News Daily: North Korea plan and child rapist payment defended

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News


Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

image source, Getty Images

North Korea promises Guam strike plan within days

North Korea is promising that its plan to fire four missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam will be ready by mid-August. State media said it would then be up to leader Kim Jong-un to approve the action. It also denounced US President Donald Trump's warning of "fire and fury", calling him "bereft of reason".

The US isn't backing down in its rhetoric either, with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis saying Pyongyang would be "grossly overmatched" in any war.

The world waits for the next development, but the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, in Guam, says most people there feel that if North Korea did strike with missiles it would be suicidal for its regime. So, what damage could it do if it did attack?

Police defend informant's payment to child rapist

Northumbria's chief constable has rejected claims that paying a child rapist to help secure convictions of 18 people for sexual exploitation of girls in Newcastle may have placed some victims at greater risk. The informant, who has himself served a prison sentence, received £10,000. Chief Constable Steve Ashman said he had been used only in "controlled circumstances", adding: "The recruitment and registering of any informant is carefully risk assessed against what are the potential gains we can get from using that individual."

Is anything left of Mosul?

The effort to rid Mosul of the so-called Islamic State group, which started last October, has cost thousands of lives and caused more than one million people to flee their homes. So, what is left of the northern Iraqi city? The BBC looks at the evidence and speaks to the survivors.

Facebook brings in new video service

Facebook is to go up against YouTube and TV networks as it moves into the dedicated video market, funding some programmes of its own. The social media giant's new Watch tab - to be trialled in the US only at first - will offer users shows based on what their friends are viewing. Video has been available on Facebook for some time, but it has been dominated by amateur clips or short segments from news organisations.

What makes Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman such a classic?

By Mark Savage, BBC Music reporter

Musically, the song plays a clever trick by starting in the key of F major before switching to the relative minor, D major, and never fully resolving - echoing the lineman's disjointed state of mind.

What the papers say

There's anger over the £10,000 paid by police to a convicted child rapist to spy on the gang which has been found guilty of widespread child abuse in Newcastle. The Sun reports on a call to review such tactics, while the Daily Mirror quotes the NSPCC as saying: "We are appalled. It beggars belief." Meanwhile, some newspapers lead on the North Korea-US crisis, with the Guardian saying it has shaken the whole East Asia region.

Daily digest

Sixth-former's death Pupil falls from raft on school's Ecuador trip

Hospital sites Labour accuses government of "blanket sell-off"

Morrisons Supermarket pledges not to sell "fake-farm food" brands

Ginnel or twitten? Twelve regional words celebrated in poems

If you watch one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

image source, Getty Images

If you read one thing today

Today's lookahead

09:30 NHS England's monthly statistics, including A&E waiting times, are published.

Today A press conference is being held by the British-South African former hostage Stephen McGowan, who was released last week after six years in captivity in Mali.

On this day

2003 Britain has its hottest recorded day ever, as the temperature reaches 38.1C (100.6F) in Gravesend, Kent.

From elsewhere