Friday morning UK news briefing: Britain to send 8,000 troops to Eastern Europe – The Telegraph

Also from this morning's Front Page newsletter: Top civil servant defends home working amid Passport Office chaos. Sign up below
Britain is sending 8,000 troops to Eastern Europe in one of the largest deployments since the Cold War.
Tanks, artillery guns, armoured assault vehicles and aircraft are also being sent to bolster Nato forces, in what Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, described as a "show of solidarity and strength". 
The deployment, intended as a "deterrence of Russian aggression", came on the day a former British soldier became the first UK national confirmed to have been killed in the war in Ukraine. 
Scott Sibley, 36, an ex-Royal Marine, is thought to have died in Russian shelling in Mykolaiv, in the south of the country. 
In a tribute, his former regiment said he had "showed Commando spirit until the end" while the devoted father was praised as the "bravest person" by friends and family.
Russia fired missiles into the centre of Kyiv as the head of the United Nations visited the city for talks with Volodymyr Zelensky. 
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of the capital, said two targets had been hit in the central Shevchensky district, including an apartment building, on Thursday evening. 
At least 10 people were injured in the attack. Our live blog has rolling updates
It has also emerged that Mr Zelensky refused to be evacuated from his compound in Kyiv even as Russian assassination squads parachuted into the capital and tried to storm the building to kill him. 
Read the account of the start of the war from a presidential adviser.
One of the country’s most senior civil servants has put himself at odds with the Government over working from home by issuing a public statement in support of the beleaguered head of the Passport Office. Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office, said that where the Passport Office’s director-general worked had "precisely zero bearing" on the crisis engulfing her organisation. The Telegraph disclosed on Wednesday that Abi Tierney, the £160,000-a-year Passport Office boss, has been working from home in Leicestershire, 100 miles from its headquarters in London, as well as from satellite offices around the country. It comes as it emerged a French call centre company behind the passport office chaos also runs the helplines for Britain’s much-criticised refugee schemes. Judith Woods outlines why the Passport Office fiasco shows the public sector treats us with contempt.
A dog may well be for life, not just for Christmas, but how long that life is depends very much on the breed, according to a new study. Jack Russell terriers have the longest life expectancy, living for almost 13 years on average. It is almost three times as long as some of the ultra-trendy, flat-faced dogs favoured by social media fashionistas. The Royal Veterinary College analysed data from more than 30,000 dogs in Britain that died between 2016 and mid-2020, and calculated the average life expectancy at birth. Read this guide to the longest – and shortest – living breeds.
Pornography scandal | The chief whip is under pressure to name and suspend the Tory MP accused of watching pornography in the Commons amid growing outcry from party figures. Chris Heaton-Harris has chosen not to immediately discipline the MP, who has not been named, despite two female Tory MPs making the accusation on Tuesday night. Suzanne Moore examines why men have started watching porn in public.
The premier of the British Virgin Islands has been arrested on drug charges after a sting operation by agents from the US posing as Mexican cartel members. Andrew Fahie was detained in Miami over an alleged conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering. Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, has said she was "appalled" by the allegations. Mr Fahie was arrested at Miami Opa-locka airport alongside Oleanvine Maynard, manager director of the British Virgin Islands port authority. Read what happened when they met undercover agents.
Cristiano Ronaldo was at it again, providing the one ray of light in this darkest of campaigns for Manchester United. They were completely out-played by Chelsea but the 37-year-old scored from United’s only real chance – while Chelsea should have scored five during the draw at Old Trafford. Roy Keane described Manchester United’s players as "shot to pieces, mentally and physically" before then questioning beleaguered interim manager Ralf Rangnick combining a formalised consultancy role at United with the job of Austria manager. Meanwhile, West Ham face an uphill battle to keep their Europa League final dream alive after losing to Eintracht Frankfurt, while Leicester City set up tantalising second-leg with Roma after a fightback in the inaugural Europa Conference League.
Amazon has suffered its slowest growth for two decades, knocking $150bn (£120bn) off its value, as the pandemic internet shopping boom ground to a halt. The online retail giant said revenues rose by 7pc in the first three months of the year to $116.4bn. This was the slowest growth since 2001, in the aftermath of the dotcom bubble. It also revealed its first loss since 2015, as costs soared and it took a heavy hit on its investment in the electric carmaker Rivian. Read the challenges the company is grappling with, that led to shares falling almost 10pc.
Sri Lankan-spiced chicken with pumpkin | A creamy and richly-spiced dish inspired by Sri Lanka from Diana Henry. View the recipe and try our Cookbook newsletter for more ideas.
Deciding on which is the world’s best city is a notoriously divisive task. To settle the matter once and for all, our Travel team undertook a comprehensive research study using scientific methodology to whittle down 50 destinations to a top 10 – with one coming out on top.
The day my dream came true | With a demanding tap-dancing routine, requiring great technical skill and huge stamina, ‘Anything Goes’ has received five-star reviews. Boudicca Fox-Leonard plucked up the courage to dust off her tap shoes and join the cast.
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