Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 9 Oct 2017

1

May to outline Brexit hopes to Parliament

Theresa May will tell Parliament today the UK can “prove the doomsayers wrong” and “seize the opportunities” offered by Brexit. The Prime Minister, making her first speech on Brexit in Parliament for several weeks, is under pressure from discontented Leavers in her party to sack Chancellor Philip Hammond for dragging his feet over the negotiations.

2

Shops ‘will ignore pound coin deadline’

Thousands of shops are likely to ignore the Royal Mint’s deadline next Sunday to stop accepting the old pound coin, according to the Federation of Small Businesses. The FSB, which represents 170,000 small firms, has advised its members to carry on taking the coins beyond 15 October, saying too many customers still have them to stop.

3

Producer Weinstein fired by company

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has been fired by the board of the Weinstein Company, which includes his brother Robert, after being accused of sexual harassment. The 65-year-old had already said he would take a leave of absence. The New York Times has claimed Weinstein paid out-of-court settlements to at least eight women.

4

Child-on-child sexual assaults increase

The number of reported sexual offences committed on under-18s by their peers has soared in the past four years, according to a freedom of information request. Police figures show a 71% increase in England and Wales, from 4,603 in 2013-14 to 7,866 in 2016-17, the BBC says. The number of reported rapes among under-18s also rose in that period, by 46%.

5

Clampdown on university essay cheats

Universities watchdog the Quality Assurance Agency has produced new guidelines for universities, in an attempt to crack down on so-called  “essay factories” - firms which write essays to order for students, to help them cheat. Institutions will be urged to stop the firms advertising on campus and to use software to detect plagiarism.

6

Pence leaves football game over kneeling

US Vice-President Mike Pence yesterday walked out of an American football game before it started, after some players chose to kneel during the national anthem in protest at police treatment of black people nationally. Pence said the players’ behaviour at the game, in his home state of Indianapolis, “disrespects out soldiers, our flag”. President Donald Trump said he was “proud” of his deputy.

7

Online dating crimes rise dramatically

Reported crime related to online dating increased by 382% between 2011 and 2016, according to Sky News. Last year, 676 incidents were reported to police. Of these, 106 were sexual crimes and 240 were violent attacks.

8

Dove apologises for ‘racist’ advertisement

Soap brand Dove has apologised for an online advert that showed a black model apparently turning into a (different) white model after using a product. Following the removal of the ad, the firm tweeted that it had “missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully”. The brand, owned by Unilever, added: “We deeply regret the offence it caused.”

9

Blade Runner 2049 disappoints at US box office

The sequel to classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner has performed poorly in the US on its opening weekend. The new film, starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, was expected to earn between $45m (£34m) and $50m (£38m) but took just $31.5m (£24m). The BBC says that figure will be a “major disappointment” for distributor Warner Bros.

10

Briefing: which way next for cryptocurrencies?

An explosion in the value of so-called cryptocurrencies over the past year has prompted fears of a market bubble and crash that could have serious implications for the global economy.

Over the past year, cryptocurrencies have attained record valuations. The price of Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, has soared from $969 in January to more than $5,000 in September. A rival currency Ethereum began the year at $8 and is currently trading at $400.

Cryptocurrencies were supposed to offer a secure, digital way to conduct financial transactions “but they have been dogged by doubts” largely focused on their astronomical gains in value and the likelihood of painful price crashes.

So are cryptocurrencies coming to an end or moving into the mainstream?

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