News Daily: Irma destruction and Brexit debate

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image copyright Nasa/Reuters

Irma brings death and destruction to Caribbean

The island of Barbuda is described as "barely habitable". Officials say the French territory of St Martin is almost destroyed. And in the US territory of Puerto Rico, through which Hurricane Irma has been passing, more than half the island's three million residents are without power.

The hurricane, graded five - the highest possible - is continuing its journey through the Caribbean. Several deaths have been reported, but the numbers will prove hard to gather, such is the level of destruction.

Projections suggest the hurricane, which has brought wind speeds of 295km/h (185mph), could hit Florida on Sunday. US President Donald Trump said he was monitoring its progress, adding: "But it looks like it could be something that will be not good. Believe me, not good."

The bad news continues. Another storm, Jose, further out in the Atlantic, could be near major hurricane strength by Friday, and might hit some areas already affected by Irma. And storm Katia, in the Gulf of Mexico, has been upgraded to hurricane status, with a warning in place for the coast of the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Get our morning briefing in your inbox each weekday

Brexit: MPs begin scrutiny of vital bill

The government's main Brexit bill is up for debate in Parliament later, with ministers and Labour in disagreement over what it should include. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill is designed to end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, but convert all existing EU laws into domestic ones. Labour is unhappy about what it calls a "power grab", allowing ministers to make important changes "at the stroke of a pen". But Brexit Secretary David Davis challenged MPs demanding changes to the bill to come up with any existing major rights that would not be carried forward as a result of passing it into law.

Public 'tricked' into poor food choices

Go on, have a dollop of whipped cream in your (large) coffee. Onion rings - well, they count as vegetables, surely? Unhealthy food and drink choices are all around us, and the Royal Society for Public Health is warning that companies are doing too much to push consumers towards making them. "Upselling" fattening food is one of the tricks used, it argues. People are eating, on average, 17,000 extra calories a year as a result, it's claimed. The BBC contacted industry groups including the British Retail Consortium and British Hospitality Association, but none commented.

What's your risk of crime?

It's something we all worry about, but what are the actual chances that you'll become a victim of crime? The BBC has crunched the data for England and Wales. So, why not have a go at using our calculator?

Analysis: Can war games help us avoid real-world conflict?

By Jonathan Beale, defence correspondent

A war game takes place in London. President Trump is not being played by a person. Instead, there's a board with chance cards that reveal his state of mind. Some are based on his own tweets. One of the cards warns North Korea of "fire and fury".

Read the full article

What the papers say

"May God protect us all" is the i's headline, as it considers the effect of Hurricane Irma. The Daily Star says many British tourists are trapped by the awful conditions in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that some leading business executives are "angered" by what they consider the government's "strong-armed" tactics to garner support for its version of Brexit. And the Times says there's going to be more scrutiny of university vice-chancellors' pay.

Daily digest

Cancer diagnosis Pen "can detect affected tissue in 10 seconds"

Crime concern West Midlands Police "failing to record reported incidents"

Emptying out Why is Bulgaria's population shrinking so rapidly?

George's first day Four-year-old prince starts school

If you watch one thing today

Image copyright Lufkin Police Department

Handcuffed woman escapes in police car

If you listen to one thing today

David Baddiel tries to get the Kardashians

If you read one thing today

Image copyright Getty Images

Does it matter what colour you wear to work?

Today's lookahead

08:10 A new single by the late singer-songwriter George Michael gets its first play on BBC Radio 2.

11:00 The third and final Test match between England and the West Indies starts at the Oval, with the visitors chasing a series victory few predicted before the tour started.

On this day

1978 UK Prime Minister James Callaghan announces there will not be an election this autumn. His opponents accuse him of running scared.

From elsewhere

The treasures saved from Hurricane Harvey (New York Times)

Pooled delivery services cut traffic in British cities (Economist)

When will Voyager stop calling home? (The Atlantic)

Is Bake Off's Steven too good to be true? (Guardian)

Related Topics