Thursday evening news briefing: Prince Harry breaks cover

Chris Price
Prince Harry hosts the Rugby League World Cup draw - REUTERS

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Prince Harry shrugs off attention in first appearance

The Duke of Sussex has been seen in public for the first time since he and the Duchess announced their intention to split from the Royal family. Prince Harry hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace this afternoon - in what could prove to be his last public appearance as a fully-fledged member of the "Firm". Read the answer he gave when a reporter asked him about the progress of talks on his future. As Camilla Tominey reports, Meghan is in Canada with their son, Archie, and the Duke is expected to join her there soon. It comes amid a development about the other senior member of the Royal family to recently "step back" - the Duke of York. Prince Andrew could be stripped of his round-the-clock armed bodyguards in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. The Duke, 59, faces losing his Metropolitan Police protection following a proposed downgrade of his security. A final decision rests in the hands of the Home Secretary and, ultimately, the Prime Minister. Read on for a senior source's comments.

Angela Merkel tells EU that Brexit is a 'wake-up call'

Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the European Union, Angela Merkel has said in a warning that Britain will emerge as an economic competitor to the bloc after it leaves the EU. The German Chancellor called on the remaining EU leaders to make Europe more competitive to meet the challenge of Brexit, as well as economic heavyweights such as the US and China. Her comments come as this analysis by James Crisp indicates the EU will point to the government's rescue of Flybe to help justify its demands for "level playing field guarantees" in the post-Brexit trade deal. And bad news for those banging on about Big Ben bonging. Downing Street has appeared to pull the plug on Big Ben chiming on Jan 31 to mark Brexit. Here's what the Prime Minister's spokesman had to say

Blow for Bake Off as Sandi Toksvig quits

Sandi Toksvig is leaving the Great British Bake Off to focus on other projects, she has announced. In a blow for the Channel 4 show, the comedian abruptly announced she was leaving via a press release she posted on Twitter. The show, once the most-viewed programme in Britain, has seen its viewers halve since its peak. In 2015, Nadiya Hussein's win pulled in 14.5 million viewers. The latest show had a peak of 6.9 million. Click here to read Toksvig's statement.

News digest

Video: 'I think you called me a liar on national TV'

Elizabeth Warren accused Bernie Sanders of calling her a liar during a confrontation after the Democratic debate, according to a released audio clip of the exchange. The tense interaction occurred as the candidates were congratulating one another on the debate stage - and was broadcast live without sound. The audio was released on Wednesday by CNN, which co-hosted the debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Watch the video below.


World news: The one story you must read today...

Avalanche rescue | A 12-year-old girl was found alive after being buried for 18 hours when an avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir engulfed the family house, her mother said. Click here to see Samina Bibi, who recalled screaming for help as she lay trapped in a room under the snow. The death toll from Monday's avalanches is believed to be at least 74.

Editor's choice

  1. Where to buy | How to find a better value home with a shorter commute if you work in London
  2. 'I can still hear the engines' | The brutal reality of life in Bomber Command
  3. 'You made me look a fool' Inside Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water feud

Business and money briefing

Uber faces competition | An Estonian rival to Uber has raised €50m (£43m) from the EU's development bank as the bloc aims to accelerate the growth of its domestic contender to America's ride-hailing operators.  

Sport briefing

South Africa v England | The series is tied with two Tests to play. Click here to see how the tourists performed after winning the toss and electing to bat on the opening day of the third Test in Port Elizabeth.  

And finally...

Savaged by critics | Universal has barely had a moment to shake the shame off its whiskers after Cats, but now it's got another big-budget disaster on its hands: Dolittle. With multiple re-shoots following a bad reception from test audiences two years ago, the film seems to have been doomed from the start. Read on for what has been said.