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‘Don’t waste time’
In the end, they met somewhere in the middle. The UK asked for a short delay to Brexit, EU officials seemed to favour a year – but after hours of talks, the sides agreed a “flexible extension” until 31 October. Speaking at a press conference in the small hours, Theresa May said the UK could still leave before that if MPs could agree on how, but she acknowledged that finding a way to end the current deadlock would not be easy. The UK is also likely to have to take part in European elections on 23 May.
European Council President Donald Tusk said Britain could use the time to finally ratify Mrs May’s withdrawal deal or could opt for a new strategy, making changes to the political declaration, which sketches out the sort of relationship it will have with the EU in the future. It could even “cancel Brexit altogether” he said. Above all, though, Mr Tusk stressed: “Please do not waste this time.”
BBC Europe editor Katya Adler says that after all the drama and speculation, effectively all that’s happened is that the threat of no-deal has been postponed for another six months. The new deadline might not solve very much at all, agrees our political editor Laura Kuenssberg. Indeed, it may just give those pushing for a general election or a second referendum more time to put their case. It could also mean that a Tory leadership contest is finally on, and we could have a new prime minister in the summer.
Hear Katya and Laura’s thoughts in more detail in the latest Brexitcast.
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Four million cases of childhood asthma – more than a tenth of the total diagnosed worldwide each year – could be caused by air pollution from traffic, according to a global study. Indeed, researchers from George Washington University said the true figure could be even higher because asthma often goes undiagnosed in low and middle-income countries. They say urgent action is vital to protect children, and cited London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone as a good example of the sort of initiative needed. Our video explains just how air pollution affects health.
Voting is under way in the largest election in history. Some 900 million Indians are eligible to have their say in what’s being seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Key issues include unemployment, especially among the young, and national security. The final result won’t be known until 23 May, but whoever wins will control the destiny of the world’s largest democracy. Read our really simple guide to the vote and an in-depth profile of Mr Modi himself.
‘I’m 35, with two young children – and Parkinson’s’
By Lucy Wallis, BBC Stories
Ellie doesn’t fit the stereotype of someone with Parkinson’s Disease. People are often shocked when they meet her for the first time, she says. “I volunteer in a local charity shop occasionally around the kids and around my work and if I’m trembling, if I have to wrap something up – because anything can set off your tremor – someone will say something like, ‘Is it your first day here?’ And I’ll be like, ‘No I’ve got Parkinson’s.'” They expect someone with Parkinson’s to be white-haired and stooping, but Ellie was diagnosed before she was 30.
Read the full article
What the papers say
After news broke late of the Brexit delay, the final and online editions of the newspapers make the most of the new date. “May’s Halloween horror” is the headline in the Daily Mail, while for the Daily Mirror “It’s the nightmare before Brexit”. The Daily Telegraph reflects on a “bruising night in Brussels” with French President Emmanuel Macron “haunting” EU leaders in “the Brexit witching hour” to force a shorter extension. The Guardian says Mr Macron “enraged” his fellow leaders by opposing the longer delay favoured by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Times feels the summit was a “historic humiliation” for Britain and even the Suez crisis “barely compares”. Elsewhere, according to the Sun, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss has “given her strongest hint yet” that the government could scrap the HS2 rail line, saying the case for it would be examined as part of the next spending review.
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On this day
1957 Britain agrees to self-rule for the colony of Singapore
The women who gave birth without knowing they were pregnant (Vice)
Long-lost gold lures thousands in international treasure hunt (Bloomberg)
A history of leaving and remaining (New Statesman)
How celebrity fashion culture is killing the family holiday (Sydney Morning Herald)