Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 15 Feb 2020

1

Storm Dennis could cause more damage than Ciara

The Met Office has issued danger to life warnings for parts of the country and said that Storm Dennis could flood hundreds of homes across the UK this weekend. Experts have told the BBC that Storm Dennis could inflict more damage than Ciara when it sweeps in later. Transport is expected to be disrupted.

2

Eurosceptic fear as Boris cancels plans to visit Trump

Boris Johnson has cancelled plans to visit Washington prompting concern among Eurosceptic Tories that he will prioritise an EU deal. The PM had planned to meet President Trump last month, but moved the date to February. Now, the trip has been cancelled completely and the two men will not meet face to face before the G7 summit at Camp David in Maryland in June.

3

Emily Thornberry drops out of Labour leadership race

Emily Thornberry has left the Labour leadership race after failing to secure enough nominations. The shadow foreign secretary had 31 nominations from local constituency parties - two short of the 33 needed by last night’s deadline. She wished good luck to Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy, the three remaining candidates to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

4

Judge warns Britain could become Orwellian over speech

A judge has compared a police force to the Gestapo over its handling of a businessman who tweeted about transgender people. Mr Justice Knowles said that Britain was in danger of becoming an Orwellian society after Harry Miller was visited by officers at work and told that his messages would be recorded as a “non-crime hate incident”. The tweets included a limerick about transgender people.

5

Weinstein underestimated victims, says prosecutor

Harvey Weinstein was a “master of his universe” who stepped on, demoralised, humiliated and then abused and raped “disposable” women he tricked into his lair, a court has heard. However, in the closing arguments at the Hollywood boss’s New York rape trial, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said Weinstein “not only ran roughshod over the dignity of these witnesses, he also underestimated them”.

6

Pioneering new police scheme cuts reoffending rates

A pioneering police scheme in the north-east of England has slashed reoffending rates and could lead to a transformation in how the justice system deals with violent crime. Thousands of offenders took part in an experiment in which they avoided prosecution if they took part in a rehabilitation programme. There was a 15-percentage point drop in reoffending after two years among those who took part compared with those who did not.

7

Astronomers set for unique search for alien life

Astronomers are set to sweep the entire sky for signs of extraterrestrial life for the first time. The experts will use 28 giant radio telescopes in the unprecedented hunt for alien civilisations. Meanwhile, the head of one of the US's national observatories says the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe needs to be taken more seriously.

8

Sex video ends candidate's campaign to be Paris mayor

A sex tape has ended French ruling party candidate Benjamin Griveaux's bid to become mayor of Paris. Griveaux, a former spokesman for President Emmanuel Macron's government, was featured in the video of a man in a compromising position. Petr Pavlensky, who sought asylum from Russia in 2017, said he had posted the video online, accusing Griveaux of hypocrisy.

9

Manchester City banned from Europe for two years

Manchester City have been banned from European club competition for the next two seasons. The north-west club was judged to have committed “serious breaches” of Uefa's club licensing and financial fair play regulations. The club has also been fined 30m euros (£25m). In a statement, Manchester City said they will appeal against the “prejudicial” decision.

10

Prince Andrew linked to second tycoon facing sex charges

Prince Andrew stayed with a man who is accused of raping 10 women, some as young as 14. Fashion tycoon Peter Nygard is the second of Andrew’s associates to be accused of sex crimes, following his well-publicised links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Mirror says the latest revelations will come as a “major embarrassment” to a “beleaguered Buckingham Palace”.

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