The Catch-up: How bad is the UK heatwave?

Today is the hottest-ever July day in the UK and the second hottest day since records began, forecasters have confirmed. The mercury hit 38.1C in Cambridge and 37.7C at Kew Gardens in south-west London and Writtle in Essex, Met Office figures show. It is possible that the all-time UK record of 38.5C (101.3F) recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003, could be broken.

How bad is it?

The heat is causing huge issues for commuters as rail companies reduce speed limits amid fears that tracks could buckle in the heat if trains travel too fast. Passengers in the south-east have been told to avoid travelling if possible.

Doctors are warning that few lessons have been learned from last year’s heatwave, and few hospitals are prepared for the impact of intense heat. Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said NHS employees were “struggling” and “overheated and exhausted staff” were at greater risk of making errors.

Other parts of Europe have been hit even harder. Paris has beaten its all-time heat record, hitting 40.6C. Officials in Belgium said the nation has seen temperatures rise past the 40C mark for the first time since records were kept in 1833. The German weather service also announced a new record temperature of 41.5C, breaching the previous high set earlier in the day.

Read more:

Heat records broken in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands (Sky News)

Rush-hour commuters demand air-conditioning in 'sauna-like' conditions (Evening Standard)

Why does hot weather cause travel chaos? (Yahoo News UK)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he will table a motion of no-confidence when appropriate to do so, highlighting Britain "deserves" a general election. How would you feel about another general election? Read the full story and have your say below:

Identity of teen who killed girl, 14, can be revealed

A teenager found guilty of raping and murdering a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Wolverhampton can be named for the first time. Ayman Aziz, now 17 and who is being identified for the first time after reporting restrictions were lifted, subjected Viktorija Sokolova to a two-hour attack before dumping her body on a bench. He was found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court in February and jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years. His lawyers argued lifting reporting restrictions would have an adverse effect on Aziz's rehabilitation. But on Thursday, judges at the Court Of Appeal rejected this. Read the full story here (Yahoo News UK)

Johnson vows to ditch backstop and scale up no-deal plans

Boris Johnson has reiterated his pledge to ditch the Irish backstop while scaling up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, as he used his first parliamentary outing as prime minister to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK. Johnson outlined to a noisy Commons his vision of a post-Brexit UK in 2050 as “the greatest and most prosperous economy in Europe”. He repeated promises given to seek from the EU the removal of the backstop insurance policy for the Irish border, which Brussels has dismissed as impossible, as part of a new withdrawal agreement. Pledging to pull Britain out of Europe on 31 October, Johnson said he had told Michael Gove to focus on preparing for a no-deal Brexit. Read the full story here (The Guardian)

A French inventor has failed in his bid to cross the English Channel on a hoverboard, French media said. Franky Zapata missed a landing platform mounted on a boat as he tried to land midway for refuelling and fell into the water. (Press Association Video)

12,500 jobs

Japanese car giant Nissan has said it will cut more than double the amount of jobs around the world it previously announced. The company will slash production by 10% and the job cull represents about 9% of its global workforce. Nissan said 14 sites would be affected but it was not immediately clear whether there would be any impact on its factory in Sunderland - Britain's biggest car plant - where it employs 7,000 people. (Sky News) (Yahoo Finance UK)