Tue. Mar 26th, 2019

News Daily: Universal credit U-turn and Murray ‘may quit very soon’

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Universal credit: U-turn on two-child cap on benefit

The government has dropped plans to cap universal benefit for around 15,000 families with three or more children. Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said those with children born before the system was introduced would remain exempt, as she wanted the situation to be “compassionate and fair”.

The Child Poverty Action group called the U-turn “fantastically good news”, but wants the exemption to apply to all families with more than two children.

Universal credit is a benefit for working-age people, which replaces six benefits – including income support, housing benefit and child tax credit – and merges them into one payment. The “child element” varies, but is worth at least £231.67 a child per month.

BBC Reality Check looks at the problems that have beset universal credit.

Andy Murray: I might quit after Australian Open

He’s been training – and, when his troublesome hip allows, playing – through pain and injury for many months, but Andy Murray has now admitted he could be at the very end of his career. The three-time Grand Slam winner said next week’s Australian Open could be his final tournament.

He is planning to bow out at Wimbledon this summer, but, in a teary press conference, told reporters: “I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months.” The 31-year-old added: “The pain is too much really. I need to have an end point because I’m playing with no idea of when the pain will stop.” The BBC’s Russell Fuller looks at what Murray’s future might hold.

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Why we need more fibre

There’s a food that’s very good for us, but 90% of us aren’t getting enough of it. It’s cheap and widely available too, and it’s called fibre. Experts at New Zealand’s University of Otago recommend eating 30g a day, but that’s sometimes harder than it seems. BBC health correspondent James Gallagher looks at how people might improve their fibre intake.

The story of Laurel and Hardy’s final tour

By Hayley Westcott

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made their first appearance together in 1927, in the silent short film Putting Pants on Philip, and soon developed an irresistible chemistry. With Laurel playing the clumsy and innocent friend of pompous Hardy, their comedy slapstick saw them become two of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

But by 1953, when they embarked on their British tour, Laurel and Hardy were no longer the box-office giants they had once been. During their eight months in England, Scotland and Ireland, they often performed to half-empty theatres, with Hardy’s failing health a concern.

Read the full article

What the papers say

There’s coverage of Theresa May’s call to union leaders, made in an effort to persuade them that her Brexit deal is worth supporting. Metro says the prime minister was “begging” them to help her gain the backing of Labour MPs, while the Times reports that the Unite union did not contradict Downing Street’s description of conversations as “constructive”. Elsewhere, the Guardian leads on a World Health Organisation report saying a high-fibre diet is good for you. The i says the UK is to build more incinerators to deal with rubbish. And the Daily Star features an attack on the UK’s “snowflake culture” by wrestling star-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Daily digest

Asylum applications Home Office urged to use lie detectors

Kevin Fret Gay rapper shot dead in Puerto Rico aged 24

Craig McLachlan Ex-Neighbours star charged with assault and sex offences

Quiz of the Week What was Olivia’s opening line?

If you see one thing today

The funny thing about grief

If you listen to one thing today

A look at papal infallibility

If you read one thing today

The strange normality of life in a breakaway state

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Lookahead

Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Greece, including the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens.

09:30 The Office for National Statistics publishes the UK’s GDP figures for November.

On this day

1973 The first graduates of the Open University are awarded their degrees after studying from home for two years.

From elsewhere

What it’s like to be too big in America (The Atlantic)

The new rules of eating al desko (Guardian)

WeChat reveals China’s digital habits (Bloomberg)

What it felt like when Cat Person went viral (New Yorker)

In a hurry? Here’s what you need to know in five minutes

If you want to get this briefing by email, sign-up here The government has dropped plans to cap universal benefit for around 15,000 families with three or more children. Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said those with children born before the system was introduced would remain exempt, as she wanted the situation to be “compassionate and fair”.

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