Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 13 Mar 2017

1. Brexit: 'Article 50 likely to be triggered this week'

There is a 50-50 chance Theresa May will trigger Article 50 this week, starting the formal process of Brexit, an unnamed government source told Sky News. The EU (notification of withdrawal) bill returns to the Commons today and ministers believe MPs will reject amendments made by the Lords last week, giving the PM the power to start legal proceedings.

Brexit: Theresa May says ‘trust me’ to deliver

2. Islamic State fighters in Mosul 'will die'

A senior US official has warned Islamic State fighters left in Mosul that they will die there. Brett McGurk, who is in charge of the US-backed offensive by Iraqi troops, said the last road out of the city had now been cut off. It is thought there are as many as 600,000 civilians trapped in IS-controlled parts of the city.

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3. Met Police appeals John Worboys rape ruling

The Metropolitan Police is appealing a High Court ruling saying it breached the human rights of two rape victims by failing to apprehend taxi driver John Worboys, who was jailed in 2009 for more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults. The Met says the ruling sets a dangerous precedent.

4. Rail workers hold one-day strike

Rail workers in the north of England are on strike today as the dispute between the RMT union and operators over the shift to driver-only trains spreads. As many as 2,000 staff are thought to have downed tools at both Merseyrail and Northern Rail. More than half of services were expected to be cancelled. Southern rail staff are also on strike.

5. Syria: 2016 deadliest year for children, says Unicef

Last year was the worst year yet of the Syrian conflict for children, says Unicef, with at least 652 dying, an increase of 20% on 2015. The figures are only for formally verified deaths and actual numbers could be much worse. "The depth of suffering is unprecedented," said Geert Cappelaere, Unicef regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

6. Rents down for first time in six years

Average rents were £5 lower in February than in the same month last year, the first annual fall since 2011, according to Countrywide estate agent. It says the buying frenzy in properties for the rental market, triggered by an increase in stamp duty last year, created extra capacity which has lowered the average rent to £921 a month.

7. Madeleine McCann investigation to continue

Police have been given an extra £85,000 to continue their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann for six months. The Home Office confirmed the search, known as Operation Grange and led by detectives from the Metropolitan Police, will continue until September. A total of £11.1m has been spent on the search for the toddler.

What happened to Madeleine McCann? A timeline of the case

8. Nicola Sturgeon to request second referendum

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to request a second referendum on Scottish independence, which she says is needed to protect the country's interests after Brexit. The vote could be held next year, which would coincide with the conclusion of the UK's negotiations with the EU. Theresa May accused the SNP of "tunnel vision".

Scottish independence: Is IndyRef2 'dead' after election losses?

9. Boaty McBoatface to make her maiden voyage

Unmanned submarine Boaty McBoatface makes her maiden voyage today, helping map the movement of deep waters in the Antarctic which regulate the Earth's climate. She was named after a competition to let the public vote on the name of a new polar research ship backfired. While the original boat became the Sir David Attenborough, a compromise deal saw the sub take on the public's choice of title.

Boaty McBoatface sets sail on Antarctica mission

10. Briefing: Who is Geert Wilders?

Few politicians are receiving as much media coverage - or stirring up as much controversy – in the Netherlands as Party for Freedom (PVV) leader and founder Geert Wilders. The anti-Islamic, anti-EU MP is riding high in the polls, but will his campaign of outrage end in success?

Geert Wilders: Who is the far-right Dutch politician?

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