Thursday night UK news briefing: today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

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The big question is whether the government can afford to pay fair wages to public sector workers and live up to its manifesto obligations, especially to retirees.

Former Tory chancellor Lord Hammond has said the party should review its long-term commitment to the triple lock of the state pension, saying it is “hard to justify”.

Still, he expects the government to stick to the triple lock and agree to increase benefits in line with inflation in its fall statement on Nov. 17.

Ben Wilkinson says Britain cannot have both the triple lock and a pay rise for nurses.

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New train strikes

Meanwhile, train drivers from 12 operators will go on strike on Nov. 26 in their long-running wage dispute, Aslef has announced.

The union says it is still waiting for a wage offer for members, despite a series of talks.

These are the train companies that will be affected.

The news came as Tube strikes caused travel chaos across London today.

John Leach, deputy secretary general of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, warned commuters that future strikes are to be expected.

With the cost of the strikes estimated at £14 million, read how the underground strikes are slowing Britain’s recovery – and speeding up driverless trains.

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Prolonged illness

The number of people working from home is expected to increase to avoid the travel disruption. However, this causes its own problems.

Working from home is fueling a rise in long-term illness, as awkward desk arrangements spark a spate of back and neck problems, official statisticians have suggested.

Between April and June of this year, some 262,000 people were unemployed due to neck and back pain — a 30 percent increase from before the pandemic.

Commentary and analysis

World news: Russia ‘turns Kherson into death trap’

Russia plans to turn the city of Kherson into a death trap, a senior adviser to the Ukrainian president warned today. Russian troops are mining “everything” as they retreat from the city and plan to shell it from the other side of the Dnipro River, turning it into a “city of death,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter. Moscow yesterday ordered its troops to withdraw from the city in southern Ukraine, but Ukraine and its allies remain cautious about the announcement. Read on for the latter.

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Thursday interview

Remains of ‘our relatives’ are still in Moscow, stored in Tupperware’