Huge waves have continued to pound south-western Britain today as the extreme winter weather continues. Flood warnings are still in place across the country and there was significant disruption to rail and road services. A senior government adviser said the UK must prepare for more frequent episodes of extreme weather.
OSBORNE WARNS OF MORE PAIN TO COME
George Osborne, the Chancellor, has warned that this year will include more “painful cuts” to get the economy on a stable footing, saying it will bring “hard truths”. He believes permanently cutting spending is the way to permanently cut taxes. Labour said he was “paving the way” for a “top rate tax cut for millionaires”.
SAVILE VICTIMS WANT SINGLE INQUIRY
Victims of Jimmy Savile want a single inquiry chaired by a high court judge into how the late DJ evaded justice while abusing them, instead of the more than 30 inquiries currently being carried out by organisations linked to him, including the BBC and NHS. But the NSPCC is opposed to the plan, saying it could be slow.
BALDRICK BITES BACK AFTER GOVE ATTACK
Sir Tony Robinson, the Labour activist and actor who played Baldrick in the Blackadder historical comedies, has hit back at education secretary Michael Gove. Gove criticised “left-wing academics” for using the show to “denigrate patriotism” but Sir Tony said he was “slagging off teachers” and was unprofessional.
ROYAL MARINE APPEALS JAIL SENTENCE
A former Royal Marine who was jailed for life for murdering an insurgent in Afghanistan has lodged an appeal application. Alexander Blackman, from Taunton, Somerset, was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in December after he was convicted of shooting the badly-wounded Taliban fighter in the chest.
CAMERON’S GP PLAN ‘WILL COST £1BN’
Government plans for longer surgery opening hours will cost £1bn and need more than 20,000 extra GPs, nurses and other staff, says the head of the royal college of GPs. Dr Maureen Baker also criticised the £500m given to hospitals this winter as “finger in the dyke stuff”. The PM wants GPs to open seven days a week.
RECORD LOW TEMPS FOR PARTS OF USA
Parts of the US are braced for record low temperatures as a ‘polar vortex’ grips the northeast of the country. A winter storm has brought up to two feet of snow and has been blamed for 16 deaths and the cancellation of more than 3,700 flights in recent days. Forecasters say temperatures may soon feel as low as -51C (-60F).
SUDAN PRESIDENTS TO DISCUSS ‘CIVIL WAR’
The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, is in Juba, South Sudan, for talks with his counterpart there, president Salva Kiir, over the conflict raging in South Sudan which has been dubbed ‘Africa’s newest civil war’. At least 1,000 people have been killed since the violence between different ethnic groups broke out last month.
I LOVE KIM JONG UN, SAYS BASKETBALL STAR
Dennis Rodman, the eccentric American former basketball star, has told reporters he loves his “friend” Kim Jong-un as he flies to Pyongyang to celebrate the North Korean dictator’s birthday. Asked whether he would bring up the subject of labour camps and other human rights abuses, Rodman said: “That’s not my job.”
HOT TICKET: IFANS IN PROTEST SONG
Tim Price's play about the Occupy movement, Protest Song, is on at The Shed, National Theatre. The one-man play stars Rhys Ifans as a rough sleeper who finds himself swept up in the Occupy camp at St Paul's. "Ifans is immense," says the Evening Standard. Until 11 January.