Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 20 Feb 2020

1

Germany: nine killed in shisha bar shootings

Nine people died in shootings at two shisha bars in the central German city of Hanau last night. The suspected gunman was found dead later at his home, along with the body of a second person. Police say the motive for the attack is not clear. The clientele at targeted bars are said to be mainly Kurdish.

2

Coronavirus cruise ship: two passengers die

Two passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have died after being diagnosed with the Covid-19 coronavirus. The two victims, both Japanese, were in their 80s and had underlying health problems, and had been moved to hospital last week. Some British passengers are due to fly home tomorrow after being allowed to leave the ship, which has been quarantined off Yokohama for more than two weeks. 

3

One month of rain to fall in 24 hours

A month’s worth of rain is set to fall in just 24 hours in north Wales and northwest England, forecasters are warning. The downpours are expected to hit communities already struggling to cope with the effects of Storm Dennis last weekend. Eight rivers have reached new record highs in recent days and 120 flood warnings are still in place across the UK.

4

Democrat hopefuls turn on Bloomberg

Six candidates last night faced off in the ninth debate between US Democrats vying for the presidential nomination – with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg taking part for the first time. The billionaire’s participation in the clash in Nevada united the other candidates, who took turns to attack his record on race and women. Front-runner Bernie Sanders also took some flak.

5

New J.M.W. Turner £20 note enters circulation

The Royal Mint is releasing the new Bank of England £20 note into circulation today. The note, hailed as the most secure ever produced in the UK, features a portrait of 19th century artist J.M.W. Turner and is made of polymer rather than paper. The £20 shows Turner’s portrait in front of his painting The Fighting Temeraire, a tribute to the ship that played a key role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. 

6

Zuckerberg teased for ‘blow-dried armpits’

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of making members of his staff blow-dry his armpits before he gives speeches. The claim is made in a new book, Facebook: The Inside Story, by tech journalist Steven Levy. A spokesperson for the social media giant denied the story but said that “anyone who has ever worn a grey T-shirt can relate”.

7

Inventor of copy and paste dies

The US computer scientist behind the cut, copy and paste functions has died at the age of 74. User interface design specialist Larry Tesler worked for Xerox before being poached by Steve Jobs for Apple, where he spent 17 years and became the firm’s chief scientist.

8

Jagermeister logo ‘not offensive to Christians’

A Swiss court has ruled that the logo of alcoholic drinks firm Jagermeister – a stag with a cross between its antlers – is not offensive to Christians, because “intensive” use has “weakened its religious character” over time. A trademark watchdog had asked the court to block the firm from expanding the use of its logo to other products.

9

Burger King releases ad featuring rotting Whopper

Fast-food chain Burger King has unveiled a new advertising campaign that features a time-lapse video of one of the firm’s Whopper burgers becoming rotten. The television ads - running in Europe and the US - are designed to illustrate Burger King’s new policy of removing artificial preservatives from its products by the end of 2020. In a tweet, the company said: “The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly.”

10

Briefing: what is ‘cancel culture’?

The death of Caroline Flack has reignited debate about the relatively new phenomenon of “cancel culture”.

The reality TV presenter has been described as “the latest casualty” of the “epidemic” after she was found dead in her London home on Saturday, a few weeks before she was due to face trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton. But what exactly does the term mean?

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