Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 1 Jun 2019

1. Twelve people killed in mass shooting in Virginia

At least 12 people were killed on Friday in a mass shooting at a government building in the US state of Virginia. Several people were injured, including a police officer. The suspect, a long-term and current Virginia Beach city employee, fired “indiscriminately” in a public utilities building, said the authorities. He was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.

2. Donald Trump backs ‘excellent’ Johnson for Tory leadership

Donald Trump says Boris Johnson would be an “excellent” choice for the Conservative Party leadership. Speaking to The Sun, the US President said: “I think Boris would do a very good job.” He said other candidates had sought his endorsement, adding: “I could help anybody.” A multi-million-pound security operation is underway ahead of Trump’s visit to the UK next week.

3. Philip Green denies charges brought against him in US

Four charges of misdemeanour assault have been brought against Sir Philip in the US. A pilates instructor, Katie Surridge, alleges the 67-year-old retail tycoon touched her inappropriately during classes at the Canyon Ranch luxury resort in Tucson, Arizona, in 2016 and 2018. Green “strenuously denies” the charges, says his lawyer. Each count carries a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

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4. Obesity surge is set to cause 100 cases of cancer a day

The obesity epidemic will eventually cause 100 cancer cases a day, say doctors. The NHS says that cancers caused by obesity will increase by 62% by the end of the next decade. “This is a global problem. At the moment the US has higher levels of obesity but the UK is catching up,” added Jennifer Ligibel, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University.

5. David Cameron memoir will settle scores with Gove

David Cameron tries to settle scores with “backstabbing” Michael Gove in his memoirs, reports the Daily Telegraph. Allies of the former prime minister say they want to prevent the “untrustworthy” Environment Secretary winning the Tory leadership race. Cameron is said to be still angry that his attempts to negotiate a better deal with Europe were undermined by Gove.

6. Isis wife reveals part in helping CIA hunt for leader Baghdadi

The most senior female Islamic State captive has been pivotal in the hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, reports The Guardian. Nisrine Assad Ibrahim, also known as Umm Sayyaf, helped identify safe houses used by the fugitive terrorist leader and pinpointed his location in Mosul. “I told them where the house was,” she said.

7. Former drug kingpin Frank Lucas dies at 88

Former drug lord Frank Lucas, whose life inspired the film American Gangster, has died at the age of 88. Lucas had been in declining health, according to his former lawyer. A notorious heroin dealer in Harlem in the 1960s and 1970s, he later turned informant. “I did some terrible things. I’m awfully sorry that I did them. I really am,” he said in 2007.

8. Private renters to save hundreds as letting fees ban comes in

Private renters will save hundreds of pounds as a new law banning letting fees finally comes into force in England. Under the Tenant Fees Act, renters will no longer have to pay fees that add up to £13m every month in England. Citizens Advice says that some £234m has been paid out in letting fees since the government committed to outlawing them in 2017.

9. US scientists examining surge in deaths of grey whales

US government scientists are investigating what has caused the deaths of an unusually high number of gray whales on the west coast of North America. About 70 dead whales have washed up so far this year on the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska - the most since 2000. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries agency has declared the deaths an “unusual mortality event”.

10. Elton John criticises Russia for sex censorship in Rocketman movie

Sir Elton John has slammed censors in Russia for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman. An estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed from the film, which includes scenes of sex between men, ahead of its debut in Moscow. Sir Elton released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being “cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people”.

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