In today’s newsletter: After the supreme court rejected plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, the government is considering its options
580 days after the government pledged to send some asylum seekers thousands of miles away to Rwanda for processing and settlement, the UK supreme court has rejected the plans, undermining Rishi Sunak’s key pledge to reduce migration. It is a crushing blow for the prime minister, who is now facing a rightwing rebellion from his MPs while also dealing with a huge, costly policy failure.
Israel-Hamas war | Eight Labour frontbenchers including Jess Phillips have resigned as Keir Starmer was hit by a major rebellion over a vote for a ceasefire in Gaza. Overall, 56 Labour MPs voted against the Labour leader’s instruction. The UN security council has backed a resolution calling for “urgent extended humanitarian pauses” allowing aid access.
China | The US president, Joe Biden, has said that his summit meeting with China’s Xi Jinping has brought substantial progress, including agreements on limiting narcotics trafficking and restoring military lines of communication, as well as opening up conversations on the risks posed by artificial intelligence. However, the meeting had not brought the US and China any closer on Taiwan, which remains a dangerous sticking point.
Housing | Leaked documents have revealed that government safety experts last year warned that many tower blocks built from concrete panels that may pose a collapse risk have not been fixed. The news comes as hundreds of families were evacuated from Barton House, a 15-storey tower block in Bristol, over fears an explosion could pose “risk to the structure”.
Science | Nasa’s James Webb space telescope has revealed a planet where specks of sand fall as rain. The groundbreaking observations give an unprecedented glimpse of a strange and exotic world beyond our solar system that features silicate sand clouds and rain, scorching temperatures, raging winds and the distinct burned-matches scent of sulphur dioxide.
CrimeTwo 12-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 19-year-old man was stabbed to death in Wolverhampton on Monday, West Midlands police have said.