Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 4 Dec 2019

1

Tory and Labour migration plans ‘both bad for NHS’

The migration policies of the two main UK parties would worsen already chronic understaffing levels in the NHS, the Nuffield Trust is warning. New research by the health charity found that the proportion of NHS staff born overseas has almost doubled since 2000 and is now close to one in four.

2

Macron tackles Erdogan and Trump at Nato summit

Heads of state of the Nato military alliance gathered in London yesterday to begin a two-day summit - but diplomatic cracks are already emerging. France’s President Emmanuel Macron accused Turkey of colluding with proxies for Islamic State. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said Macron was “very, very nasty” for saying Nato was “brain dead”.

3

Evidence for impeaching Trump ‘overwhelming’

The US Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee has published its final report on Donald Trump’s alleged coersion of Ukraine to smear his political rival Joe Biden - and says the evidence for impeaching the president for misconduct in office is “overwhelming”. Republicans have rebutted the findings and the White House has refused to take part in the inquiry hearings.

4

Elon Musk gives evidence in ‘paedo guy’ trial

Tesla billionaire Elon Musk appeared before a California court yesterday to defend himself against a charge that he defamed a British cave diver by calling him a “paedo” on Twitter. Musk apologised in court to Vernon Unsworth, who helped rescue 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave last year, and insisted again that the slur was not meant to be taken literally.

5

Dozens flee hotel blaze in London

Dozens of guests and staff were evacuated from a Travelodge in west London after it caught fire in the early hours of this morning. More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze after being called to the five-storey hotel in Brentford at 2.52am. London Fire Brigade said that no injuries were reported and that the fire is believed to have begun in a bin room on the ground floor.

6

Google duo Page and Brin stepping down from top roles

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have announced they are stepping back from their respective roles as chief executive and president of parent company Alphabet. According to the BBC, it is the “most significant shake-up of leadership at Google since its inception” in 1998. The pair, both 46, say they will remain “actively involved as board members, shareholders and co-founders”.

7

Elm trees set for comeback

The elm tree could return to the British countryside if funding and help were provided, according to a new report. The elm, once a staple of the nation’s landscape, has almost vanished as a result of the spread of Dutch elm disease during the 1960s and 1970s, but the Future Trees Trust says apparently resistant specimens have been identified and a new generation of elm seedlings are being bred.

8

British skiers ‘get drunk and have accidents’

More than 1,000 Britons are injured every day during the ski season on overseas slopes as a result of drinking alcohol, according to newly released figures from Insurer Direct Line. One in 11 have to be transported off the mountain, one in 20 return home early, and two in five have to sit out the rest of the holiday. The insurer warns that alcohol affects balance.

9

Councillor escapes climate debate by climbing bins

A Conservative councillor has provoked derision after being spotted clambering up onto some bins and then over a fence to escape a climate change debate at a school in Lewes, East Sussex. Nancy Bikson was a last-minute replacement for prospective MP Maria Caulfield and reportedly knew little about the subject.

10

Briefing: the ‘point of no return’ for climate change

The world’s leaders and diplomats will meet in Madrid amid talks of a growing sense of crisis over climate change.

According to UN Secretary General António Guterres, “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”. So what does this mean?

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