5 O’clock Round Up

The everybody’s favourite grandad Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years.

The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of “much of the natural world”.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement.

Sir David said: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

The TV legend is taking up the “People’s Seat” at the conference, called COP24. He is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.

“The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now,” he said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said climate change was already “a matter of life and death” for many countries.

He explained that the world is “nowhere near where it needs to be” on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

But the UN Secretary-General said the conference was an effort to “right the ship” and he would convene a climate summit next year to discuss next steps.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change.


The UK will not be able to “unilaterally” quit the EU’s customs rules under the Irish backstop, the UK’s chief law officer has said.

But Geoffrey Cox said the so-called backstop was meant to be temporary arrangement and it was a “political question” as to when it would end.

It comes after Mr Cox published an overview of his legal advice on Brexit.

Ministers are under pressure to publish the full advice, with Labour warning of a “constitutional crisis”.

The prime minister says the advice is confidential, but some MPs think ministers do not want to admit it says the UK could be indefinitely tied to EU customs rules.

In a Commons statement, Mr Cox said he “strongly believed” the Commons would pass the Brexit deal – but it was a “political decision that each one of us must make” not a legal one.

Sam Gyimah, who quit the government on Friday, said releasing the full advice was “key to restoring trust in politics”.

MPs voted last month to require the government to lay before Parliament “any legal advice in full”.


The man who murdered midwife Samantha Eastwood went to his parents’ house for dinner with her dead body in his van, a sentencing hearing was told.

Michael Stirling, 32, admitted killing Ms Eastwood, from Stoke-on-Trent, after three-year affair.

He buried the 28-year-old in a shallow grave with tape around her head at Caverswall, Staffordshire, in August, eight days after she went missing.

Stirling was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years in jail for her murder.

Ms Eastwood was last seen leaving her work at Royal Stoke University Hospital on the morning of 27 July.

She was “smothered and strangled to death” by Stirling at her home hours later.

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