Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 6 May 2016


SNP hails 'historic' win - but falls short of a majority

The Scottish National Party has claimed a "historic" victory in Scotland's parliamentary elections, making it the first party to win three consecutive terms, although it fell two seats short of an overall majority. The Nats won 63 seats, with the Conservatives on 31 and Labour on 24. Labour fell one seat short of a majority in the Welsh Assembly, with Plaid Cymru in second place.


Government backs down on academy plans

The government has backed down on plans to force all state schools in England to become academies by 2022. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan claimed the U-turn proved they had "listened" to critics from both within the Conservative Party and from the education sector. Under new plans, top schools will retain the choice on whether to convert.


South Yorkshire Police accused of Hillsborough 'spin'

A former press officer for South Yorkshire Police claims she was told to "spin" reports of the Hillsborough inquests to cast the force in a more positive light. She was hired as the Hillsborough communications specialist before the inquests began, but later accused the force of "unethical practice". The inquest found that the 96 Liverpool fans were "unlawfully killed".


Ship to be named after David Attenborough

A £200m polar research vessel that the public wanted to call Boaty McBoatface will instead be named the RRS Sir David Attenborough. A public poll to come up with a name made headlines when Boaty McBoatface emerged as the winner, but the organisers opted to honour the naturalist and broadcaster instead. However, one of the vessel's remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty.


Corbyn defiant after bad night for Labour

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he will "carry on" despite poor results for the party in Super Thursday's polls. Labour suffered its worst results since 1910 in Scotland, where it was beaten into third place by the Tories. Labour also lost ground in England and Wales, but its losses were not as great as some had predicted, although it fared worse than in 2012.


Green: BHS inquiry chair should resign

Sir Philip Green has said the MP leading the work and pensions select committee inquiry into the collapse of BHS should resign. The businessman objected to Frank Field's "prejudice" after the politician said Green should be stripped of his knighthood if he does not repay £571m to the BHS pensions fund.


Air strike kills 28 in Syria refugee camp

At least 28 people were killed by an air strike in northern Syria yesterday, despite a ceasefire in Aleppo, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Women and children were believed to be among the victims at the Al-Kammouna camp near Sarmada. The group says another 50 people were wounded by the bombing.


UK better off out of European Union, says Trump

Donald Trump, the Republican Party's "presumptive nominee" for the US presidency, has said the UK would be better off outside the EU. He blamed the migration crisis on the bloc, saying it was a "horrible thing for Europe". Last week, US President Barack Obama said the UK should remain inside the European Union, "helping to lead".


First New Year sex attack trial begins in Cologne

A 26-year-old Algerian has become the first person to go on trial accused of sex attacks in Cologne during the city's New Year celebrations. He is accused of attempted sexual assault and theft. It is claimed he was one of a group of around ten men who surrounded a woman at Cologne's railway station, where hundreds of women reported being assaulted by gangs of men.


Briefing: Embryo breakthrough sparks fierce ethical debate

Scientists have kept human embryos alive in a laboratory for longer than ever before, but the major breakthrough has reignited an old ethical debate. Research teams from the University of Cambridge and the Rockefeller University in New York cultured the embryos for 13 days, almost double the previous record and past the point at which a foetus would naturally implant in the womb. "It opens a new window on the earliest stages of human development while pushing the limits of embryonic research," says the Wall Street Journal.

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