Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 21 Jun 2019

1. Tory MP filmed grabbing protester by neck

Conservative MP Mark Field is being investigated by police after he was caught on camera as he grabbed a Greenpeace activist by the neck at the annual Mansion House dinner in London last night and forcefully ejected her. Field said he had apologised “unreservedly” to the protester but that he had “for a split-second genuinely worried she might have been armed”.

Who will be the next UK prime minister? The odds and polls

2. Trump ‘approved Iran strikes then backed down’

US President Donald Trump approved retaliatory military strikes against Iran on Thursday but then changed his mind, The New York Times reports. The newspaper says the US military still expected strikes on a “handful” of targets to go ahead as late as 7pm local time last night, in response to the shooting down of a US spy drone that the White House maintains was in international airspace.

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3. Johnson vs. Hunt following Gove’s ‘revenge’ defeat

The next prime minister of the UK will be either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, after Environment Secretary Michael Gove was voted out of the Conservative leadership contest yesterday in the final round of ballots by Tory MPs. Party members will now pick the winner. According to The Times, Johnson’s supporters said they had enacted “revenge” on Gove for wrecking the former London mayor’s campaign to become Tory leader three years ago.

Tory leadership: did Boris Johnson's campaign engage in dirty tricks?

4. EU talks to find Juncker successor break down

Talks in Brussels aimed at choosing a successor to Jean-Claude Juncker as the next European Commission president broke down in the early hours of this morning, with EU leaders including Theresa May unable to agree on the final three candidates. French President Emmanuel Macron is said to favour Michel Barnier for the post.

5. Carney: UK firms not ready for no-deal

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned that 150,000 UK businesses still do not have the paperwork they will need to export goods to the EU if there is a no-deal Brexit. He said some firms had built up contingency stocks but these would only last for “weeks”. On a positive note, Carney added that the financial system was prepared for no-deal.

What might no-deal look like for Britain?

6. ‘Living drug’ offers hope to terminal cancer patients

NHS patients with lymphoma are being treated with a “living drug” that cures the blood cancer in a way “never been seen before”, doctors at King’s College Hospital in London say. The drug, called CAR-T, is tailor-made for each patient using their body’s own cells, says the BBC. Blood cells are extracted, modified, cultured and then re-injected.

7. Hong Kong democracy protesters gather once again

Protesters objecting to what they say are attempts to stifle the democracy of Hong Kong by mainland China are gathering in their thousands in the former British colony once again. In the fourth mass protest in less than two weeks, crowds have blocked a key route through the city and are demanding the release of activists and police apologies.

What is happening in Hong Kong?

8. Harry and Meghan split from from William and Kate joint charity

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to split from the charity they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in order to establish their own foundation. Prince William and Prince Harry set up the Royal Foundation in 2009. Royal sources said the decision to break away was not a bid for autonomy by Harry and Meghan, but rather a practical one.

Inside Kensington Palace: Harry and Meghan Markle’s London home

9. Stonehenge solstice sunrise live-streamed

The sunrise at Stonehenge on this year’s summer solstice has been streamed live online, as English Heritage launches a new webcam overlooking the ancient monument in Wiltshire. The Stonehenge Skyscape project will show the stones during the daytime and a computer-generated representation of the night sky above them after dark.

Summer solstice: why people gather at Stonehenge

10. Briefing: can London go car-free?

More than 12 miles of London roads are to be closed this autumn during the English capital’s biggest ever car-free day.

Mayor Sadiq Khan marked national Clean Air Day on Thursday by unveiling the vehicle ban initiative. “This will be a great opportunity for us all to leave our cars behind and explore our streets by foot, or by bike.” But is more action needed?

Can London go car-free?

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