Thursday evening UK news briefing: UK faces winds like Great Storm

Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Shark attack victim | Australian police named British expat Simon Nellist as the victim of a fatal attack by a great white shark in Sydney. Local authorities have deployed baited drumlines to try to catch the predator and move it into deeper waters, with beaches remaining closed after the city's first such attack in almost 60 years. Friends said Nellist was about to be married but that his next great love was the water.

Rare red weather warning as Storm Eunice nears

Storm Eunice could produce a "sting jet" similar to the one seen during the Great Storm of 1987, an expert has warned after a rare red weather warning was issued.

High winds of up to 100mph, floods, power cuts and flying debris are expected to hit the south west of England and Wales tomorrow morning, with the strongest winds in coastal areas, including the cities of Bristol, Swansea and Cardiff.

The storm could produce a "sting jet", according to Dr Peter Inness, a meteorologist at the University of Reading, which is "a narrow, focused region of extremely strong winds embedded within the larger area of strong winds and lasting just a few hours".

He added: "Such events are quite rare but the 1987 'Great Storm' almost certainly produced a sting jet, and some of the more damaging wind storms since have also shown this pattern."

View a map of where the weather warnings - which are available to read on our website for free - as well as images and video of the damage caused by Storm Dudley.

Invasion could come in 'next several days', says Biden

Joe Biden has warned there is "every indication Russia is prepared to go into Ukraine" and that an invasion could come "in the next several days".

The US president said today - in video you can watch free here - that the threat of invasion is "very high" and that the White House has reason to believe that Russia is "engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in".

It comes after Boris Johnson warned that an attack on a kindergarten in eastern Ukraine was a "false flag attack designed to discredit the Ukrainians".

His remarks were echoed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Addressing the UN Security Council meeting, Mr Blinken urged Russia to "abandon" the path of war against Ukraine.

He said that Russia can "announce today" that it would not invade Ukraine, and urged the country to "state it clearly, state it plainly to the world."

Our liveblog is following every step as the tensions continue to rise.

It comes as the Prime Minister posted a rare message on Chinese social media urging Russia not to invade Ukraine.

The post on China’s largest social media platform, Weibo, was a Mandarin translation of the message he wrote on Twitter earlier in the week.

Yet Mr Johnson’s message quickly sparked a war of words involving Moscow and Beijing.

Meanwhile, the leaders of France and Germany have reportedly been pushing Ukraine to implement the Minsk peace accords, in what would amount to a major concession to the Kremlin.

Mark Almond warns the West must beware as Mr Putin's tentacles extend far beyond Ukraine.

Inside Royal Lodge, where Andrew will live in exile

Emily Maitlis has suggested that the Duke of York's statement within his out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre contradicts answers he gave in their Newsnight interview.

Prince Andrew invited the BBC journalist to Buckingham Palace in 2019 to deny Ms Giuffre's claims that he had sex with her in a London townhouse.

Maitlis described how Prince Andrew told her prior to the interview he "wanted to get across his innocence" but questions why he is paying a woman he claimed to never have met upwards of £10 million.

Read the three possibilities she suggests for the apparent contradiction.

Now that the case is settled, Prince Andrew faces cutting a lonely figure on the Windsor estate.

Take a look inside Royal Lodge, where he is likely to spend the decades ahead in exile.

Camilla Tominey examines who is left on Team York.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: France withdraws from Mali

France has announced the withdrawal of its soldiers from Mali after almost a decade of fighting a war against jihadist groups. The move, which will have far-reaching consequences for west Africa, will leave 250 British peacekeepers in the desert with no air support. President Emmanuel Macron announced that his country's largest and longest overseas combat deployment is no longer tenable after a diplomatic breakdown between Paris and Mali's year-old military junta. France has spent billions in Mali propping up successive governments as well as losing 53 French soldiers on the counterterror mission. Read why relations between Paris and Bamako have recently soured.

Thursday interview

'I longed to have my parents' courage'

George Takei - NYTNS/Redux/eyevine
George Takei - NYTNS/Redux/eyevine

George Takei, aka Lt Sulu, tells Benji Wilson about being imprisoned in the 1940s Japanese-American camps and hiding his sexuality

Read the full interview

Sport briefing: Shock as Valieva misses out on medal

Kamila Valieva, the teenage tragedienne of these Winter Olympics, sat stunned in her coaching booth, unable to comprehend what had just happened to her. The outstanding figure skater of this or perhaps any generation had fallen twice in her free program to Ravel's Bolero, gifting victory to compatriot Anna Shcherbakova and tumbling to fourth, thus sparing Games organisers the monumental embarrassment of needing to scrap the medal ceremony. After so much scandal and skullduggery over the 15-year-old's positive test for trimetazidine, this was perhaps the least expected twist of all. Read how she was barely recognisable from the virtuoso celebrated for quadruple rotations on her jumps. Meanwhile, Michael Masi has been removed as the FIA's race director, and will no longer control F1 grands prix due to the fallout of last season's finale.

Editor's choice

  1. What you must never do | Harry, Eugenie, and the rules of the platonic plus one

  2. Dickie Davies | 'Ali was a joy, Ramsey was impossible - and Cloughie would just take over'

  3. Walking away | 'I was a doctor – but I quit to become an interior designer'

Business briefing: Millions see state pension fall short

The state pension is the cornerstone of all retirement income but despite diligently paying National Insurance for years, millions will fall short of receiving the full stipend. Convoluted, jargon-heavy documents have long befuddled the newly retired, with reports on the calculations packed full of unrecognisable terms. So how does it work and why might you not be receiving the full amount? Read how to get the full payout.

Tonight starts now

The Ballad of Maria Marten, review | Up to 20,000 people apparently witnessed the execution of William Corder, convicted in 1828 of murdering his 25-year-old lover Maria Marten and burying her under a Suffolk barn where her body would lay undiscovered for over a year. The brutality of the crime, involving strangulation, battery and a pistol, sent a thrill through the country which poured over the details with the same tabloid prurience with which we obsess over stories of murdered women today. Yet Beth Flintoff's vigorous play reclaims the woman behind the gruesome headlines in what proves a glorious piece of folk theatre, lovingly restoring dignity to a 19th-century murder victim.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

'You could see Harry wanted out' | The first episode of Men Behaving Badly aired 30 years ago this month but the definitive 90s sitcom almost never got made. Its creator and screenwriter Simon Nye recalls how a lousy pilot episode spooked Harry Enfield and almost sent the culturally defining sitcom spinning.

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