Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 29 Nov 2019
Tories threaten Channel 4 over empty podium
The Conservative Party is set to review Channel 4’s public service obligations after accusing the broadcaster of failing to show impartiality during its leaders’ debate on the environment last night, Tory sources have told The Daily Telegraph. The party has written to Ofcom saying Channel 4’s placing an ice sculpture on the PM’s podium after he refused to take part in the debate was a “provocative partisan stunt”. Nigel Farage was also “empty-chaired”.
Hillsborough families’ outrage over verdict
Relatives of some of the 96 people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster have expressed outrage after former South Yorkshire police superintendent David Duckenfield was yesterday found not guilty of manslaughter. Some of the families have accused the judge, Sir Peter Openshaw, of being biased.
Scotland Yard helping FBI with Epstein case
London’s Metropolitan Police has announced that its detectives are helping the FBI investigate sex-trafficking allegations against late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and his network of associates including Prince Andrew. The Times says the confirmation that the force has “liaised” with US law enforcement will “cause further discomfort for Buckingham Palace”.
Hong Kong protesters praise Trump at demo
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong yesterday held a special Thanksgiving rally in the former British colony in praise of the US after President Donald Trump signed into law a human rights bill seen as supporting their cause. China has threatened to take countermeasures against the US for apparently backing the protesters.
Ex-MP Harvey Proctor wins £900k from Met
Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has been awarded £500,000 compensation and an additional £400,000 in legal fees over a raid on his home carried out by the Met Police. The force was investigating claims made by fantasist Carl Beech, who claimed Proctor was part of a VIP paedophile ring. Beech is now serving an 18-year sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.
K-pop stars jailed for gang rapes
Two South Korean pop stars have been jailed for taking part in the gang rapes of unconscious women. Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon received five and six years respectively. Jung was also found guilty of filming assaults and distributing the footage on a social media group chat.
Climber Brad Gobright falls to death at 31
Renowned US free solo climber Brad Gobright has fallen around 300 meters (1,000ft) to his death from a rockface in Mexico at the age of 31. His climbing companion Aidan Johnson, 26, also fell but survived with injuries. Tributes have been paid to Gobright by climbing luminaries including Alex Honnold.
Young people ‘panic’ without smartphones
Almost a quarter of children and young people are so dependent on their smartphones that they can be said to be suffering an addiction, according to researchers at King’s College London who analysed 41 global studies on the growing problem. Experts say symptoms include feeling “panicky” or “upset” when unable to access the devices. The study authors warn that smartphone addiction can have a “serious” impact on mental health.
Japan store to ‘rethink’ badges for menstruation
A Japanese department store says it is “rethinking” badges that could be worn by female staff during their period, following complaints over the policy. The badges - which were voluntary and featured a cartoon character known as Miss Period - were created at the suggestion of employees and were intended to make sure menstruating women could get extra help and longer breaks.
Briefing: where the main parties stand on the environment
The impact of air pollution on health is far worse than previously thought, a study has shown.
How much voters care about pollution – and environmental issues more broadly – appears to correlate with their party allegiance. A Sky News poll found that while 58% of those who voted Labour at the last election said climate change mattered “a great deal”, the same was true of just 30% of Tories.