News Daily: Backpacker murder verdict and leaders prepare for Question Time

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Man guilty of British backpacker's murder

It was a killing that drew an emotional apology from New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and now a 27-year-old man has been found guilty of strangling British backpacker Grace Millane. The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, showed no emotion as he was convicted of murder. Ms Millane's parents, from Wickford, Essex, wept in the public gallery. Her father, David says the family's lives have been "ripped apart" by his daughter's "barbaric" murder. "Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever," he says.

Ms Millane met her killer via the Tinder dating app on 1 December last year, the night before her 22nd birthday. They spent several hours drinking cocktails in bars around Auckland before going to the defendant's hotel, where he killed her. He then stuffed her body inside a suitcase which was later found buried in bushland outside Auckland. During a two-week trial at the city's high court, he claimed she died accidentally during "rough sex".

Party leaders prepare for Question Time special

There's a big night ahead for party leaders. But don't expect any let-up in campaigning before Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon arrive in Sheffield for a BBC Question Time special. From 19:00 GMT, the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the SNP will have 30 minutes each to answer questions from audience members. Presenter Fiona Bruce offers a sneak peek at what awaits them, and here's a guide to the issues that are expected to come up.

One man who won't be appearing is Nigel Farage who, like Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, appeared on a separate Question Time special. Mr Farage will unveil the Brexit Party's policies later. Standing in 275 seats after agreeing not to fight constituencies won by the Tories in 2017, it's offering a "contract with the people", rather than a manifesto, with plans for a 50,000-a-year cap on migration, abolition of the House of Lords and large-scale tree planting.

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price - who has appeared in an Ask The Leader programme in Wales - will call for a £20bn "green jobs revolution" when he launches the party's manifesto later. Plans include huge investment in rail and bus travel, three tidal lagoons, a barrage and a new offshore wind farm.

In other election news:

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UK misses deadline to return Chagos Islands

Even if you have heard of the Chagos Islands, you might struggle to locate them. But the British Indian Ocean Territory - bought for £3m when Mauritius was still a colony - has both strategic value and a controversial history. Between 1968 and 1974, the UK forcibly moved thousands of Chagossians more than 1,000 miles to Mauritius and the Seychelles. The island of Diego Garcia has since housed an air base from which US planes were sent to bomb Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the UK has been called an illegal colonial occupier after it ignored a UN deadline to return the islands to Mauritius, which claims it was forced to give them up in exchange for independence in 1968. "Mauritius has never held sovereignty over the BIOT," argues the UK, saying the islands have been "under continuous British sovereignty since 1814". Here's the full story.

Police podcast spurs clues to decades-old murder

By Alice Cuddy, BBC News

Wrapped in an electric blanket metres from a busy highway in the Netherlands lay the body of a man in such a state of decomposition he was impossible to identify. It was August 1991 and the man's chest bore several stab wounds. The local workers who found him told police it was the stench that led them to his corpse.

The discovery marked the beginning of a decades-long mystery in the Netherlands, with police unable to identify the victim, much less find the person responsible. But the truth could now finally be in sight after Dutch police launched their first-ever podcast aimed at solving a crime. Thousands tuned in to the three-part series when it aired last month and tip-offs have been coming in ever since.

Read the full story

What the papers say

There are some very different takes on Labour's manifesto launch, depending on which paper you pick up. The Daily Mirror says it proves Jeremy Corbyn's party is "on your side", while the Financial Times says from a business perspective it "stirs [the] spectre" of the 1970s. For the Guardian, it's Labour's "most radical radical manifesto" in decades, while the Daily Mail says it contains both an "£83bn tax robbery" and a declaration of war on "marriage, inheritance and business". Read the review.

Daily diges

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10:00 Natalie Wood to be sentenced for conspiracy to blackmail a Premier League footballer, who cannot be identified.

11:00 Play-off draw for the Euro 2020 football tournament takes place, with Scotland learning their semi-final opponents.

On this day

2005 Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democrats, is sworn in as Germany's first woman chancellor.

From elsewhere

The Duchess Effect: Social media images of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are worth £1.8m a year to designers (Mail)

Disney animation chief Jennifer Lee is the queen behind Elsa and Anna (NPR)

Dick & Dom in da place! How the kids TV weirdos became drum'n'bass gods (Guardian)

Manchester United wanted Mauricio Pochettino before Ole took the wheel - now they should go and get him (Independent)

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