Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 12 Dec 2019

1

UK voters heading to polls

Voters are choosing a new government today in the third general election in less than five years. The polls opened at 7am and will close at 10pm, with results to be announced early tomorrow morning. This is the first general election to be held in December for nearly 100 years and there are fears that wet and windy weather will reduce turnout. 

2

Weinstein ‘will settle with more than 30 women for $25m’

A tentative deal has been reached between disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein and more than 30 women who say he assaulted them, according to The New York Times. If approved, the deal will see the women share a $25m (£19m) out-of-court settlement. The payouts would be made by insurance companies handling the bankruptcy of Weinstein’s film studio and he would not have to admit any wrongdoing.

3

New Zealand police to recover volcano bodies

Police in New Zealand will make an attempt on Friday to recover the bodies of tourists killed in Monday’s volcanic eruption on White Island, despite the danger posed by possible fresh eruptions. At least eight bodies are thought to be on the island and another eight people are confirmed dead. A further 20 are in intensive care.

4

Scientists call for ‘peak meat’ production moment

More than 50 world experts on climate change have written a letter demanding that humanity declares “peak meat” production by 2030 - after which the amount of livestock kept on the planet must decrease in order to tackle climate change. More than 80% of farmland is used for livestock but meat and dairy accounts for just 18% of calories eaten worldwide. 

5

Missing Chilean plane: wreckage found at sea

Chilean officials say drifting wreckage found near Antarctica is from a military plane that went missing on Monday with 38 people onboard. Argentina, Brazil, the UK and Uruguay sent planes to assist Chile in searching for the aircraft, while the US and Israel contributed satellite images. The plane was en route to a military base.

6

Reformed prisoner tells of London Bridge role

A reformed prisoner who helped tackle convicted terrorist Usman Khan after he stabbed two people near London Bridge on 29 November has said he was prepared to die to protect others. John Crilly - who served 13 years for murder before his conviction was quashed - fought Khan with a fire extinguisher on the street. Crilly said the true hero was murdered 25-year-old Jack Merritt, who alongside fellow stabbing victim Saskia Jones, 23, coordinated a prison education programme.

7

Naturalist and presenter David Bellamy dead at 86

TV presenter and naturalist David Bellamy has died at the age of 86. A former plumber, Bellamy found fame after advising on cleaning up the Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967. The Conservation Foundation, which he founded, says the County Durham-based botonist died on Wednesday. 

8

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is ‘person of year’

Time magazine has named teenage Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg as its youngest ever “person of the year”. Editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said the 16-year-old has become “the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet” since she began staging school strikes last year to demand action on the climate emergency.

9

Painting in Indonesian cave is 44,000 years old

A painting found on the wall of a cave on the Indonesian island Sulawesi is thought to be 44,000 years old - and could be the world’s “oldest story”, experts say. The image shows half-human, half-animal creatures hunting a buffalo. The earliest known picture, found on a fragment of rock in South Africa, is 73,000 years old.

10

Briefing: the party manifestos at a glance

The general election is finally here. The Tories have spent six weeks pushing their “get Brexit done” message, while Labour has been keen to keep the NHS and public spending at the top of the agenda.

Here are the policies the main parties are promising if you vote for them today.

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