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Trump ‘tried to halt FBI’s inquiry’

Donald Trump’s problems over alleged links between his ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia have got worse. US media report that the president asked former FBI director James Comey to end an inquiry into the subject.

Mr Comey is the man Mr Trump sacked last week. “I hope you can let this go,” Mr Trump reportedly told him after a White House meeting in February, the day after Mr Flynn resigned. But the White House denies the report.

So, how bad is this for Mr Trump? Senior fellow Republican John McCain has reportedly said this is now a scandal of “Watergate size and scale”. But, says BBC Washington reporter Anthony Zurcher, Mr McCain is something of a “wild card” in the party.

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Union boss ‘can’t see Labour winning’

He’s one of Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest allies, but Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, has said he is “not optimistic” about Labour’s chances of winning the general election. In an interview with Politico, he adds that “things can happen” but “I don’t see Labour winning”. Mr Corbyn has said his party’s manifesto provides “hope and genuine opportunity” for all.

Lib Dems promise ‘brighter future’

It’s the turn of the Liberal Democrats to launch their manifesto, with party leader Tim Farron pledging to give young people more help to get on in life. He’ll promise to restore housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds, along with providing more help to buy a home and a discounted bus pass for 16 to 21-year-olds.

Cities ‘need hedges rather than trees’

Trees are often planted in cities to improve air quality, but research suggests hedges might be better at soaking up toxins at street level, reducing people’s direct exposure. So, more should be planted at the edges of pavements (where they’re wide enough, of course), it’s suggested.

Analysis: Hunting the cyber-attackers

By Gordon Corera, security correspondent

The code behind the attack might have been damaging but it was not actually that complex. Nothing, for instance, on the scale of Stuxnet (developed by the US and Israel) which targeted Iran’s nuclear programme and took years of development.

Read Gordon’s full article

What the papers say

Fleet Street reacts to Tuesday’s Labour manifesto launch, with the Daily Mail accusing leader Jeremy Corbyn of planning to “bankrupt Britain”, and the i calling his policies the “most radical” from the party since the 1980s. Several newspapers express outrage over Moors Murderer Ian Brady’s request to have his ashes spread on Saddleworth Moor, near Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Daily digest

Brady warning – Killer’s ashes must not be scattered on moor, says coroner

‘Fat but fit’ – Idea a medical myth, say experts

‘End period poverty’ – Greens promise free sanitary products for people who can’t afford them

‘Panda eyes a put-off’ – Beauty sleep a real thing, Swedish experiment suggests

If you watch one thing today

My choice between faith and sport

If you listen to one thing today

Dams threaten life-giving river

If you read one thing today

How does Syria’s war look from space?

Today’s lookahead

09:30 UK unemployment statistics are released, as are details of average earnings.

11:00 The hair rollers and headscarf worn by actress Jean Alexander when she played Hilda Ogden in ITV’s Coronation Street are up for auction in her home town of Southport.

14:00 French President Emmanuel Macron announces his first cabinet.

On this day

1916 British Summer Time – advancing clocks one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time to ensure more sunlight during evenings – is introduced.

1943 The RAF’s “Dambusters” bombing raid on the Ruhr valley, Germany’s industrial heartland, takes place.

From elsewhere

Life as a flight attendant since the United debacle (Independent)

Inside a high school training future teachers (The Atlantic)

A botanist in Swedish Lapland (New York Times)

Ten TV shows without a duff episode (Esquire)