Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 26 Mar 2017

1. Westminster attacker 'acted alone' say police

Police believe the Westminster attacker Khalid Masood acted alone and say that there is "no information or intelligence" to suggest there are further attacks planned. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu added: "There is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him.” Investigators say the Westminster attack lasted only 82 seconds.

2. EU migrants are to keep benefits after Brexit

EU migrants in Britain will continue to be paid child benefit after Brexit, reports The Sunday Times. In a development that sees another Tory manifesto broken, ministers have been warned that the withdrawal of child benefit from EU migrants already here would undermine the health and pension rights of British pensioners in Spain and Brits living elsewhere in the EU when Brexit negotiations start.

3. Iraq pauses Mosul operation after civilian bloodbath

Iraq has suspended its drive to recapture west Mosul from Islamic State amid international fury over the civilian toll from airstrikes that killed at least 150 people. Last week’s assault is thought to have been one of the deadliest bombing raids for civilians since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. A coalition spokesman did not rule out the possibility of British involvement in the deadly raid.

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4. Ukip 'relief' as Douglas Carswell votes leave

Ukip's Douglas Carswell is quitting the party to become an independent MP. Nigel Farage, the party’s former leader, recently called on Carswell to quit, accusing him of "actively working against UKIP". Current leader Paul Nuttall said UKIP members will "initially be angry, with a sense of betrayal, but soon they will be breathing a sigh of relief". Carswell, Ukip's only MP, says he is leaving "amicably".

5. 'Gas explosion' destroys buildings in Merseyside

A gas explosion has destroyed a number of buildings and injured 34 people on the Wirral in Merseyside. The North West Ambulance service says 32 people are "walking wounded" and received treatment in hospital for minor injuries, with two people more seriously hurt. A furniture warehouse and a dance studio were destroyed in the blast, with a nearby funeral parlour damaged.

6. Union candidate slams McCluskey's backing of Corbyn

The man challenging Len McCluskey for command of Unite, Britain’s biggest union, says backing Jeremy Corbyn will condemn Labour to "electoral disaster". Writing for The Sunday Times, Gerard Coyne says McCluskey and his comrades are pursuing a "pointless cause" by helping bankroll the Labour leader. Coyne says that the Labour Party is in "a pitiful state under its current leadership".

7. Confectionary controversy as Mars shrinks pack sizes again

Mars is shrinking the pack size of products including Maltesers, M&M’s and Minstrels by up to 15%. The controversial move is the latest example of food manufacturers either increasing prices or shrinking pack sizes – a trend described as "shrinkflation". It comes as the cost of ingredients and transport rise. Last autumn, packs of Maltesers shrank from 121g to 103g.

8. Panic as car ploughs into revellers in Islington

Londoners were "knocked over like dominoes" when a car ploughed into revellers queuing for a pub in Islington. Two men and one woman were injured before the driver and passenger whizzed off then got out and fled on foot. Police arrested the two men on suspicion of GBH with intent and of possession of points and blades. Officers found one knife on the pavement and one knife in the car.

9. Cheryl and Liam welcome a baby boy

Pop singer and former X Factor judge Cheryl has given birth to a baby boy. Revealing the news on her Instagram page, the 33-year-old said that she and One Direction's Liam Payne had welcomed the new arrival on Wednesday. She wrote: "On Wednesday 22nd March Liam and I became parents to an incredibly beautiful, healthy baby boy, weighing 7lb 9 and looking like a dream.”

10. Hong Kong elects its first female chief executive

Hong Kong has elected its first female leader. Carrie Lam, who had the backing of the Chinese government in Beijing and was widely expected to win, promised to uphold Hong Kong's "core values" such as "inclusiveness, freedoms of the press and of speech, respect for human rights" and the rule of law. She took 777 votes, with her closest rival garnering just 365.

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