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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Friday morning news briefing: Europe on red alert

Britain to send more troops to Polish border

The UK is to deploy more troops to the Polish border with Belarus, amid mounting Cabinet concerns over the influx of migrants into the EU and crossing the Channel. Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, announced a squadron of around 100 soldiers from the Royal Engineers will be sent to help reinforce the Polish frontier where tens of thousands of people have been trying to cross into the bloc. Whitehall believes the crisis has been “manufactured” by Moscow, as the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grows. But concerns have also intensified that those trying to cross the Polish border could ultimately aim for the UK – as anxiety grows in Parliament about migrants crossing the Channel. Defence Correspondent Danielle Sheridan reports from Poland.

Commentators have warned for years that Russia was planning to use various methods, as well as the threat of conventional war, to undermine the West. Recent weeks have proven those predictions true. Migrants at the EU border, disinformation and using gas supplies to coerce Europe… it is an ongoing, multi-front struggle. Russia Correspondent Nataliya Vasilyeva explains the six flashpoints that led to Russia’s “hybrid war”.

‘Cuddly Meghan’, girl-next-door in a £1,300 blouse

Just days ago, she apologised for misleading the High Court. Last night, the Duchess of Sussex steered clear of the controversy as she took part in a prank skit on American TV. The light-hearted sketch saw her take instructions from chat show host Ellen DeGeneres through an earpiece as she spoke to unsuspecting food vendors. As directed, Meghan put on kitten ears before meowing at members of the public, telling a hot sauce vendor “mommy wants some heat” and eating a cookie like a chipmunk. Watch video of the prank. Associate Editor Camilla Tominey says we were treated to “cuddly Meghan”, the giggly girl-next-door in the £1,336 blouse. On the same night, The Duchess of Cambridge dazzled at the Royal Variety Performance – with comedian Alan Carr insisting to William that he was “not hitting on his wife” after complimenting her.

Daily dose of Matt

Today’s cartoon | View Matt‘s latest sketch as he imagines the impact of the HS2 route cut to Father Christmas.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

NHS | High-earning GPs will not be forced to publish their pay levels this winter, in a government climbdown, as unions consider industrial action. Health officials had said that family doctors would have to declare any earnings above £150,000 as of next week. But the British Medical Association threatened industrial action over the matter, as part of protests over plans to boost the number of patients seen face-to-face.

Around the world: Charles and Camilla share sunset

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have made their first visit to the pyramids together, as the heir to the throne showed his wife a feat of human ingenuity that he said “defies the imagination”. The couple, who are on a two-day visit to Egypt, posed for the ultimate holiday photographs at the Giza pyramid complex and in front of the Great Sphinx. Royal Correspondent Hannah Furness reports from Cairo.

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