Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 28 Mar 2019

1. May pledges to quit but fails to win over DUP

The DUP will not support Theresa May’s EU deal, despite the promise she made yesterday to step down as Tory leader if the Commons backs it. May said she would quit as leader on 22 May, staying on as Prime Minister until she is replaced. The pledge brought some of May’s opponents, including Boris Johnson, back onside.

2. Speaker says Brexit votes can continue

John Bercow, the Commons speaker, says there is no reason why a second round of indicative votes on Brexit options should not go ahead as planned on Monday, even though no single option secured a majority in the House yesterday. Ken Clarke’s proposal for a customs union came closest to a majority yesterday, lacking just eight votes.

3. Boeing to ‘fix’ ill-fated 737 Max aeroplanes

Boeing has announced changes to its 737 Max jets, after two crashed within four months, forcing the US aircraft manufacturer to ground the fleet. A safety system that was previously an optional extra – which was not installed in either of the crashed planes – will now come as standard, and a software upgrade has been issued. The two crashes caused 346 deaths.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

4. Grenfell Tower: toxic contamination nearby

Carcinogenic chemicals and other pollutants have been found in soil and debris samples close to the site of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, The Guardian says today. An independent investigation found “significant environmental contamination” left by the blaze, which could pose serious health risks. There is anger that it has taken so long to discover this contamination.

5. Facebook to start blocking white nationalism

Facebook has responded to anger over the live-streaming of the Christchurch terror attacks by announcing it will block “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism” on the social network and on Instagram, starting next week. It had previously allowed Facebook users to call for whites-only states to be created.

6. Botticelli ‘copy’ revealed to be original work

A painting owned by English Heritage and long thought to be a copy of a Botticelli original was in fact created in the Renaissance master’s studio, experts have decided after extensive tests and the removal of yellow varnish. The Madonna of the Pomegranate may be an earlier version of Sandro Botticelli’s 1487 work, not a later copy.

7. Man arrested after shopkeeper stabbed to death

A 44-year-old man was arrested in Harrow last night over the killing of a shopkeeper stabbed to death as he opened up his newsagent’s shop on Sunday morning in northwest London. Ravi Katharkamar, 54, died at the scene, Marsh Food and Wine in Pinner, after being found by a passer-by. Police said the attack was “vicious”.

8. Scientists discover woman who feels no pain

A retired teacher who lives in Inverness has been found to have a genetic mutation which means she feels almost no pain or stress. Jo Cameron, 71, baffled a surgeon by her quick recovery from an operation, and was referred for genetic testing as a result. It is hoped that studying her mutation could lead to advances in pain relief.

9. Devon fatberg vanquished after seven weeks

A huge mass of congealed fat, wet wipes, grease and other unpleasant substances has been successfully broken up by sewerage workers in Sidmouth, Devon, after a seven-week battle. The 210ft-long fatberg was blocking the sewers of the seaside resort. Workers had at first to wear breathing apparatus to tackle it because of dangerous gases.

10. Briefing: how the Iranian Revolution unfolded

Forty years ago this week the people of Iran voted to end centuries of royal rule and create an Islamic Republic.

Just weeks earlier, millions of Iranians had protested in the streets as part of a popular movement against the regime led by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (also known as the Shah of Iran). So why did the Iranian Revolution take place, and how has it shaped modern geopolitics?

How the Iranian Revolution unfolded

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.