News Daily: Leicester explosion and Corbyn Brexit pledge

Hello. Here’s your morning briefing:

Leicester shop explosion: Four people killed

Four people have died in an explosion at a property in Leicester, police have confirmed. A search-and-rescue operation will continue throughout Monday at the site in Hinckley Road. Police say there is no indication the blast was terror-related. Angel Namaala, who lives opposite the shop destroyed by the explosion, told the BBC she had heard “this big thud, like an earthquake”. We’ll have all the latest updates.

Corbyn to set out Labour’s Brexit plans

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to confirm – following weeks of discussion in the media over the subject – that his party supports permanent membership of a customs union after the UK leaves the EU. In a speech in Coventry, he will say: “Brexit is what we make of it together.” He will promise to negotiate “full tariff-free” access to EU markets for UK businesses, protect jobs and guarantee people’s existing rights.

News Daily: Leicester explosion and Corbyn Brexit pledge
News Daily: Leicester explosion and Corbyn Brexit pledge

Theresa May will also give a speech on post-Brexit economic relations with the EU on Friday. Brexit Secretary David Davis has written in the Daily Telegraph that Mr Corbyn’s approach would prevent the UK signing trade deals with non-EU countries and maintain the free movement of people between the UK and the EU.

Here’s our guide to what a customs union (as opposed to a single market) is.

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Big freeze hits UK

Wrap up. It’s very cold outside, wherever you are in the UK. And with freezing winds coming in from Russia, it will feel like -10C to -15C today. Yellow and amber weather warnings are in place for southern and eastern England on Monday and Tuesday, spreading during that period to cover the Midlands, Scotland and Wales. Wednesday and Thursday’s yellow warnings will also cover Cornwall and Northern Ireland. Roads in many areas will become difficult, with many train services likely to be cancelled. Use our interactive guide to find out how cold it is where you are compared with other parts of the world.

The American who fled ‘gay conversion’ in Africa

Mahad had read about gay conversion in Africa – the long religious lessons, the abuse – and wanted no part. He was happy being gay. He was happy being ex-Muslim. He nodded, smiled, and told his mother he would do as she said. Then, after she left the room, Mahad made a phone call. As one door closed, another one opened.

Read the full article

What the papers say

There are different takes on Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit speech. The Guardian says it is designed to put Theresa May “on the spot”, while the Daily Mail describes it as a “betrayal” of Labour voters who chose to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. Meanwhile, the i says a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and US would mean the UK having to accept “inferior” dairy products. And the Financial Times reports that China’s President, Xi Jinping, is planning to extend his rule beyond 2025. Several tabloids lead on the weather coming to the UK from Russia, the Daily Mirror naming it “the beast from the east”.

Daily digest

Nigeria kidnappings Search stepped up for 110 schoolgirls believed to have been taken by Boko Haram

Florida school shooting National Rifle Association “doesn’t back any ban”

Bollywood superstar’s death Tributes paid to actress Sridevi Kapoor

‘Creepy’ interview New Zealand reacts to prime minister’s TV questioning

If you see one thing today

Image copyrightScience Photo Library

Does your name match your face?

If you listen to one thing today

What if the lights go out?

If you read one thing today

Ashamed to be the mum with the violent son


Today The GSMA Mobile World Congress – the world’s largest event for the mobile telecommunications industry – is opening in Barcelona.

14:15 Team GB athletes arrive back at Heathrow following the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On this day

1993 A car bomb explodes underneath the World Trade Center in New York, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000.

From elsewhere

The myth of the hacker-proof voting machine (New York Times)

The tiny Scottish island that’s key to every Olympic curling stone (Guardian)

Jane Horrocks: The North is still very much part of me (Daily Telegraph)

The highs and lows of making friends on maternity leave (Marie Claire)

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