Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 15 Dec 2019

1

Boris Johnson ‘to sack one-third of cabinet’

Boris Johnson will sack up to one-third of his cabinet as part of his plans to run a “revolutionary” government that will also see Whitehall departments abolished and civil servants replaced by external experts. The prime minister says he will enshrine into law increases in spending on the NHS in England.

2

Corbyn says sorry as leadership candidates begin campaigns

Jeremy Corbyn has apologised to Labour supporters for his party's defeat in the general election. In letters sent to the Sunday Mirror and The Observer, he said he accepted his responsibility for the party’s disappointing showing. Meanwhile, two likely leadership candidates - Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips – have begun to make their pitches to take the job.

3

Turkey inflames tensions with pledge to defend Libya regime

Turkey has stated its readiness to send troops to Libya to defend the country’s UN-recognised government. Turkish support for the regime led by Fayez al Serraj has until now been limited to drones and armaments. The Observer says that Ankara’s increased willingness to defend government in Tripoli is set to inflame tensions with US, EU, Greece and Middle Eastern nations.

4

Man charged after 15-year-old boy's body is found

An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder following the discovery of a body of a 15-year-old boy in a village in Cheshire. The body of Alex Rodda was found on a country lane in Ashley on Friday morning. Matthew Mason, has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article in a public place.

5

New Zealand death toll rises to 16 as man dies in hospital

The death toll from the New Zealand volcano has risen to 16. A person who was being treated in hospital after the eruption of New Zealand's White Island volcano died, adding to the toll. The victim, who has not been identified, died in Australia after being repatriated for treatment. Meanwhile, 20 people remain in intensive care with severe burns.

6

Greta Thunberg clarifies ‘politicians against wall statement’

Greta Thunberg has apologised for any misunderstanding after saying politicians should be put “against the wall”. The teenage climate change activist told a rally in the Italian city of Turin world leaders are “trying to run away from their responsibilities” but “we will make sure that we put them against the wall”. She later clarified that, to her, “to put someone against the wall means to hold someone accountable”.

7

British tourist shot outside luxury hotel in Argentina

A British tourist was killed when he was shot outside a luxury hotel in Buenos Aires. Local media says that Mateus Zonegibbar and his son Estefan were targeted by robbers on a motorcycle, supported by accomplices in a car. The older man, who was shot in the chest, later died, while his son suffered a thigh wound.

8

Sturgeon says election shows Scotland wants a different future

Nicola Sturgeon says last Thursday’s polling was “a watershed election” that made it “very clear that Scotland wants a different future to the one chosen by much of the rest of the UK”. After the SNP took 48 of the 59 Scottish seats, the party leader said: “Scotland showed… that we want the future of Scotland, whatever that turns out to be, to be decided by people who live here.”

9

Trump could announce Afghan withdrawal next week

President Donald Trump's is set to announce a long-anticipated drawdown of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan. CNN says the announcement could come as early as next week, but an official said its timing remains uncertain. Trump previously signalled that he planned to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan, where between 12,000 and 13,000 US troops are serving in the 18-year war.

10

Qantas passengers use slides as cabin fills with smoke

Passengers on a flight from Sydney to Perth used slides to evacuate after the Airbus A330 was forced to return as the cabin filled with smoke. Qantas said the flight returned to Sydney after takeoff this morning due to a hydraulic issue. “Once back at the gate, the captain made the decision to evacuate the aircraft as a precaution and three emergency slides were deployed,” the airline said.

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