Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 21 Mar 2019

1. May in Brussels to discuss Brexit delay

Theresa May is in Brussels today to discuss her request to extend the Brexit deadline as she seeks to win over MPs to her Withdrawal Agreement. EU President Donald Tusk has said the EU heads of state are likely to agree to the short extension, but only if the prime minister can find a Commons majority to support her exit deal next week.

2. MPs decry PM’s ‘reckless’ Brexit speech

The prime minister once again faced calls to resign last night, after making a televised speech in which she blamed MPs for the delay to Brexit and told the public: “I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide.” Labour’s Wes Streeting pointed out that MPs were being “subjected to death threats” as tensions grow, and said that May’s speech was “incendiary and irresponsible”.

3. Cyclone Idai: rescue teams struggling to reach survivors

Rescue workers are battling to reach thousands of people who remain stranded on roofs and up trees in Mozambique after the devastating Tropical Cyclone Idai hit on Friday, bringing floods which are still on the rise. The rescue teams say they urgently need more helicopters. At least 600,000 people have been affected by the disaster.

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4. Lockerbie bombing: Stasi agents questioned

Scottish prosecutors are investigating the possible involvement of the Stasi in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The move comes 18 years after Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the terror attack, which killed 259 passengers and crew of Pan Am flight 103, and 11 people on the ground. At least five former officers in the East German secret police are being questioned, according to reports.

5. Foreign students who stay in UK paying £3.2bn tax

Foreign students who stay on to work in the UK after graduation contribute an estimated total of £3.2bn in tax revenue over a decade, says a new report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi). The think tank is also warning that restrictions on which students can stay, introduced in 2012, are costing the Exchequer around £150m a year.

6. Dementia rates down by 15% as smokers quit

The rate of people developing dementia in Europe and the US has fallen by 15% in the past decade, a massive new study has found – and researchers say a shift to healthier living, including reduced rates of smoking, is the cause. However, lead researcher Albert Hofman, of Harvard University, warned the effect was likely to reverse if obesity rates continue to rise.

7. Korean porn ring ‘filmed 1,600 hotel guests’

Police in South Korea have arrested two men accused of secretly filming around 1,600 hotel guests across the country and streaming the footage online in return for payment. The suspects allegedly set up cameras, some just a millimetre in diameter, in 42 rooms in 30 hotels in ten cities. More than 800 illegally filmed videos were livestreamed via a server based overseas.

8. Scotland’s biggest landowners plan rewilding

A Danish couple who are Scotland’s biggest private landowners plan to rewild their huge estates, an adviser has said. Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen own more than 200,000 acres across Sutherland and the Grampian Mountains. They want to restore the landscape following centuries of damage from overgrazing by sheep and deer.

9. Hedge fund boss ‘punched man at opera’

A barrister who runs a hedge fund punched a fashion designer in a row over a seat at the Royal Opera House in London, a court was told yesterday. Matthew Feargrieve, 43, is accused of attacking 56-year-old designer Ulrich Engler after he allegedly insulted Feargrieve’s wife and threw her coat on the floor during a performance of a Wagner opera.

10. Who’s the richest woman in the UK?

Online gambling mogul Denise Coates is the best-paid woman in the world and the sixth richest person in the UK, according to the latest issue of Forbes magazine.

Coates, who founded the gambling group Bet365 and is worth an estimated $6.5bn, is the only British woman to make Forbes’s richest people in the world list who isn’t ranked alongside a spouse or other family members.

Who’s the richest woman in the UK?

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