Tuesday morning news briefing: Hosepipe bans 'until October'

·6 min read
Tuesday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph
Tuesday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph

In many parts of Britain, it is hard to remember when it last rained and gardens are beginning to resemble dust bowls.

Now, it is official: the UK has had the longest stretch without rain for nearly 50 years. Swathes of the country have experienced the driest year since 1976, figures have shown, with hosepipe bans expected to last until October.

South east England has had 144 days with little or no rain since January, the most in nearly half a century, according to the Met Office.

A second heat health alert of the summer comes into effect from 6pm and extends into the weekend, with temperatures expected to rise into the mid-30s Celsius in central and southern areas.

Ministers are poised to declare an official drought this week ahead of a meeting on Friday between representatives from the Government, water companies and farmers. Declaring a drought would put pressure on water companies to bring in hosepipe bans.

Millions in the south east are already facing restrictions on water use. Is there a hosepipe ban in your area? Check the rules where you live.

Cartoonist Blower's take on the exceptionally dry conditions
Cartoonist Blower's take on the exceptionally dry conditions

Consumers are being asked to do their bit to reduce consumption, but what about water companies? It has emerged that firms are increasing efforts to find and fix leaks when a drought is looming – prompting accusations they are downgrading leaks and waiting until a crisis to act.

Some 2.4 billion litres of water are lost every day to leaks, about 20 per cent of all water use in the UK.

As environment editor Emma Gatten reports, both candidates for the Tory leadership have vowed to crack down on the water industry over its record on leaks.

FBI agents raid Donald Trump's Florida estate

The FBI has raided Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and broken into his safe in a stunning escalation of the legal scrutiny faced by the former US President.

Agents executed a search warrant, authorised by a judge, which appeared to be to do with boxes of documents containing classified information that Mr Trump brought with him to Florida when he left the White House.

There was outrage among Republicans, who accused Democrats of "weaponising" the justice system. As Nick Allen and Rozina Sabur report from the US, yesterday's raid was made public by Mr Trump in a lengthy statement.

In a separate development, a new book claims that Mr Trump asked why his generals could not be more like those who served Adolf Hitler.

World hopelessly devoted to Olivia Newton-John

For a time, it seemed as if the whole world was hopelessly devoted to Olivia Newton-John, the British-born star of Grease who died yesterday aged 73 after a long battle with breast cancer.

The singer, who moved to Australia as a child, died "peacefully" at her ranch in southern California surrounded by family and friends.

Music critic Neil McCormick looks back at a remarkable career for someone who projected such girl-next-door sweetness and general affability. And read her Telegraph obituary.

Daily dose of Matt

Matt is back and finds humour in Britain's hosepipe bans for today's cartoon. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at his work, sign up for his newsletter.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Cut-price crossings | A Channel migrants "summer sale" is contributing to a rise in crossings with people smugglers cutting prices by as much as 30 per cent or £1,500 per person, it has emerged. Social media adverts, found yesterday by The Telegraph, offer "bargain" prices and crossings on traffickers' small boats that have "never been cheaper". Charles Hymas and Dominic Penna report on the "promotions".

Around the world: British link to Russian weapons

British technology has been found in Russian weapons used against Ukraine, a report has found. Oscillators and crystals produced by Somerset-based Golledge Electronics have been built into Russian radars and missile systems. According to the Royal United Services Institute, the highly sophisticated components show Moscow's war machine is reliant on Western technology. Follow the latest in our live blog as heavy Russian shelling bombards front lines in the Donbas region

Emergency workers tend to a boy hit by shrapnel during shelling in Soledar - ANADOLU
Emergency workers tend to a boy hit by shrapnel during shelling in Soledar - ANADOLU

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: Man United make shock bid

Manchester United are pushing ahead with a surprise bid for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot and are considering a move to finally sign Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as they attempt to rescue a frustrating transfer window. As chief football correspondent Jason Burt reports, a fresh offer for another Italy-based player is also expected. In tennis, Emma Raducanu insists she is not feeling the pressure as she prepares to defend her US Open crown in less than three weeks.

Editor's choice

  1. Commonwealth Games review | Ozzy Osbourne's surprise appearance in show

  2. Secret charms of Slovenia | Offbeat appeal of Boris Johnson's honeymoon destination

  3. Dear Richard Madeley | 'I'm going to stay over at my ex's – should I tell my wife?'

Business briefing: Households cut holidays and dining

Families slashed their spending on holidays, shopping and going out in July as the economy is battered by the highest inflation in 40 years. New retail sales and card data indicated that spending is falling in real terms as Britain's biggest business lobby group called for action to help households. In the City, a major European investment bank is axing more than 5pc of employees in London as a recession chill hits.

Tonight's dinner

Pomodoro ripieni (tomatoes stuffed with rice) | A glorious dish by Diana Henry that can serve as a light supper or part of a spread.

Travel inspiration: Now is the time to visit Jamaica

Jamaica has long been the place where everything is alright – and today, as the island nation celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence, things have never been more so. Kaye Holland describes the people, beaches, food and music that make it unique as she suggests an itinerary.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Relaunching 007 | In 1989, cinemagoers saw James Bond as a relic – if they had heard of him at all. Then along came Pierce Brosnan to drive a tank over his legacy. Tom Fordy looks back at how GoldenEye made the world believe in Bond again.

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