Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 22 Nov 2019
Leaders to appear on TV following Labour manifesto launch
The Labour Party launched its general election manifesto yesterday as Jeremy Corbyn gears up to face Boris Johnson, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon on the BBC’s Question Time programme tonight. Labour is promising to make a huge investment in social housing, while the Tories have pledged to raise stamp duty for non-UK residents.
Election fears ‘led Charles to call for Andrew to go’
Prince Andrew was effectively dismissed from his royal duties because his older brother feared the scandal over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was beginning to overshadow the election, The Times claims today. Prince Charles and senior aides reportedly expressed their concerns to the Queen after Jeremy Corbyn said during his ITV debate with Boris Johnson on Tuesday that the monarchy “needs a bit of improvement”.
Grace Millane’s killer found guilty of murder
A New Zealand man who admitted killing British backpacker Grace Mullane and burying her body in a suitcase has been found guilty of murder. The 27-year-old man, who has not been identified publicly for legal reasons, said he killed 21-year-old Mullane by mistake during rough sex, but the jury in the Auckland court disagreed following five hours of deliberation.
WHO warns of global inactivity epidemic among children
Four in five children worldwide aged between 11 and 17 are not taking enough exercise, according to the World Health Organisation. The UN health group says that an epidemic of childhood inactivity in both rich and poor nations is damaging youngsters’ brain development and social skills, as well as their physical health.
Britain misses UN deadline to ‘return’ Chagos
The UK has been branded an an illegal colonial occupier by Mauritius after ignoring a deadline to return control of an overseas territory to the island nation. The UN voted in May to give the UK six months to cede control of the Chagos Islands, which were separated from the former British territory of Mauritius during decolonisation in 1968.
US Republicans rebuked for conspiracy theory
Donald Trump’s former Russia adviser has urged Republicans in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry not to promote a “fictional narrative” that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election. Fiona Hill warned that the conspiracy theory - used to defend the president against allegations that he sought to bribe Ukraine for his own political gain - plays into Russia’s hands by casting doubt on Moscow’s role in the election tampering.
Gay Russian video-makers facing prosecution
Prosecutors in Russia have opened a criminal investigation against the makers of a video in which children ask a gay man questions about his life. The interview does not include any discussions of sex, but a member of the Russian parliament filed a complaint to police claiming that the video, by Russian YouTube channel Real Talk, violates a law that bans “promoting” homosexuality to young people.
The Crown: Imelda Staunton to replace Colman
British actor Imelda Staunton is to take over from Olivia Colman in the role of the Queen in Netflix drama series The Crown, the Daily Mail claims. Colman, who herself replaced the younger Claire Foy, will stay on for a fourth season but Staunton will then take over for seasons five and six, the newspaper says.
Tesla’s new truck smashed during demo
Tesla unveiled its upcoming electric pickup in California yesterday – and the Cybertruck’s startling angular design and impressive performance claims have impressed. However, the glitzy launch was marred when a test to show how strong the windows are went wrong: a metal ball shattered two of them. Production will not start until late 2021.
Briefing: should the voting age be lowered to 16?
The Welsh National Assembly has announced a series of electoral reform proposals that could see 16- and 17-year-olds given the right to vote in local elections.
All opposition parties in Parliament currently back the idea of lowering the voting age to 16, which would extend the right to vote to a total of 1.5 million teenagers.