Friday evening UK news briefing: Zelensky hits back as Putin appeals for end of Ukraine war

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Evening Briefing logo

Good evening. Vladimir Putin has said people living in the regions of Ukraine annexed by Russia "are becoming our citizens for good". Yet as he celebrated with Russian politicians, Ukraine applied to join Nato.

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Molly Russell ruling | Social media material viewed by Molly Russell contributed to her death, a coroner has concluded in a damning hit for the tech giants. The 14-year-old took her own life in November 2017 after months of "bingeing" on suicide, self-harm and depression related content on platforms including Instagram and Pinterest. The coroner's findings represent a significant blow to the social media giants who have sought to minimise their role in the schoolgirl's death. Read a powerful statement by Molly's father, while Judith Woods asks what chance did Molly have against the relentless force of social media?

Zelensky rules out Ukraine peace talks with Putin

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, has ruled out peace talks with Vladimir Putin following Moscow's annexation of swathes of four Ukrainian regions.

Putin called for peace talks with Kyiv as he spoke to hundreds of Russia's top politicians in the Kremlin's lavish St George's Hall. Putin said voters in the referendums had made "an unequivocal choice" to join the Russian Federation.

Yet in a fierce rebuttal, Mr Zelensky said Ukraine was ready to talk peace with Russia, but only with a different Russian president.

Instead, Ukraine has applied for Nato membership, as Mr Zelensky said his country had already proven its eligibility "on the battlefield".

Kyiv and the West have dismissed the votes in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson as a sham.

On the ground, there are chaotic scenes.

Sergio Olmos in Kupyansk reveals what daily life is like in a Russian-controlled zone, where Moscow has little regard for the territory it has spilled so much blood to conquer.

Pound rebounds as it emerges forecast was wrong

The pound recovered its losses since Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget today as Britain's official forecaster admitted it was mistaken about the country entering a recession in the second quarter.

Sterling rose to $1.116 against the dollar this morning, recovering from a low point of just under $1.04 which it touched at the peak of the market’s gloom on Monday morning.

But it slipped again in the afternoon after Liz Truss and Mr Kwarteng met with the fiscal watchdog and confirmed markets would have to wait until Nov 23 for new economic forecasts.

The pair rejected calls to bring forward an Office for Budget Responsibility forecast following a meeting this morning, as the OBR confirmed it would deliver its first projection to the Chancellor next Friday.

Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics revealed the economy grew by 0.2pc in the second quarter, rather than the previous estimate of a 0.1pc fall in GDP.

Nevertheless, Labour enjoys a 33-point lead over the Conservatives and another poll today showed half of all voters want Ms Truss to resign.

France's finance minister has slammed Ms Truss's economic policies for causing a "disaster" of high borrowing rates for Britain.

Following the market turmoil, high street bank HSBC has warned that "mass forced sales" are a growing risk as mortgage repayments will rise by up to £5,000 a year.

Mortgage rates had already surged above 4pc before last week's mini-Budget and a rise to 5.5pc is now an "imminent possibility", the bank said.

A first time buyer drew gasps from an incredulous BBC Question Time audience when she said her mortgage offer went from 4.5pc to 10.5pc this week.

Yet although interest rates have risen drastically, read why you will not pay 10pc for your mortgage.

Thumbs down to 'middle finger' Hepatitus C campaign

A New Zealand hepatitis C campaign showing people grinning as they raise their middle finger at each other has been edited after the country's advertising regulator deemed it too offensive to air.

The national health service's "Stick It to Hep C" campaign was meant to encourage people to take a simple finger-prick blood test to see if they had the virus.

But the promotional materials soon saw complaints being sent to the Advertising Standards Authority, complaining that it was "deeply offensive".

The regulatory said that the gesture is "one of the most offensive" you can give to another person. Watch the full television advert here.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Death toll rises as Ian hits Carolinas

At least 12 people in the US are believed to have been killed by Hurricane Ian, amid warnings that the death toll will continue to rise as emergency services reach new areas and the storm barrels inland. NBC reported that a dozen people had been killed, including one person who drowned while trying to drain his pool in Volusia County, according to law enforcement officials. The majority of people are thought to have died in Charlotte County, an area near the stretch of southwest coast where Ian made landfall Wednesday. This gallery shows the trail of destruction.

Friday interview

'Historically the Royal family haven't exposed their emotions'

Lesley Manville has become the go-to actor for stories set in the world of haute couture - Zoltán TOMBOR
Lesley Manville has become the go-to actor for stories set in the world of haute couture - Zoltán TOMBOR

Lesley Manville discusses playing Princess Margaret in the new series of the Crown, giving midlife women a platform and tells Mick Brown why we are yet to see the best of her

Read the interview

Sport briefing: Pakistan bat first in crucial T20 match

England take on Pakistan in the must-win sixth Twenty 20 match of their series. Follow the action here. Yorkshire's line-up for their defeat by Gloucestershire on Wednesday which triggered their relegation from Division One of the County Championship showed a gulf in class to their list of registered professionals. The long list of players missing rom action included Wisden's leading cricketer in the world and No 1 in the ICC Test batting rankings Joe Root, who was at St Andrews preparing for his participation alongside Piers Morgan, Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Linkin Park's bass player in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Rob Bagchi calls it proof of a broken cricket system.

Editor's choice

  1. English village life | We documented a year 30 years ago – what happened when we returned

  2. Winter sun without the jet lag? | 12 amazing holidays in the golden GMT corridor

  3. From Selfridges to Primark | How the department store died

Business briefing: Knives are out for HS2

Liz Truss risks falling into a "gambler’s trap" by ploughing on with HS2, as business leaders and academics urge her to ditch the £98bn rail line to help protect public services. Lord Simon Wolfson, the chief executive of Next, said the controversial project is a "waste of money" and should be scrapped to help manage the nation's finances. His intervention quickly drew the backing from prominent figures as well as those involved with analysing HS2's original business case. Sir Paul Marshall, chairman of hedge fund Marshall Wace, told the Telegraph that he supported Lord Wolfson's calls to halt work. Read how the knives are out for HS2.

Tonight starts now

Be super sober | "When does your fixed mortgage end" will be among the many unusual dinner party conversations you will have this weekend, as the small talk we make across the table takes a different direction. With one day to go until Sober October, many will pass on the booze in a bid to get in shape both mentally and physically. Yet doing so need not mean you deny yourself the crisp flavour of a beer. Low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beers are catching on in a big way and helpfully they are usually low-calorie too. How do you separate the good from the average? Read our pick of the best buys. For anyone wavering on what to do, read what a month without alcohol really does to your body.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Who'll win the battle for control of Mont Blanc? | As adventure tourism booms, is Western Europe's highest peak at risk of becoming a "mountain Disneyland"? Eleanor Steafel investigates.

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