Irma continues through Florida
After making its way through the Caribbean, causing death and destruction, Hurricane Irma has hit Florida. It’s brought winds of up to 120mph (192km/h), leaving 3.4 million homes in the US state without power, while parts of the city of Miami are under water.
Irma has been downgraded from a category three to a category two storm, but that will provide little comfort to the three million people living in the Tampa Bay area, which it is approaching. Some 6.3 million people in Florida were told to evacuate ahead of Irma’s arrival and US President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration and emergency federal aid for the state.
You can follow the latest developments as Irma continues its journey through the US using our live page.
Police and prison officer pay cap to be lifted
Since 2013 pay rises for most public sector workers have been capped at 1% per year. But the BBC understands that the restriction is to be lifted for the first time for police and prison officers. Political correspondent Iain Watson said it was the “first concrete example of the pay cap being dismantled”. Other public sector workers may get the same news soon, it’s understood. Unions, Labour and some Conservative MPs have been calling for the cap to go.
MPs warned against Brexit ‘chaos’
MPs will vote later on the government bill which aims to end EU law’s supremacy in the UK. Labour is opposing the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, claiming that it allows ministers too much power to act without consulting Parliament. But Brexit Secretary David Davis is warning that not backing the legislation would lead to a “chaotic” Brexit. The bill would also convert all existing EU laws into domestic ones, to ensure there are no gaps in legislation after the UK leaves.
A foldable gift from China
By Tim Harford, BBC World Service
The Book of the Marvels of the World was full of strange foreign customs that Marco Polo claimed to have seen. But there was one that was so extraordinary, he could barely contain himself. “Tell it how I might,” he wrote, “you never would be satisfied that I was keeping within truth and reason.” What had excited Marco so much? He was one of the first Europeans to witness an invention that remains at the foundation of the modern economy: paper money.
Read the full article
What the papers say
“Irma tears up Florida,” says the i, as most of the newspapers concentrate on the hurricane’s deadly effect on the south-eastern US. The Financial Times shows a street under water, reporting that it could take weeks to restore power in some areas. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail quotes the families of British people stranded in the Caribbean saying they feel their relatives have been “abandoned” by the UK government. Meanwhile, the Guardian says a United Nations report finds ministers are “flouting” their duty to protect citizens from illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution.