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Heatwaves like the one experienced in the UK this Summer are now 30 times more likely than under natural conditions because of climate change, according to the Met Office.

The extreme temperatures hit agriculture and infrastructure particularly hard and people were urged to cut their water usage.

New computer modelling analysis compared the actual climate with that of the natural climate we would have had without human-induced emissions.

It found that the UK now has around a 12% chance of summer average temperatures being as high as they were in 2018, whereas they would have less than 0.5% chance of happening in a “natural” climate.

This summer was the equal warmest in a series dating back to 1910, along with 2006, 2003 and 1976, with temperatures reaching a peak on 27 July when 35.6C (96F) was recorded at Felsham, Suffolk.

Professor Peter Stott, from the Met Office and University of Exeter, said: “Our provisional study compared computer models based on today’s climate with those of the natural climate we would have had without human-induced emissions.

“We find that the intensity of this summer’s heatwave is around 30 times more likely than would have been the case without climate change.”

He added: “This rapidly increasing chance results from the increase in concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The Met Office findings will be announced at the UN climate talks currently taking place in Poland, where countries are meeting to finalise the rules of how the Paris Agreement on tackling global warming will work and to build momentum towards increasing ambition on efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “The link between climate change and extreme weather like the heatwave that scorched the UK last summer is getting stronger.

“It used to be a fingerprint, it now looks more like a smoking gun. If we stay on the current course, we know the kind of world we’re heading towards: more floods, heatwaves, droughts, and rising sea levels.”

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NASA invites Stephen Curry to tour its lunar lab after NBA star claims moon landings were faked

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NASA has offered a top US basketball player a tour of its lunar lab after he claimed the moon landings were faked.

Stephen Curry, regarded by many as one of the best shooters in NBA history, made the comments in the Winging It podcast on Monday.

During the episode, Curry’s teammate Andre Iguodala asked the basketball player and presenters Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore if they believed the moon landings were real.

All three of them replied “no”.

In an apparent reference to Men In Black-style secret agents, Curry added: “They’re going to come and get us.

“Sorry I don’t want to start conspiracies.”

Buzz Aldrin stands on the surface of the moon in 1969
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Buzz Aldrin stands on the surface of the moon in 1969

Another guest on the show Annie Finberg, a digital content coordinator for the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, then asked him to clarify.

Curry, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, confirmed that he did not believe the US had ever landed on the moon.

The group then had a short discussion about popular conspiracy theories, including one that the film director Stanley Kubrick staged the whole thing.

NASA in fact led six missions that put 12 astronauts on the moon between 1969 and 1972.

Allard Beutel, a spokesman from the space agency, told the New York Times: “We’d love for Mr Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets.

“We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control.

“During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”

Curry is far from alone when it comes to denying the legitimacy of the moon landings.

DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles shocked viewers of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! when he claimed the lunar expeditions were faked.

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EU risks bank crisis from ‘no-deal’ Brexit, say UK officials

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UK officials have been warning EU27 nations that a “no-deal” Brexit places a high risk of financial disruption to their banks, Sky News understands.

It forms part of a move seen by some close observers as a perceived form of attempted leverage over the Brexit negotiation.

Dozens of banks, including some of Europe’s biggest in Germany and France, have complex outstanding financial contracts, known as derivatives, notionally worth tens of trillions of pounds, operated through the City of London.

The bulk of them will mature after March 2019.

Sky sources say that the names of specific EU mega-banks especially exposed to and reliant on UK cleared derivatives have been mentioned in discussions.



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May: Irish backstop must be temporary

Last month, the Bank of England warned there was high risk of disruption to the EU financial system from both “cleared” and “uncleared” derivatives markets, while it said risks to the UK itself were low and declining.

The European Commission has acted on some concerns to say it will temporarily continue to recognise UK “central counterparties” even after a no-deal Brexit.

But officials have warned that the lack of detail means that contracts need to be closed or transferred from the UK before March 2019, a process that needs to start this month, now that the deal has not passed the House of Commons.

Furthermore, the European Commission indicated to the Bank of England that risks from “uncleared” derivatives would not be dealt with at EU level, and was being left to individual EU nations to handle.



Jacob Rees -Mogg names Boris Johnson as his favoured candidate to take over from Theresa May, should  contest ensue








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Rees-Mogg: I want Johnson to replace May

In a recent report, the Bank of England concluded: “The movement of a large volume of contracts in a short time frame would be costly to, and disrupt the derivatives positions of, EU businesses and could strain capacity in the derivatives market.”

An EU source told Sky News: “We have not dealt with it yet but we have the mechanisms.”

The European Commission is waiting to ramp up no-deal preparations at the EU summit this week.

Sky News understands an emergency implementing act is being prepared for the EU Council and Parliament to consider as soon as next week.

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One dead in French Christmas market shooting

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One person has died and three people are seriously injured after shots were fired at a Christmas market in Strasbourg.

Just after 7pm on Tuesday gun shots were heard at the market in Place Kleber, in the centre of the city in eastern France.

Police armed with machine guns were seen running into the square moments later and it was evacuated.

Emmanuel Foulon, a press officer for the European Parliament, which is based in the city, said there was panic and everyone got to the ground in restaurants around the square.

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