Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 14 Feb 2020


Johnson’s new cabinet meets minus Javid

Boris Johnson’s new cabinet line-up will meet for the first time today – but Sajid Javid will not be present, after resigning as chancellor. The 50-year-old quit yesterday after being told to sack his entire team of aides in the reshuffle and replace them with a team shared with No. 10. Javid warned that the prime minister risked wrecking the Treasury’s credibility.


British hiker’s body found in New Zealand hills

New Zealand police have found the body of missing British hiker Stephanie Simpson. The 32-year-old, from Basildon in Essex, had been living in the Wanaka area working as a landscaper since November. She was reported missing on Monday after going walking alone last weekend in Mount Aspiring National Park on South Island.


Zuckerberg: Facebook may have to pay more tax

A push by governments worldwide to stamp out tax avoidance among technology giants will get a boost tomorrow when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he accepts that his company “may have to pay more” tax. Speaking at a tech conference in Munich, Zuckerberg will say he supports reforms to the rules on cross-border corporation tax proposed by the Paris-based Organisation of Economic Development (OECD), even though it will mean paying billions more in Europe.


Barr: ‘Trump tweets make my job impossible’

US Attorney General William Barr yesterday warned that Donald Trump’s tweets about the case of the president’s former advisor Roger Stone are making it “impossible for me to do my job”. The criticism comes amid a row over the reversal of a harsh sentencing recommendation for Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress over Trump’s links to Russia. In an interview with ABC News, Barr insisted that the president had not asked him to be lenient with Stone.


Coronavirus face mask boom hits dentists

The British Dental Association is warning that some of its members may have to stop work because supplies of disposable face masks are being snapped up by people seeking to avoid infection with the new coronavirus. All practices are now officially limited to ordering 100 masks a day, causing problems for those with several dentists.


Billie Eilish releases ‘audacious’ Bond theme

Music critics are praising Billie Eilish’s title track for new 007 film No Time To Die after the song was released last night - with the BBC’s Mark Savage hailing it as “easily the most audacious and atmospheric take on the Bond theme in living memory”. The 18-year-old pop star is the youngest singer ever to record a Bond theme. The 25th installment in the franchise hits cinemas in April.


African wild dogs kill 16 animals in Midlands

A pack of African wild dogs killed 16 sheep and deer after escaping from an enclosure at West Midland Safari Park that was damaged by Storm Ciara last weekend, it has emerged. Staff at the Worcestershire park were said to be “extremely saddened” by the deaths but insist there was no risk to the public at any point.


Poundland sells 40,000 engagement rings in Valentine’s Day rush

Discount retailer Poundland has sold twice as many rings in the run-up to Valentine’s Day today than it did last year. The £1 rings – known as Bling Rings or Man Bands – are intended to be used as a placeholder for a proper ring, to be purchased later. Meanwhile, Interflora told the BBC that it expected to sell three bouquets a second today.


Woman reunited with mix tape lost on beach 25 years ago

A woman from Germany has told of her astonishment after finding a cassette mix tape that she made as a 12-year-old 25 years ago forming part of an art exhibition in the UK. Stella Wedell lost the tape on the Costa Brava or Mallorca in 1995. It was picked up decades later in Lanzarote by British artist Mandy Barker, who restored the tape and included it in her touring exhibition Sea of Artefacts.


Briefing: the paedophile scandal that shames the French establishment

French police have raided the offices of one of the country’s biggest publishers in a search for material written by an author at the heart of a paedophile scandal.

Investigators scoured the Paris premises of the Gallimard company on Wednesday in a bid to find unpublished writings by Gabriel Matzneff, who has been charged with rape.

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