Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 12 Apr 2019

1. Corbyn: ‘Don’t extradite Assange to US’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the US “for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan”, after Theresa May and several ministers welcomed the arrest of the whistle-blower. Assange was arrested yesterday for breach of bail, following seven years hiding in Ecuador’s London embassy. The US then requested his extradition.

2. Civil servants taken off £1.5bn no-deal Brexit

Around 6,000 civil servants who had been making plans for a no-deal Brexit have been returned to their normal duties, after £1.5bn was spent on the project. Labour’s Hilary Benn said it was a “costly price” to pay for Theresa May’s insistence of keeping no-deal as a bargaining position. Brexit has been postponed to October.

3. Violent crime falling, despite stabbing increase

New research suggests violent crime in England and Wales is declining overall, despite a rise in stabbings, gun crime and murder. A team at Cardiff University looked at data on admissions to hospital A&E departments and found violent attacks dropped by 1.7% in 2018. The authors said this reduction was “difficult to explain”.

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4. Israeli space probe crash-lands on moon

An Israeli probe crash-landed on the surface of the moon yesterday, and will not be able to take photographs or conduct experiments. It was the first privately-funded moon mission and the first by a nation other than the US, Soviet Union and China. The Beresheet probe launched from Nasa’s Cape Canaveral facility in Florida.

5. Stormzy cancels gig over ‘racial profiling’

UK grime artist Stormzy has apologised to fans after cancelling a performance at the Snowbombing festival in Austria because his team were targeted when security received reports of a weapon on site. The 25-year-old, who was not present himself, said: “My manager and all my friends who were at the festival were racially profiled.”

6. Detectors to spot drivers using mobile phones

Two police forces in England are to start using devices which can tell if a mobile phone is being used in a car, and will then flash up a warning beside the road. The devices – which spot 2G, 3G and 4G signals – can’t tell whether it is the driver or a passenger using the phone. Thames Valley and Hampshire police are to use them.

7. Social housing segregation: whistleblower ‘punished’

The Guardian reports today that a social housing tenant in London who spoke out to the newspaper about segregation between private tenants and social in his block believes he is now being “punished”. Thomas Reames, 42, was about to sign a lease with Southern Housing but has now been told his probation will be extended.

8. One killed in microlight crash at Royal Birkdale

One person died at around 7pm last night when a microlight aircraft crashed on the famous Royal Birkdale golf course at Southport on Merseyside. Local police said officers “dealing with a microlight crash” put out a fire – and the victim had been pronounced dead at the scene. The identity of the person has not been released.

9. Papua New Guinea: botched penis enlargements

Doctors in Papua New Guinea are warning of a nationwide epidemic of botched penis enlargement procedures. One clinic is said to have treated at least 500 men with disfigurement and dysfunction caused by injections of foreign substances such as cooking oil and silicone. The injections are often performed by off-duty health workers.

10. Why Norway refuses to drill for oil worth billions

Norway’s parliament has dealt a blow to the nation’s vast oil industry by withdrawing support for explorative drilling off the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic.

Why Norway is refusing to drill for oil worth billions

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