Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 2 Feb 2020


Boris Johnson to announce tough stance for EU trade talks

Boris Johnson will announce that he won't accept alignment with EU rules when Britain negotiates a trade deal with Brussels. In a speech tomorrow, the prime minister will toughen his stance ahead of trade talks. The bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will also set out his position for the negotiations, which are due to start next month.


Philippines sees first death from coronavirus outside of China

A man in the Philippines has become the first reported death from the coronavirus outside of China, the World Health Organisation has announced. A WHO spokesman said that “we need to keep in mind” that the 44-year-old was a resident of Wuhan. More than 300 people have died in the outbreak so far.


Andrew described alleged victim as ‘very sick girl’

Prince Andrew has described his alleged victim Virginia Roberts as “a very sick girl,” reports The Mail on Sunday. The Duke made the remark in a message to a friend and business associate just days after Roberts revealed the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Andrew's sex offender friend Jeffrey Epstein. The royal said he would: “Shrug and move on.”


Palestinians cut all ties with the US and Israel

The Palestinian Authority has severed all ties with the US and Israel after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by Donald Trump. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said: “Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter … but I refused it.”


Police investigate ‘speak English’ poster in Norwich

Police say they are investigating a Brexit poster that orders people living in council flats to either speak English or move out. A photograph of the sheet, which was headed “Happy Brexit Day”, was placed on a fire door in Winchester Tower, a block of 95 flats owned by Norwich City Council, on the day the UK left the European Union.


Donald Trump expands travel ban to six new countries

The Trump administration has announced an expansion of the travel ban to include six new countries. In an escalation of the controversial policy, immigration restrictions will now be imposed on: Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar (known as Burma). The ban already restricts entry from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.


British diplomats told to snub EU allies at summits

British diplomats have been told to make a clean break with their former EU allies, reports The Sunday Times. A leaked document shows that Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, has told his officials to “sit separately” from their EU counterparts at international summits. He told diplomats to “adopt a stance as a confident independent country”.


Detective says Barrymore pool death was ‘rape and murder’

A detective has insisted that the death of Stuart Lubbock in broadcaster Michael Barrymore's pool 18 years ago was murder. Lubbock, then 31, was found floating face-down in Barrymore's swimming pool in 2001. Although he had injuries that suggested he had been sexually assaulted, his death has never been fully solved. Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings now insists that Lubbock was “raped and murdered”.


Man dies after being mauled by his own pet dog

A 35-year-old man has been found dead after being mauled by his pet dog. Greater Manchester Police said that they had received a report a man had been “bitten multiple times by a dog” and discovered the body of Jonny Halstead. The animal was destroyed by officers at the scene. “No one expects this to happen at such a young age,” said a friend of Halstead.


Tusk says EU would feel ‘empathy’ towards Scotland rejoining

Donald Tusk says Brussels feels “empathy” towards an independent Scotland joining the European Union. After Nicola Sturgeon said an independent Scotland would seek full EU membership, the former European Council president said: “Emotionally I have no doubt that everyone will be enthusiastic.” Scotland voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38% in 2016.

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