Hello. Here’s your morning briefing:
Second date in the offing
Donald Trump wants Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the US this autumn. The two men met at the beginning of this week in Finland, and despite some significant fall-out, planning is under way for a second get-together. Moscow hasn’t reacted publicly yet to the invitation.
“OK… that’s going to be special,” laughed US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats when told about it. Why that reaction? Well, the US intelligence services were at the centre of the aforementioned fall-out, after the president seemed to reject their view on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and side with Moscow instead. Mr Trump said later he’d fluffed his lines and had meant the opposite. Our Trump-Putin toolkit helps explain it all.
Only the two men and their interpreters were present for the Helsinki meeting – a state of affairs Democrats are very unhappy about. They want Mr Trump’s interpreter to testify before Congress, and insist no more meetings between the two leaders should take place until the details of what was discussed are revealed.
HIV/Aids effort ‘stagnating’
“Dangerous complacency” about the ongoing threat of HIV and Aids threatens to bring about a resurgence in the spread of the disease. That’s the warning from experts in the Lancet. The number of new cases has been falling and life expectancy for those diagnosed has improved significantly due to better medication. But the experts say a stalling of HIV funding in recent years is endangering efforts to end the pandemic and there must be urgent changes in how the disease is treated and controlled.
Chief whip criticised
On Friday, Theresa May visits Belfast on a mission to reassure people there about Brexit, while leaders from the other 27 EU nations will meet to consider her proposed deal. But back in Westminster, there’s anger about the conduct of her chief whip during a crucial Brexit vote.
MPs from different parties due to vote on different sides can have “pairing” deals to cancel each other out if they cannot take part, and Conservative Brandon Lewis has one with Lib Dem Jo Swinson while she’s on maternity leave. However, with the trade bill vote on Wednesday on a knife-edge, BBC sources say Chief Whip Julian Smith told Mr Lewis to break the pact “by accident”. Mr Lewis insists it was “an honest mistake”, but the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg says “a lot of people” are “very very cross”, with one insider describing Mr Smith’s explanation of what happened as “dog ate my homework”.
The people with dragon legs and electric fingers
By Daniel Gordon, BBC Ouch
Viktorija Radvila’s custom-made prosthetic leg cover is adorned with sculpted dragons and crystal beads. She describes it as a “Sunday best” item. “I put this on instead of a necklace or rings if I’m going out and I want to look smart,” the 34-year-old Lithuanian, who now lives near London, says. “I don’t wear it round the house because my dogs might chew it.” The cover was printed using 3D technology and is attached to her prosthetic limb with magnets.
What the papers say
The latest figures for England and Wales showing big rises in violent crime are widely reported. The Daily Express says they’re evidence of a runaway crime wave. Its headline: “Lawless Britain”. For the Daily Mail, they reveal the bleak truth about “Wild West Britain”. The Daily Telegraph says they coincide with a call by Justice Secretary David Gauke for prison to “change the lives” of criminals instead of being used solely as a tool for “punishment”. Elsewhere, according to the Times, Theresa May is to put the country on a no-deal Brexit footing this summer as she prepares a series of public warnings about the impact of leaving the EU without an agreement. And for its lead, the Sun brands Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar an “air head” over his latest Brexit remarks.
‘Duck boat’ capsizes At least eight dead on US lake
Disclosure MPs criticise rape case failures
‘Dr Bumbum’ Celebrity surgeon arrested after patient death
‘Big O’ reunion? Liam Gallagher extends olive branch to Noel
If you see one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
Today Khalid Ali, who was found guilty of plotting a knife attack on MPs and police in Westminster, due to be sentenced
Today Irish Ryanair pilots stage a 24-hour strike, forcing the cancellation of more than 20 flights between the UK and Ireland
On this day
1960 Ceylon – later renamed Sri Lanka – makes history by choosing the world’s first female head of government, Sirimavo Bandaranaike