Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 22 Dec 2019

1

Home Office ‘ignores offers to give homes to child refugees’

Boris Johnson’s government is under fire after the Home Office was accused of ignoring more than 1,400 offers from local councils to house child refugees. Although councils across the UK have volunteered to take hundreds of unaccompanied children from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the numbers of arrivals are said to be “pitifully low to nonexistent”.

2

Tesco Christmas cards ‘packed by China’s prison slaves’

Tesco has ceased production at a factory in China which is accused of using forced prison labour to pack charity Christmas cards. The move comes after a six-year-old girl from south London found a message from Shanghai prisoners hidden in a box of greetings cards. “Please help us and notify human rights organisation,” read the message.

3

Australian PM apologises for holidaying during fire crisis

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said sorry for causing “great anxiety” by going on holiday during the nation’s major wildfire crisis. With criticism mounting at home, Morrison cut short his trip to Hawaii. “I get it that people would have been upset to know that I was holidaying with my family while their families were under great stress,” he said.

4

Tornado hits Surrey as flood warnings mount up

A tornado hit Surrey yesterday, damaging homes and cars. One Chertsey resident said the tornado blew the roof off her conservatory and a trampoline was also knocked over. Meanwhile, more than 90 flood warnings remain in place across southern and eastern England, the Midlands and Yorkshire. A drier period is expected after Christmas.

5

World Cup winner Peters dies after long battle with illness

World Cup winner Martin Peters has died aged 76, his family have announced. Peters, who joined West Ham aged 15, spent 11 years with the club until he became Britain's first £200,000 player when he moved to Spurs in 1970. West Ham said the 1966 World Cup goalscorer passed away peacefully on Saturday after “a long and courageous battle with illness”.

6

Trump has invited Boris Johnson for US victory tour

Donald Trump invited Boris Johnson to celebrate his general election triumph win with a “victory tour” of the United States next month. However, the Mail on Sunday says Johnson is reluctant to visit while the President's impeachment drama is playing out and before he has delivered Brexit on January 31. Johnson has previously hailed Trump's “many, many good qualities”.

7

Banksy unveils contentious new art in Bethlehem hotel

The controversial British artist Banky's latest work has been unveiled at his hotel in Bethlehem, depicting a twist on a nativity scene. The artwork, named Scar of Bethlehem, shows Jesus's manger by Israel's separation wall, which has a hole shot through it, in the shape of a star. Israel says the barrier is needed to prevent terrorism but Palestinians say it is a land grab device.

8

Poll claims voters want Labour to abandon Corbyn policies

Voters want Labour’s next leader to make a decisive break with Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda, according to a new opinion poll. The BMG survey found that 46 per cent of voters think the party should abandon its current agenda on tax and change course, while just 27 per cent are in favour of policy similar to Corbyn’s.

9

Mexican Catholic group accuses leader of child abuse

A Catholic group in Mexico says its late leader Marcial Maciel abused at least 60 minors. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the ultra-conservative Legionaries of Christ, was ordered by Pope Benedict XVI to retire to a life of prayer and penitence after years of allegations that he had sexually abused boys and young men. A new report lists 175 instances of child abuse over the past eight decades.

10

Cuba appoints its first PM for more than 40 years

Cuba has appointed the country's first prime minister in more than 40 years - the tourism minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz. The post was scrapped in 1976 by the then leader Fidel Castro but it was reinstated under the rules of a new constitution for the island passed earlier this year. Marrero will assume some of the responsibilities that currently fall to the president, Miguel Díaz-Canel.

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