About 15,000 homes near the River Thames could be protected from flooding by 2027 after a flood defence scheme was given a £270m funding boost.
The scheme will protect homes and businesses between Datchet, Berkshire, through Surrey to Teddington.
The Environment Agency said it could now afford to build the defences thanks to funding from Surrey County Council.
In 2014, about 2,000 people were flooded out of their homes in Chertsey, Egham, Sunbury, Staines and Weybridge.
Central government, local authorities and other partners including Thames Water will all contribute to the scheme.
Dave Bedlington, from the Environment Agency, said the new funding from Surrey County Council meant the scheme could now be shown to be affordable.
If the defences were not built, flooding such as that seen in 2014 would become more frequent, according to Mr Bedlington.
“If everything goes with a fair wind we’d being submitting our planning application in two years’ time. Because of the scale, that’s likely to take a two-year inquiry,” he said.
If given the go-ahead, construction could start in 2023 and it could be operational in 2027, he added.
The Environment Agency said three new channels alongside the River Thames would reduce the flood risk at Datchet, Wraysbury, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Shepperton, Weybridge, Sunbury, Moseley, Thames Ditton, Kingston and Teddington, affecting 15,000 homes and 2,400 businesses.
The plans also include 260 acres (106 hectares) of new public open space and the creation of 615 acres (250 hectares) of new wildlife habitat, a spokesman said.
Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “The floods in 2014 were devastating and ever since then it’s been clear we need to do all we can to make sure our residents and their properties are protected from such risks in the future.”
England’s preparations for their World Cup quarter-final against Australia have been given a significant boost with the news that Billy Vunipola is now “very likely” to be fit to start.
The number eight injured his ankle against Argentina 10 days ago but continues to improve in the build-up to the clash in Oita on Saturday.
England have not won a World Cup knockout game for 12 years.
But they have beaten the Wallabies in all of their last six meetings.
Defence coach John Mitchell told BBC 5 Live: “Billy’s doing really well.
“He got through restricted training activity again today, ran with the ball, did some wrestling and boxing and some sprinting on the WattBike.
“He wasn’t smiling after the WattBike, but he’s in good humour and progressing nicely. At this point it’s looking very likely.”
Vunipola was likely to be rested had England’s final group game against France in Yokohama last Saturday gone ahead as scheduled, rather than being cancelled because of the threat of Typhoon Hagibis.
But the loss of that game has bought him time, even as utility back Jack Nowell once again sat out training with a hamstring injury.
Mitchell said: “Billy is a very important player to us and a very likeable player as well.
“He loves the ball in his hand. He’s very good at regaining and retaining momentum. He likes carrying the ball, which is where he has his greatest influence.
“He fits well within the team, but whoever gets the nods within the 31, everyone has a role to play.”
England wary of adventurous Aussies
Australia were beaten by Wales in their key pool game and struggled in the first half against both Fiji and Georgia.
But they beat the All Blacks 47-26 in August, and in Michael Cheika have a coach who plotted England’s demise in the group stages four years ago before taking his team on to the final.
Cheika has yet to settle on a preferred combination at 10 and 12, but with the form of muscular centre Samu Kerevi, he has one of the stand-out performers at this World Cup at his disposal.
Mitchell said: “The Wallabies are a very clever football team, and they will be clever at the weekend.
“They’ve always got their ability in terms of surprise, and they love ball in their hands, which is what they thrive on.
“You’ve got to look at how they attack – they love the ball in hand and they love putting width on it.
“Any one of those possible 10s and nines and 12s fall into that style of football. It doesn’t matter who they put there, they can all play that style.
“Kerevi is such a strong character, and they tend to move him around in structured attacks. He looks like he’s really enjoying his tournament, so he’s a threat we’ll need to be aware of.
“But we have our own beliefs in how we want to play, and we want to embrace this opportunity and bring our strengths out.”
England’s training was watched on Tuesday by Australian rugby league great Ricky Stuart, now the coach of Canberra Raiders.
Stuart will be invited to share his ideas about both coaching and England’s shape in the run-up to a game that could do much to define whether the Eddie Jones regime has been a success or failure.
It is 12 years since England last reached the semi-finals of a World Cup, their defeat of a much-fancied Wallabies team in Marseille in 2007 one of their great displays in the tournament.
Residents in north London are facing a flood a meter deep after a large water mains burst causing some people to leave their homes.
A “river” of water has flooded properties on Queens Drive and Princess Crescent in Finsbury Park, closing a a local primary school.
Postcode areas N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 have either no water or low water pressure, Thames Water said.
Traffic and pedestrians have been advised to avoid the area.
The water company said its engineers are, “doing everything they can to get things up and running as quickly as possible.”
It has apologised to customers but so far had not managed to turn off water from the burst pipe, a spokesman said, adding “it was a complicated process”.
Matthew who lives in a first-floor flat on Queens Drive woke up to the river outside his home and quickly alerted the occupants living in the basement property.
They have now been given temporary stay in another flat, said Matthew, who has a week-old baby.
He said he is worried about not having any water.
“I’m concerned about hygiene and although my wife is breast-feeding she needs to drink,” he said.
Cars can be seen stranded with water levels up to their wheel rims.
Parkwood Primary and Nursery schools have been shut as a result of the flood.
Thames Water is hoping to stop the water flowing from the burst pipe and reconnect customers by midday.
As well as fire officers checking basement flats, loss adjusters from Thames Water are on hand to provide help to residents who may now need somewhere to stay.
Five Greenpeace campaigners who occupied an oil rig for almost four days have been sentenced to carry out unpaid work.
They boarded Transocean’s Paul B Loyd Junior while it was in the Cromarty Firth awaiting a tow to a BP oil field.
The three men and two women chained themselves to the rig preventing it from leaving the Highlands firth during June’s protest.
They pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at Tain Sheriff Court.
Appearing back at the court for sentencing on Monday, Andrew McParland, 52, from Epsom in Surrey, Peter Chan, 50, from Reading, and Thomas Johnstone, 35, from Rhos-on-Sea in Conwy, Wales, were ordered to complete 135 hours of unpaid work.
Joanne Paterson, 53, from Munlochy on the Black Isle, was sentenced to 100 hours and Meena Rajput, 39, from London, to 80 hours.
Police, RNLI and coastguard were involved in work to make sure no-one came to harm during the occupation.
The court heard that the protest led to most of the rig’s 99 crew being confined to their quarters.
Sentencing the group, Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said: “I may or may not have sympathy for your beliefs. But that is for another forum. A criminal act was committed here.
“What concerns me is that the RNLI and the coastguard were taken away from a possible legitimate emergency elsewhere.
“We have all sorts of terrorist acts these days and some people on the rig would not have known this was a benign action.”
The rig was eventually towed out to the North Sea.
Downward dogs and yoga mats have replaced cars and buses on London’s Tower Bridge as part of Car Free Day.
The mass yoga session was one of a number of activities taking place in the capital as more than 16 miles (27 km) of streets were shut.
Bank junction has been turned into a festival space while children will race go-karts in the Square Mile.
The closures will be in place until 19:00 BST with roads elsewhere expected to be busy as a result.
Tower and London Bridge were shut at 07:00 along with streets in parts of the City, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
Among the other activities taking place are a hedge maze in Cheapside and classic cycle rides on Tower Bridge.
Organisers hope more than 150,000 people will join the event which has been named Reimagine.
Away from the centre, 15 boroughs will be running their own Car Free Day celebrations and more than 340 “play streets” – safe spaces for local people to socialise and play – have been approved some 24 boroughs.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said the day was about “demonstrating our commitment to cleaning up our toxic air and experiencing a greener way of living”.
Transport for London has warned that those who do take to the roads should expect “significant delays”.
Protests are expected across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools in a bid to urge more government action on climate change.
It’s part of a global “climate strike” day, which started in Australia earlier, where organisers said around 300,000 people took part.
They are urging “climate justice” and “an end to the age of fossil fuels”.
Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were being heard but did not “endorse children leaving school”.
It follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.
- Huge crowds join day of climate action – live updates
- Greta Thunberg tells US politicians to try harder
The teenager, from Sweden, has described the turnout in Australia earlier as “incredible”.
She is set to join a later rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.
Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.
It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will address the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike in Westminster at about 13:15pm.
Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast protesters’ voices were “being heard” but insisted the time spent in school was “incredibly important”.
He added: “What I do support is their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously.”
About 30 residents have been evacuated and part of a building has been destroyed following a suspected explosion.
London Fire Brigade said it was called to a fire after the suspected blast on High Street in Hampton Hill, south-west London, on Tuesday night.
On social media, one witness described hearing a “boom” before the blaze. No was injured.
Road closures remain in place at the scene, Richmond Council said.
Sir Rod Stewart has been given the all-clear after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The rock legend made the revelation at a fundraising event on Saturday.
“No one knows this, but I thought this was about time I told everybody. I’m in the clear, now, simply because I caught it early. I have so many tests,” he said, according to The Mirror.
The 74-year-old was speaking at an event for the Prostate Project and golf’s European Tour Foundation.
He joked to wife Penny Lancaster that he was going to use the evening to “come out”, adding: “It’s not what you think. Two years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
He said: “If you’re positive, and you work through it and you keep a smile on your face… I’ve worked for two years and I’ve just been happy, and the good Lord looked after me.”
‘Go to the doctor’
He urged men to get checked, adding: “Guys, you’ve got to really go to the doctor.”
He was speaking alongside former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood, who has previously been treated for lung cancer. “Somebody up there likes us, Rod,” he said, the paper reported.
More than 11,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK every year. The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, and is found only in men.
Sir Rod’s announcement comes as stars including Stephen Fry, former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull and Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent join a Prostate Cancer UK campaign titled Men, We Are With You.
Fry revealed in February 2018 that he was recovering after having surgery. In a video for Prostate Cancer UK, he said: “My prostate cancer was thankfully caught in the nick of time. But it shouldn’t be down to luck. A more accurate test and, in turn, a national screening programme would give men the best possible chance.”
The coverage of Fry and Turnbull’s treatments led to an increase in men getting checked, the head of the NHS revealed last year.
Prostate Project trustee Tim Sharp said: “When these high profile celebrities talk about it, it makes a huge difference.
“What we say to men between 50 and 70 is you should go and get yourself checked whether you have any symptoms or not. One of the key problems with prostate cancer in its early stages is it is largely symptomless.
“If every single man between 50 and 70 went to see their doctor, we would see the number of deaths reduced dramatically.”
What are the symptoms?
There can be few symptoms of prostate cancer in the early stages, and because of its location most symptoms are linked to urination:
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- needing to run to the toilet
- difficulty in starting to urinate
- weak urine flow or taking a long time while urinating
- feeling your bladder has not emptied fully
Men with male relatives who have had prostate cancer, black men and men over 50 are at higher risk of getting the disease.
Police have arrested 18 people believed to be involved in a climate change protest at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow Pause activists threatened to fly drones in the exclusion zone, but no flight disruption has been reported.
The 18 arrested people have all been held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.
Heathrow Pause said one of the arrested – Roger Hallam, an Extinction Rebellion co-founder – was still planning to fly a drone on Saturday.
The group said Mr Hallam was released from custody at about 22:00 BST on Friday and that he would be flying the drone at midday “near Heathrow” with the location “to be announced nearer the time”.
The Metropolitan Police said that, out of those arrested, five remained in custody on Friday night. The others have been bailed.
Police say those arrested range in age from 19 to 69.
Heathrow Pause had previously said it intended to fly drones within the 5km exclusion zone around the airport on Friday morning, but the group claimed the airport was using “signal jamming to frustrate” their efforts.
Both the airport and police refused to comment on “security matters”.
The Met Police said a dispersal order at the airport would be effective until early on Sunday morning.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “We are really clear that [flying drones] is unlawful, it is a criminal offence, and anybody who turns up expecting to fly drones in that exclusion zone will be arrested.”
The force made seven pre-emptive arrests on Thursday, including that of Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam.
Heathrow Airport said it was committed to addressing climate change, but this was best tackled through “constructive engagement and working together to address the issue”.