Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 1 Jan 2020

1

Trump warns of ‘big price’ after US embassy attack

The US embassy in Iraq has come under attack from a crowd of angry demonstrators furious over the deaths of people killed by US air strikes. A guard post in the street was set on fire and the crowd breached a reception area in the compound. Donald Trump has told Iran it will pay a “very big price” for any US lives lost or facilities damaged.

2

Australians flee to the sea as fires engulf whole towns

Thousands of people who were unable to evacuate wildfires in Australia have fled to beaches as the blazes encircled their towns. More than 200 homes have burned down in deadly bushfires racing along the Australian coast. For more than two months, deadly fires have been burning out of control across the country and engulfing entire neighbourhoods.

3

Cyprus case: did Israeli teens have friends in high places?

The mother of a British woman convicted in Cyprus of lying about being raped by 12 Israeli men has supported the pressure for a tourist boycott of the country. The teenager has said Cypriot police made her falsely confess to lying about the incident at a hotel. The Times says that evidence is emerging that the Israeli boys have “friends in high places” in the country’s political system.

4

Carlos Ghosn flees Japan in a musical instrument case

Carlos Ghosn has jumped bail and fled to Lebanon to avoid what he called “political persecution” in Japan. After the tycoon escaped inside a musical instrument case, the Japanese media said: “Running away is a cowardly act that mocks Japan’s justice system.” The former Nissan chairman faces multiple charges of financial misconduct – all of which he denies.

5

Revellers ring in the New Year with huge firework displays

People across the UK have celebrated the start of a new decade, with fireworks displays in London, Edinburgh and other major cities. Sky News says “champagne corks were popping across the country”, as hundreds of thousands of jubilant revellers gathered for parties in cities including London, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

6

Brits prefer public service investment to tax cuts

Voters prefer more cash for public services than tax cuts, according to a YouGov poll. The study found that 57 per cent believed it was more important to increase spending on services such as the NHS than to cut their taxes, against only 16 per cent who felt the opposite. The Times says the poll shows the public wants Boris Johnson to fulfil his promise to end austerity.

7

North Korea signals that it will lift its ban on missile tests

Kim Jong-un says that North Korea will lift its moratoriums on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests. The North Korean leader told a meeting of party officials in Pyongyang that the ban, which Kim agreed to in talks with the US, was no longer required. In another move likely to anger Donald Trump, Kim reportedly said his country planned to introduce a “new strategic weapon” soon.

8

Elderly woman dies after car hits mobility scooter

A 62-year-old woman died after a hit-and-run driver crashed into her mobility scooter on New Year's Eve. Following the collision in Cannock, Staffordshire early yesterday evening, local police said: “Despite the best efforts of emergency staff, she sadly died at the scene. Her family have been informed and will be offered support from specially trained officers.”

9

William warns that humanity has 10 years to save Earth

Prince William says we have 10 years to save the planet. The royal said the Earth is at a “tipping point” and we can either continue on our present course and “irreparably damage the planet” or use our “unique power” to solve the climate crisis. Analysts say William's involvement shows he intends to follow his father Charles's lead on environmental issues.

10

Alex Jones lands $100,000 bill over Austin shooting claim

A judge in Texas has ruled that Alex Jones must pay $100,000 (£76,000) after the Infowars host used his show to promote the claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax. The conspiracy theorist was sued for defamation in Austin, Texas, by the parents of a six-year-old who was among the 26 people killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut.

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