Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 22 Sep 2019

1

Johnson ‘failed to declare conflict of interest’

Boris Johnson failed to declare several potential conflicts of interest over a close friendship with a technology entrepreneur during his years as London mayor, reports The Sunday Times. Former model Jennifer Arcuri was given a total of £126,000 in public money and privileged access to three official overseas trade missions led by Boris. Downing Street declined to comment.

2

Labour pledges to abolish prescription charges in England

Labour will abolish prescription charges in England, the shadow health secretary will announce at the party conference. Prescriptions are free for people living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but cost £9 per item in England. The Independent says this sees some people “fork out up to £104 a year on medication”. Jonathan Ashworth says tackling “widening health inequalities will be an absolute priority”.

3

Iran vows to destroy any aggressor as tension mounts

Iran has threatened to destroy any aggressor in the wake of drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oilfields and a build-up of US troops in the Gulf. The Iranian foreign minister told American network CBS that he was not confident that war could be avoided. His remark came a day after the head of Iran’s elite Republican Guards said on state TV that “limited aggression will not remain limited”.

4

Thomas Cook to hold last-ditch crisis talks today

The beleaguered travel agent Thomas Cook will hold crisis talks in a final bid to secure a rescue deal. The firm’s biggest shareholder and creditors will meet this morning at City law firm Slaughter & May. Holidaymakers staying at a hotel in Tunisia owed money by Thomas Cook were reportedly prevented from leaving the resort until it was paid.

5

Corbyn's aide quits ‘blaming blizzard of lies’

A senior aide to Jeremy Corbyn's has announced that he will resign. Andrew Fisher, head of policy, says he will leave his post by the end of the year “to spend more time with his young family”. However, The Sunday Times claims that Fisher has criticised Corbyn's team for a “blizzard of lies”.

6

Inquiry launched after a teen is stabbed to death in Slough

A murder inquiry is underway after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death in a skatepark in Slough. Police were called to Salt Hill Park in the Berkshire town at about 6.30pm on Saturday. The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers believe the boy was stabbed after an altercation with another male. No arrests have been made and police are appealing for information.

7

Study finds Trump could lose popular vote but win election

New research has found that Donald Trump could lose the popular vote again in 2020 and still remain in the White House. The study from the University of Texas found that the electoral college is much more likely than previously thought to elect the candidate who loses the popular vote. In tight elections, the report says, such “inversions” are normal, not exceptional.

8

Elderly man arrested in Greece over 1985 airliner hijacking

A 65-year-old man suspected of involvement in the hijacking of an American airliner in 1985 has been arrested in Greece. The Lebanese man was detained on Mykonos after disembarking from a cruise ship on Thursday. A US navy diver was killed when TWA Flight 847 was seized by militants thought to belong to Hezbollah. The man is currently being held in a high-security prison in Greece.

9

Protests in Brazil after a child is killed by stray bullet

Hundreds of people have protested in Brazil after a child was killed by a stray bullet during a police operation. Eight-year-old Agatha Sales Felix was shot in the back while she sat with her grandmother in a van in Rio de Janeiro's Complexo do Alemao shantytown on Friday. The family has blamed police for the death of the girl, who was described by family members as “affectionate and sweet”.

10

Swift pulls out of Melbourne Cup after animal rights protests

Taylor Swift has cancelled her scheduled performance at this year’s Melbourne Cup following pressure from animal rights activists. The American pop star was booked to perform two songs at the event in November but less than two weeks after the performance was announced, she pulled out, blaming scheduling problems. Activists had pointed out that six horses have died at the event since 2013.

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