Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 16 Dec 2019

1

Johnson to urge MPs to deliver ‘better future’

Boris Johnson will welcome 109 new Tory MPs to Parliament today, telling them that they have a responsibility to deliver a “better future” for their constituents. The prime minister is expected to carry out a minor cabinet reshuffle this week as he presses ahead with his plans for Brexit. The newly re-elected government will set out its priorities in the Queen’s Speech, expected to take place on Thursday.

2

Senior Labour figures back Long-Bailey to lead

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon are among senior Labour figures who are throwing their weight behind shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey to lead the party, according to The Guardian. Labour bosses are reportedly discussing a leadership election timetable that will see Jeremy Corbyn remaining in the top job until late March.

3

Archbishop concerned about UK’s ‘direction’

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has voiced concerns about the UK’s “direction of travel”, citing increasing poverty, homelessness and intolerance of minorities. Welby told the Big Issue magazine that while he was “not saying we are in a crisis”, the UK’s trajectory was “not what we want”.

4

Johnson attacking the BBC

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is launching a two-pronged attack on the BBC amid allegations of anti-Tory bias by the broadcaster. No. 10 refused to put up ministers to speak on the Today programme on Saturday and has said it will not engage with the flagship Radio 4 show in the future. In a second blow, Johnson is also proposing to decriminalise non-payment of the BBC licence fee.

5

Indian rival Ola revs up to challenge Uber in London

Indian ride-sharing service Ola is promising to wage a price war in London against rivals including Uber after launching in the English capital next month. Bangalore-based Ola, which is backed by SoftBank, operates in more than 250 cities worldwide and is valued at about $6.5bn (£4.9bn). The company hopes to capitalise on problems at Uber, which is set to lose its licence in Europe’s most lucrative taxi market following a Transport for London ruling that the US company was not a “fit and proper” operator.  

6

Weinstein: my work for women is forgotten

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has told the New York Post that his “pioneering” work promoting female directors and films about women has been “eviscerated” in the light of multiple sexual assault allegations against him. In an interview with the US newspaper ahead of the start of his rape trial, Weinstein, who denies any claims of non-consensual sex, said: “I feel like the forgotten man.”

7

‘Tired’ YouTuber PewDiePie taking break

YouTube star PewDiePie has announced that he is taking time out from the video-sharing platform because he is “feeling very tired”. The 30-year-old Swede - whose real name is Felix Kjellberg - has become a global celebrity online, with 102 million subscribers, but has faced accusations of racism and anti-Semitism. 

8

Hiroshima bomb buildings to be demolished

Two buildings in Hiroshima that survived the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city in 1945 are to be demolished. The two blocks - built in 1913 - were used as a makeshift hospital following the Second World War attack by the Allies, but are not earthquake proof and are no longer being used. Survivors of the nuclear blast are calling for the buildings to be preserved as memorials.

9

Mary Berry inspired Prince Louis’ first words, says Duchess

The Duchess of Cambridge says one of the first words that her son Louis spoke was “Mary”, after seeing Mary Berry’s face on cookbooks at home. Kate Middleton shared the story about her third child ahead of an appearance with husband William and the former Bake Off judge in a BBC festive special.

10

Briefing: the hot topics on Twitter in 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, few would dispute that the last 12 months have been a hell of a journey, both in Britain and across the world.

Twitter has been a companion to many people as they digest and debate global events ranging from Game of Thrones to the Hong Kong protests and, of course, Brexit. So what are the hottest topics on the social networking site this year?

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