Hello. Here’s your morning briefing:
Airport expansion inches closer
The question of whether to expand Heathrow Airport has dogged successive governments. Today, the construction of a third runway will get a step closer, with senior ministers set to give what amounts to outline planning permission. Once they do, the rest of the cabinet must give it the nod before it goes to the Commons for a vote.
Most ministers have accepted the recommendations of a review into airport capacity that expanding Heathrow offered the greatest economic benefits – despite environmental concerns. Not all of them though – Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, you might remember, once vowed to lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop it.
The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg thinks that while the government doesn’t have a majority, it can expect to get the vote through, despite an inevitable rumpus among backbench Tory MPs. It will champion it as evidence of “look, we are getting on with things, it’s not just Brexit!” she says.
It’s another day in the spotlight for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who endured a bruising session in the Commons yesterday over the recent rail chaos. Blows came from both sides of the House, but Labour took it further by calling for him to resign.
Comedian Michael McIntyre has been robbed by two men on a moped while he waited in his car outside his children’s school in north west London. According to reports, they smashed his car windows with a hammer before taking his watch and speeding off. McIntyre is said to be fine. No arrests have so far been made.
President v players, continued
Donald Trump has cancelled a visit to the White House by Super Bowl-winning football team the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, the president disinvited the National Basketball Association champions, the Golden State Warriors.
It’s the latest salvo in the row over protests by some players against police brutality, which saw them kneel during the national anthem at the start of games. The president has been highly critical of the protests, calling them “disgraceful” and unpatriotic. He also called for players to be fired.
The National Football League recently decreed that players must stand during the anthem, but what else are Americans in general expected to do? This piece explains. Our correspondent Anthony Zurcher has also tried to work out why Donald Trump has picked this particular fight.
What lies beneath?
By Mark Easton, home editor, BBC News
Beneath the veneer of national identity, England is an elaborate tapestry of allegiances and rivalries. For centuries, bureaucrats have drawn lines on the map without understanding the invisible ley lines of belonging that criss-cross the English countryside. There are deep loyalties to ancient counties, proud cities and towns, even legendary kingdoms. The survey for The English Question, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind ever conducted, reveals something of these hidden ties and bonds.
What the papers say
There is shock in the papers at revelations coming out of the Grenfell inquiry. The Guardian says a “litany of fire safety failures” has already been revealed. “Why weren’t they told to get out?” asks the Daily Star. According to the Times, the stay-put policy is still in place at more than 10 tower blocks close to Grenfell. The continuing chaos on some rail lines also provokes anger. The Daily Mirror says it shows the rail network should be renationalised, but the Daily Mail disagrees, describing British Rail, at its worst, as “filthy, erratic and strike-ridden”. The cartoonist Matt – in the Daily Telegraph – finds humour in adversity. He shows a commuter on a crowded platform on the phone to his wife: “Hello darling,” he tells her. “I’m coming home by train. You should re-marry and try to forget me.”
Petrol price May saw the biggest monthly rise in at least 18 years
Online privacy Apple plans to “shut down” tools used by Facebook to track users
Womb transplant First UK operation set to take place this year
Liverpool Much-maligned goalkeeper “had concussion”
If you see one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
10:00 The Director of Public Prosecutions and the CPS give evidence to MPs after failings in the disclosure of evidence in criminal cases.
On this day
1963 Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigns, admitting he lied to Parliament about his relationship with a call girl