Monday evening news briefing: Rafah offensive will bring ‘severe consequences’, warns Iran

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Good evening. The Iranian foreign minister has warned an offensive on Rafah will result in “severe consequences” for Israel.

Elsewhere, a poll has shown that the Conservatives could lose more than half of the 100 most rural seats in England at this year’s election.

Today’s trivia: Abraham Lincoln was born on this day but in what year?

Rafah offensive will bring ‘severe consequences’, warns Iran

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s comments come amid reports of a looming Israeli ground invasion in the highly populated southern Gaza city. Meanwhile Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, cautioned that Israel should “stop and think” before taking any further action in Rafah.

Tories ‘could lose more than half of England’s 100 most rural seats’

The survey showed that Labour holds a lead in the polls in the seats which have traditionally formed Conservative heartlands. While the Conservatives currently hold 96 of the 100 seats, an analysis of the poll suggested that if the numbers were repeated at the election they may win just 43.

Next-gen warships will need half the crew of current vessels

The next generation of British frigates will be crewed by as few as 50 sailors amid a recruitment crisis at the Royal Navy, according to defence contractor Babcock. It comes as the armed forces battle recruitment shortages, with the Navy reportedly considering plans to mothball two amphibious assault ships owing to a lack of personnel.

Evening Briefing: Today’s essential headlines

Andrew Rosindell | A Conservative MP who was arrested over allegations of rape, sexual assault and misconduct in public office will face no further action by the Metropolitan Police.

Comment and analysis

Tom Harris | Labour’s anti-Semitism problem hasn’t gone away

Stephen Davies | Liberal elites – not Trump – will bring Nato to its knees

Lucy Burton | The tide has turned in bosses’ battle against working from home

Bryony Gordon | Can we blame kids for wanting a phone when we’re so attached to ours?

Telegraph view | Inheritance tax rules should not punish green farmers

World news: Russia will invade Baltics if it receives Ukrainian land, says ex-Georgia president

Vladimir Putin will strike Moldova and the Baltic States if he is given Ukrainian land in exchange for peace, Georgia’s imprisoned former president has warned.

Feature of the day

The drowned village that turned the Welsh against the English

Modern Welsh nationalism can be traced to the sorry tale of Capel Celyn, wiped from the map to provide drinking water for Liverpool.

Business news: Britain’s workforce crisis deepens as one in five employers struggle to fill roles

New figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development show that 21pc of firms expect to encounter significant hiring issues over the next six months, while one in 10 said they plan to reduce headcount.

Live markets news: German exit from EU ‘would ruin economy’

Editor’s choice

Inflation | Why now might be the time to ditch your ‘Liz Truss mortgage’

Health | The countries that are beating obesity – and what we can learn from them

Money | My partner and I quit London for rural France - then split up

Sport briefing: Today’s essential headlines

Alan Tyers | Match of the Day proves it will survive without Gary Lineker

Twickenham | Frustrated England fans demand refund after surprise alcohol-free trial

Louis Rees-Zammit | ‘I want to win the Super Bowl in next five years’ after quitting rugby

Brian Moore | I understand Steve Borthwick’s messages about England – I just do not believe them

Wayne Barnes | Referees performed well at weekend – but static kicking exchanges need looking at

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