In the headlines
The state pension is set to rise by 8.5% in April, in line with average earnings, on top of a 10% increase earlier this year. Under the increasingly controversial “triple lock”, the payouts rise by whichever is highest out of inflation, earnings or 2.5%. At least 3,000 people are feared dead in Libya, and 10,000 missing, after a powerful storm unleashed devastating floods in the eastern city of Derna. Intense rainfall led to the collapse of two ageing dams, says The Guardian, releasing a fast-moving river that “simply washed away at least one neighbourhood”. Deadly red fire ants could be on their way to Britain, bug boffins have warned, after the invasive species was spotted in Europe for the first time. Solenopsis invicta, which has a sting so powerful it can cause anaphylaxis, was found in Syracuse, Sicily, having likely arrived from China or the US.