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Your Morning Briefing

10/08/2018 News desk

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know to start your day with our daily briefing, compiled by Vidisha Kemkar.

Atkinson defends Johnson as Burka row escalates

Rowan Atkinson © Getty Rowan Atkinson Comedian Rowan Atkinson has defended Boris Johnson following his recent comments about burkas. The Blackadder and Mr Bean star said the former Cabinet minister had made a “pretty good” joke when he suggested women wearing face-veils looked like letterboxes and insisted it was pointless to apologise for joking about religion as it always causes offense. Meanwhile, a Tory former chief whip has also backed Johnson, saying he had no need to apologise for making inflammatory comments about Muslim women. (Press Association)

Police bill for novichok probe tops £10m

The cost of dealing with the novichok poisonings in Salisbury and Amesbury has cost Wiltshire Police more than £10m. The force was plunged into a complex investigation on 4 March after former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned by the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury. Officers from more than 40 other police forces were drafted in to deal with the investigations, help which is estimated to have cost Wiltshire Police more than £7m. The force also spent more than £1.3m on paying its own officers for overtime and cancelled leave. (Sky News)

Mountain or molehill? England gets newest mountain as Lake District hill reclassified

Independent surveyors stand at the foot of Miller Moss in the Northern Fells, Lake District © JohnBarnard/BNPS Independent surveyors stand at the foot of Miller Moss in the Northern Fells, Lake District An English hill has been reclassified as a mountain after it was found to be 3ft taller than previously thought. Intrepid independent surveyors have spent more than a decade travelling the British Isles to check the height of hills that are close to mountain status. Their latest trip to the Northern Fells of the Lake District has seen Miller Moss become the 446th mountain listed in Anne and John Nuttalls’ books ‘The Mountains of England and Wales’.  (Daily Mail)

Everton clear winners of the Premier League's transfer deadline day 

The transfer window has slammed shut on the Premier League and all eyes will now be on the big kick-off, with Manchester United and Leicester City getting us underway on Friday night. It’s been a manic summer in terms of money flying around as teams look to strengthen, and even though it was a fairly busy final day on Thursday, there were no jaw-dropping moves from the likes of United or Tottenham. Everton and Fulham were busy as they got some last-minute signings in through the door before it closed. (Sport360) Meanwhile, Manchester United did not follow through with some of José Mourinho’s transfer targets because of misgivings about the players he had identified. (The Guardian)

In Depth: Most marine mammals are missing one mysterious gene

Sea lion © Nat Geo Sea lion Millions of years ago, ancient land-dwelling mammals returned to the sea. Their bodies became streamlined for swimming, articulated fingers turned into flippers and fins, hypnotic songs slowly filled the oceans—and, somewhere during the evolutionary process, the newly evolving marine mammals lost a particular gene. (National Geographic)

Video of the day: Never too old to fly - meet the 93-year-old paraglider

Meet the 93-year-old paraglider © Reuters Meet the 93-year-old paraglider Taiwan's oldest paraglider, 93-year-old flies across the skies. (Reuters)

On this day

Ferdinand Magellan © Getty Ferdinand Magellan 1519: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan leads a fleet of five Spanish ships bound westward for an Atlantic crossing, then to sail into what Magellan will name the 'Mar Pacifico,' meaning 'peaceful sea.' He will die before his one surviving vessel completes the first circumnavigation of the Earth. (Bing)

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