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News Daily: Freezing weather hits UK and sex-for-aid claim

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Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Freezing air is arriving in the UK from Russia

UK freezes as Siberian winds hit

It's snowing across large parts of the UK, with rail firms predicting disruption and warnings in place on many roads. As the cold air continues to sweep in from Russia, the so-called "beast from the east" will make temperatures seem as low as -15C.

Snow has been falling in southern and eastern England, with Met Office warnings extending into the Midlands, Scotland and Wales today. The sea itself has frozen at the Somerset resort of Weston-super-Mare, for the first time in a number of years. Other parts of Europe are suffering unusually wintry weather too.

Take a look at temperatures where you are - and elsewhere.

Syria workers 'offered aid for sex'

The BBC has learned that women in Syria have been sexually exploited by men delivering aid on behalf of the UN and international charities. Aid workers said these men would trade food and lifts for favours. But UN agencies and charities said they had zero tolerance of exploitation and were not aware of any cases of abuse by partner organisations in the region.

School shooting: Police officer defends actions

He's been denigrated by President Trump as a "coward", after being accused of waiting outside a building while students and teachers were shot dead at a Florida school. But Scot Peterson, the armed officer on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when the killing took place earlier this month, has defended his actions. His lawyer said Mr Peterson had believed the gunfire was coming from outside the school - and had followed his training by taking cover and prompting a lockdown. The clarification came after Mr Trump claimed he would have run into the building if he had been there, even if he had been unarmed. Here's a look at America's gun culture.

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Grand Canyon crash: Fifth Briton dies

A fifth British tourist has died following a helicopter crash in Arizona's Grand Canyon that also killed her new husband. Eleanor Udall, nee Milward, 29, was on her honeymoon with Jonathan Udall, when the accident happened earlier this month. Mrs Udall's family said they were "exceedingly grateful" for the work done by US emergency services, but announced "with great sadness" that she had died as a result of her injuries.

Is it possible to hold elections in lawless Libya?

By Rana Jawad, North Africa correspondent

Most peaceful elections need political maturity, functioning institutions and state security structures that serve the nation and its people. Take one of these elements away and you have a faltering process that might work, could lead to dictatorship, or set the stage for a cycle of military coups. Libya is in the unenviable position of having none of those democratic pillars to start with.

Read the full article

What the papers say

The weather is all over the front pages. The i shows a windswept scene of people out walking, while the Daily Express predicts the coldest temperatures for 27 years. The Sun enjoys a questionable pun in its headline "The Great British Flake Off", while the Daily Star opts for the more traditional "Snow Joke". Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that rail firms are accused of benefiting from cancellations caused by the freeze. Elsewhere, the Guardian leads on a rise in diabetes cases.

Daily digest

Brexit Corbyn backs permanent customs union after UK leaves EU

Far-right terrorism Threat to UK growing, warns senior police officer

Cruise ship smugglers Canadians plead guilty after cocaine seizure

Gove's plan Cash for richest farmers "could be shifted to environmental schemes"

If you see one thing today

Image copyright David Granick

Unseen colour photos of London's East End

If you listen to one thing today

The dictator's survival guide

If you read one thing today

Image copyright Danny Bowman

I took hundreds of selfies a day

Lookahead

09:30 A full meeting of the cabinet is expected to be briefed on Theresa May's discussions with senior colleagues about Brexit last week.

20:05 Swansea take on Sheffield Wednesday in the replay of their FA Cup fifth round tie. This follows a 0-0 draw earlier this month.

On this day

2011 Colin Firth wins the Best Actor Oscar for his role as George VI in The King's Speech.

From elsewhere

The struggles of women who mask their autism (The Atlantic)

Why's Harrogate the UK's bookiest town? (Independent)

Cleaning hacks that will change your life (Daily Mail)

Paula Abdul was wrong: Opposites don't attract (CNN)

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