News Daily: Life expectancy, Weinstein convicted and floods warning

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Impact of austerity

"If health has stopped improving, that means society has stopped improving." That's the verdict of Prof Sir Michael Marmot, one of the country's leading experts on health inequalities, as he publishes a worrying report today. It says life expectancy growth in England has stalled over the past decade for the first time in 100 years. For women living in England's poorest communities it has actually declined. Similar trends can be seen elsewhere in the UK too.

Prof Marmot, from the Institute of Health Equity, published a report 10 years ago, as a decade of austerity began, warning of growing inequalities. The picture has got worse in that period and the amount of time people spend in poor health has gone up.

The report is clear in blaming "social and economic conditions" for the trends. It says the government must take action urgently to remove barriers - like poverty and insecure work - which make it harder for people to make healthy choices.

Labour called the report a "devastating verdict on 10 years of austerity under the Conservatives". Health Secretary Matt Hancock accepted there was "still much more to do" - see the efforts going on in one Job Centre.

'A great day'

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein once enjoyed phenomenal success in Hollywood with Oscar winners like Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting, but he now faces up to 25 years in prison after being convicted in New York of rape and sexual assault.

Accusations against him began to emerge in October 2017 and were at the centre of the #MeToo movement that prompted women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men. In all, at least 80 women had accused him, including actress Rose McGowan, who told the BBC it was "a great day". Others said the ruling brought hope to victims that their voices would be heard.

Weinstein, 67, was reportedly taken to hospital with chest pains on his way to jail. He had been cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault and his lawyers say he will appeal. He also still faces charges in Los Angeles of assaulting two women in 2013.

Read our in-depth look at how Weinstein faced his reckoning.

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Floods message

Severe flooding has hit parts of England and Wales for weeks, and in Shrewsbury there's a warning that rivers could reach record levels on Tuesday, presenting a danger to life. Against that backdrop, the head of the Environment Agency will give a speech later warning new homes should only be allowed in areas at risk of flooding if they are designed to be resilient. That could include using the ground floor just for garages. By way of example, recent figures show about a fifth of new homes in flood-affected York and Calderdale have been built on land that was known to be at high risk.

Most strikingly, Sir James Bevan will question whether it may be better for communities to be relocated altogether where the risks of flooding are too great. BBC science editor David Shukman says that's quite a bombshell and something most politicians would prefer to run a mile from.

The football games with 'no quarter given'

By Sue Paz & Duncan Leatherdale, BBC News

Shrove Tuesday is not all about pancakes. For centuries, it has also been a day for rumbustious "football" matches with loose rules, limitless participants and - in some cases - outright violence. Sedgefield is a pretty little town among the rolling fields of County Durham. Its quaint green is edged by a charming church, tearooms and shops. But for one afternoon each year, the sleepy town becomes a battleground. Dozens of steel-toecap-booted bruisers bash and thrash a small ball through the streets and streams for hours before one person is declared the winner. "Yeah it does sound a bit mental," laughs reigning champion Michael Adcock. "I try and explain it to people but they don't understand."

Read the full article

What the papers say

Most newspapers lead on Harvey Weinstein's conviction. For the Guardian, he is the "fallen titan of Hollywood". The i says #MeToo campaigners welcomed a "new era of justice", while Metro speaks of the disgraced producer being "locked up at last". However, the Daily Mirror cautions that he could serve as few as five years in prison. Elsewhere, the papers discuss the opening salvos being fired this week in post-Brexit trade talks. The Daily Express applauds Boris Johnson for demanding a "clean break" and refusing to accept any deal that compromises the UK's political or economic independence. But the Sun thinks Brussels "still doesn't get it" - the paper says Downing Street has made it clear the one "red line" is Britain having full control of its laws and if that means no deal, "so be it".

Daily digest

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Image copyright Getty Images

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12:00 The independent inquiry into child sex abuse publishes its report into allegations relating to Westminster

Today European foreign ministers meet in Brussels to agree a starting position for trade talks with the UK

On this day

1982 Corporal punishment in Britain's schools is ruled a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights - watch the video.

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