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News Daily: Storm Dennis, coronavirus latest and Brexit positioning

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Flood evacuations

Image copyright PA Media

Storm Dennis is still causing problems, with dozens of people forced to leave their homes overnight due to fears of further flooding. More than 400 homes and businesses are under water, with south Wales, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire among the worst affected regions. Police are warning of an unprecedented emergency in some areas close to the River Severn, where defences built after the 2007 floods to withstand a 100-year event could be overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, police have found the body of a woman swept away by floodwater when her car became stuck in Worcestershire. The family of 55-year-old Yvonne Booth say they're devastated.

More rain is expected in parts of the UK later this week, with two yellow Met Office weather warnings issued for north and south Wales for Wednesday evening. How can flooding be stopped? Read more. And how are weather forecasts made? BBC Weather's Nick Miller explains.

Labour has called on the prime minister to chair a meeting of Cobra, the government's emergency committee, accusing him of "refusing" to visit affected communities. A Cobra meeting was held when parts of the UK saw flooding in the run-up to the 2019 general election, but the government says one isn't needed "at this point".

Coronavirus latest

The government says it is urgently working to organise a flight to bring home British nationals from a cruise ship in Japan quarantined due to coronavirus. The Diamond Princess has been in isolation for more than two weeks. There are 74 British passengers and crew on board and some have accused the government of forgetting about them. The US has already repatriated more than 300 of its citizens. Our story, linked above, contains a helpful interactive Q&A on the virus, while this piece looks at how you self-isolate successfully if you may have been exposed to it.

Meanwhile, health officials in China have published the biggest study on coronavirus since the outbreak began. It found that more than 80% of cases have been mild, with the sick and elderly most at risk. The findings put the overall death rate at 2.3%.

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Brexit positioning

Things may have gone relatively quiet on the Brexit front, but next week, the UK and EU will set out in detail their opening negotiating positions for trade talks. Ahead of that, Boris Johnson's chief Brexit negotiator has given a speech insisting the UK won't accept strict rules from Brussels in return for close trade ties. David Frost also suggested EU demands for a so-called "level playing field" would undermine British sovereignty. The idea is to stop UK companies undercutting EU rivals and we explain it in greater detail here.

BBC Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming says the EU's position is that it has to apply more stringent safeguards to its erstwhile neighbour than it does to Canada, Japan or South Korea in order to prevent unfair competition.

'Our life was like Parasite - but in the Cotswolds'

By Harvey Day, BBC Three

When Daisy May and Charlie Cooper were in their 20s they were living at home in the Cotswolds with their mum and dad. Things were so tough that the adult siblings were even sharing a bed. "It's really strange because I went to go see the film Parasite the other day," Daisy says, "and our lives were so similar to that family." The siblings remember how they found work as cleaners and, in their free time, began to write about their life: going on really long walks, making fun of the strange people around town and pushing each other in trolleys around the Tesco car park. Those jokes and storylines would eventually become the BAFTA-winning BBC Three sitcom This Country, about two siblings, Kerry and Lee "Kurtan" Mucklowe, growing up poor in the Cotswolds countryside.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Flooding caused by Storm Dennis still leads many papers. The Daily Mirror quotes an environmental scientist who warns the UK is facing a "national emergency" and the prime minister must "wake up" to climate change. The Daily Telegraph reports that the Environment Agency could take a new approach to flooding in future as events like this become more frequent. Elsewhere, the Metro leads on the resignation of Downing Street adviser Andrew Sabisky after criticism of comments he was reported to have made prior to taking up the job. The paper says he was hired after the PM's top aide, Dominic Cummings, appealed for "misfits and weirdos". The Guardian feels his resignation, therefore, "represents a defeat" for Mr Cummings. Finally, the Daily Mail is upset that the National Savings and Investments bank has cut its interest rates, saying the move will "raise questions over the value of putting money away".

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Lookahead

09:30 Latest official UK unemployment statistics are published for the three months to December

20:00 Brit Awards 2020 are held in London, with fewer categories than in previous years and no fan votes

On this day

2005 Hunting with dogs becomes illegal in England and Wales

From elsewhere

TikTok is filled with pro-eating disorder content, despite its own rules (Buzzfeed)

China's Chernobyl never seems to arise (The Atlantic)

Bombshell: Hollywood's lukewarm attempt to get to grips with #MeToo (The Conversation)

Forget London house prices, take a look at Paris (Bloomberg)

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