Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 10 Jun 2019

1. Johnson: I’d charge higher earners less tax

Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson has pledged to tax the rich less if he is elected to lead the party. The former foreign secretary says he would use money set aside for a no-deal Brexit to increase the threshold at which people start paying 40% income tax to £80,000. Meanwhile, Michael Gove has been urged to drop out of the leadership race after admitting taking cocaine 20 years ago.

2. Hong Kong: extradition protests turn violent

Riot police in Hong Kong this morning used batons and pepper spray on protesters opposing new legislation that will make it easier to extradite people to mainland China. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has vowed to press on with the legal change even though as many as a million people turned out for the demonstration.

3. Huge fire destroys 20 flats in Barking

Around 100 firefighters and 15 fire engines were called to a blaze yesterday at a tower block in Barking, east London. A man and a woman were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation but there were no other injuries. Twenty flats were destroyed after the fire ripped through the six-storey building, and a further ten were badly damaged. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

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. German student attacked in Canterbury

A 17-year-old German exchange student is in a serious condition in hospital in London after being attacked by a gang of teenagers in Canterbury. Six young people have been arrested over the assault on the boy, thought to be originally from Lebanon. Police say they are considering racism as a motive.

5. Greenpeace activists board oil platform in Scotland

Protesters from Greenpeace last night boarded an oil platform in Cromarty Firth, near Inverness, in a bid to to prevent it from being towed out to the Vorlich oil field in the North Sea. The demonstrators say they are prepared to stay onboard the rig “for days” and are calling on BP to stop opening up new oil wells.

6. Church of England backs medicinal cannabis

The Church of England has decided it is happy to invest in companies that profit from medicinal cannabis, though it will maintain its embargo on investing in recreational drugs. A spokesperson said: “We will hold medicinal cannabis to the same standards we hold other pharmaceuticals to and invest only if properly licensed and regulated.”

7. Nurse’s name left off test tube baby plaque

The name of a female nurse and embryologist who played a key role in developing the world’s first test-tube baby was excluded from a plaque honouring the pioneers of IVF despite objections from her colleagues, newly released letters show. Professor Sir Robert Edwards wrote to Oldham Area Health Authority in 1980 insisting that Jean Purdy should be recognised as an “equal contributor” but was ignored.

8. Trump and Macron’s friendship tree is dead

An oak tree presented by Emmanuel Macron to Donald Trump as a gift during the French president’s visit to the US last year has died, according to reports. The sapling was planted at the White House as a symbol of two countries’ ties, but subsequently vanished and was said to have been taken into quarantine. Now, a diplomatic source has told French media that the tree died in quarantine.

9. Ed Sheeran tops radio playlist despite silence

New figures show that Ed Sheeran was last year’s most-played artist on UK radio, even though he did not release any new music in 2018. The singer-songwriter did not have an entry in the top ten most-played tracks, either, suggesting that he instead has a large number of songs still in rotation. Calvin Harris was 2018’s second most-played artist.

10. Briefing: why everyone’s talking about swine fever

Southeast Asia has been hit by what experts say is the world’s biggest ever animal disease outbreak – an epidemic of African swine fever.

There is no vaccination for the disease, known as “pig Ebola”, which, though harmless to humans, is highly contagious and fatal for pigs. So what happened?

Why everyone’s talking about swine fever

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.