Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 12 Nov 2019

1

Clinton: ‘shameful’ of UK not to publish Russia report

Senior US Democrat Hillary Clinton has said it is “shameful” that the British government does not intend to publish a report on Russian political interference in the UK until after the 12 December general election. The report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee was handed to No. 10 last month and contains allegations of espionage, subversion and interference in elections. 

2

Boris Johnson calls emergency Cobra meeting over floods

The prime minister will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall today to discuss the response to severe flooding in the north of Enlgand. The Environment Agency has put five severe “danger to life” flood warnings in place on the River Don in South Yorkshire, and a further 39 flood warnings across the UK. More rain is forecast.

3

Labour: we’d give adults six years’ education

Labour will today unveil a plan to give adult learners six years of education for free, with maintenance grants for the least well-off. A levels, undergraduate degrees and other diplomas would be included. Meanwhile, the Tories have published estimates of tax increases that they say Labour would need to introduce to fund their various plans if the party won power in the upcoming election. 

4

Tories urge Farage: don’t stand against us

Conservatives have welcomed a pledge by Nigel Farage not put up Brexit Party candidates in any of the 317 seats won by the Tories in the last election - but have urged him not to fight in marginal seats either. The Brexit Party looks set to field prospective MPs in around 300 seats, but the Tories fear this will split the pro-Brexit vote in Labour-held marginals.

5

UK teenager warns vaping ‘nearly killed me’

A 19-year-old amateur boxer has told how using e-cigarettes caused a catastrophic reaction in his lungs that almost killed him. Ewan Fisher spoke out after his case was described in a new report in a medical journal. The Nottingham teenager started vaping at the age of 16 in a bid to quit smoking, but ended up on life support in intensive care after his lungs failed as a result of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) – a type of allergic reaction that results in inflammation of the lung tissue.

6

Jimmy Carter in hospital for brain procedure

Former US president Jimmy Carter is in hospital for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain caused by several recent falls. The former leader had hip surgery following a fall in May and appeared in public with a black eye and stitches from another fall in October. The Democrat led the US from 1977 to 1981 and still does humanitarian work. 

7

Independent review pushes HS2 benefits

The Times says it has seen the text of an independent review of the proposed HS2 high-speed rail link between London and the North that was written by the former chair of the project. Douglas Oakervee concluded that the project will cost £88bn, not the predicted £56bn, but that the economic benefits to the North outweigh the cost.

8

Spice Girl Mel B objects to Tesco advert

Tesco has pulled a bus-stop advertisement following a complaint from ex-Spice Girl Mel B, aka Scary Spice. The ad showed a 1997 photo of the singer along with the caption: “Stop right now. You get 10% off two big shops a month for £7.99.” Mel B posted a picture of the ad online asking Tesco’s chief executive to contact her.

9

Message in bottle crosses Atlantic in nine years

A US college student has posted photos online showing a letter that he put in a bottle and threw into the Atlantic nine years ago - and the response he received last week from a writer in southern France. Max Vredenburgh was ten when he chucked the letter into seas north of Boston. He has now had a letter from someone identifying themself as “G. Dubois” who found the bottle on a beach near Biarritz, 3,700 miles away.

10

Briefing: can Iraq’s ‘bloodbath’ be stemmed?

The United Nations has called for measures to halt ongoing violence in Iraq, following deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government activists.

In the latest violence, three protesters were shot dead on Sunday night by security forces in the city of Nasiriyah, about 225 miles southeast of the capital. So can Iraq end what Amnesty International describes as a “bloodbath”?

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