Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 30 Apr 2019

1. May to accept more ambitious climate target

Theresa May is set to support a more ambitious target for tackling climate change, The Times reports today. By autumn, with cross-party consensus, the main goal is to be revised from an 80% reduction to a “net zero” target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the newspaper. Advisers to the the Climate Change Committee (CCC) say cheaper batteries make the revised goal feasible.

2. Cross-party Brexit talks: new optimism

Talks between the Conservatives and Labour on Brexit have taken a promising turn, with Labour’s Sue Hyman saying yesterday that the two parties have moved on to the “nuts and bolts” of a compromise deal. Highly contentious issues including the Irish border are to be discussed this week. Participants on both sides mention a “change of tone”.

3. Cambridge University to examine slave past

Cambridge University has announced a two-year inquiry into its historical links with slavery which will examine whether its colleges benefited financially from slavers and whether its academics reinforced acceptance of the trade. The inquiry could result in a plan to make reparations for the human cost of buying and selling slaves.

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4. Japanese emperor begins abdication ceremony

Japan’s Emperor Akihito today began a series of ceremonies to abdicate the throne, something unprecedented in modern times. The 85-year-old has said he feels unable to fulfil his duties because of declining health and will be replaced by his son. In a private ceremony this morning, he told his mythological ancestors of his decision.

5. Contaminated blood hearings to begin

Hearings begin today as the inquiry into infected blood given by the NHS To haemophiliacs in the 1970s and 1980s collects evidence. More than 2,000 people are thought to have died after being infected with HIV or hepatitis C. Thousands of others may have been exposed to infection when getting blood transfusions after operations.

6. Boyz n the Hood director Singleton dies

Hollywood director John Singleton, the first African American nominated for a Best Director Oscar, has died at the age of 51 after suffering a stroke on 17 April. His 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, starring rapper Ice Cube, was “incendiary” and “zeitgeist-altering”, says The Guardian. Singleton said Hollywood overlooked black directors.

7. IS leader al-Baghdadi reappears in video

The leader of Islamic State, known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has appeared in a video made by the terror group for the first time in five years. It is not known when the video was recorded but Isis claims it was this month. He admits in the video that Isis has lost control of all its territories in Syria and Iraq but says terrorism will continue.

8. Frosts and cold nights replace ‘Spanish plume’

The Met Office says the weather will be colder than usual for the time of year from Friday this week, with icy flurries, cold nights and frosts. It had been reported that a weather system known as the “Spanish plum” would bring warm temperatures this bank holiday weekend – but forecasters now say that this will not happen.

9. Charity shop’s £50,000 haute couture donation

A charity shop in Kent is the scene of a fashion gold rush after a regular donor gave £50,000-worth of haute couture clothes in a single donation. Staff in the Tunbridge Wells branch of Mind say three-quarters of the designer outfits, including a £1,180 silk skirt by Erdem and a Gucci wool coat, have already been snapped up by bargain hunters.

10. How the NHS is failing children on mental health

Child mental health services in the UK are significantly worse than those available in many other European countries, according to a major new report.

How the NHS is failing children on mental health

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