Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 24 Jul 2018

1

Dozens killed by wildfires in Greece

Wildfires in Greece have killed at least 24 people and injured scores more, with the authorities urging people to abandon their homes in some areas near Athens. High winds have whipped up the blazes, which are the worst in at least a decade. Most of the deaths are believed to have occurred in the resort town of Mati.

2

Women and children of Isis ‘pose threat to UK’

The number of radicalised women and children returning to Britain after fighting overseas with Islamic State has been seriously underestimated, according to new report from King’s College London. Report author Joana Cook said that some of the women had received military training and “may now pose a particular security threat”.

3

Heatwave to continue until Thursday or Friday

Monday was the hottest day of the year so far, with 33.3C recorded in Suffolk – but the Met Office is predicting even higher temperatures later this week. The heatwave is expected to continue until at least Friday morning and it could be as hot as 34C in some areas on Thursday. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK in July is 36.7C.

4

North Korea ‘has begun to dismantle rocket site’

Satellite images of the Sohae rocket station in North Korea reveal that it is being dismantled, seemingly honouring the promise to do so made by dictator Jim Jong Un to US President Donald Trump in June, a US-based monitoring group says. Trump tweeted yesterday that he was “very happy” with progress made by North Korea.

5

Pay rises for public sector staff to be announced

The Government is expected to announce pay rises for some public sector staff later today, reports the BBC. According to the broadcaster, as many as a million people will receive a pay rise for 2018-19, as Theresa May lifts the 1% public sector pay rise cap. Those expected to benefit include members of the armed forces, teachers and doctors. NHS workers, prison staff and police have already had rises.

6

Corbyn: ministers ‘selling out’ exporters on Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn will say today that British exporters are “being sold out by a lack of a Conservative government industrial plan, which has left our economy far too reliant on imports”. The Labour leader will argue that the Tories could have helped exporters take advantage of the weaker pound caused by the EU referendum vote.

7

Facebook censors 400-year-old Rubens nudes

Facebook has censored adverts placed by the Flanders tourist board because they contained nudes painted 400 years ago by Peter Paul Rubens. The tourist board and Flemish museums have written an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg complaining that his “cultural censorship” is making life difficult, but added that “we have to laugh about it”.

8

Graphic novel nominated for Man Booker prize

A graphic novel has made the longlist for the Man Booker, for the first time ever in the history of the prestigious prize for fiction published in English. Sabrina by Nick Drnaso is about a missing girl. The longlist of 13 includes six UK writers, two from Ireland, two from Canada, and three from the US, including Illinois-born Drnaso. 

9

England’s best and worst motorway services named

A survey of 9,600 customers has named England’s best motorway services as Norton Canes on the M6 toll road in Staffordshire, followed by nearby Stafford Southbound and Wetherby on the A1(M) in Yorkshire. Transport Focus conducted the survey and ranks Thurrock on the M25 in Essex as having the worst customer satisfaction score.

10

Briefing: will the US go to war with Iran?

Donald Trump last night fired off a furious message to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, as the protracted rivalry between the two leaders continues to escalate.

The pair have traded a series of “hostile warnings” in recent weeks, the BBC reports. During a meeting with diplomats on Sunday, Rouhani said: “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

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