The patter of tiny feet is coming to Downing Street.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed Saturday that he and his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, are engaged to be married and expecting a baby in the early summer.
A wedding date wasn't announced.
Johnson, 55, and Symonds, 31, made history as the first unmarried couple to openly live together at the British prime minister's official London residence when they moved in last year.
Symonds, a conservationist and former communications chief for the Conservative Party, which Johnson now leads, was romantically linked to Johnson when Theresa May still served as prime minister.
Johnson has four children with his second wife, Marina Wheeler, a lawyer he married in 1993. They announced their separation in September 2018 and said they planned to divorce. Johnson has fathered at least one other child.
The wives of two of the last four British prime ministers, David Cameron and Tony Blair, had babies while their husbands were in office.
Britain laid out its opening demands for the upcoming trade talks with the European Union on Thursday, including a blunt threat to walk away from the negotiating table if there is no progress within four months.
The two sides appear headed for a rocky first round of negotiations as they try to forge a new relationship following the U.K.'s departure from the now 27-nation bloc.
Britain and the EU both say they want to reach a free trade agreement, but have starkly divergent views on how it should be overseen and what constitutes fair competition between their two economies.
The EU says Britain must agree to follow the bloc's rules in areas ranging from state aid to environmental protections, and give European boats access to U.K. fishing waters, if the two sides are to strike a good deal.
But the U.K. is demanding the right to diverge from the bloc's rules in order to strike new trade agreements around the world that it thinks will bolster the British economy.
"In pursuit of a deal we will not trade away our sovereignty," Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit preparations, told lawmakers in the House of Commons.
"We will not be seeking to dynamically align with EU rules on EU terms, governed by EU laws and EU institutions."
Britain's negotiating mandate insists that "we will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EU's, or for the EU's institutions, including the Court of Justice, to have any jurisdiction in the U.K."
That conflict will be one of the big hurdles in talks, which are due to begin Monday in Brussels. Fishing is likely to be another flashpoint. EU nations — especially France — want Britain to grant European fishing boats long-term access to U.K. waters. Britain wants to negotiate fishing quotas annually.
Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 but remains bound by the bloc's rules until a post-Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31. A divorce agreement between the two sides allows for the transition to be extended for two more years, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists he will not agree to that.
Johnson's Conservative government says the U.K. will be leaving the bloc's structures — including its single market for trade in goods and services — as of Jan. 1, 2021.
Britain hopes by then to have a trade agreement with the bloc similar to the one struck between the EU and Canada. Such a deal would eliminate tariffs and quotas on trade and goods, but it's less clear what it would mean for the services sector that makes up four-fifths of Britain's economy. The U.K. also aspires to strike side agreements in areas including fisheries, law enforcement and judicial cooperation.
The British government is warning businesses that no matter what happens there will be new barriers to trade between Britain and the EU, which currently accounts for almost half of U.K. trade. Even with a free trade deal there will be new border checks and customs forms to fill out.
The EU-Canada deal also took years to strike — now the two sides have just months.
Britain's negotiating guidelines insist that there is "limited, but sufficient time" to get an agreement. The document says a "broad outline" of an agreement should be done by June. It warns that if there is not sufficient progress by then, the U.K. could walk away and focus on "domestic preparations to exit the transition period in an orderly fashion."
Britain's tough talk is unlikely to impress EU negotiators, who already accuse Johnson of trying to water down commitments Britain made in the divorce deal that paved the way for the country's seamless departure on Jan. 31. That withdrawal agreement dealt with three broad issues — citizens' rights after Brexit, Britain's liabilities after 47 years of membership and the need to keep people and goods flowing freely across the border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.
The two sides have agreed to maintain an open border by keeping Northern Ireland aligned to EU rules even if the rest of the U.K. diverges. But recent comments by Johnson's government seeming to downplay the significance of that agreement have set off alarm bells among EU leaders.
Behind the hard rhetoric, the two sides do have room for agreement. Britain has promised it won't undercut the EU by lowering standards on environmental protection, food hygiene or workers' rights.
But it won't agree to let the EU be the judge of whether it is living up to those commitments. The challenge for negotiators will be to find a way to make that commitment binding that both sides can agree on.
"We're not going to engage in some race to the bottom," Johnson said. "All we want is mutual recognition of each other's high standards, and access to each other's markets."
In Brussels, EU spokeswoman Dana Spinant said she "wouldn't want to jump to conclusions about the outcome" of talks.
"However, the commission maintains its capacity to prepare for a no-deal (U.K. exit)" even as it prepares for "a positive result of those negotiations," she said.
Italy sought to rally international support for its virus containment efforts Wednesday even as its caseload reached 400, people linked to Italy fell ill across Europe and as far away as Brazil, and the U.N.'s health agency urged a scaled-up response.
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte's government appealed to European neighbors for cooperation, not isolation and discrimination. Italy has been struggling to contain the rapidly spreading outbreak that made it the country with more coronavirus cases outside Asia than anywhere else.
"Viruses don't know borders and they don't stop at them," Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza insisted at the start of a crisis meeting with World Health Organization and European Union representatives in Rome.
Twelve people infected with the virus have died in Italy since Friday, all of them elderly, having other health conditions or both, civil protection chief Angelo Borelli said.
The Italian government has defended its handling of the crisis, even as it acknowledges alarm over its increasing cases and inability to locate the origin of the two clusters in the northern Lombardy and Veneto regions.
Germany and France also reported two cases apiece in people with no known ties to Italy, travel to China or contact with an infected person, raising concern about additional clusters of no known origin possibly forming in Europe.
"We are at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic in Germany," German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, adding that he had asked state health officials to review their emergency plans for pandemics.
Latin America's first confirmed virus case did have a clear Italian connections. Officials reported Wednesday that a Brazilian man who recently visited Lombardy, the epicenter of Italy's outbreak, tested positive. Algeria reported Tuesday night that an Italian man who traveled to the north African country this month as its first case.
In Europe, Greece and neighboring North Macedonia registered their first confirmed virus cases Wednesday, also involving people who recently traveled to Italy's afflicted north. The first cases reported in Austria, Croatia and Switzerland on Tuesday also had travel ties to northern Italy.
Spain has reported nine new cases since Monday, all with an Italy link, two of France's five new cases had ties to Italy and Finland reported its second case in someone who had been in Milan, Lombardy's capital. Local authorities in Austria took quarantine measures after two unconfirmed cases had an Italy link, only to remove them when tests came back negative.
Over a 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday, Italy confirmed 78 more cases, for a national total of 400. Hard-hit Lombardy, where 10 towns are on army-guarded lockdowns, still had the most cases with 258 — four of them children. But Veneto saw a spike of 28 cases overnight, bringing its total to 71.
In France, a 60-year-old Frenchman died in a Paris hospital, France's second virus-related death. His case worried French authorities, because he was one of two new patients who tested positive for the virus in France this week who had not traveled to a "risk zone," according authorities in his home region north of Paris.
A German man with the virus was in critical condition and his wife also tested positive, but German officials to date have not been able to trace the origin of their contagion. Officials expressed fear of infections spreading since the wife works in a kindergarten and the man had been to Carnival parties.
The man had come into contact with dozens of people, including doctors and nurses at a Cologne hospital where he had gone for an unrelated health checkup, German officials said. Schools and kindergartens in the area where he became ill remained shut.
The Italian national health system has been overwhelmed with distribution problems slowing the delivery of masks and protective gear for medical personnel in the hard-hit areas. In addition, officials are battling to contain panic among Italians who are stocking up on bottled water, long-life milk and other non-perishable food that have left some supermarket shelves empty.
Italy's Foreign Ministry lashed out Wednesday at fake news reports exaggerating the emergency, The ministry said the Italian government was now sending daily reports through diplomatic channels so foreign countries had "accurate and transparent" information on which to base travel advisories and business travel decisions.
Italy is in some ways a victim of its own scrupulousness, with virologists noting that it is registering so many cases because it's actively looking for them.
Borelli noted that Italy had tested 9,462 people already — more than 95% of whom have tested negative. Of those who are positive, two-thirds are being treated at home without requiring hospitalization.
WHO Europe chief Dr. Hans Kluge complimented Italy for its management of the emergency, but said it needed to "scale up" its response. He also noted shortcomings, particularly in outfitting medical personnel with necessary masks and protective gear.
Doctors and nurses are "the front-line heroes" of the response, Kluge said at a news conference with the Italian health minister at his side.
"We need to train them and provide them with the necessary protective equipment," he said.
He said it was important to avoid creating panic and keeping the measures proportional to the risk.
Borelli, the civil protection chief, acknowledged the mask supply problems Wednesday. He said the government had met with producers to centralize the distribution system to make sure the gear gets to the provinces where they were needed.
Rome authorities reported some good news on an otherwise bleak day: Both Chinese tourists from Wuhan who have been treated at the Spallanzani infectious disease hospital have now tested negative after more than two weeks of anti-viral treatment.
But alarm, caution and panic spread in Italy and beyond.
At a high school in Vienna, students were kept inside to be tested for the virus after a teacher who recently returned from a trip to Italy started showing symptoms of the virus, Austrian media reported. The test came back negative.
Elsewhere, authorities in Austria placed an apartment complex in the southern town of Bad Kleinkirchheim under quarantine after a 56-year-old woman from Italy died overnight. That test, too, came back negative and the quarantine was lifted.
Syracuse University was sending home 342 students on its study abroad program in Florence, and Ireland's Six Nations rugby match against Italy in Dublin on March 7 was postponed.
In Croatia, where a second case was confirmed in the twin brother of a young man who contracted the virus in Milan, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic warned against hoarding.
"Panic should stop," Plenkovic said. "Don't go shopping in such a way that others cannot buy groceries."
A man intentionally drove a car into a crowd at a Carnival parade in a small town in central Germany, injuring around 30 people including children, officials said Monday.
The driver, a 29-year-old German citizen who lived locally, was arrested at the scene in Volkmarsen near Kassel, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin, prosecutors said. He is being investigated on suspicion of attempted homicide.
A spokesman for Frankfurt prosecutors, Alexander Badle, said in a statement that "about 30 people" were injured, among them children. They were taken to surrounding hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries.
The suspect was also injured, said Badle.
"The investigation, especially into the circumstances of the crime, continues," he said. "In particular, no information can yet be provided about a motive. The investigation is exploring all avenues."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to those injured in the crash, wishing them a speedy and full recovery. She also thanked the police and all medical personnel involved.
Emergency responders set up a makeshift clinic in a town pharmacy to treat casualties with minor injuries, the regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported.
Witnesses said the car drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, according to the paper.
Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local license plates on a sidewalk, its front windshield badly smashed and hood dented, and its hazard lights blinking, while emergency crews walked by. Forensic experts could be seen taking photos and measurements around the crashed car, walking around fragments of Carnival costumes that littered the ground.
The crash came amid the height of Germany's celebration of Carnival, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz.
All other Carnival parades in the central state of Hesse were ended Monday as a precaution.
Hesse state is still reeling from a racist shooting last week in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau. A 43-year-old man killed nine people with immigrant backgrounds late Wednesday before killing his mother and then himself.
A German court has ruled that the clearing of trees from the site of Tesla Inc.'s first electric car factory in Europe can go ahead, days after it issued an injunction temporarily halting the preparatory work.
The top administrative court in the Berlin-Brandenburg region ruled late Thursday that authorities had been within their rights to clear the way for work to start.
The court had issued an injunction last weekend to give it time to consider the case after an environmental group challenged a lower court's ruling that Tesla could go ahead with felling the trees. Final planning approval for the factory has yet to be granted.
The company wants to start manufacturing 150,000 electric cars a year from mid-2021, with plans to increase that number to half a million annually.
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla announced in November that it had decided to build its first European factory in the Berlin area. The planned site is at Gruenheide, just east of the capital in Brandenburg state.
Germany's main business lobby group, the Federation of German Industries, on Friday welcomed the latest court decision. Holger Loesch, a senior official with the group, described it as "an important signal for Germany as a site for investment."
He called for a wider discussion about planning and approval procedures in Germany, "which over the years have developed into a serious impediment to investment."
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the latest court ruling "is a good signal for environmental protection, jobs and future technologies." He said he also hopes for an intensified discussion of how to speed up planning procedures.
"It has become clear to us all that we only have a chance with such important projects in the long term if we reach decisions in an appropriate time," he said.