Heat wave broils US east coast but Midwest could face flash floods

  • Added humidity could make daytime highs feel like 43C
  • Cold front could bring thunderstorms to Midwest

A heat wave will continue to keep much of the eastern US in its grip on Sunday but a cold front that could lower temperatures in the middle of the country may be accompanied by thunderstorms that threaten flash floods.

Related: Heat rises across US as New York tempers flare over subway suspension

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Change in No 10 will not alter Brexit reality, warns Irish deputy PM

Simon Coveney says there is no chance of backstop being scrapped under new UK leader

A change in British prime minister will not shift the fundamental realities of Brexit, Ireland’s deputy PM has warned, saying there is no chance of the EU ditching or watering down the Irish backstop.

Wholesale changes to Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement have been suggested by some as a way of avoiding a no-deal Brexit, but Coveney told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: “If the approach of the new British prime minister is that they’re going to tear up the withdrawal agreement, I think we’re in trouble. I think we’re all in trouble, quite frankly.

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Incoming prime minister poses a Brexit puzzle for Brussels

Officials unsure of next Tory leader’s true views on EU or whether MPs will back them

While Westminster has been gripped by the Tory leadership race, Brussels has been on a Brexit break.

That respite will soon be over. And despite rumours of Brussels compromises in the works, the EU has no off-the-shelf Brexit plan for the new prime minister, who is expected to be announced on Tuesday.

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Philip Hammond says he will resign if Boris Johnson becomes PM – video

The chancellor said he would resign from a Johnson government, making the announcement on live television. He told Andrew Marr that he could not serve in a government whose policy was to seek a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. Hammond’s announcement followed that of the justice secretary, David Gauke, who said he would quit if Johnson won the leadership contest

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Environment of greater concern than housing or terrorism – UK poll

Climate crisis concerns top British public’s policy priorities, poll findings reveal

Protecting the environment has overtaken affordable housing and the threat of terrorism in the British public’s policy priorities over the last eight months, polling has revealed.

Polling by Britain Thinks, commissioned by Engage Britain, found that concern about the climate crisis has risen at roughly the same rate for all age groups, and has emerged as the single most important issue for young people. It comes as the activist group Extinction Rebellion is set to stage another round of protests expected to bring parts of the country to a standstill.

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Iranian coastguard’s radio exchange with UK warship emerges

‘If you obey you will be safe’, Iranian vessel tells crew of British-flagged tanker in Gulf

A recording has emerged of Iranian coastguards telling a British Royal Navy frigate they want to inspect the captured Stena Impero for security reasons.

The radio exchanges make no reference to a previous Iranian suggestion that the British-flagged oil tanker had been stopped due to an accident with a fishing vessel, a previous explanation given by Tehran for the capture of the ship.

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Regional policy requires rethink as myth of London’s productivity debunked | Larry Elliott

Does a doctor in England’s capital really work three times harder than one in Merthyr Tydfil?

Britain’s regional divide is well known and well documented. The richer bits of the country tend to be clustered below a line drawn from the Wash to the Severn estuary, while London is so different from everywhere else that it may as well be its own city-state.

There is also another divide: between the big cities and the smaller towns. The north-west may be less prosperous than the south-east but on average people are better off in Manchester than they are in Blackpool.

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UK defence minister rebuffs criticism over tanker seized in Gulf

Tobias Ellwood denies Britain took ‘eye off the ball’ and says priority is to reduce tensions

The defence minister, Tobias Ellwood, has rejected the charge that a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf could have been better protected, and said the priority for the UK must be to de-escalate tensions.

Ellwood also called for more spending on the Royal Navy, and said the US’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal had played a part in the increasing tensions in the region.

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John Cooper Clarke: ‘I didn’t want to quit heroin’

While conceding the drug was ‘fabulous the first time’, the veteran performer has one overwhelming message: don’t do it

John Cooper Clarke, the poet and performer who became famous during the punk rock era of the late 1970s, has said he didn’t want to quit taking heroin and weaned himself off the drug for the sake of society rather than for his own health.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Clarke recalled the addiction which dominated much of his life in the 1980s, when he was living in a flat in Brixton, south London, with Nico, the late singer and muse of the Velvet Underground.

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Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’

The climate activist answers questions from famous supporters and Observer readers, with an introduction by Ali Smith

Greta Thunberg. This time last year she was unimaginable. Then, pretty much from nowhere, there she was: small and slight, a girl just turned 16, the way-too-young odd person out on a panel of adults sitting in front of the world’s economic powers at Davos last January. Unshowy and serious, careful, firm, she said it. Our house is on fire.

The ancient Greeks had a word for this: parrhesiastes. It means a person who speaks truth to power: you should not be behaving in this way. Don’t. More specifically it suggests someone in whom directness of expression and access to truth coincide; and it means someone of very little power who’s risking everything – because they can’t not, there’s no option – to speak ethical truth to powers so entrenched that they’re close to tyrannical, because telling this truth is about moral law. “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular know exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue to make unimaginable amounts of money, and I think many of you here today,” she said to the World Economic Forum conference, “belong to that group of people.”

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