Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 14 Jan 2020

1

Fuel levy cut proposed to prop up Flybe

Air passenger duty on all domestic flights in the UK may be cut as part of a bid to save regional airline Flybe from collapse. The BBC reports that Chancellor Sajid Javid is to meet the business and transport departments today to discuss lowering the levy as an alternative to bailing out the Exeter-based company, which employ around 2,000 people. Some of the airline’s routes are described as “lifelines” for people in remote areas.

2

US warns UK not to use Huawei for 5G

US officials have told UK lawmakers that using Huawei to build Britain’s 5G network would be “nothing short of madness”.  A delegation from Washington yesterday handed evidence to ministers that allegedly shows that giving the work to the Chinese telecoms company would put intelligence sharing at risk. Boris Johnson is expected to make a final decision about Huawei soon.

3

Wild weather continues as Brendan batters UK

Strong winds are forecast for much of the UK today as Storm Brendan moves across Great Britain from Ireland. Seven flights to Gatwick were diverted this morning as a result of blustery overnight conditions. Widespread travel disruption is expected in Scotland, with trains cancelled amid Met Office forecasts of snow and ice. 

4

Trudeau: lots to discuss on Harry and Meghan

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said there are “still lots of discussions to have” over security costs for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other details of the couple’s planned move to his country after stepping back from their royal duties. The Queen yesterday agreed a “period of transition” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at talks at Sandringham.

5

Space dust older than Sun discovered on Earth

Scentists have discovered what is believed to be the oldest matter on Earth: grains of dust embedded in a meteorite that fell to the surface of the planet. According to the team, led by experts from the University of Chicago, some of the grains are 7.5 billion years old – older than the Sun, which is around 4.6 billion years old. The grains were dated by how long they had been exposed to cosmic rays in space.

6

Betting with credit cards to be banned

A ban on using credit cards for almost all forms of gambling will be imposed in the UK from 14 April, the Gambling Commission has announced. The veto is aimed at tackling problem gambling and follows reviews of the industry by the commission and the Government. Other new measures include a ban on advertising by gambling firms during sporting events. 

7

China: six killed as sinkhole swallows bus

At least six people were killed when a bus was swallowed by a sinkhole that opened up in a street in the Chinese city of Xining yesterday evening. CCTV footage of the incident shows pedestrians running from the collapsing road as the bus and several people at a bus stop fall into the spreading cavity, followed by an explosion inside the hole. A further ten people are missing following the accident, the cause of which is being investigated. 

8

Love Island ‘hunter’ prompts flood of complaints

TV watchdog Ofcom has received 231 complaints about Love Island contestant Ollie Williams after The Sun published photos of the 23-year-old posing with dead animals including a warthog, water buffalo and giant eland. Wildlife presenter Chris Packham is backing a petition urging Channel 4 to drop Williams amid claims that he runs a trophy hunting company.

9

Heston Blumenthal: stop photographing food

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has revealed his frustration with diners who take pictures of their food rather than living “in the moment” and tucking straight it. Blumenthal told the Radio Times that while telling off customers would “put up a barrier” between himself and diners at his triple Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck, he has often been tempted to do so.

10

Briefing: what is ‘Martyn’s Law’?

Airport-style security checks are to be introduced at concert venues and sports stadiums under new legislation being considered by the Government.

Security Minister Brandon Lewis says that Boris Johnson is “100%” behind the so-called “Martyn’s Law” measures, following a campaign by the mother of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing.

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