Barack Obama has told Russia there would be “costs” for any military intervention in Ukraine. The US president also said that “any violation of Ukrainian sovereignty would be deeply destabilising”. He spoke as Russian troops and gunmen spread out across the Crimea, seizing two airports. Kiev claims that 2,000 Russian troops have invaded.
CAMERON URGES BORIS TO STAND AS MP
Allies of David Cameron are urging Boris Johnson to stand at the next general election as a Conservative candidate, says The Times. George Osborne is believed to have personally delivered the message to the Mayor of London. The move is being seen as an attempt to call Johnson’s bluff over his rumoured leadership aspirations.
THE POOR GAMBLED £13M LAST YEAR
England’s most deprived boroughs pumped £13bn into gambling machines last year, says The Guardian. The newspaper’s research found that in the 55 poorest boroughs the money gambled on high-speed, high-stages gambling machines was double the amount taken in the richest areas. “We do not target the poor,” said Neil Goulden of the Association of British Bookmakers.
EX-GUANTANAMO BRIT CHARGED OVER SYRIA
A British former Guantanamo Bay inmate has been charged with terror offences related to Syria. West Midlands Police say that Moazzam Begg and a 44-year-old woman, who have been charged with terrorism offences, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court today. Begg was held in Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2005.
UK'S NEGATIVE EQUITY DATA RELEASED
Nearly half a million UK households are still in negative equity, meaning their properties are worth less than the mortgages on them, according to new figures. Mortgage group HML found that this applies to 8% of UK mortgage holders overall but that in Northern Ireland the figure rose to 41% of borrowers, while in north-east England and Cumbria the figure is 16%.
WEALTHY WOMEN ‘SHOULDN’T MARRY’
Wealthy women should not marry, says the daughter of one of the country’s richest men. Victoria Luckwell spoke out after her “gold-digger” ex-husband was awarded a £1.2m divorce payout. The daughter of Mike Luckwell, who is worth an estimated £135m, said the legal system in Britain acts as a “disincentive” for the rich to wed, as they cannot protect family assets.
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN'S GRAVE
A race is underway to save a World War One soldier's burial plot which was swallowed up by a sinkhole last year. Work is underway to prevent Private Francis Ryan’s headstone from falling into the 20ft crater. Private Ryan served in the 3rd Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment, and died in England at the age of 40 in 1915.
SIGNED MEIN KAMPF AUCTIONED
A copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler has been sold for $64,850. An anonymous buyer purchased the two-volume set at an auction in Los Angeles. The signature is dedicated to early Nazi party member and SS officer Josef Bauer. Hitler offers Bauer his best wishes in the Christmas season. Bidding for the book began at $20,000. It received 11 bids.
HOFFMAN POST-MORTEM RELEASED
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an accidental overdose of a toxic mixture of drugs, say officials. His post-mortem found that the Hollywood star had taken a range of drugs including heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and benzodiazepine when he died. Hoffman, who was found dead on February 2, was survived by his partner of 15 years, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children.
FOOTBALL: ‘SQUEAKY BUM TIME’ NEARS
Chelsea and Arsenal continue their battle for top spot today as the Blues travel to local rivals Fulham and the Gunners visit Stoke City. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s injured striker Theo Walcott tells the Daily Telegraph he has started to walk again following his injury against Spurs earlier this season. Liverpool can leapfrog Manchester City if they win at Southampton.