John Kerry has issued a stark warning to Russia, accusing it of "distraction, deception and destabilisation" in eastern Ukraine and saying the "window to change course is closing". He threatened further sanctions if Moscow did not defuse the crisis. Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, accused the West of wanting to "seize" Ukraine
RBS 200% BONUS PLAN SCRAPPED
RBS, which is 80% publicly owned, has abandoned plans to award its chief executive a 200% bonus after being warned that the Treasury would vote against the plan. Under EU rules bonuses of more than 100% of an executives salary must be approved by shareholders. Instead the bank will give boss Ross McEwan an extra "allowance" of £1m.
LIFESTYLE QUIZ FOR MORTGAGE APPLICANTS
Mortgage applicants will face a tough new quiz on their lifestyles from Saturday, when new rules designed to “hardwire common sense” into the process come into effect. Questions about regular outgoings including childcare costs and even haircuts could be asked. Brokers worry the quiz may lead to delays.
OBAMA ADMITS MIDDLE EAST STALEMATE
President Obama has admitted that peace talks between Israel and Palestine have reached a stalemate, after nine months of US-led diplomacy. He was speaking after Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu suspended negotiations following a deal between Fatah, the party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas.
GHERKIN SKYSCRAPER PLACED IN RECEIVERSHIP
Thirty St Mary Axe, the iconic Norman Foster ‘Gherkin’ skyscraper built 10 years ago in the City of London, has been placed in receivership after one of its owners, German firm IVG Immobilien, filed for insolvency. Co-owner private equity firm Evans Randall said it was willing to buy a larger stake.
UK TO GET NEW £200M POLAR ICEBREAKER
British scientists are to benefit from a new £200m icebreaker ship which will be one of the most capable polar research vessels in the world. George Osborne will announce the investment later today. The ship will be ready by 2019 and will allow Arctic and Antarctic scientists to push deep into either icepack.
UKIP UNDER FIRE OVER IRISH-BORN ACTOR
Ukip is under fire again after it emerged that it used an Irish-born actor in one of its election posters, portraying an unemployed Briton. Dave O'Rourke, pictured as a beggar in the poster, moved to the UK ten years ago. Tory vice-chairman Bob Neill accused Ukip of being "hypocritical" for not using "ordinary people" in their campaign.
MOTHER IN COURT FOR CHILD MURDERS
Tania Clarence, the mother accused of murdering her three severely disabled children, has appeared in court. She wept throughout the 20-minute hearing at Wimbledon magistrates and was remanded in custody until a hearing at the Old Bailey next week. The children, three-year-old twins boys and a four-year-old girl, were found dead at their home on Tuesday.
LIAM HINTS AT OASIS GLASTONBURY REUNION
Liam Gallagher has sparked a flutter of wagers - which culminated in two bookmakers suspending betting on Oasis reforming to play Glastonbury this year - with a series of cryptic messages on Twitter. The singer tweeted the name of the band one letter at a time. The band released its first album 20 years ago.
HOT TICKET: TRAVEL EPIC TRACKS
Australian travel epic Tracks opens in UK cinemas today. Mia Wasikowska stars as Robyn Davidson, in the true story of her solo trek across the Australian desert in the 1970s with four camels and a dog. Co-stars Adam Driver. "Heartbreaking and captivating," says Empire.