Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 3 May 2019

1. English local elections: Tories and Labour suffer

Votes cast in local elections in England and Northern Ireland are still being counted, but early results suggest that both the Conservatives and Labour have been punished at the polls, with voters turning to smaller parties and independent candidates. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg suggested the swing reflects public anger over the handling of Brexit.

2. Cyclone Fani makes landfall on Indian coast

The most severe storm to hit India in two decades made landfall in Odisha state earlier today, with winds of up to 115mph and heavy rain. A million people have been evacuated from their homes and no casualties have been reported so far. However, flooding and damage to property have been widely reported.

3. Tommy Robinson doused in milkshake

Far-right activist Tommy Robinson was drenched in milkshake for a second day in a row on Thursday, while campaigning to become an independent MEP for Northwest England. The founder of the English Defence League, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, reportedly threw a punch at a local man after being hit by the drink during a walkabout in Warrington, Cheshire. Police are investigating the incident.

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4. Kim Jong Nam murder: second woman freed

The second of two young women accused of killing Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, has been freed in Malaysia. Doan Thi Huong is expected to fly back to her native Vietnam today, after admitting the lesser charge of “causing injury”. Huong claimed that she and her co-accused, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, believed they were taking part in a TV prank when they wiped a deadly nerve agent on Kim’s face at at Kuala Lumpur airport.

5. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gets engaged

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has got engaged to her TV host partner, Clarke Gayford. The engagement was made public when Ardern was spotted wearing a diamond engagement ring, ahead of an official announcement. The 38-year-old became only the second world leader in history to give birth while in office when she had her daughter last June.

6. Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew dead at 74

British-born star Peter Mayhew, best known as Chewbacca in five Star Wars films, has died at the age of 74. Mayhew, who was 7ft 3in tall, was working as a hospital orderly when George Lucas signed him up for the 1977 original movie in the sci-fi series. The actor later wrote two books about being for children, a graphic-novel memoir called Growing Up Giant, and an anti-bullying book, My Favourite Giant.

7. Turner Prize drops Stagecoach sponsorship

Turner Prize bosses have cancelled a sponsorship deal with bus company Stagecoach South East just one day after the tie-up was announced, amid criticism of the firm’s founder. Sir Brian Souter has campaigned against gay marriage and opposes teaching LGBTQ issues in schools. Activist Peter Tatchell had said he was “surprised and disappointed” when the deal was announced.

8. Treasury to stick with 2p and 1p coins

The future of copper coinage in the UK has been secured, with the Treasury deciding not to scrap 1p and 2p coins “for years to come”. Chancellor Philip Hammond has set up a group to oversee and safeguard the cash system, after government estimates found that 2.2 million people in the UK are still reliant on physical money.

9. Solid-gold toilet installed at Blenheim Palace

A solid-gold toilet, an artwork but fully usable, is to go on show at the country house Blenheim Palace – and the public will be allowed to use it. Blenheim Art Foundation founder Edward Spencer-Churchill said: “Despite being born with a silver spoon in my mouth I have never had a s**t on a golden toilet, so I look forward to it.”

10. What was the Falklands War about?

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the sinking of the General Belgrano - one of the most controversial acts in modern British military history.

What was the Falklands War about?

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