Friday evening news briefing: Russian naval HQ strike a 'blow to the dictatorship of Putin'

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Evening Briefing logo

Good evening. The missile strike that hit a Russian navy headquarters was a “blow to the dictatorship of Putin”, according to a Ukrainian air force spokesman. Also, the King and Queen close out their France state visit.

Black Sea navy headquarters hit by Ukrainian missile

A Ukrainian missile struck the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet in the occupied Crimean port of Sevastopol, in the latest of a succession of brazen attacks on the peninsula. Videos online showed plumes of smoke rising above the headquarters in the key naval port city. Russian positions in Crimea, seized and annexed from Ukraine in 2014, have been recently targeted with long-range British Storm Shadow missiles. Find the latest on our live blog.

It comes after Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to liberate the eastern city of Bakhmut and two other cities in a secret plan. “We will de-occupy Bakhmut,” the Ukrainian president told reporters in Washington. “I think that we will de-occupy two more cities,” he added. Joe Barnes has all the details. Elsewhere, The Telegraph was exclusively allowed into a US munitions facility to see how the war in Ukraine is changing military logistics. Watch the Defence in Depth Special.

Migrants must get at least three-star hotels, says Home Office contract

The Home Office is forcing some contractors to book hotels with “at least a minimum of three stars” to house small-boat migrants after costs soared to £8 million a day. The most recent contract issued by the Home Secretary’s department, seen by The Telegraph, lists “mandatory requirements” for all hotels booked, stating: “Contracted venues should be at least a minimum of three stars.” The revelation comes after Suella Braverman said she is “very concerned about hotels” and called their use “unacceptable”. Lizzie Dearden has the full story.

Estate agents illegally hiding best offers from sellers, watchdog warns

Home sellers could be missing out on best offers because of commission fees earned by estate agents, Trading Standards has warned. The boss of the enforcement authority for estate agents said referral fees earned through third party services can rise so high that it becomes more lucrative to choose a buyer based on the services they have used - rather than choosing the highest bidder. Speaking to The Telegraph, James Munro, the head of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team said: “We’ve seen commissions of 50pc of the price, which is just ridiculous really. In some cases, the consumer’s getting no benefit from them.” Alexa Phillips has more from this interview.

Evening Briefing: Today’s essential headlines

Sara Sharif | New images of the 10-year-old wearing a hijab have been released as detectives believe they reflect how she may have dressed in the weeks before her death.

Britain's King Charles III
Britain's King Charles III - AFP/AFP

The King and Queen arrived in Bordeaux earlier for the third and final day of their first state visit to France. Read the latest on our live blog.

Comment and analysis

World news: Marine Le Pen faces possible trial for alleged embezzlement of EU funds

Hard-right leader Marine Le Pen and 23 other members of her party could stand trial over alleged misuse of EU funds, the Paris public prosecutors’ office has said. Prosecutors opened the investigation in December 2016, aiming to ascertain whether the then National Front had used money destined for EU parliamentary assistants to pay staff.

Elsewhere, Peter Yeung has published a report from Peru, where a months-long deadly dengue outbreak has pushed the country’s already-fragile health system to the brink. Read the full piece.

Interview of the day

Ben Stokes on how hair loss affects men’s lives: ‘I thought this is getting worse and worse’

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes - Rii Schroer/Rii Schroer

In this definitive exclusive interview with the England captain, Stokes says he will always be involved in game because ‘it’s in my blood’

Read the interview

Business news: Recession warning as employers cut staff at fastest pace since 2009

Britain’s businesses are braced for a recession as employment fell at its fastest rate since the financial crisis. Job numbers dropped sharply this month, according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index, as businesses struggled with higher borrowing costs and weakening demand. Read more details on our live blog.

Elsewhere, the iPhone 15 went on sale today in the latest instalment of Apple’s annual upgrade cycle. Undecided on whether to upgrade? James Titcomb received a phone ahead of the launch and is on hand to help with his review.

Editor’s choice

Joe Biden | Why the Democrats are openly worried about the President’s age

Pet politics | Sunak’s dog loses the battle for No10 against Larry the cat

Peter Kay | ‘I was offered a job for £1 an hour – if I’d accepted, I might never have done stand-up’

Sport briefing: Today’s essential headlines

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