News Daily: Brexit leak and 'threats' over BBC pay queries

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News


Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image source, Getty Images

Any Brexit deal 'will slow UK economy'

What effect will Brexit have on the UK economy? A leaked government document suggests growth over the next 15 years could be up to 8% lower than if the UK had stayed in the EU. And the Buzzfeed news website reports that the Whitehall analysis - looking at several scenarios - predicts slower growth whatever deal is struck with Brussels.

But a government source said the document did not look at its preferred scenario - which included a bespoke deal with the EU covering trade and financial services. The analysis contained, they added, "a significant number of caveats" and was "hugely dependent on a wide range of assumptions". And leading Eurosceptic Conservative MP Jacob Rees Mogg said economic modelling so far had been "highly speculative and inaccurate".

BBC women claim 'veiled threats' over equal pay queries

Female staff at the BBC have told the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee they faced "veiled threats" while trying to raise the subject of equal pay. More than 150 women have put forward written evidence ahead of a hearing on Wednesday. Meanwhile, auditors PwC have separately reviewed the pay and diversity of presenters, correspondents and on-air talent. And, following the outcry over the size of salaries of some of its highest-paid stars, the BBC is proposing a pay cap of £320,000 for its news presenters.

Russia will target US mid-term elections, says CIA chief

CIA director Mike Pompeo, who briefs President Donald Trump on most days, has told the BBC he thinks Russia will target the US mid-term elections later this year. He also said North Korea may be able to hit the US with nuclear missiles "in a handful of months". In a wide-ranging interview with BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera, Mr Pompeo dismissed the questioning of Mr Trump's faculties in a recent book on his administration as "absurd" and "drivel". Here's a profile of Mr Pompeo.

Do 'robo hacks' spell the end for human journalists?

By Chris Baraniuk, business of technology reporter

Squirrelled away at the Press Association's (PA) headquarters in London is a small team of journalists and software engineers. They're working on a computer system that can do the work of multiple human beings, picking out interesting local data trends - everything from crime statistics to how many babies are being born out of wedlock. As part of a trial, PA has begun emailing selected machine-generated stories, no more than several paragraphs or so in length, to local newspapers that might want to use such material. "We've just been emailing them samples of stories we've produced and they've been using a reasonable number of them," says Peter Clifton, editor-in-chief. Sometimes human journalists will rewrite or add to the algorithms' copy, but quite often, he says, it is published verbatim.

What the papers say

The Times reports that Theresa May is coming under pressure from Conservative donors, and some of her MPs, to step down once the outline of a Brexit deal with Brussels is negotiated. Meanwhile, Metro says German Chancellor Angela Merkel has mocked Mrs May by claiming the UK prime minister is dithering over what she wants to achieve from talks. And the i reports on a study suggesting people in the UK have the worst diets in Europe.

Daily digest

Million-pound raids Police believe soldier is behind violent gunpoint robberies at Home Counties properties

Prescription drugs Gangs smuggled 160 million tablets out of UK's protected supply chain over three years, BBC finds

Passport price Cost of renewal by post to increase by £12.50 in March

Maplins memories The cast of Hi-de-Hi reminisce 30 years after sitcom was taken off air

If you see one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

Image source, other

If you read one thing today

Image source, Getty Images


Today The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge begin a visit to Sweden and Norway.

15:35 Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney appears before the Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

On this day

1965 Tens of thousands of people line the streets of London for the procession ahead of the full state funeral for former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill at St Paul's Cathedral.

From elsewhere