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Government launches Huawei leak probe
Britain’s most senior civil servant has begun an inquiry into how details about a Chinese telecoms firm’s role in building the UK’s new super-fast mobile network were leaked to the press. The cabinet secretary has written to ministers and their advisers who attended Tuesday’s National Security Council meeting which discussed Huawei’s potential involvement in providing parts for the UK’s 5G infrastructure. Details of their conversations were subsequently reported in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph.
The paper reported that Huawei would be allowed to contribute components for “non-core” elements of the network, despite national security concerns due to the company’s perceived closeness to the Chinese government. Huawei insists it is not controlled by Beijing and that it does not pose a risk of spying or sabotage.
Several cabinet ministers have denied involvement in the leak, but the culture secretary has said the government cannot rule out a criminal investigation. Why are there concerns about Huawei? Newsbeat has been finding out.
Two hurt in Tata plant iron spill
The steel firm Tata says two people have been slightly injured after liquid iron was spilled at its Port Talbot plant. Local residents reported hearing an explosion at 03:30 this morning, with one telling the BBC of a “mighty bang”. Images posted on social media appeared to show flames and smoke at the site. Tata says all fires are under control and all employees are accounted for. The steelworks is the largest in the UK and employs more than 4,000 people.
William visits scene of New Zealand mosque attack
The Duke of Cambridge has said that last month’s attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed, were an “unspeakable act of hate”. The duke, who is visiting New Zealand on behalf of the Queen following the shootings, told those gathered at the Masjid Al Noor mosque that a “terrorist attempted to sow division and hatred in a place that stands for togetherness and selflessness”. Prince William also praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who joined him in Christchurch, for her “extraordinary leadership and compassion” in the wake of the shootings. Here’s what we know about the people who were killed as they prayed, and some of their life stories.
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Mozambique hit by new storm
Weeks after hundreds were killed by Cyclone Idai, Mozambique is again being battered by another huge storm. Cyclone Kenneth has made landfall in the northern part of the African country, bringing winds of up to 140 mph – equivalent to a category 4 hurricane. Officials say 30,000 people have had to evacuate areas directly in the storm’s path, and more than 680,000 are said to be at risk. According to the BBC Weather Centre, there is no previous record of hurricane-force systems ever hitting the region so far north before. Last month’s storm left 900 people dead, and at least three million in need of humanitarian assistance. What’s the difference between hurricanes, tropical storms and cyclones? Find out here.
Tracking the toxic air that’s killing millions
By Mark Smith, Technology of Business reporter
The air we breathe is killing us. The World Health Organisation says air pollution causes the death of seven million people a year and accounts for a third of fatalities from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease, with more than 90% of children breathing toxic air every day. Until we tackle the root causes of air pollution – burning fossil fuels mainly – we can at least learn where and when it is likely to be at its most dangerous.
Read the full story
What the papers say
Several of Friday’s papers lead with the Whitehall inquiry into leaks from the National Security Council. The Guardian reports that ministers have been told to “confess or deny” whether they were involved in discussions about Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network being leaked to the press. The Daily Telegraph – the paper which reported details of Tuesday’s meeting – reports that lawyers and senior MPs have warned the probe must not become an attack on press freedom. Elsewhere, the Metro leads with the Foreign Office’s advice that Britons should not travel to Sri Lanka amid fears further terror attacks are likely. And the Daily Mirror reports that children could be stopped from going to school if they haven’t had their measles jab. Read more from the front and inside pages in our paper review.
Northern Ireland power sharing talks expected
Council tax arrears can see costs spiral
Blue Peter announces new presenter
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07:00 Royal Bank of Scotland releases its first quarter results which cover the three months to the end of March 2019.
20:00 Liverpool face Huddersfield Town at Anfield. It is Liverpool’s penultimate home game as they chase a first league title since 1989.
On this day
1975 A one-day conference of the Labour Party votes by almost 2-1 to leave the European Economic Community.
Hiking trails set to open beside the world’s most hostile border (Daily Telegraph)
‘Come on you Reds’ – regulars at Liverpool pub show true colours after uneasy truce (The Times)
How Rwanda Tidied Up Its Streets (And The Rest Of The Country, Too) (NPR)
From Donkey Kong to World of Warcraft: the evolution of gaming at home (The Guardian)