Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 19 Feb 2020

1

Immigration: no visas for low-skilled workers

The government yesterday unveiled its plans for immigration after the Brexit transition period ends. The points-based system will not favour EU nationals over other workers and would reduce the number of low-skilled workers entering the UK. Companies are urged to mechanise or find other ways to get around any labour shortages.

2

Fears of yet more floods as heavy rain is forecast

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for the next four days in England and Wales. Yellow warnings of rain affect North and South Wales, Lancashire and, later in the week, Yorkshire. The Environment Agency is warning that further flooding could hit those areas still struggling to cope with the effects of Storm Dennis.

3

Coronavirus: passengers allowed to leave ship

The first passengers have been allowed to disembark the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been kept under quarantine anchored off Yokohama in Japan for 14 days. They have all tested negative for the Covid-19 virus. Those who tested negative but shared a cabin with someone with the virus will have to stay on board.

4

Brits winner Dave calls Boris Johnson ‘racist’

At the 40th annual Brit Awards, held at the O2 Arena in London, rapper Dave became only the second artist to win best album after having already won the Mercury Prize with the same record. Performing a new version of his song Black, the Londoner called Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “racist” and attacked media treatment of Meghan Markle.

5

New film studios ‘to bring Hollywood to UK’

Plans have been submitted for the UK’s largest purpose-built film studio complex, to be part of Thames Valley Science Park near Reading in Berkshire. Jointly developed by the US production company Blackhall Studios and the University of Reading, the £150m studios would create up to 3,000 jobs and produce five to seven films a year.

6

First woman passes brutal Paras entry course

Since the 1990s, several female soldiers have tried and failed to pass the British Army’s gruelling Parachute Regiment P Company entry course. Now a 28-year-old, Captain Rosie Wild, has won one of the regiment’s coveted maroon berets after successfully tackling the brutal test of strength and courage, which is failed by many men.

7

Caroline Flack: family release Instagram post

The family of TV presenter Caroline Flack, who was found dead on Saturday and is said to have taken her own life, have released an Instagram post she wrote days before her death but was advised not to publish. In it, the 40-year-old says her arrest for alleged assault meant her “whole world and future was swept from under my feet”.

8

Singer Harry Styles ‘mugged on Valentine’s Day’

Harry Styles, the singer formerly with boy band One Direction, was mugged for cash in Hampstead, north London, on Valentine’s Day, police say. The 26-year-old is reported to have handed over an unspecified amount of cash when he was threatened with a knife. A source told the Daily Mirror that Styles “played it pretty cool”.

9

Violinist plays as brain tumour is removed

A 53-year-old violinist had 95% of a brain tumour removed at a London hospital in January – and played her instrument throughout the operation. Dagmar Turner, who plays in the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, performed music by Gershwin and Mahler so that surgeons could be sure they were not damaging her brain.

10

Briefing: A history of royal divorces

The Queen’s nephew, the Earl of Snowdon, and his wife Serena have revealed that they are to divorce, in the second royal separation of 2020.

The announcement that the pair have “amicably agreed” to split follows the news that the Queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips, and his wife Autumn also plan to part. Here is a brief history of royal divorces.

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