Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 23 Dec 2019
Isis ‘now like al-Qa’eda on steroids’
Islamic State militants are reorganising and growing stronger in Iraq, according to the BBC. The broadcaster says it has been warned by Kurdish and “Western” intelligence officials that Isis attacks in the country are increasing and that the militants are now more skilled and dangerous than al-Qa’eda. One expert described the group as “al-Qa’eda on steroids”.
Spurs-Chelsea racism: fans warned three times
The Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) is calling for a government inquiry into racism in the sport after fans at Sunday’s match between Premier League clubs Spurs and Chelsea were warned three times over abusive chants. The PFA said: “It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK, but they are not alone.”
Miliband to lead Labour inquiry into election defeat
Former leader Ed Miliband is among a group of senior Labour figures setting up an independent commission to consider the party’s future following its worst election result since 1935. The group will interview former Labour MPs and candidates defeated by Conservatives in the vote earlier this month, as well as holding meetings and focus groups in previous Labour strongholds that were lost.
Prince Philip spends third night in hospital
Prince Philip has spend a third consecutive night in a London hospital being treated for a “pre-existing condition”. The Queen is at the Royal Family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where Philip was involved in a car accident at the start of the year. The 98-year-old Prince was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone on Friday.
Dozens hurt in US motorway pile-up
More than 50 people have been injured in a 69-car pile-up on a motorway in Virginia. There are no reports of fatalities in the crash, which took place in foggy conditions yesterday, but at least two people are critically injured. Police said the crash, at 8am local time, was exacerbated by ice on the road.
Irish president calls for hospitality to immigrants
The Republic of Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins has used his Christmas television message to call for hospitality towards migrants. Higgins also appeals for global action on climate change in the video, which features his social media star Bernese mountain dogs Brod and Sioda, and says it is “uplifting” to see young people protesting.
New Star Wars film takes £288m on opening weekend
The latest cinematic instalment of the Star Wars series took £288m worldwide at the box office on its opening weekend - significantly less than the prior films in the trilogy. US ticket sales for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker were down 30% on 2015’s The Force Awakens, but the new release is still among this month’s highest-earning movies.
Ed Sheeran reveals he married in January
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has revealed that he married his childhood sweetheart Cherry Seaborn in January. The couple feature in Sheeran’s new video for the song Put It All On Me, dancing and kissing in their home. Fans knew the usually private singer had got married but not when.
John Bercow to deliver C4’s Alternative Christmas Message
Former Commons speaker John Bercow will issue a plea that “personal courtesy should become our guiding lights in 2020” as he delivers this year’s Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4. Bercow - who stepped down in October following ten years in the parliamentary role - follows in the footsteps of Danny Dyer, Sharon Osbourne, US whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox in delivering the annual rival to the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day.
Briefing: who is the new governor of the Bank of England?
Andrew Bailey has been named as the next governor of the Bank of England and will take over from Mark Carney on 16 March.
Bailey spent the vast majority of his career at the Bank of England, which he joined in 1985, but is currently the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City watchdog.