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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Thursday morning UK news briefing: PM ‘crashed the car into a ditch’

Jolt of taxi may have detonated Liverpool bomb

The terrorist bomb detonated outside a Liverpool hospital on Sunday might have gone off when it was “jostled” as the taxi was coming to a stop – with investigators admitting for the first time: “We got lucky.” A search of Emad al-Swealmeen’s home and an examination of his online purchases show he was attempting to build a sophisticated, powerful bomb that would have caused “damage, death and destruction” on a huge scale. The Telegraph can also reveal that the 32-year-old, who had converted to Christianity, was seen at his local mosque every day during Ramadan in April – at around the same time that he began constructing his bomb. The revelation will further fuel suspicion that Swealmeen’s conversion to Christianity four years ago was simply a ploy to help him persuade the Home Office to let him stay in Britain.

Meanwhile, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is taking legal action over a tweet that appeared to mock the Liverpool terrorist attack. A doctored photograph was posted on the account of a Conservative councillor in East Riding, Yorkshire, that had superimposed Mr Corbyn carrying a Remembrance wreath to make it appear as if he was walking towards the burning taxi – with the caption: “Unsurprisingly.”

Can you solve the secret code on Fleming’s cufflinks?

Now pay attention, would-be 007s… This is a code-breaking test to suit an aspiring spy. A pair of cufflinks said to have belonged to Ian Fleming – and passed down through his family – bear an intriguing inscription. As Anita Singh explains, the back of the accessories are inscribed with four sets of letters, the meaning of which remains a mystery. Can you solve the cufflinks conundrum? You can try it for yourself here.

Daily dose of Matt

Today’s cartoon | View Matt‘s latest sketch as he finds another laugh in the MPs’ second jobs saga.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Post-Brexit | Brussels has rowed back from threats of retaliating against Britain over Article 16, as the UK and EU near their first deal to break the deadlock in talks over the Northern Ireland Protocol. European Commission officials signalled a possible compromise and, in a private briefing with senior EU diplomats, said they were closing in on an agreement to protect medicine supplies. Brussels Correspondent Joe Barnes has the latest ahead of face-to-face talks between Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, and Maros Sefcovic, his European counterpart.

Around the world: UK to supply warships to Ukraine

Britain will sell warships and missiles to Ukraine after the Defence Secretary signed a new deal with the country amid tensions with Russia. Ben Wallace has agreed to enhance Ukraine’s naval capabilities in light of increasing Russian aggression which has seen thousands of migrants camping at the Polish border with Belarus for a second week. Danielle Sheridan reports that Warsaw has accused Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the crisis along with Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko.

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