News Daily: Heavy snowfall and North Korea nuclear pledge

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Image copyright James Frewer

Heavy snow has fallen across much of the UK, making for some beautiful scenes, but also leaving people stranded and transport disrupted. A large swathe of wintry weather hit England and Wales, but the South West has faced particular problems after up to 15cm came down. More than 100 people, including an eight-month-old baby, spent the night at the Jamaica Inn pub after their cars became stuck on the A30 in Cornwall. Highways England said the situation was made worse by people abandoning their vehicles, blocking the roads for gritters and snow ploughs.

Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice remain in place on Friday for much of the UK, with a more serious amber warning for parts of south-east England. Rail and air passengers will face delays and cancellations - check National Rail Enquiries or with your airline before setting out. The Met Office has also warned of "treacherous driving conditions" in many areas - if you must drive, here are some tips. And it's likely to be a snow day for many children with schools closed - so will your boss be expecting you in the office? Keep across our live page for updates.

See how cold it really is where you are using our calculator - but rest assured, it'll most likely be nothing compared with conditions in the US where the Midwest is still gripped by a deadly polar vortex.

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Nuclear pledge

The US special envoy to North Korea says Kim Jong-un has committed to destroying all of the country's plutonium and uranium facilities, which provide the material for nuclear weapons. But Stephen Biegun stressed that the US would not lift sanctions until the process was complete - how that'll be verified isn't clear because Pyongyang has long refused to give a full account of its nuclear capacity.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un held talks in Singapore last year - the first meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader - but since then little obvious progress has been made towards the optimistic aims they set out. A second meeting has been promised within weeks.


All of the major health screening programmes in England missed their targets last year. The tests are designed to pick up early signs of bowel, breast and cervical cancer, but too many of those who should be getting checked are missing out. There were also delays in getting results, with nearly half of women not getting their cervical screening results within the required two weeks. Inadequate staffing in labs and ageing computer systems are being blamed. One health think tank said the situation was "deeply concerning", but ministers insisted they were committed to making improvements.

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Tracking sanctions-busting 'ghost ships'

By Chris Baraniuk, BBC Technology of Business reporter

For a long time, being out at sea meant being out of sight and out of reach. And all kinds of shenanigans went on as a result - countries secretly selling oil and other goods to countries they're not supposed to under international sanctions rules, for example, not to mention piracy and kidnapping. The problem is that captains can easily switch off the current way of tracking ships, turning their vessels into "ghost ships". But now thousands of surveillance satellites have been launched into space, and artificial intelligence is being applied to the images they take.

Read the full article

What the papers say

A mixed bag of headlines on Friday. The Daily Mail is angry with "work-shy MPs" whom it says are "refusing to give up their half-term ski holidays" to help resolve the Brexit deadlock. The i thinks Jeremy Corbyn could be facing a "mutiny" because some of his MPs are tempted by the offer of extra cash for their constituencies in return for backing Theresa May's Brexit deal. The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, says nine members of the cabinet now believe Brexit will have to be delayed. Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror is angry at the "madness" of Amazon's tax affairs. The company, it says, has paid less corporation tax in the UK in 20 years than Marks & Spencer has in one. Finally, the Sun is excited about a new male contraceptive - applied to a man's arms every day for four months.

Daily digest

Armed forces Report warns of £7bn equipment funding black hole

Trade war China hails progress in talks with US

Organ donation MSPs back opt-out system

Brexit backstop What could these "alternative arrangements" be?

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'Saving my daughter from Instagram self-harm'

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Image copyright AFP

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Image copyright Getty Images

Asia Bibi: Pakistan's notorious case

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Today Jury expected to go out in the trial of a Ugandan woman and Ghanaian man, from east London, who are charged with female genital mutilation offences

20:00 Rugby Union's Six Nations kicks off with France v Wales

On this day

1953 Hundreds of people die and more than 30,000 are left homeless after some of the worst storms ever recorded hit Britain's east coast

From elsewhere

America's enemies are still rooting for Trump (CNN)

Cancelling recess is rubbish for democracy and rubbish for my constituents (Huffington Post)

'I hide my migraines so people don't think I'm weak' (The Pool)

Japan's firewall against populism (New Internationalist)

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