Hello. Here’s your morning briefing:
So, how’s Brexit going?
There’s a European Union summit starting this time next week and the UK wants leaders gathering there to decide that Brexit talks are going well enough for discussions to start on a future free trade agreement. But will this be possible? We’ll get some idea later today when the UK and EU chief negotiators, David Davis and Michel Barnier, give their takes on things so far.
EU sources have described a “constructive mood”. And Mr Davis has spoken of “decisive steps forward” since Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence last month, in which she suggested a two-year transition period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. But Mrs May told MPs on Wednesday that £250m had been put aside this year for Brexit planning, “including the possibility of a no-deal scenario”.
Normally with diplomatic talks, the gist of goings-on gets through to the press, but the BBC’s Kevin Connolly says the Brexit meetings in Brussels have been “remarkably leak-proof”, meaning Mr Davis and Mr Barnier’s comments are especially eagerly awaited. Here’s a guide to the key issues at stake.
Oscars academy to hold talks on Weinstein
Films produced by his companies have won 81 Oscars, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is holding an emergency meeting later to decide what to do about Harvey Weinstein. It has described the many claims of sexual misconduct against him as “repugnant”. Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are among those to have spoken out against Mr Weinstein, while the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) has already suspended his membership. Mr Weinstein has issued a statement denying allegations against him. Our media correspondent, Amol Rajan, looks at the situation facing young women in Hollywood.
£20,000 ‘golden hello’ for country and seaside GPs
There’s a shortage of family doctors in rural and coastal parts of England. So Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to announce one-off payments of £20,000 to 200 newly qualified GPs who choose to work in the worst-affected areas. In a speech, he’ll promise to “strengthen and secure general practice for the future”. But the Nuffield Trust think tank argues that recruitment is only “half the battle”, with the NHS struggling to hold on to GPs.
Why is it so difficult to count dead people?
By Dr Rachel Kleinfeld, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
By tending to focus on war, the media misses a crucial reality: homicides probably kill three to four times more people each year than conflicts. Between 2007 and 2012, homicides killed an average of 377,000 people a year, while about 70,000 died annually in conflict. Experts at the Geneva Declaration, one of the few think tanks that counts violence across both warfare and crime, estimate that eight out of 10 such deaths occur outside conflict zones. That may seem counterintuitive, but the number of wars worldwide is relatively low and homicides occur in every country. The numbers can be jaw-dropping.
What the papers say
The newspapers continue to cover the allegations against Harvey Weinstein in great detail. The Daily Mirror leads on claims by British actress Cara Delevingne against the Hollywood mogul, while the i reports on PM Theresa May praising the “courage” of women who have spoken out against him. But the Daily Mail criticises the “hypocrisy and cowardice of the liberal establishment who fawned over Weinstein”.
Changing subject, the same newspaper shows the faces of Mrs May and Chancellor Philip Hammond opposite one another, beside the headline “Daggers drawn”. It says tensions between the two over Brexit have left relations at “breaking point”. The Daily Telegraph reports that the cabinet is divided over the level of spending to be put aside in case talks between the UK and EU don’t result in a trade deal. And the Daily Express reveals the Queen will no longer lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, with the Prince of Wales taking over the duty from the 91-year-old monarch.
Terror laws Tougher penalties proposed for “unsophisticated” plots
‘Extensive’ hack Sensitive information about Australia’s defence programmes stolen
Gucci pledge Fashion firm to go fur-free from next year
Prison disturbance Staff “attacked with pool balls” as up to 80 inmates become violent
If you watch one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
10:00 The Professional Footballers’ Association holds a conference on mental health at St George’s Park, Staffordshire, featuring representatives from the Premier League.
13:45 The International Monetary Fund has its annual meeting in Washington DC.
19:15 The leaders of Austria’s main political parties take part in televised debate ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary election.
On this day
1984 A bomb explodes in Brighton’s Grand Hotel, being used by the Conservative Party for its annual conference, killing five people and injuring 34.