Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 20 Jun 2019

1. Tory MPs to choose last two leadership candidates

Conservative MPs will today vote to choose the final two candidates in the race to replace Theresa May. Four contenders remain, after International Development Secretary Rory Stewart was knocked out of the contest last night. The Times reports that rivals of leadership hopeful Sajid Javid claim he is holding out in order to boost his chances of becoming front-runner Boris Johnson’s chancellor.

2. Iran claims to have shot down US military drone

Iran says it has shot down a US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone overflying its territory. A US commander declined to comment on the claim except to say: “There was no drone over Iranian territory.” Meanwhile, the White House is examining claims that a missile was fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, where Iran is fighting a proxy war.

3. Pilot arrested over crash death of Emiliano Sala

A 64-year-old private pilot from York has been arrested over the death of Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala, who died along with pilot David Ibbotson when their light aircraft crashed into the English Channel on the night of 21 January. David Henderson was supposed to fly the plane but arranged for Ibbotson to take over. Ibbotson was not qualified to fly at night.

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4. Hammond: no-deal Brexit could break up UK

Philip Hammond is warning today that a no-deal Brexit could use up his entire £26.6bn Brexit “war chest”, harm the economy and even lead to the break-up of the UK. In his annual Mansion House speech in the City of London, the chancellor will say that the candidates to replace Theresa May as prime minister must come up with a “Plan B” to avoid economic damage.

5. Online pornography age check delayed again

UK government plans to bring in an age verification check to stop under-18s from viewing pornography on the internet are to be delayed for a second time. The compulsory age checks – said by opponents to be unworkable – were due to be introduced in April last year. The date was pushed back to 15 July 2019 and will now be delayed again.

6. Scientists identify early signs of Parkinson’s

Scientists say they have identified signs of Parkinson’s in the brain that may appear 15 to 20 years before symptoms would kick in. A team at King’s College London studied people with a rare genetic mutation that puts them at high risk of developing the disease and found changes in the serotonin system of their brains, which controls mood, sleep and movement.

7. Khan announces biggest car-free day in London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced London’s biggest car-free day yet, scheduled for Sunday 22 September. Roads will be closed around London Bridge, Tower Bridge and much of the City. London boroughs will also hold car-free events. The day is intended to highlight the pollution crisis in the capital and encourage alternative transport.

8. US seen as ‘likely to use power for bad’

The US has joined Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran in a rogues’ gallery of nations seen as likely to use their influence for bad, according to an Ipsos Mori poll. The survey of 17,000 adults in 24 countries worldwide found that all five countries are also seen as less likely to use their influence for good than they were a decade ago.

9. Songs of rare whale recorded for first time

The songs of some of the last 30 north Pacific right whales in existence has been recorded for the first time. US researchers used moored acoustic recorders to capture the sound of males making repeated patterns of calls. The recordings detected four distinct songs over eight years at five locations in the Bering Sea off Alaska’s southwest coast.

10. Briefing: why everyone’s talking about Godwin’s Law

The internet adage Godwin’s Law is the talk of Twitter this week after the US government was accused of “running concentration camps” on its southern border.

The propensity for online discussions to descend into slanging matches involving Hitler and the Nazis was first noted in 1990 by US lawyer Mike Godwin. Now, he has intervened in the ongoing argument over migrants in the US. So what happened?

Why everyone’s talking about Godwin’s Law

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