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Last updated: 14:37 BST, 21 October 2017

Storm Brian is set to bring widespread disruption to Britain this weekend as strong winds could bring down power lines and branches on to roads. The wild conditions, caused by a 'weather bomb' over the Atlantic Ocean, have started battering Wales and the South West of England this morning, with gusts of wind reaching up to 70 mph on the coastlines and 50 mph inland. Forecasters have issued warnings for potential power cuts, flooding and delays to transport as families begin their half-term holidays. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for winds across a swathe of Britain, including Wales and southern England up to the Midlands, which will remain in place until midnight on Saturday. Pictured are large waves in Porthleven Cornwall (top), Porthcawl, South Wales (bottom left) and Lyme Regis, Dorset (bottom right).

BREAKING NEWS: Spanish prime minister imposes direct rule over Catalonia as police prepare to arrest region's president and country reaches boiling point

In a press conference, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (top) confirmed Spain was initiating Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution which means it can take control of Catalonia, illustrating its determination to derail the independence movement led by separatist politicians in the prosperous industrial region. Mariano Rajoy also blamed separatists for pushing government to take unprecedented measures in Catalonia. Meanwhile, Spanish authorities are preparing to arrest Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont (bottom right) and charge him with rebellion if he declares independence. Rajoy also said he wants permission to dissolve Catalonia's government and to call an early election. Pictured bottom left, violent protests in Catalonia.

An unusually large outbreak in the country has taken 94 lives, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

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NEW Medical herbalist Katie Pande reveals how turmeric, liquorice, neem and shatavari can help with a range of beauty woes - from excess hair to psoriasis, eczema and ageing skin.

In another scathing attack on school food, Jamie Oliver has taken aim at the culture surrounding unhealthy food, and that salads and other nutritious foods are shunned out of sight.

A knifeman who injured eight people in a central square in Munich this morning was not politically or religiously motivated, police have said.

Amir Khan accused of sending sleazy texts to single mum

Boxing star Amir Khan has been accused of sending sleazy texts to a single mum in which he called his wife Faryal Makhdoom a 'Kylie Jenner plastic surgery obsessive'. The former champion bombarded the teacher named Sophie with a string of flirtatious messages and urged her to send him raunchy videos.

Cooking the perfect poached egg is tricky, with two-thirds of Britons admitting they can't get it right. We compare celebrity chefs' top tips for creating the perfect poached breakfast.

The horrific incident happened nine days after Reece Barber, from Norwich, was badly injured in a tree accident. Hospital chiefs today said they have launched an urgent investigation.

The 34-year-old actor is said to be 'devastated' following the allegations but does not know what the woman is accusing him of beyond 'inappropriate conduct'.

Researchers from Cornell University have discovered the patterns in a text message that indicate a person isn't telling the truth. The study analyzed hundreds of conversations.

The moment Bullingdon Club members are kicked out of the Oxford college where they have their annual photograph as watching students jeer them and play the Benny Hill theme tune 

Oxford University's Bullingdon Club members were embarrassingly escorted from Christ Church College when they attempted to recreate a modern-day version of the famous 1987 picture that featured former prime minister David Cameron and current foreign secretary Boris Johnson on the steps of the college. Their humilatating ejection, which happened in June, was because the group had not obtained permission to take the photograph but is also symbolic of the social transformation in higher education. On Wednesday, Martyn Percy, dean of Christ Church, hosted a Diwali celebration in the college dining hall, culminating in a performance by a transgender Indian dancer and fire-juggling in Tom Quad. Pictured: A promotional shot for Channel 4's When Boris Met Dave.

Megan Barker tells of moment she broke boyfriend's penis

Megan Barker, of Guildford, and partner Adam Francis were in the middle of business when a harrowing 'rip' sound interrupted their session. Megan, 23, said the bedroom was left looking 'like a crime scene' as there was 'blood everywhere. Her traumatised boyfriend, 24, still suffers flashbacks to this day despite having made a full recovery. 'We're now back to business in the bedroom - we've had a lot of time to make up over the past six months!' Megan told The Sun.

Pay £48BILLION for a Brexit deal by Christmas: EU leaders make demand as they prepare to start talks on trade deal with Britain as soon as next month

In a meeting held after Theresa May (left) attended a Brussels summit yesterday, EU leaders gave the order to prepare for a trade deal. However the talks will only go ahead if the Prime Minister agrees to pay the eye-watering sum, according to reports. An unnamed senior diplomat reportedly said that leaders would accept £30billion for future commitments. Along with the 18billion offered for the transition period between 2019 and 2021 this would amount to £46billion. News of the possible deal comes after Emmanuel Macron (top right) threw cold water on hopes of a Brexit breakthrough. Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel (bottom right) yesterday said she was hopeful of beginning formal trade talks with the UK in December.

The Institute for Free Trade, founded by Eurosceptic Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, paid for the meal and the use of a function room at the royal's Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire.

The French president delivered a grim assessment of the Brexit standoff, saying Theresa May must make more significant concessions for trade negotiations to be able to start in December.

Arriving in Brussels today, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he wanted to make sure Theresa May's negotiations were 'on track' and insisted he would not 'countenance' a no deal scenario.

The former EU commissioner, who is in line to receive an annual pension of £35,000 from Brussels, said 'nobody' warned before the referendum Britain would leave the single market.

Queen Letizia and King Felipe visit award-winning village

Spain's Queen Letizia and King Felipe VI were welcomed into Porenu village in Villaviciosa, Spain, where they were shown around stalls and spoke with residents. Queen Letizia, 45, wore a long-sleeved pale blue shirt - coordinating with her husband Felipe, 49, who wore a striped pale blue shirt and turquoise tie. The Spanish Queen also accessorised with a blue clutch bag, a dark blue belt as well as blue stilettos. Her casual appearance today came as a stark contrast to her a much more formal outing yesterday.

PC Declan Gabriel, 28 (pictured) has been sacked after a Northampton Police misconduct hearing heard he drove a 17-year-old girl to a layby and unzipped his trousers.

A picture taken on December 24, 2016, shows a partial view of the town of el-Bawity, Bahariya Oasis, some 300 kilometres (186 miles) south west of Cairo

At least 52 Egyptian police and military have been killed with six wounded following an ambush by Islamic militants near the Bahariya Oasis in the country's Western Desert.

Yates used recruitment firm that only employed 'sevens'

Employment agency Elless Promotions, who recruited for Yates pubs across Essex, used a secret policy for hiring women in which they would only employ 'at least seven' out of 10s. Elless Promotions also shared an image of a larger woman on its Facebook, captioned: 'This really isn't suitable for staff is it?' The policy has outraged size 14 Jane Garner, 30, who claimed she was let go from her part-time job selling £3.50 Jagerbombs after she was described as  'too fat for our venues' on an Elless Promotions WhatsApp group. Ms Garner claims bosses uploaded a photo of her and sneered: 'Are we surprised that has been a complaint?' Another colleague responded: 'She's huge.'

Police are searching for Natalie Lindsay who went missing from the Accident and Emergency unit at North Middlesex Hospital on Wednesday before a stab wound to her arm was fully treated.

Patrick Reilly was cleared of the murder of Leonie Darnley in 1986. Thanks to the quashing of the Double Jeopardy law in 2005, prosecutors had urged the High Court to put Reilly back on trial.

'Killer' nanny pictured with her own child: Louise Woodward, 39, is seen with toddler daughter 20 years after controversial US murder conviction was quashed over death of 'shaken' baby in her care

In recent photographs (left) taken over two separate days the former nanny was seen taking her daughter, three, to nursery in a sleepy village near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. In 1997 Woodward made headlines around the world after she killed American infant Matthew Eappen (inset) while working as an au pair for his family at their home in Newton, Massachusetts. The baby died of brain injuries just 10 weeks after she started the job. Prosecutors alleged Matthew had shown classic symptoms of shaken baby syndrome, but the defence team argued the death had been caused by an injury the baby sustained weeks before. Woodward (pictured right at her trial) was initially jailed for second-degree murder on October 30 but after an appeal, her conviction was swiftly reduced to involuntary manslaughter and she was released after serving 279 days in jail.

Frederick Colverson, 62 (pictured), was caged for 25 years in August 2012 after a police raid netted Suffolk's biggest ever drugs haul - almost 400lbs of high-grade cocaine.

Omid Saidy, 20, pictured was killed outside Parson's Green tube station in west London on Monday, where 30 people were injured in a terror attack last month.

Weinstein completes sex addict rehab after just one week

A psychologist taking part in his treatment said that Weinstein would remain in Arizona for a month or so after his week of outpatient 'intensive therapy' ends on Saturday. Weinstein was 'invested in the program' and had focused on 'dealing with his anger, his attitude toward others, boundary work and the beginnings of work on empathy,' the psychologist told the outlet with Weinstein's permission. The psychologist downplayed previous reports that the 65-year-old film producer had fallen asleep in group sessions and ranted about conspiracy theories.

Pregnant British woman in hospital nationality row

Emma Szewczak-Harris (left, with husband), 26, from Cambridge, added her Polish-born husband's surname to her own when they married. But when bosses at Addenbrooke's Hospital  spotted her signature on an official form, they sent a letter accusing her of 'failure to provide proof of identification and residence' with the implied threat that she would not get treatment.

Millionaire property developer Richard Osborn has told how he became a pariah after a former friend put up posters in their Surrey village falsely claiming he was a 'dangerous paedophile'.

Fordingbridge woman arrested over 'murder' of 3-year-old

Bethan Colebourn is believed to have lived with her teacher mother Claire, 35, in a bungalow (left and centre) in the leafy town of Fordingbridge in Hampshire. She was also the daughter of Michael Colebourn (right), 37, who is the chief executive of Trimline, a highly regarded marine interiors firm based in Southampton. Emergency services rushed to their detached property on the edge of the New Forest following a report of a 'concern for welfare' last night. The young girl was treated at the home and then flown by air ambulance to Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire in a life threatening condition. But she later died at the hospital, and Hampshire Constabulary said they have now arrested a 35-year-old woman from Fordingbridge on suspicion of murder.

An investigation by the RAC found that London Stansted is now the most expensive airport for those wanting to drop off a loved one at the terminal. Four others have increased drop-off fees.

Terrifying video shows firefighters in race against time to save two-year-old boy who was trapped inside sweltering SUV

Apollo Rubin, two, had been shopping with his family in Orlando, Florida, when the boy snatched the keys from his mother and locked himself inside. Filming the whole altercation on his phone, father Ken Rubin watched as officials tried to keep the boy calm as they attempted to jimmy the door. Firefighters had to break a window in the rear of the family's SUV, quickly grabbing the boy from inside the vehicle after he started sweating profusely.

Almost 135,000 newly-built houses and flats have been sold through the programme since its launch in 2013, with the Government issuing £6.7billion of loans so far.

Alpharetta mansion might be the safest house in the US

The Rice House in Alpharetta, Georgia is an eight-bedroom, 36,000 square-foot fortress sitting on 3.5 acres of land within a gated community in the wealthy Atlanta suburb. The property's listing boasts of a bevy of luxurious amenities, including a private theater, bowling alley, infinity pool and wine cellar. But the mansion's hidden security features, overseen by a former US Justice Department secure installation designer, make it an impregnable fortress suited for the most paranoid of millionaires.

Self-proclaimed Left-wing 'intellectual' journalist Sam Kriss, 27, has fallen from grace amid claims he groped a fellow activist. It was claimed he tried to take her back to his 'massive house'.

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Bath 'ruined like an old person with Botox' Ken Loach says

Ken Loach hinted that Bath, which attracts around five million daytrippers and one million people who stay overnight, may lose its Unesco world heritage status. The city's SouthGate shopping centre (bottom left), the huge amount of new student accommodation (bottom right) and Bath Rugby's new Rec development scheme (bottom middle) were of particular concern to Loach, with him describing the latter as 'grotesque'.

Buyers of electric bikes could be given tax breaks in a move to roads minister Jesse Norman says would encourage exercise and tackle pollution concerns across the country.

Ukrainian heiress bursts into tears as she is detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country after footage showed her 'racing another car' before killing five in horror crash

The Ukrainian heiress who killed five and injured six in a horror crash was tonight detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country before her trial. Alyona Zaitseva (left), 20, burst into tears as she was detained despite an extraordinary appeal to allow her multi-millionaire father to compensate her victims and their families. Shocking video footage shows the moment she was 'racing another car' before killing five in a horror crash.

The measure is part of a campaign to crack down on harassment at Cambridge University. Starting next week, the university will unveil a policy that will actively discourage relationships.

Seven weeks later Coleen Rooney's ring is still off

In the roll call of Wayne Rooney's achievements, fidelity is not high on the list, writes Alison Boshoff, who asks if the Everton player's marriage is coming to an end. A source close to the couple claims Coleen is making her husband sweat by refusing to wear her wedding ring and jetting off to Barbados while Wayne remains 'in disgrace' in Cheshire.

Max Hill QC (left), head of our anti-terror watchdog, has now declared that, far from facing prosecution, teenage jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria should be welcomed back.

As Catalonia's struggle for independence rumbles on, Robert Hardman spares a thought for Canvey Island, in southern Essex, where locals are pushing to be freed from the tyranny of their local council.

Josef Fritzl - who fathered seven children by raping his captive daughter in a dungeon - had a secret basement in a guesthouse he used to own, construction worker in Austria have discovered.

They blew the bloody neighbours up, too! Italian Job producer reveals how special effects team got carried away and packed the van with too many explosives - shattering windows on nearby houses

An explosion during the 1969 cult classic movie The Italian Job which prompted Michael Caine's iconic line also destroyed the windows of nearby houses in south London, the film's producer has said. Michael Deeley said that while on location in Sydenham Common, top right, the special effects crew used too much explosives when blowing up a repainted post office van.

The youngster, from Londonderry, is now being treated at Belfast Royal Hospital for Sick Children for his injuries after the incident last night and remains in a critical condition.

The 400,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis in Britain are almost 50 per cent more likely to end up with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a new study.

Max Hastings: Bitter China marching to global domination

With the busy lives that everybody leads and one eye on the clock for when Tesco shuts, you might have failed to notice that Beijing has this week been hosting the 19th Congress of the Communist Party. Some 2,300 unswervingly loyal apparatchiks have gathered to cheer to the rafters President Xi Jinping, pictured bottom right, the most powerful man in the world. Those last few words may cause some people to demand: but what about Donald Trump? It is true that the leader of the United States commands a much larger nuclear arsenal, and that his country is still richer and stronger than China. But Trump - thank goodness - is constrained in his excesses by advisers and cabinet members who have thus far prevented him from starting a war. America remains the world's largest democracy: its system of checks and balances is (sort of) working. In China, by contrast, there are no checks and balances, and there will be even fewer after this week's slavish Congress, in which a cult of personality has soared to extraordinary heights. President Xi wields almost absolute authority, amid ever more draconian restrictions on dissent and free speech, even within the Party hierarchy. 'China needs heroes,' he has written, 'such as Mao Tse-tung'.

EXCLUSIVE: The post, which referred to orthodox Jews in an area of north-east London, read: 'Drove through Stamford Hill today. F*** me the gaffs riddled with full blown Jews. Absolutely vile.'

A University of Georgia study found there was a huge 80-fold increase in BRCA testing from 2003-2014. There was a big spike in 2013, the year the actress revealed she carries a mutation.

Tech experts from online electrical retailer AO.com have revealed the ten most commonly used passwords in the UK including 123123, would take an expert less than one second to crack.

I won't be the little wife in the background anymore: Debbie McGee opens up about widowhood, grief and showstopping splits on Strictly 

Early morning down on the Thames, in a lush crook of the river where stockbroker belt meets the golden girdle of showbusiness and homes cost £3million and more, the lovely Debbie McGee (left at home, inset with her husband Paul Daniels and right on Strictly Come Dancing) is limbering up to face another day. 'I can bend over and put my nose on my knees. Look. I can touch my toes and put my palms on the floor without a warm up,' she says in her kitchen. 'Kicking my legs is a different thing. I need to stretch for that. I need my Giovanni for that.' For the past five weeks, the 58-year-old magician's assistant has been wowing the nation on Strictly Come Dancing along with her professional partner, Giovanni Pernice.

A study conducted by Best Mattress Brand found that personality has more of an impact on how you sleep than your surroundings. Testing 1,000 it found that introverts and extroverts sleep very differently.

Edge Hill University's pro-vice chancellor Robert Smedley created a £53,000-a-year role for lover Christopher Joynson without telling his bosses they were in a relationship.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, who is on trial for murder, called the emergency services in March 2016 and told the operator that she had fallen down the stairs at a house in Fairwater, Cardiff,

While other planets, such as Venus and Earth, are known to have so-called magnetotails, the feature observed at Mars is twisted far more dramatically than expected, NASA says.

Meghan Markle's royal role model is Diana

Since he met the U.S. actress around 18 months ago, the world has been quick to compare sultry Meghan Markle with her fellow brunette, the Duchess of Cambridge. In fact, she is more like Princess Diana, who died 20 years ago when Harry was 12. This is intriguing, given that Meghan is said to have endlessly watched reruns of Diana's wedding as a child. Here, ANTONIA HOYLE charts the haunting - and heart-warming - similarities between the Princess of Wales and Harry's ever-more-serious love interest.

A 27-year-old man from Stalowa Wola, Poland, has been detained after eight people were stabbed at a shopping center. One of the victims died at hospital. Six of the seven injured have serious wounds.

Kyron Webb was taken to hospital with serious knife injuries following the attack on Worsley Avenue in Moston on Tuesday night.

Ex-Lancashire police officer Jayson Lobo, 48, who won the British 800m title in 1998, met most of his victims on dating website Match.com and covertly recorded them on his mobile phone.

Football fan wakes from coma after hearing club's chants

Tony Kemp, 59, from Plymouth, Devon underwent 18 hours of brain surgery but failed to show any signs of recovery. His family was told if he did not wake in two days his life support would be switched off. Mr Kemp's wife Danna, pictured top right, brought an iPad into the hospital and started playing Plymouth Argyle chants when he woke up.

Government figures reveal there were 289 recorded deaths from choking in England, Scotland and Wales in 2016. Experts cited poorly chewed food as the main driver behind the rise in deaths.

University of Minnesota researchers claim that mushrooms for breakfast, perhaps on toast or in an omelette, stave off hunger pangs and leads to a greater feeling of fullness.

A new report from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has found that e-cigarettes can do just as much harm as tobacco products. They increase one's chances of having lung diseases.

After calling off the an expedition earlier this year, the Malaysian government along with a private company are close to resuming the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The presidents of Lombardy and Veneto in northern Italy are holding autonomy referendums on Sunday. Both are campaigning on the economic benefits of loosening Rome's grip.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will unveil the measures agreed with opposition parties, including a potential Catalan snap election, after tomorrow's cabinet meeting.

Caribbean oceans are choked by plastic bottles and rubbish

In one photograph taken near Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, a diver grimaces as he prepares to enter the water almost completely covered by waste (left). Another (top right), taken from below the waterline, shows plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish on the surface blocking out sunlight. It is thought the rubbish (also bottom right) was washed into the sea from nearby Guatemala, carried on rivers swollen by the recent rainy season flowing through towns and villages.

My grandfather was ever grateful for the sanctuary afforded him by Britain. He couldn't wait to become naturalised, and when World War I broke out he became a stretcher-bearer for his adoptive country.

BBC Radio Kent asked followers on Twitter whether the widely discredited practice was acceptable after TV Doctor Ranj Singh (pictured) told the programme it was akin to psychological abuse.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Bel Air home is targeted

An intruder got into the grounds of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Bel Air home on Friday morning, ransacking three of their luxury vehicles. The perpetrator got into the property at around 4am, according to police sources, but didn't enter the couple's home. The thief came away with just an iPhone belonging to one of Kim and Kanye's staffers.

Phones4U boss John Caudwell always travelled as cheaply as possible, one of the businessman's staff told Mr Justice Marcus Smith during a trial at the High Court on the Strand in London.

Brian Thompson was handed a suspended sentence at Teesside Crown Court today. His scam was revealed after police found a diary noting 159 Kodi box sales in four months - making £17,000.

The shocking figures come against the backdrop of a furious battle by the BBC to keep details under wraps. They lay bare the level of dissatisfaction over issues such as left-wing bias.

Hashem Abedi (left), 20, is accused of playing a 'key role' in the outrage, which left 22 people dead, including seven children. He is currently being held in a prison in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

 

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The horrific moment a toad is suddenly wrapped up by a spider in its web as it's spun around before being eaten 

This video captures the moment a toad was captured and wrapped up in a web by a banana spider. The toad, spotted in Gainsville, Northern Florida, was initially seen stuck in the web before being ensnared by the spider in a quickly-spun web.

Researchers from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest used EEG monitors to analyse dogs' brain activity while they slept to understand how they consolidate memories.

Until he was seven, Oakley Orange was a happy go lucky chap, always playing on his bike or trying to make people laugh with his cuddly toy husky dog Isabella.

Three youngsters, thought to be aged around 11 or 12, were spotted shuffling along the Old Colwyn archways in North Wales at around 50ft above the road below.

A father in Taiwan was filmed tying a dinosaur balloon onto his daughter's back as prank. The 17-month-old girl desperately ran away from the balloon as she cried for help.

Not so fast! Motorbike rider chases after Bentley driver who drops bag of litter and returns it by throwing it through his window

Footage taken by the biker using a helmet camera shows a smartly-dressed man pulling over in his Bentley in a car park in Krasnogorsk, Russia. He gets out and leaves a plastic bag full of rubbish on the ground before getting back into the green car and driving off. But he didn't go unnoticed. Within seconds, the watchful biker has driven up to the bag to investigate. He then picks it up and speeds down the road after the guilty driver to teach him a lesson.

   

Showbiz extra

US national anthem singer kneels at basketball game as President Trump launches petition to pressure NFL players to have to stand

During the home opener for NBA's Brooklyn Nets on Friday, singer Justine Skye took to her knee after she finished singing the national anthem. As required by league rules, the players remained standing during the anthem but it has been reported that the Nets did lock arms during the performance. The act of taking the knee was started by Colin Kaepernick, last football season, in a way to protest police brutality. President Trump launched a petition campaign on Friday in hopes to pressure the NFL to make players stand for the national anthem.

The inspection was related to 'concerns that German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.'

This shocking video shows the moment a pickpocket stole £2,000 cash from grandmother Kantaben Ashani who was shopping at her local fruit and veg store in Kingsbury, North London.

One in six shoppers have admitted stealing 5p plastic bags at self-service checkouts, research from the Mail has found. The theft is hurting charities, which are recipients of the government levy.

Traditional sleepwear is increasingly seen as acceptable daywear when relaxing, a poll for leading British department store Liberty found.

These photos could be in a Children in Need Christmas book

These striking images of British lakes, cornfields and motorways are among those competing for a place in a Children In Need Christmas book. More than 250,000 photos have been submitted for the coffee table book which will document life in the UK. The most striking 500 images will be chosen by renowned photographer John Rankin and all profits from book sales will be donated to BBC Children in Need. This Is Britain is a nationwide crowd-sourced photography project that aims to shoot, edit, design, print and publish the must-have 2017 Christmas book. Pictured top left, St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

   

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