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News Daily: Election results roll in and deadly India storms

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A vote for the status quo?

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With more than 4,000 seats up for grabs across England, these council elections are the first big test of political opinion since last year's dramatic general election. The final picture won't be known until later, but it seems to have been a mixed night for the two main parties.

Outside London, there's been a small swing towards the Conservatives, with successes in places such as Basildon and Peterborough. Perhaps the party's most glaring loss was Plymouth, which went to Labour - a result local Tory MP Johnny Mercer blamed on the government's handling of defence issues.

Labour, meanwhile, failed to take targets such as Swindon and Amber Valley, but did win seats in places such as Trafford. It also made gains in parts of London, but missed out on key targets of Wandsworth and Westminster.

The UKIP vote has collapsed and the party has lost most of its councillors. A surprise scalp in Derby - defenestrating the Labour council leader - is really the only chink of light.

Finally, the Lib Dems have had their best night at the polls since 2010, regaining councils lost in 2014, including Richmond, in south-west London.

Council elections always reflect national sentiment as well as micro-level concerns, but according to polling guru Prof John Curtice, Brexit is also crucial. He says the Tories have performed relatively well in strong Leave areas, picking up votes from UKIP, while Labour has done better in places where the Remain vote was stronger and where there's a higher proportion of younger voters.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg says this is broadly a vote for the status quo - something we haven't seen much recently. Labour has taken small steps forward, she notes, rather than dramatic strides expected, and there could well be some head-scratching in Labour HQ about why the effort poured into target areas hasn't delivered.

The Tories, meanwhile, have avoided the kind of wipeout they feared, but in many results we've seen how support moving to them has been from primarily Leave areas, heaping even more pressure on the Tories to get Brexit right.

The place to head for the up-to-the-minute picture is our live page Find the results in your area and see the full picture so far with our round-up.

Devastating storms continue

Fierce dust storms in northern India have already left at least 125 people dead and scores more injured. Strong winds and lightning have devastated many villages in the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Many of those who died were sleeping when their homes collapsed around them. Officials are now warning that more bad weather is coming.

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Big names booted out

Until 2017, the Oscars academy had expelled only one person in its 91-year history. It has now kicked out four. On Thursday, director Roman Polanski and TV star Bill Cosby joined disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on the cutting room floor - all three gone in barely a year. Cosby was convicted of sexual assault last month, while Oscar winner Polanski admitted statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. The film industry has been shamed into action by the disinfecting sunlight of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements and is now catching up with men who abused their power, the BBC's James Cook in Los Angeles says.

Is football ready to embrace the Bitcoin world?

By Bill Wilson, BBC Business

From numbers on shirts to goal-line technology, the football industry has never been slow to adapt to new ideas and technologies. Now the sport - if a little tentatively - is starting to dip its boots into the world of crypto-currency and its supporting blockchain technology. "Sport, including football, has a great opportunity to utilise this new technology and be at the forefront of its future adoption," says football business expert Michael Broughton.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Pressure continues in the papers on Commons speaker John Bercow amid accusations of bullying, which he denies. The Metro leads with criticism of him from the former Black Rod, but the Times says he is "digging in" and believes he has support to stay on. The Daily Mail leads on the breast cancer screening "outrage", saying health officials were warned of the scandal a year ago but failed to act. The i says a helpline set up for women affected has had more than 8,000 calls, Finally, the FT has grim news for thousands of BT workers.

Daily digest

Bercow Speaker accused of creating climate of "fear and intimidation"

Interpreters Afghans can stay in the UK for free, says the new home secretary

Wenger No dream send-off for Arsenal boss

Staying put People were much more likely to move home in the 1970s than the noughties

If you see one thing today

The gym with treadmills for toddlers

If you listen to one thing today

How economists forgot housework

If you read one thing today

'I killed over 100 people, with no regret'

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Lookahead

08:00 What's likely to be a highly critical review is published into the deaths of people with learning disabilities in England over the past three years.

Afternoon National Association of Head Teachers' annual conference begins.

On this day

1979 Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's first female prime minister.

From elsewhere

It's Like This and Like That and Like What? (Longreads)

This, apparently, is the most ethical meal in the world (Vice)

Can the building industry break its addiction to concrete? (CNN)

Caves, limoncello, folk dancing: Seven terrible decisions we only make on holiday (Daily Telegraph)

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