Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 11 Nov 2019

1

Boris Johnson to protect veterans from legal action

The prime minister has vowed to amend UK law to protect forces veterans from legal action, as part of a raft of new measures to support military personnel. Boris Johnson says that if the Conservatives win the general election, the government will update the Human Rights Act so that it does not apply to incidents before 2000, including deaths during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. A human rights expert said the proposed move “sounds like clickbait for Tory voters”.

2

Hong Kong police shoot protester

A policeman has shot at least one person during another day of violence and chaos in Hong Kong. Video footage of the incident, which was streamed live on Facebook, shows an officer at a roadblock drawing his gun and struggling with a man. Another man, wearing a face mask, then approaches and the officer shoots him in the chest.

3

Australians braced for ‘catastrophic’ wildfires

Emergency responders in Australia have warned of “the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen”. The fire chiefs say the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, faces a “catastrophic” day on Tuesday. A total of 60 fires are currently burning across the state, 40 of which are out of control. There are also dozens of fires in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

4

Spanish election leads to more political deadlock

Spain is set for months of horse-trading after yesterday’s general election failed to deliver a clear result. The governing Socialists (PSOE) won the most seats at the polls, but fell short of a majority. The far-right Vox party moved into third place. Acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez has promised to form a “stable government”.

5

NHS approves cannabis-based drugs

The NHS has approved two cannabis-based medicines to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. The move follows advice from health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The medicines, which do not contain the main psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, were developed and grown in the UK. Great Ormond Street Hospital consultant Professor Helen Cross said the approval was “great news”.

6

Hillary Clinton ‘concerned’ about future of UK

Hillary Clinton says she is “concerned” about where the UK is heading. Speaking in London on Sunday alongside her daughter Chelsea to launch their co-authored The Book Of Gutsy Women, the former US secretary of state said she had “always admired Britain,” adding: “I am, as a great admirer, concerned because I can’t make sense of what is happening.” Clinton said she had seen the UK “sort of shrink” and “turn inward”.

7

Whisper it quietly: poll finds Brits are shy people

More than half of Britons view themselves as shy, with 10% saying they are “very shy”, according to a new YouGov survey. And those figures rose to 49% and 17% respectively among people aged between 16 and 24. An expert said the findings “highlight how normal it is for people to feel social anxiety or not feel at ease”.

8

Labour MP Keith Vaz to stand down

Labour’s Keith Vaz has announced that he will not be standing for re-election. The veteran MP’s decision came as he faced a six-month suspension from the House of Commons after being found to have “expressed willingness” to buy cocaine for sex workers. In a statement on Sunday, he said: “I want to thank the people of Leicester East for their absolute loyalty and support.” 

9

UN ambassador claims she was told to undermine Trump

The former US ambassador to the UN claims two leading White House aides encouraged her to undermine President Donald Trump. Nikki Haley says then-chief of staff John Kelly and then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson asked her to resist some of Trump’s demands. The duo reportedly told her they were “trying to save the country”. Haley makes the claims in her new book With All Due Respect, which is published tomorrow.

10

Briefing: where do parties stand on second Scottish referendum?

Boris Johnson has made a “cast iron” pledge not to grant the Scottish government a second referendum on independence for the country.

The PM insisted he would not allow a vote, even if the Scottish National Party wins a majority of Scottish seats in the upcoming Westminster election, or a majority in the Holyrood elections of 2021. The Week looks at where the main parties stand on #indyref2.

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