The news service heard by 26 million listeners to commercial radio in the UK

Top Stories

'Brexit deal is 95% complete' - May will tell MPs in crunch speech

22 October

Theresa May is to tell MPs the Brexit divorce agreement with Brussels is now 95% settled, but will insist she will not accept any final deal that creates a customs border in the Irish Sea.

It comes after an estimated 700,000 protesters marched through London on Saturday demanding a "People's Vote" on the terms of a deal, and a wave of speculation in the Sunday newspapers that a vote of no confidence in the prime minister could be imminent.
But in an article for The Sun newspaper, the prime minister plays down the personal pressures she faces, writing that "the Brexit talks are not about me or my personal fortunes. They're about the national interest".
She goes on to acknowledge "the very last stages of the talks are going to be the hardest of all".
"Does that mean I think the negotiation will get tougher before we reach our goal? Yes," she adds.
"Do I have some long and difficult days ahead? I'm sure I do."
"But what I'm thinking about is not how hard it all is today. I'm thinking about the prize that lies before us tomorrow," she concludes.
On Monday afternoon she will also deliver a statement to the commons where she is expected to set out the progress that has been made so far in the Brexit negotiations.
In addition to referencing the agreement on citizens' rights, the Brexit divorce bill and the transition period, she will cite further developments in the last three weeks, including:
:: A memorandum with the Spanish government on the future of Gibraltar
:: A protocol with Cyprus relating to military UK sovereign base areas in the country
:: "Broad agreement" on security, transport and services in the "structure and scope of the future relationship"
But Mrs May will also acknowledge there remains a fundamental dispute over how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The prime minister will say the UK government's commitment to avoiding a hard border has already been "enshrined in law" as part of the EU Withdrawal Act, but that EU demands for a backstop that would leave Northern Ireland in the customs union and single market risked "breaking up the integrity of the UK".
"I do not believe that any UK prime minister could ever accept this. And I certainly will not," she will say.
The so-called Irish backstop is the commitment agreed last December that the UK will maintain alignment with EU rules "unless and until" a future trade agreement is in place that can maintain a frictionless border.
The EU's legal interpretation of that commitment, which will form part of the final Withdrawal Agreement, is that Northern Ireland alone would need to remain in the customs union and parts of the single market.
The UK government have proposed an alternative UK-wide backstop, known as the "temporary customs arrangement", but ministers insist it must be time-limited or have a clear exit mechanism.
At last week's summit of EU leaders in Brussels, Mrs May said the UK would be prepared to consider an extension of the "implementation period", which is currently due to end in December 2020, if this reduced the chance a backstop would be needed.
Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said any extension of that transition phase would also need to be time-limited, suggesting it should be "three months or so" and would require a clear exit clause to avoid "any sense that we are left indefinitely in a sort of customs union limbo".
Meanwhile, a group of senior Brexiteers who oppose the prime minister's strategy are set to meet the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Brussels.
Former Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and former first minister of Northern Ireland Lord Trimble will be joined by Hans Maessen, former president of the Dutch customs association, and Shanker Singham, from the Institute of Economic Affairs.
It is understood the group will present Mr Barnier with the findings of a report produced by the European Research Group, a hard Brexit wing of Conservative MPs, which was published in September.
The report rejected the prime minister's preferred "Chequers" model of maintaining a common rule book on goods with the EU, and the UK collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU, in favour of a looser free trade agreement, like that which exists between Canada and the EU.
The group is expected to argue concerns over customs infrastructure at the Irish border and risks to the Good Friday Agreement could be overcome with technological solutions.

READ MORE

Australian PM Scott Morrison delivers national apology to child sex abuse victims

22 October

Australia's prime minister is delivering an emotive national apology to the survivors, victims and families of institutional child sexual abuse.

Scott Morrison's apology follows the release of last year's report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr Morrison acknowledged that the state had failed to protect the victims from "evil dark" crimes committed over decades.
"This was done by Australians to Australians, enemies in our midst, enemies in our midst," he told a parliamentary chamber in Canberra.
"As a nation, we failed them, we forsook them, and that will always be our shame."
Hundreds of survivors have reportedly gathered in Canberra to witness Mr Morrison's speech.
More to follow...

READ MORE

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi Arabia vows to bring journalist's killers to justice

21 October

Saudi Arabia has insisted it does not know how journalist Jamal Khashoggi died and that it will bring those responsible to justice.

After initially denying any part in his disappearance, Saudi Arabia admitted on Friday that the outspoken critic of the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had died in a fight in the country's consulate in Istanbul.
:: Who was Jamal Khashoggi?
In its latest comments on the killing, Saudi foreign minister Adel al Jubeir claimed the kingdom does not know how the journalist was killed or where his body is.
He described Mr Khashoggi's death as an "aberration, a mistake" that the crown prince was not aware of.
The comments came as the UK, France and Germany issued a joint statement condemning the killing of Mr Khashoggi "in the strongest possible terms", saying there "remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened".
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, the Saudi minister said: "This is a terrible mistake. This is a terrible tragedy. Our condolences go out to them [Mr Khashoggi's family]. We feel their pain."
He said several senior figures had been dismissed after an investigation into the incident.
"The king directed the public prosecutor to launch an investigation, which he did about nine days ago. He discovered that there were discrepancies," said Mr al Jubeir.
"We discovered he was killed in the consulate. We don't know in detail how. We don't know where the body is.
"The prosecutor put out orders to detain 18 individuals for questioning and possibly facing trial and the king also dismissed a number of senior officials in this area.
"We're not an authoritarian government, we're a monarchy, we have our checks and balances, we have our systems. The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority."
He said a "tremendous mistake" was made and "compounded" by "the attempt to try to cover up", which he said was "unacceptable".
He added: "We want to make sure those who are responsible are punished and we want to make sure that we have procedures in place that prevent it from happening again."
Turkish authorities have placed Mr Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz - who is a Turkish national - under 24-hour police protection, the Istanbul governor's office confirmed to Sky News.
Ms Cengiz waited for hours outside the Saudi consulate waiting for Mr Khashoggi and then got in touch with authorities when he failed to re-emerge as he had instructed her to do.
After Saudi Arabia confirmed his death, she wrote on Twitter: "They have taken your body from this world, but your beautiful smile will stay in my world forever."
The international community has expressed doubts about the Saudi version of events.
This includes Donald Trump, who has accused Saudi Arabia of "deception" and "lies" over the killing. The president had previously said he found Riyadh's version of events to be credible.
Turkish officials say they have audio evidence that Mr Khashoggi was tortured, killed and cut up on an office desk after a 15-man "hit squad" flew into the country.
The hunt for Mr Khashoggi's body is continuing in Turkey, with a search of a vast forest near Istanbul.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has since said he will "go into detail" about the investigation as he addresses the issue in a speech to party members in parliament on Tuesday.
In the statement issued by the European leaders on Sunday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, France's Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany's Heiko Maas said: "Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms."
Addressing calls for more details about what happened to Mr Khashoggi, they said: "There remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened on October 2 - beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible.
"We thus stress that more efforts are needed and expected towards establishing the truth in a comprehensive, transparent and credible manner.
"We will ultimately make our judgement based on the credibility of the further explanation we receive about what happened and our confidence that such a shameful event cannot and will not ever be repeated."
They added: "The quality and significance of the relationship we have with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also rests with the respect we have for the norms and values to which the Saudi authorities and us are jointly committed under international law."
Britain's relationship with Saudi Arabia - a key regional ally and trading partner - has come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and the subsequent admission from Riyadh that the reporter is dead.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is among those who have said the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia cannot continue in the current climate.
Opposition parties in the UK joined together to tell government it "cannot be business as usual" when it comes to ties with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the "horrifying" killing.

READ MORE

Elderly woman racially abused on Ryanair flight

21 October

Ryanair has been criticised after footage emerged of a passenger racially abusing an elderly black woman sat next to him.

The budget airline has reported the matter to Essex Police after a video of the row was shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook.
Social media users have expressed outrage at the clip, which shows Ryanair staff failing to reprimand the customer or remove him from the plane.
The row took place on a flight from Barcelona to Stansted before take-off on Friday afternoon.
At the beginning of the footage, the 77-year-old woman's daughter can be heard telling the man her mother is disabled.
He replies: "I don't care whether she's f****** disabled or not - if I tell her to get out she gets out."
The man then calls her "an ugly f****** c***" and tells staff to move the woman to another seat, adding: "If you don't go to another seat I'll push you to another seat."
The passenger, who has not been named, then shouts "don't talk to me in a foreign language you stupid ugly cow" before calling her an "ugly black b******".
Staff on the flight seem to do little to silence the man during the footage, leaving a passenger sitting behind to try and deal with the situation.
A member of the cabin crew comes over at one point and says: "Don't be so rude okay, you have to calm down."
David Lawrence, 55, filmed the footage and can be heard calling for the passenger to be thrown off the flight.
He told Sky News: "I'm so disappointed in Ryanair.
"They've done nothing.
"They've reported it to the police only after the media explosion, it's been two days."
The elderly woman, named only as Mrs Gayle in the Huffington Post, can be heard telling the man he stinks and needs a wash.
Her daughter told the news site that if a black person had behaved in the same way they would have been thrown off the flight immediately.
She said that the man turned on her mother because she had arthritis, meaning it took her some time to move out of the way so he could reach his seat.
The daughter said she had taken her mother, a Windrush generation migrant who came to the UK from Jamaica in the 1960s, on holiday to mark one year since the death of her father.
She said that when she had complained to cabin crew they denied hearing any racial slurs and they told her to ring customer services on Monday.
The Twitter account @StanceGrounded posted the video on Sunday and had 28,000 retweets by 2pm.
Karl Turner, Labour MP for East Hull and shadow attorney general, tweeted: "He should have been removed from the flight and handed over to the police.
"We assume the aircraft was in the UK. If it was he definitely committed criminal offences. I fully expect @Ryanair to confirm the situation if in fact it was their flight."
MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde Stuart McMillan posted: "This is really appalling @Ryanair. You will know the identity of the man and the level of training given to your staff."
Ryanair said the issue has been reported to police and they cannot comment any further.
Essex Police said in a statement: "This incident, which we were made aware of this morning, is believed to have taken place on a plane at Barcelona Airport.
"Essex Police takes prejudice-based crime seriously and we want all incidents to be reported.
"We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation.
"We would encourage anyone with information to contact us on 101.
"You can also contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111."

READ MORE

Modern slavery victims let down by government, says former commissioner

21 October

The former independent slavery commissioner has criticised the Home Office for failing to implement proposals he says they agreed to a year ago.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Kevin Hyland expressed frustration that slavery victims were being "held on a piece of string", waiting for overdue decisions on their status.
The government says it is leading the world in tackling slavery, but Mr Hyland is among critics who say the victims are not being properly looked after once they have escaped or been rescued.
Home Office guidelines say potential victims will be assessed and processed within 45 days of coming to the attention of authorities.
But Sky News has learned that the majority of cases go well over that time period, with many people waiting more than a year.
Speaking on national anti-slavery day Mr Hyland told Sky News: "One of the things I highlighted to the government was the fact that it was taking so long to make a decision.
"In many ways it is not the funding that is the problem it is the decision making.
"If those decisions were made in a much shorter time then that funding could be used to give the victims other opportunities such as education, work, whatever else that may be."
The former commissioner says that none of his recommendations have been properly seen through.
He added: "We know there are problems. They've been identified, the solutions have been put forward and a year later we are still waiting for those to be implemented.
"I think we have to accept that's just not good enough. We need to see things implemented quicker."
Earlier this year the prime minister described modern slavery as "the great human rights issue of our time".
On a trip to Africa she announced measures to tackle the problem of trafficking.
But charities also say victims are not being properly supported and some even fall back into slavery after being rescued due to delays in getting help.
The charity HESTIA, which helps find safe houses for hundreds of victims every year, says the average wait for a decision is 303 days.
During this time victims are not allowed to work and are unable to get on with their lives.
Ella Read, area manager for HESTIA, said: "There is a constant background anxiety of them knowing that any day a decision could come through the post.
"It could be a decision in their favour, or it could not be a decision in their favour, and that can really hamper someone's ability to meaningfully recover in that time."
In 2014 a Home Office study estimated there were between 10,000 and 13,000 modern slaves in the UK.
But the Walk Free Foundation recently suggested there could be as many as 136,000.
More than 5,000 victims of slavery and trafficking were referred to the police in the last year alone. That is a 35% increase on the year before.
Sky News interviewed one 48 year-old victim who escaped from sex slavery and has waited 18 months for a decision on her status.
"Susie" was brought to the UK from Ghana by a man she thought she was going to marry. Instead, the man confiscated her passport, she was kept in servitude and forced to have sex.
Sexual exploitation is the most common form of modern slavery reported in the UK, followed by labour exploitation, forced criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.
A Home Office spokesman said: "Modern slavery is a barbaric crime that destroys the lives of its victims, which is why we introduced the world-leading Modern Slavery Act in 2015 and have put in place the Modern Slavery Strategy.
"The package of reforms we've announced to the National Referral Mechanism will markedly improve our system for identifying and supporting victims and lead to quicker, more certain decisions on cases.
"We aim to make a decision as quickly as possible, but we need to ensure we have all the information available, which can take time in complex cases.
"Potential victims receive a comprehensive package of support while a decision on their case is being made."

READ MORE