referendum in June 2016 and describes Labour's plan as a "cynical attempt to cancel Brexit". Elsewhere, the Sun goes with the headline "Fabruary" as it reports on Monday's record-breaking temperatures. You can read our full review of Tuesday's papers here.

Daily digest

Kashmir tensions Pakistan scrambles jets over 'India violation'

Oxbridge blues Thousands fewer UK students at Oxford and Cambridge

In pictures Some of the best images of Harry and Meghan in Morocco

Michael Sheen Hollywood star launches Wales homeless helpline

If you see one thing today

image copyrightBill Granger

If you listen to one thing today

If you read one thing today

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Today US President Donald Trump is due to arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam, ahead of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

On this day

1993 A car bomb explodes underneath the World Trade Center in New York killing six people and injuring 100.

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