Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 9 Feb 2020


Severe weather warnings as Storm Ciara approaches UK

Severe weather warnings have been issued with strong winds of up to 80mph and widespread heavy rain expected as Storm Ciara approaches the UK. Airlines have cancelled dozens of domestic and international flights, while many rail firms urged passengers not to travel and said they would operate reduced timetables with speed restrictions in place. Yellow weather warnings cover the whole of the UK until midnight on Sunday.



Counting begins after Sinn Fein surge in exit poll

Counting begins this morning in the Irish general election after an exit poll put the three main political parties tied in first preference votes. The exit poll put Fine Gael on 22.4% of first preference votes, closely followed by Sinn Féin (22.3%) and Fianna Fáil (22.2%). Sinn Féin was up from 13.8% in the 2016 general election.



Coronavirus deaths have now overtaken Sars epidemic

The number of coronavirus deaths has now surpassed that of the Sars epidemic in 2003. All but two of the total of 803 deaths have so far been in mainland China. In 2003, 774 people were killed by Sars. More than 34,800 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, most in China.



Thai soldier shot dead after shooting rampage

A Thai soldier accused of killing more than 26 people and injuring 57 others in a shooting at a shopping mall has been shot dead by police. The gunman, named as Jakrapanth Thomma, held the rank of sergeant major. According to reports, he had said he was angry about a financial dispute.



Donald Trump defends firing 'insubordinate' impeachment witness

Donald Trump has defended firing a senior official who testified against him at his impeachment trial, saying he was “very insubordinate”. Taking to Twitter, the US president said Lt Col Alexander Vindman, a top Ukraine expert, incorrectly reported the contents of a “perfect” phone call that was at the centre of his impeachment.



Ice sports chief quits amid sex abuse scandal in figure skating

The head of France's ice sports federation has resigned as a sexual abuse scandal grips figure skating. Didier Gailhaguet, who is not personally implicated, said he was leaving without bitterness at the “injustice” of being forced out by the sports minister. Several former skating champions have come forward to accuse trainers of sexually abusing them as teenagers.



Actor Orson Bean dies after being kit by a car in LA

The actor and comedian Orson Bean was hit and killed by a car in Los Angeles, authorities said. The Los Angeles county coroner’s office said the 91-year-old’s death was being investigated as a “traffic-related” fatality. Bean was a hit on the small and big screens, including in the films Anatomy of a Murder and Being John Malkovich.



Lisa Nandy says Labour should tear up Boris' EU deal

Lisa Nandy says Labour should tear up whatever deal Boris Johnson reaches with Brussels and renegotiate a new relationship with the EU. The party leadership hopeful said that any question of rejoining the bloc was for “future generations” to decide but told The Independent she wanted “a closer economic and political alliance with Europe” than the PM is proposing.


US military says two soldiers killed in Afghanistan

The US military has announced that two US soldiers were killed and six injured in an attack in eastern Afghanistan. A spokesman said: “Current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined US and Afghan force with a machine gun.” Around 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan.



Syrian forces capture new areas from rebels

Syrian government forces have captured new areas from insurgents in their offensive in the north-west, according to reports. Meanwhile, Turkey had sent in more troops to back rebels after the weeks-long offensive displaced 600,000. Earlier this week there was a rare clash between Turkish troops and Syrian soldiers, leaving seven Turkish soldiers and a Turkish civilian dead.


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