News Daily: Storm Eleanor and Trump’s nuclear button jibe

Hello. Here’s your morning briefing:

Image copyrightJonny Corkey

Storm Eleanor disrupts power and transport

Much of the UK is taking a battering as Storm Eleanor sweeps eastwards. Winds are set to reach 80mph (128km/h) in parts of Wales, England, southern Scotland and most of Northern Ireland.

More than 12,000 homes in Northern Ireland have been without power, as have 2,700 in England and 460 in Wales. Fallen trees have closed a number of roads, including two lanes on the clockwise section of the M25 and, overnight, the Severn Crossing between Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, and the Orwell Bridge near Ipswich. Ferry crossings to and from the Isle of Man have been cancelled too.

News Daily: Storm Eleanor and Trump’s nuclear button jibe
News Daily: Storm Eleanor and Trump’s nuclear button jibe

There are also more than 60 flood warnings in place in England, more than 30 in Wales and more than 10 in Scotland. The Met Office has a yellow warning in place until 18:00 GMT. Follow the latest developments on the BBC News website. Meanwhile, here’s a look at how storms are named.

Trump: My nuclear button’s bigger than Kim’s

The new year brings a further development in the ongoing rhetorical battle between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Mr Trump has stated on Twitter that the nuclear button he has access to is “much bigger” and “more powerful” than his rival’s. This follows the trading of insults such as “dotard” and “little rocket man” between the two, as North Korea continues to test missiles. Two questions: how advanced is Mr Kim’s aim of having a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the US, and why is he so keen to get one?

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US denies Iran protests involvement

The US has denied Iran’s claim that it is behind political protests in the country that have seen 22 people killed. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed “enemies” – read by experts as meaning the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia – for unrest that began last Thursday. But US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley called the protests “spontaneous”, describing the accusations as “ridiculous” and “absolute nonsense”. So, what are the reasons behind the trouble?

Does drinking fizz make you fat?

By Dr Michael Mosley, presenter of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

In a recent study, researchers took a group of male rats and gave them either a fizzy sugary drink, a flat sugary drink or tap water to consume. They found that the rats who regularly drank the gassy sugary drink put on more weight at a much faster rate than rats given either flat sugary liquids or tap water.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Image copyrightDaily Mail, Guardian

Several newspapers lead on reports of a tough winter ahead for the NHS. The Daily Mail says up to 55,000 operations in England will be postponed, while the Guardian says the service is on “black alert”. Meanwhile, the i reports there’s anger among commuters that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is on Qatar on a business trip as rail fare rises kick in. And the Financial Times says the UK government has held informal talks on joining a Pacific trade group after Brexit.

Daily digest

Dating website eHarmony’s “scientific” matchmaking advert banned

Coronation memories Queen interviewed for BBC documentary

Dead man video YouTube star “ashamed” after posting footage of apparent suicide victim

Man on wing Ryanair passenger uses emergency exit as he grows tired of waiting

If you see one thing today

Image copyrightKiliii Yüyan/INSTITUTE

The people of the whale

If you listen to one thing today

What happened to the Cockney accent?

If you read one thing today

My father, the Catholic priest


Today International Trade Secretary Liam Fox arrives in China for a visit to promote UK goods.

23:30 England take on Australia in the last of five Ashes Tests, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

On this day

1993 The United States and Russia agree to cut the number of nuclear warheads they have by between 3,000 and 3,500.

From elsewhere

Life in a more comfortable Kabul neighbourhood (National Geographic)

Can Hollywood change its ways? (New Yorker)

The trip that turned Rob Cross from pub player to world darts champion (Guardian)

How to manage up, not out of a job this New Year (Daily Telegraph)

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