Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 8 Nov 2019
Dozens trapped in Sheffield shopping centre amid flooding chaos
Dozens of people have spend the night in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre after be left stranded by floods following torrential downpours yesterday. A major incident was declared in the city as heavy rain fell – and there are still more than 100 flood warnings in place today, mostly in the north of England, with the threat of serious disruption to road and rail travel.
Labour reveal maternity pledge as Tories plan to recruit abroad for NHS
The UK’s two main political parties continue their general election campaign today, with Labour promising to extend maternity leave and the Conservatives saying they will make it easier for foreign workers to come to the UK to join the NHS. The Tories have criticised Labour’s spending plans as “reckless”, while Labour says the Conservatives’ NHS policy is “full of holes”.
Johnson gives ‘cast iron pledge’ to block Scottish referendum
Boris Johnson yesterday used his first visit to Scotland in the election campaign to give a “cast iron” pledge to block the Scottish National Party’s attempt to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. The prime minister said SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were “yoke-mates of destruction” of the union.
Former NYC mayor Bloomberg mulls presidential bid
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is strongly considering entering the race to become the Democrat candidate in next year’s US presidential election, according to reports. The 77-year-old billionaire businessman is said to be concerned that the extensive field of candidates does not contain anyone able to beat Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
Backpacker murder trial: blood in hotel room linked to Millane
A court in New Zealand was told today that scientific tests show that blood found in the hotel room of a man suspected of murdering Grace Millane is 500,000 million times more likely to have come from the British backpacker than from anyone else. Millane, 21, was last seen alive in Wellington on 1 December, when she went on a Tinder date with the man, who cannot be named. He claims he killed her by mistake during a consensual sex act.
Cerys Matthews calls for Welsh Assembly to be renamed
Celebrities including Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews and actor Michael Sheen are backing a campaign for the Welsh Assembly to be given a Welsh name. More than 30 Welsh figures have signed an open letter saying the assembly should be known exclusively as the Senedd, the Welsh word for a parliament. Assembly members will debate the idea.
Trump accused of fraudulent ‘dinner with Donald’ contests
Donald Trump has been accused of conning supporters by running political fundraising contests to win meals with him that never have winners. Challenged by The Guardian, the Trump campaign responded aggressively and denied the charge – but was unable to supply any photographs of winners sharing a meal with the president.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge: I’ve spiced up Bond
Fleabag actor and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge has spoken about her writing role on upcoming 007 film No Time to Die. The 34-year-old says she was brought in to add some “little spices” rather than to change the culture of the films, which have been criticised as misogynistic.
James Dean to be digitally resurrected for new film
A CGI version of long-dead US star James Dean is to play the second lead in a new film, with another actor providing his voice. The makers of Vietnam War movie Finding Jack have negotiated a deal with Dean’s descendants to use his likeness, despite ethical concerns. Dean died in a 1955 car crash at the age of 24.
Briefing: the pros and cons of privatising the NHS
Two leading doctors’ groups are urging Britain’s main political parties not to use health service pledges as “catnip to the undecideds” in the run-up to the December general election.
With campaigning in full swing, what are the arguments around privatising the NHS?