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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 8 Dec 2019


Patient data from family doctors sold to US companies

Data from GP surgeries has been sold to US pharmaceutical companies for research, intensifying concern over America’s growing ambitions to access lucrative parts of the health service after Brexit. The US companies, including Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, have paid for millions of patients’ data. US access to UK health markets been a burning issue in the general election campaign.


Late surge of tactical voting could deny Johnson a majority

There are predictions that a late surge of tactical voting in a handful of swing seats could deprive Boris Johnson of a majority in parliament. A cross-party alliance of opposition politicians has appealed to anti-Tory voters to consider switching allegiance in Thursday’s poll. Meanwhile, Johnson will announce proposed new laws to control how many people can move to the UK from abroad post-Brexit.


North Korea announces ‘very important’ new missile test

North Korea has announced that it has carried out a “very important test” at a satellite-launching site. According to analysts, it was likely to have been a ground-based test of an engine to power a satellite launcher or an intercontinental ballistic missile. The test came after Pyongyang appeared to shut the door on further US talks and resumed a war of words with Donald Trump.


Dozens dead in major fire in central New Dehli

At least 43 people have died in a fire that broke out in a building in central New Delhi. The local assistant commissioner of police said: “Most who’ve died were sleeping when the fire broke out and died due to asphyxiation.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the fire was horrific and that authorities were “providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy”.


Manchester City vows lifetime ban for any fan racially abusing players

Manchester City have vowed to ban for life “anyone found guilty of racist abuse” after Manchester United players said they were targeted during Saturday's derby at Etihad Stadium. City said they were “aware” of a video circulating on social media which seems to show a supporter making monkey gestures towards black United players. Pundit Gary Neville blamed Boris Johnson’s election rhetoric.


Thousands sleep out to raise funds for the homeless

Thousands of people have slept out overnight as part of a global campaign to raise cash to tackle homelessness. Hundreds took part in the World's Big Sleep Out in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and it was estimated that more than 50,000 took part globally. The organisers hoped to raise around £38m ($50m) for homelessness charities.


Cancer patients face longest waiting times for treatment

Cancer patients are facing the longest waiting times since records began, NHS figures reveal. The Sunday Times reports that between April and September the lowest percentage of patients were treated on time since the standards were introduced a decade ago. Catherine Turton of the Health Foundation charity blamed “a decade of austerity in health funding”.


Florida gunman had watched video of mass shootings

The gunman who attacked a Florida navy base on Friday watched videos of mass shootings at a dinner beforehand. Mohammed Alshamrani – a Saudi who was training at the Pensacola base - killed three sailors before being shot dead. The US Navy said the sailors “showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil”. The US defence secretary said he would not label the incident terrorism “at this point”.


Anthony Joshua wins world heavyweight title rematch

Anthony Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr on a unanimous points decision in their world heavyweight title rematch. The victory in Saudi Arabia saw the British fighter reclaim the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts he lost to his Mexican-American opponent in New York in June. Saudi Arabia has been accused of “sportswashing” – using the match to distract from the kingdom’s poor record on human rights.


Storms and snow expected as Atiyah reaches the UK

Britain faces gales and wintery showers as Storm Atiyah reaches the country. Gusts of up to 70mph are expected along coastal areas of the South West and a severe yellow weather warning is in place for the region along with the west coast of Wales from 3pm today until 9am tomorrow. There could be snow showers in the Midlands and the North next week.

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