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7.5 magnitude earthquake triggers tsunami warning for Russia



A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Russia’s far eastern Kuril Islands on Wednesday, prompting a tsunami warning for the closest shores.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 136 miles south-southeast of Severo on the Kuril chain north of Japan. It was 37 miles deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 620 miles of the quake’s epicenter.

It said earthquakes of this strength in the past have caused tsunamis far from the epicentre, and the US National Tsunami Warning Centre was analysing the event to determine the level of danger.

The US National Tsunami Warning Centre also still was analyzing the event to determine the level of danger for Alaska and the US West Coast.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was a stronger 7.8 magnitude and may cause a slight change of sea levels around Japanese coasts.





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Our pick of the 10 best ETFs for passive investors who want low-cost funds



3. SPDR S&P UK Dividend Aristocrats

The British stock market is one of the best in the world for dividends and this ETF aims to exploit this for income investors. It follows an S&P index that includes 39 companies. However, stocks must have increased or maintained dividends for at least seven years. This offers some protection from potential dividend cuts. It has a good record of matching market returns while yielding 4.1pc.

Ongoing charge: 0.3pc a year

4. Vanguard FTSE 250

This fund gives investors a chance to own Britain’s smaller but often faster-growing companies at a fraction of the cost of actively managed funds. It tracks the FTSE 250 index and has a great performance record, while its £2.6bn size means it is easy to trade.

Ongoing charge: 0.1pc a year

5. iShares Core S&P 500

This is the biggest ETF listed on the London market, with nearly £29bn in assets. The fund mimics the S&P 500 index, which covers around 80pc of the American stock market. 

Ms Hutchinson said the fund tended to return more than the index, thanks to tax arrangements. Because of its size it is incredibly cheap to own – it costs just 7p a year for every £100 invested.

Ongoing charge: 0.07pc a year

6. HSBC MSCI World

This is one of the cheapest ways for investors to get broad exposure to more than 1,500 companies across 23 different countries. It has more than £1bn in assets and is easy to buy. The fund is also very good at tracking the MSCI World index and occasionally returns more than the benchmark.

The fund excludes stocks involved in selling weapons banned by international treaties.

Ongoing charge: 0.15pc a year

7. SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats

Like its peer for British companies, this ETF owns stocks that have grown dividends in a sustainable and consistent way. Its criteria are stricter, with stocks having to show a 10-year record. 

The fund currently owns 98 companies and can choose from more than 46 countries. It yields 3.5pc but has returned less than the vanilla MSCI World index, owing to a lower allocation to the American market.

Ongoing charge: 0.45pc a year





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The best family board games for Christmas 2019



Peter Jenkinson is the UK’s leading board games journalist. His job takes him all over the world, attending toy fairs and board game expos. His expertise and ability to absorb rule books means that board game publishers often seek his input for their next potential best-seller.

No longer something you drag out of a dusty cupboard to banish Boxing Day boredom, board games are enjoying a mainstream renaissance. This year, we are truly spoilt for choice thanks to continued growth among smaller independent publishers and major innovation from more established board game makers.

Having attended a number of worldwide events devoted to board games over the past 12 months, it’s evident that an entirely new category has arrived on the scene too – shelf-worthy. These board games are so beautifully crafted, you’ll want to keep them on display even when they’re not being played. 

So here’s our new favourite games of 2019 – not too taxing on the grey matter but challenging enough to ensure they deliver on fun. Whether you’re looking for something high-tech, fast-paced or family-friendly, you’ll find it here. 

1. Bank Attack

 £20, Argos





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The genius who began Manchester United’s remarkable 4000-game streak of academy excellence 



Every one of the 279 youth team players that have been part of Manchester United’s matchday squad over the past 82 years has their own story to tell, and plenty of those will be regaled this weekend as the club prepares to reach an extraordinary milestone. 

Take Billy Garton, for example. His big break came one September night in 1984 in a League Cup tie against Burnley. Still only 19 and without a car, the former defender took his usual route to Old Trafford via the No. 58 bus from Ordsall Lane to Trafford Bar as he had done so often as a fan, sneaking in to watch the last 20 minutes of games when the gates were opened in the hope of a glimpse of his hero Martin Buchan.

Little could the man sat on that bus reading a newspaper carrying the back page headline, “Billy the Kid”, in reference to Garton’s promotion, have known that the subject of that story was looking eagerly over his shoulder and on the cusp of realising a lifelong dream. Boots stuffed in a plastic bag, Garton crossed the forecourt at Old Trafford unrecognised before slipping into the players’ entrance. He celebrated a 4-0 win with a pint in the Jubilee Pub on the Salford council estate where he had been raised. 

Everton’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday will mark the 4000th consecutive game in which at least one youth team graduate has been included in United’s first team squad, a run that predates the outbreak of the Second World War and one of which a club arguably more synonymous with youth production than any other are justifiably proud.

It is a storied history and culture, one of the most fabled in sports, a tale of constant renewal and an uncrushable spirit encapsulated by the way they rebuilt in the aftermath of Munich in 1958 when a plane crash destroyed a team of precious homegrown talents destined for greatness.





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Israel set for unprecedented third election amid political gridlock



Israel is heading towards an unprecedented third election in one year after both Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist rival failed to form a government and were unable to agree a deal for a unity coalition.

As a midnight deadline passed, there was no last-minute deal between the two sides and MPs instead voted through a bill to send Israelis to the polls for a third time in 11 months on March 2, 2020.

By a vote of 94 in favour to none opposed, lawmakers approved a motion dissolving parliament and setting the new election date.

Mr Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the leader of the centrist Blue & White party, blamed each other for what has become the worst stalemate in Israeli political history.

Mr Gantz said the prime minister was dragging the country into new elections to try to win a Right-wing majority which would grant him immunity from the criminal corruption charges he faces. He denies wrongdoing. 

“It now seems that we will be going into a third election cycle today because of Netanyahu’s attempt to obtain immunity,” Mr Gantz said. 

Mr Netanyahu said Mr Gantz and his allies had never seriously entered into negotiations on a unity government.

“It’s time that for one day, for the citizens of Israel, we sit and have a serious discussion about forming a broad unity government,” he said. 





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RNLI blames trapped tourists and beach selfies as call-outs double over festive period in four years



Tourists hunting beach selfies on perilous stretches of coast have helped fuel an almost doubling in call-outs to the RNLI over the festive period, it has been claimed. 

The lifeboat charity revealed it is now 600% busier over the Christmas break compared to 40 years ago – with launches also up from 85 in 2014 to 155 in 2018.

Rescue crews have reported the rise appears to be linked to the increasing number of people visiting the coast for a break, who are unfamiliar with the dangers they can face. 

While a common source of call-outs in the 1980s was embattled fishing vessels, lifeboats are now more likely to be deployed to tourists trapped by the tide, the charity said. 

It is believed the rise of social media may have inspired visitors to seek out beauty spots to serve as the backdrop for a family Christmas picture they can post online. 

However, although a large expanse of sand can be alluring as the setting for a festive selfie, the changing tide can leave areas of the beach impassable within minutes. 

“We believe more and more people are staying in the country in the festive period; more and more people are going to the seaside and are not aware of the dangers of the sea,” a spokesman for the RNLI told the Telegraph.

“We had a lot of wind recently and people know that the wind is dangerous, but on a calm winter’s day people think it is nice and safe, they walk around the headland and, figures reveal, there are a lot of people who are not necessarily in the water but are on a cliff edge, walking, something like that.

“With camera phones these days, people go out and want a nice Christmas Day picture, they want a nice family selfie (but find themselves in trouble). 

He added: “Even if you go back five years, cameras with selfies have since come in and then you’ve got all your Instagram and things for your best pictures – everyone has different means and motives for visiting the coast.” 

The RNLI is expecting this Christmas to be just as hectic for its volunteer crews and has launched a fundraising drive to help preserve its future.

Phil Eaglen, a volunteer for the crew in Wells, said: “The RNLI has experienced a shortfall in funds, but we are rescuing more people than ever before.”





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live score and latest goal updates from derby



No side likes to lose a derby. It’s a fierce battle for bragging rights (does anyone use that phrase other than in sport?!) which can see families divided and passions overflow. 

But this Manchester match up, the last of the decade, is for vastly different reasons a must-win for both Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

For the United manager it’s a case of simply trying to keep his job. 

It seems to happen that as soon as one club decide to sack their manager that a load follow suit. No sooner than Tottenham sacked Pochettino than Arsenal (Unai Emery), Waford (Quique Sánchez Flores) and Everton (Marco Silva) all followed suit within the next two weeks. Even by the standards of the bonkers Premier League owners – moneybags men who always want success yesterday – that’s some going. So for that reason alone Solskjaer needs a result at the Etihad today – sacking the boss is clearly the festive fashion this year and Ole will not want to add his name to the sorry list. 

United have made their worst start to a season since 1989 and with every defeat the death knells surrounding the Norwegian’s place in the dugout grow louder. A loss to their city rivals could be too much for a twitchy board to take.  





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Stranded strike passengers can make claims for hotel costs, South Western Railway confirms



The strikes began after talks between RMT and SWR broke down last week, over whether human guards should operate the opening and closing of train doors.

As the strike got underway passengers complained of “dangerously overcrowded” carriages and “scrums” ensuing as commuters struggled to board trains.

One passenger, Rachel Lonergan, tweeted SWR to say: “The train I was on this morning was dangerously overcrowded with fare-paying passengers feeling very unwell.”

Another, IT manager Karl Lawson, who is waiting for a knee replacement operation, spoke of how he had to bring a foldout chair to aid his commute.

The 59-year-old from Basingstoke said: “It has been very difficult. I need a knee replacement and cannot stand for more than half an hour.

“I had to bring my own chair even though I paid for a seat. I used it on the platform and on the train.

“It is a scrum to get to the train. There is no such thing as politeness. We were told there would be queues but everyone was just fighting to get on the train.”

Other passengers were also asking on social media whether they would be eligible for refunds on their season tickets during the strike.

During previous walkouts, such as on the Northern Rail lines, passengers have been able to claim back a day’s worth of fares if they did not travel due to strike action. 

SWR said that any season ticket holder wanting to make a claim should contact their customer services and those claims would also be “reviewed individually”.





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jiving Karim Zeroual scores first perfect 40 of the series while Anton du Beke notches his personal best 



Emma loves musicals and has played the West End in Chicago, so this should be right up her rue. Can she do Julie Andrews justice? It’s Anton’s first Charleston since 2016 with Lesley Joseph. An era-appropriate 1920s song, typing pool theme, red fringed flapper dress and bags of character. Full of bounce and plenty of that all-important swivel. She looks a little shaky in the lifts and understandably flags a tad towards the end, but big finish to a brilliant routine. 

Music: “Thoroughly Modern Millie” from, obviously, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Judges’ verdict: Shirley says “you just fast-tracked your way to the final, it was on-point and full of personality.” Bruno says “delicious, pitched perfectly, a high-class flapper.” Craig says “I do love a bit of swivel, darling, it can’t be denied, classic, classy, fab-ew-lous.” Motsi concludes “female-powered, hello Miss, well done”. 

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 for a total of 39 points. Her highest score and Anton’s too. He’s given himself a hernia on the balcony. Joint second with Kelvin.





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How New Zealand have embraced boutique cricket grounds



“You can’t go far wrong if you present your sport in a way that makes the TV viewer wish they were there in person,” says Jon Long, the former head of strategy at the ICC who now runs the consultancy Bayridge Sports. “For Test matches the boutique venues in New Zealand achieve that much more effectively than an empty Eden Park.”

New Zealand have increasingly embraced as much. With smaller grounds, the costs of hosting games are less; indeed, New Zealand came close to breaking even from the Bay Oval Test, whereas they lost far more money hosting England at Eden Park 18 months ago – even though 12,000 more people attended over the five days.

“The players love it – they prefer the intimacy,” says David White, the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket. “The feedback we’re receiving is that the public and fans also prefer the grass banks and the picnic atmosphere of these types of grounds.”

The lessons from New Zealand’s small ground success could be extended. South Africa, Sri Lanka and the UAE, Long suggests, are among the countries where similar grounds could be rolled out for most Test matches.





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