Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 7 Dec 2018

1

Brexit backstop compromise rejected by DUP

DUP leader Arlene Foster has dismissed as “legislative tinkering” a proposed amendment intended to appease Brexiteer MPs by giving them more control over the so-called “backstop” plan for the Irish border. Theresa May is still resisting calls from her own party to postpone a vote on her Brexit deal.

2

Fears grow for missing backpacker Grace Millane

New Zealand police say they have “grave fears” for missing British backpacker Grace Millane, last seen on Saturday night with a “male companion” at a hotel in central Auckland. The 22-year-old’s father, David Millane, has flown to New Zealand. He said in a statement: “Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time … we are all extremely upset.”

3

Eight schools including Eton dominate Oxbridge

Just eight fee-paying schools send as many pupils to Oxford and Cambridge as all the other schools in the country, data from education charity the Sutton Trust reveals. Pupils from private schools are more than twice as likely to go to a Russell Group university than those from state comprehensives, according to the new figures.

4

Trump to make ex-Fox News anchor UN ambassador

Former Fox News journalist Heather Nauert is to be the new US ambassador to the UN, news agencies are reporting. Incumbent Nikki Haley announced in October that she was leaving the job at the end of the year. Nauert was a host of US President Donald Trump’s favourite TV news show Fox and Friends from 2012 until last year, when she became spokesperson for the Department of State.

5

Three arrested on neo-Nazi terror charges

Police investigating a neo-Nazi group uncovered by the BBC have arrested three men on suspicion of terror offences. The trio - a 21-year-old from Bath, an 18-year-old from Portsmouth and a 17-year-old from London - are being interviewed after being taken into custody yesterday. The so-called Sonnenkrieg Division group published a poster calling for the murder of Prince Harry.

6

Cambridge academics angry over ‘racist’ fellow

More than 200 Cambridge University academics have signed an open letter condemning the appointment of social scientist Dr Noah Carl to a fellowship at St Edmund’s College. They accuse Carl of publishing “ethically suspect” work that amounts to “racist pseudoscience”. Carl has called for free speech on issues including race.

7

Kevin Hart quits as Oscars host over LGBTQ slurs

US comedian and actor Kevin Hart has withdrawn from hosting next year’s Oscars, just three days after landing what he described a dream gig. Hart said he was stepping down from the role because he does not want to be a “distraction”, amid a public outrage over tweets he posted in 2009 that use homophobic language. The entertainer has apologised for his “insensitive” remarks.

8

O2 data network restored after day of outages

Mobile phone provider O2 this morning announced that its 4G data network is running properly again following outages yesterday. Many customers reported being unable to access fast data services on their smartphones from around 5.30am on Thursday. O2 and Ericsson issued a joint apology, blaming “faulty software” for the problems.

9

China launches mission to dark side of moon

A rocket is due to blast off from China today carrying a module that will try to land on the so-called dark side of the Moon, that which faces away from Earth. It will be the first attempt to land a craft there, though the dark side has been overflown by Nasa astronauts. The launch is scheduled for about 6.30pm UK time – and the landing in early January.

10

Briefing: why is Japan relaxing its immigration laws?

Japan’s House of Representatives has passed a long-awaited piece of legislation relaxing the country’s famously strict immigration laws.

The aim of the bill, which was forced through by the ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party, is to offer low-skilled foreign workers a new type of visa.

Popular articles

What would happen if China invaded Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

What would happen if China invaded Taiwan?

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

The Week Footer Banner