Two people have died and almost 300 are unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 476 people, mainly schoolchildren, capsized and sank of the coast of South Korea this morning. Around 180 have been rescued and 34 ships and 18 helicopters have been trying to save the others. Witnesses described hearing an impact before the boat went down.
TESCO REVEALS 6% FALL IN PROFITS
Supermarket giant Tesco has announced its annual group trading profits slumped by six per cent to £3.3bn, the second year in a row in which profits fell. Like-for-like sales, not taking into account stores opened in the past year, also saw profit down, by 1.4 per cent. Its European business lost £734m in value.
‘SHOCKING’ RISE IN FOOD BANK USE
The Trussell Trust has reported a “shocking” rise in the use of its food banks. The group handed out 913,000 food parcels last year, up from 347,000 the year before. Five hundred clergy have signed a letter protesting against the increase but the government says there is no relation between its benefit reforms and the rise.
UKRAINE: PRO-RUSSIANS CAPTURE VEHICLES
Russian president Vladimir Putin says neighbouring Ukraine is “on the brink of civil war” after Kiev sent in troops against pro-Russian separatists who have occupied government buildings in eastern cities. The Ukrainian defence ministry says six armoured personnel carriers have been captured by pro-Russian militants.
PARENTS FIND OUT SCHOOL PLACE OFFERS
Today is the inaugural National Offer Day, with primary school places allocated across England on the same day for the first time. Increasing pressures mean that thousands have missed out on their first choice of school, with London and Bristol among the worst affected. In some parts of the capital just 61% of families received their first preference.
WILLIAM AND KATE ARRIVE IN SYDNEY
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Sydney this morning with Prince George to start the Australian leg of their Antipodean tour. Kate, wearing a yellow dress by Roksanda Ilinic, carried the young prince down the steps from their plane at Kingsford Smith Airport to be greeted by PM Tony Abbott.
SCHOOLGIRLS KIDNAPPED IN NIGERIA
Nigerian troops have launched a "search and rescue" mission in the forests of northern Nigeria after Boko Haram militants kidnapped around 100 girls from a remote boarding school in the state of Borno. It is feared that the Islamic extremists have abducted the girls to use as cooks and sex slaves and rescuing them from the group's stronghold could prove difficult.
PISTORIUS: REEVA ARM SHOT WAS 'AMPUTATION'
The trial of Oscar Pistorius has heard that the bullet which struck Reeva Steenkamp's arm when he shot her through a toilet door was like an "instant amputation". Forensic expert Roger Dixon claimed Steenkamp was standing side on to the door and that all four bullets were fired in quick succession. Pistorius says he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.
COULSON LISTENED TO BLUNKETT VOICEMAILS
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has admitted he listened to voicemails in which former home secretary David Blunkett "declared his love" for Kimberley Quinn, with whom he was having an affair. Coulson told the hacking trial they were played to him by reporter Neville Thurlbeck, and that he did not know how Thurlbeck had got them.
HOT TICKET: WINTER'S TALE BALLET
The Royal Ballet's adaptation of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale has opened at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In Christopher Wheeldon's ballet a jealous king destroys his family but is redeemed by the love of his abandoned child. "A triumph," says The Times. Until 8 May.