October 16, 2021

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Unlimited Technology

Tuesday morning news briefing: UK’s power struggle

The UK is on the brink of an energy disaster, but how did it get to this? As families brace for higher bills, energy experts are poring anxiously over weather forecasts for hints of relief. 

But not all of the energy difficulties will be gusted away even if wind farm power production suddenly increases. The drive for greener energy has driven up costs and the UK is vulnerable to geopolitical power plays. 

Economics Editor Russell Lynch has the inside story of Britain’s energy crisis – and how to fix it. 

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who yesterday “did a Corporal Jones” in the Commons, is under growing pressure from energy companies to scrap the price cap as the UK wholesale price of natural gas soared to a record high. 

It came as shoppers were warned of potential food shortages by the end of the week amid dwindling carbon dioxide supplies.

Prime Minister admits he faces wait on US trade deal

Boris Johnson will today visit the White House for the first time since becoming Prime Minister and hold face-to-face talks with Joe Biden in the Oval Office. The Prime Minister appears to have given up hope of securing a UK-US free trade deal any time soon, saying that the US president has other “fish to fry”. Political Editor Ben Riley-Smith, who is travelling with Mr Johnson, says it means that more than half a decade after the Brexit vote it remains unclear how, when and what form a UK-US trade deal will happen. Meanwhile, Mr Johnson warned that the post-Brexit issues with Northern Ireland “can’t go on for ever” as he claimed the Dutch Prime Minister has offered to mediate on the issue.

After the White House announced it was lifting its blanket ban on travellers from the UK and EU, there is uncertainty over whether unvaccinated children will be able to accompany their parents on US trips. US sources indicated there would be very limited exemptions, but officials refused to confirm if children would be included. Read what we know about the travel rule changes from early November – and our choice of 15 trips to book now, from budget to blowout.

Prince Philip’s no-frills office, preserved as he left it

It was the centre of his working life for decades. The Duke of Edinburgh’s study can now be seen as he left it, complete with shipshape desk and touching mementoes of his marriage. The Duke’s Buckingham Palace study, described as a “very practical room without frills”, has been filmed for the BBC as part of a tribute to the longest-serving consort in history, with insights from those who knew him best. See pictures from the Duke’s study – and read his grandchildren’s recollections.

Daily dose of Matt

Today’s cartoon | View Matt‘s latest cartoon, with a wry look at Britain’s energy crisis.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Canada election | Canadians returned Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to power early today in hotly contested elections against a rookie conservative leader, but he failed to gain an absolute majority. Rozina Sabur has the latest from Montreal. A new image of Mr Trudeau in blackface had emerged as voters headed to the polls.

Around the world: Mounted police round-up migrants

Police on horseback wielding lassos have been deployed to stop thousands of Haitian migrants from illegally crossing the Rio Grande into America. US Correspondent Jamie Johnson reports from the Texas city of Del Rio where some 16,000 people have arrived from Mexico in the past fortnight. View a gallery of more striking world pictures of the day.

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