Hello. Here’s your morning briefing:
US bridge collapse: At least four dead
A footbridge has collapsed on to a motorway in Florida, killing at least four people. The 862-tonne, 174ft (53m) structure was opened only last Saturday, after being built in six hours using a method called “accelerated bridge construction” to avoid traffic disruption. Ten people have been reported so far as injured, with rescue efforts continuing.
At one point, police ordered TV helicopters above to move away from the scene – near Florida International University in Miami – so rescuers could hear the sounds of people calling for help from under the wreckage. US President Donald Trump has called the bridge collapse “heartbreaking”. A witness filming the aftermath described the situation as “crazy”. We’ll have all the latest developments.
Snow forecast as ‘mini Beast’ hits
It’s been pretty mild for a couple of weeks now, but there’s further cold weather to come over the weekend. “Significant” snowfall – up to 20cm (8in) in places – is expected in north-east Scotland and England, starting later today. “We don’t expect it to be Beast from the East Mark Two,” said Met Office meteorologist Martin Bowles. “You could call it a mini Beast from the East, I suppose, as it is a less severe version of it.” Yellow weather warnings are due to come in from 15:00 GMT. If you have to use the roads, here’s a guide on how to drive in the snow.
Russia spy row: Allies condemn nerve agent attack
Theresa May’s already blamed Russia for the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. Now France, Germany and the US have joined the UK in issuing a statement saying there is no “plausible” alternative explanation for the action, which has left ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in a critical condition.
However, in an article in the Guardian, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warns against “hasty judgements”. Meanwhile, Russia – which denies any involvement in the attack – has promised to respond to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats from the UK. Here’s what we know so far.
Russia’s election: Five things to know
The image towering over the election is that of President Putin as the saviour and unifier of Russia, and the man protecting a country under siege from an allegedly hostile West. A key part of this is Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, which has since been used by the Kremlin as part of an effort to mobilise Russians behind it using nationalism. A feature film on the peninsula’s seizure is to be shown on the eve of the election, and the law was changed to move the election date to 18 March – the fourth anniversary of the annexation.
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What the papers say
The main story continues to be the Salisbury nerve agent attack and its aftermath. Metro says Russian President Vladimir Putin is a now a “pariah” among world leaders, while the i reports that the UK has pulled off a “diplomatic coup” by uniting its allies so strongly against Russia. Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph leads on suggestions the nerve agent was planted in a suitcase belonging to Yulia Skripal. Elsewhere, the Financial Times says Unilever’s move to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, dents Theresa May’s “vow of business as usual” after Brexit.
Hillsborough anger Topman under pressure to withdraw red shirt with “96” on the back
Computer charges Currys PC World criticised for pressuring customers to spend more when buying laptops
Financial strain Number of English secondary schools in deficit “trebles”
Seven days quiz The Finns are exceedingly happy – but who isn’t?
If you see one thing today
Solving a city’s ‘disgusting’ problem
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
Child sexual exploitation: How the system failed
09:30 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hosts Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz for a working breakfast at RAF Northolt.
11:00 Liverpool and Manchester City learn their Champions League quarter-final opponents, as the draw is made. Arsenal will find out their Europa League quarter-final opponents at 12:00.
15:30 Trainer Nicky Henderson is seeking an historic treble as he sends out Might Bite to race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
On this day
1976 Harold Wilson, who has served as Labour leader for 13 years and prime minister for almost eight years, announces his resignation.