Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 26 Nov 2019

1

Chief rabbi criticises Corbyn over anti-Semitism response

The UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has made an unusual political intervention, writing an opinion piece for The Times in which he asks if Jeremy Corby is “unfit for office”. Mirvis accuses Labour of a “failure of leadership” over the handling of anti-Semitism within the party and says commentators who view the allegations as a political smear are wrong because racism has “taken root”.

2

Johnson ‘risking biggest Brexit crisis yet’

The UK’s former ambassador to the EU has warned that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is sowing the seeds of “the biggest crisis of Brexit to date”. Sir Ivan Rogers told an audience in Glasgow last night that the Tory leader’s vow to “get Brexit done” will involve making “a lot of concessions” to secure his deal - and will leave EU negotiators a “huge open goal opportunity”.

3

Impeachment inquiry: judge tells Trump that ‘presidents are not kings’

A federal judge in the US has ruled that Donald Trump’s aides must give evidence to the inquiry into the president’s dealings with Ukraine, despite the administration’s argument that senior White House officials are immune from congressional subpoenas. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said that “presidents are not kings” as he delivered the ruling, which specifically compels former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify. 

4

Harry Dunn’s father urges voters to unseat Raab

The father of Harry Dunn is urging voters to unseat Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over his “outrageous” handling of the case surrounding the 19-year-old’s road death. Tim Dunn confronted Raab at an election hustings in East Molesey yesterday to ask why the politician has failed to publicly call for the return to the UK of the US diplomat’s suspected of driving the car that hit the teenager.

5

Funeral firm viewed customers as ‘gazelles’ to be hunted, say former staff

Whistle-blowers who worked in a call centre for funeral firm Prosperous Life say employees were urged to barrage elderly people with dozens of calls a week, The Guardian reports. The former staff say they were told to think of potential customers as “gazelles” to hunt.

6

Australia: police find body of missing Briton

Police in Victoria have found the body of missing British tourist Aslan King in a creek about half a mile from where he was last seen on Saturday. The 25-year-old illustrator was camping with friends near the Twelve Apostles tourist site when he reportedly hit his head, suffered a seizure and ran off into the bush.

7

Google fires ‘Thanksgiving Four’ amid protests

Google has fired four employees who say they were “organising for a better workplace”. The sackings of the workers, dubbed the Thanksgiving Four, comes after they staged a demonstration at the company’s San Francisco office on Friday that was attended by more than 200 fellow employees. Google insists they were let go because they had shared employee data inappropriately.

8

Which? warns Black Friday deals are mostly hype

Which? is warning that most of the discounts offered by firms on “Black Friday” - the Friday after the US holiday Thanksgiving - are illusory.  The consumer group has estimated that just one in 20 of the discounts offered in the sales, which start this week, are actually cheaper than the usual year-round pricing.

9

Indian doctors remove 16lb kidney from patient

Doctors in India have removed a kidney weighing about as much as two newborn babies from a patient suffering from a condition called Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease. Medics say the 7.4kg (16.3lbs) kidney was removed because it had become infected, and not because of its unusual size.

10

Briefing: what is Lassa fever?

Three British citizens have been brought back to the UK from Sierra Leone for medical tests after coming into close contact with two Dutch doctors diagnosed with a potentially fatal virus described as a cousin of Ebola.

It is a hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus and is carried by wild rats, which spread the virus through their urine and droppings.

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