NHS England begs Hunt to end austerity

NHS hospitals have run out of beds and can no longer cope without increased funding, NHS Providers warns. The organisation, which represents hospitals, has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, telling him that this is a “watershed moment” for the service and that tens of billions of extra funding is needed. Figures for Scotland show the NHS is struggling there too.

Johnson to discuss jailed mother with Iran

Boris Johnson is to raise the case of jailed British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a meeting today with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. The Foreign Secretary will talk to Zarif at a summit on Iran’s nuclear deal in Brussels that is being attended by French, German and EU representatives. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been imprisoned in Iran for 21 months for alleged sedition.

May declares war on needless plastic

Theresa May will call for vegetables to be sold without plastic packaging today as she declares war on plastic waste as part of the Government’s 25-year plan for the environment. The Prime Minister will announce a new target to eradicate plastic waste by 2042. Green groups are angry that the plans will have no legal force.

YouTube punishes Japan suicide vlogger

YouTube has “put on hold” projects that it was planning with vlogger Logan Paul, hugely popular with teenage viewers, and removed his channel from its top-level advertising programme, after he posted a video showing the body of an apparent suicide in Japan. Paul, who has more than 15 million subscribers, has since apologised.

Teachers warn of ‘epidemic of stress’ in profession

Figures obtained by the Lib Dems show 3,750 teachers were signed off on long-term sick leave last year in England – and teachers’ unions say the cause is an “epidemic of stress” in the underfunded profession. One union said teachers “work more unpaid overtime than any other profession” and face a “punitive” accountability system.

Time running out for 17 missing in California

Rescuers are struggling to find at least 17 people missing in California since devastating mudslides and floods swept through wealthy areas including Montecito, in Santa Barbara County. An estimated 100 homes have been destroyed. Around 500 firefighters are searching through the rubble and mud, still waist-deep in some areas.

Quadruple amputee baby ‘home by April’

A one-year-old girl who had all her limbs amputated and has been in hospital since September after contracting meningitis C will be allowed to return home by April, doctors say. The family of Kia Gott, who live in Bradford, said they felt like they had “won the lottery”, and that their daughter had been “born again”, after getting the news.

Armed robbery at Paris Ritz nets millions

Five men armed with axes stole merchandise worth €4m (£3.5m) from the famous Ritz hotel in Paris yesterday. Three men were arrested following the robbery, at 6pm local time, but the others remain at large. The raid on the hotel, located next door to the country’s ministry of justice, was reportedly interrupted by a policeman on patrol.

William: ‘I don’t know if I will be Harry’s best man’

Prince William says he has not been asked to be his brother’s best man – yet. Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in May but still hasn’t raised the issue with his brother, William revealed in an interview to raise awareness of suicide and mental health issues among younger men. The date clashes with the FA Cup Final – and William is FA president.

Briefing: does the Mafia still exist?

Italian and German law enforcement yesterday arrested a total of 169 suspected mafiosi who allegedly controlled businesses ranging from food production to funeral parlours in both countries.

The joint police operation targeted the Farao-Marincola branch of the ‘Ndrangheta family, one of three Italian syndicates – along with the Sicilian Mafia and the Camorra in Campania – whose reach extends far beyond Italy, Reuters reports.

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