Palace of Westminster incident

An investigation is under way after four people died and around 40 were injured in an attack in Westminster in central London on Wednesday afternoon. The police have said they are treating the attack as terrorism. Join us for further developments and reaction.

Key points

  • Police name attacker as Kent-born Khalid Masood
  • The three victims named; 29 injured treated in hospital
  • Isis reportedly claims responsibility
  • Eight people arrested overnight in London, Birmingham and other parts of the UK
  • Authorities in Antwerp appear to have foiled a similar attack

 

House Intelligence Committee Hears Testimony From FBI Director James Comey

FBI director James Comey was questioned for more than six hours by the House intelligence committee on the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere in last year’s US presidential election. He is testified alongside the NSA director, Admiral Michael Rogers.

Mr Comey, who came under fire during the election campaign for his handling of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s email server probe, was also questioned about allegations that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower.

Key Developments

  • The FBI director confirmed the agency is probing Russian meddling into the US election, including any potential links between the Trump campaign and the country’s government.
  • The FBI director said the agency has “no information that supports” tweets from Donald Trump accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping his campaign.
  • The NSA director said he agreed with the angry statement issued last Thursday by GCHQ, Britain’s electronic surveillance agency, in which it slammed the notion of its spying on its closest ally as “utterly ridiculous”.
  • In his opening statement, Michael Rogers said that the NSA stood by its earlier report on Russian meddling and its level of confidence in the findings had not changed.
  • In his opening statements, Republican committee chairman Devin Nunes reiterated his previous public statement that he has seen no evidence Trump Tower was wiretapped.
  • The Trump administration maintained its position on the allegation that he was put under surveillance as a candidate
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    Pay-Pal co-founder Peter Thiel has broken ranks with his Silicon Valley rivals giving a rousing speech to the Republican National Convention telling delegates that only Donald Trump is being honest about US economic decline.

    In a speech on Thursday night shortly before Mr Trump took the floor Mr Thiel said: “Our economy is broken. If you’re watching me right now you understand this better than any politician in Washington DC.” Read more

    Draghi behind EU symbol

    The European Central Bank’s governing council met today to discuss policy following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

    President Mario Draghi refused to be drawn on the prospect for any further stimulus in September. But he stressed that while Brexit was a “headwind” the financial system had proved resilient.

    Key points

    • Rates have been kept on hold
    • Mr Draghi says that markets have shown “encouraging resilience” to the Brexit vote
    • The ECB had not discussed changing the terms of its asset purchases to include a wider range of bonds
    • The recovery is continuing – all be it at a slower pace
    • Shares in Italian banks jumped following Mr Draghi’s statement that a public backstop for non-performing loans would be “very useful”

     

    APTOPIX France Truck Attack

    Key developments

    • At least 84 people are dead after a truck ploughed into crowds, who had gathered for Bastille day celebrations, along the seafront in Nice on Thursday night.

    • French President François Hollande described the attack, which killed at least 10 children and left another 50 people in critical condition, as a “despicable act”.

    • The attacker, who was shot and killed by police, was named as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian national with a French visa.

    • There were no claim of responsibility by any terrorist organisation but prime minister Manuel Valls described the attacker as “a terrorist who was certainly linked to radical Islam in one way or another.”

     

    Isis has claimed responsibility for a series of explosions this morning.

    The seemingly co-ordinated attacks come only a day after the Belgian government warned that jihadis could respond to the arrest of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam last week.

    Key developments:

    • Two explosions at Zaventem airport, one at Maalbeek metro station.
    • At least 30 reported killed, many more injured.
    • Isis claims responsibility via the A’maq news agency.
    • All flights cancelled until Wednesday.
    • Terror threat raised to highest level, multiple controlled explosions across the city.

    You can follow our reporters on the ground via, this Twitter list.  

    The latest round of global talks on climate change, dubbed COP21, begins today in Paris. Environmental campaigners want leaders to agree on emissions cuts, with the goal of limiting temperature increases to 2C.

    However, prospects of a deal remain uncertain, in part because rich and poorer nations are struggling to agree on how those cuts should be paid for. Developing countries believe that those who have already become wealthy on the back of burning fossil fuels should shoulder most of the financial burden.

    Key developments

    Read our bluffer’s guide to the talks here.  

    Key points

    • Eight arrests and at least two killed, says Paris prosecutor, after French police raid earlier in Saint-Denis, a suburb north of Paris

    • Belgian mastermind of attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud was the target of the raid but not among those arrested. Bodies yet to be identified

    • Operation “neutralised” a new, heavily-armed terrorist cell, which was ready to strike

    • In the intense firefight during the raid, terrorists fired 5,000 rounds

    • One of the dead is a female suicide bomber, explosion so powerful it collapsed a floor of the apartment

    • Belgian prosecutors have charged two men in connection with the
      Paris attacks

    By Mark Odell, Josh Chaffin and John Murray Brown