Liam Williams Wednesday morning news briefing: Iran attacks US airbases in revenge

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Iran launches ‘revenge’ strikes on US troops in Iraq

More than a dozen rockets have been launched against US targets by Iran. Washington confirmed surface-to-surface missiles hit two Iraqi airbases where American and coalition forces are based. Here is everything we know about the revenge attacks that follow the Donald Trump-ordered killing of Iranian general Qassim Soleimani in Baghdad last week. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned Iran’s “reckless and dangerous attacks” – Iran’s most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the US Embassy in Tehran. It came after Iran branded the UK “a partner in crime” with Mr Trump. But the US claimed the attack Soleimani was allegedly plotting was just days from being launched when he was assassinated. Watch the moment some of the missiles struck and follow the latest confirmed updates in our liveblog.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 people crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital of Tehran overnight. There are no survivors on the Boeing 737. Video purports to show the plane in flames as it fell through the air before crashing to the ground and exploding. There is no confirmation the crash is linked to the Iran missile attacks. Follow the latest updates and view pictures from the crash site.

EU warning over rights for citizens after Brexit

The EU has warned Boris Johnson not to water down protections for its citizens living in the UK after Brexit, ahead of the first meeting between the Prime Minister and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Europe Editor Peter Foster can reveal that Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit chief negotiator, raised “issues of concern” in a letter to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay. Here is a reminder of what Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal involves. Meanwhile, the PM has ordered his Cabinet to locate and review wasteful projects across Whitehall, even if it means “slaughtering sacred cows”. And Jack Straw has warned Labour will be signing a “collective suicide note” if it elects a “continuity candidate” to replace Jeremy Corbyn, as moderates launched their fightback against Rebecca Long Bailey (who is also the focus of Matt‘s cartoon today).

Tuck in to pond scum and save the world

The green slime on the surface of stagnant water could feed the world. A Cambridge University academic has suggested micro-algae such as spirulina (otherwise known as pond scum) is an easy-to-grow protein substitute for meat and eggs. Prof Alison Smith believes it is a viable alternative if climate change makes land for farming more sparse. But Helena Horton reports warnings that the body finds it more difficult to absorb some of the nutrients than non-vegan alternatives.

News digest

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  • NHS attacks | Mixed mental health wards see 1,000 sex assaults

  • Children ‘let down’ | Ofsted attacks failure of 400 ‘stuck’ schools

  • Rolls-Royce | Car firm hits new heights by going bling – pictures

Gallery: The big picture

Back on the royal beat | The Duke and Duchess of Sussex step out for their first engagement following a six-week Christmas break in Canada, visiting the country’s High Commission in London to offer their thanks. View our picture editor’s choice of more of the best images of the day.

<span>A royal aide said the couple were feeling'energised and excited'</span><span>Credit: GEOFF PUGH for The Telegraph</span>

A royal aide said the couple were feeling ‘energised and excited’Credit: GEOFF PUGH for The Telegraph


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  • Alan Cochrane | We need a union of Unionists to beat SNP

  • Rowan Pelling | Crackerjack is best kept as

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