Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 24 Jun 2019

1. Hunt tells Johnson: ‘Don’t be a coward – debate me’

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is urging his leadership rival Boris Johnson to stop being “a coward” and “man up” in order to face public scrutiny. Writing in The Times, Hunt says he is not interested in Johnson’s personal life but wants to debate with him on Sky News this week. The challenge comes amid growing pressure on Johnson to answer questions about a row with his partner in the early hours of Friday that led to police being called to his London home.

Boris Johnson faces questions of character

2. Erdogan’s party loses Istanbul local election rerun

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suffered a major blow yesterday when an opposition candidate was declared the winner of a high-stakes rerun of the Istanbul mayoral election. Erdogan’s ruling AKP party had demanded a second election, citing alleged voting “irregularities”, after Ekrem Imamoglu of the CHP party won by a margin of 13,000 in March. But the AKP has finally conceded defeat after Imamoglu extended that lead by more than 775,000 votes.

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Why did Turkey's ruling party lose the Istanbul mayoral election?

3. Israel Folau: fundraiser shut down over anti-gay views

A crowdfunding campaign started by rugby player Israel Folau has been shut down by GoFundMe because of his anti-gay views. Folau, a Christian, lost his contract with Australia in May after he said that “hell awaits” homosexuals. He had been trying to raise money to fight a legal campaign against Rugby Australia, claiming religious discrimination.

Israel Folau homophobia row: New Zealand Rugby backs diversity - video

4. At least 14 killed in Rajasthan tent collapse

At least 14 people were killed and 50 injured when heavy rain and a thunderstorm caused a huge tent to collapse in the Indian state of Rajasthan yesterday. A total of around 300 people had gathered in the tent for a religious event when the extreme weather hit. Reuters says some of the victims were killed by falling debris, while others were electrocuted by live electricity wires.

5. Nick Clegg: Brexit vote was not influenced by Russia

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Nick Clegg, now a vice-president of Facebook, has insisted there is “absolutely no evidence” that Russia influenced the result of the Brexit vote using the social media platform as a tool. The ex-deputy prime minister, who began working for Facebook last October, told the BBC that the firm had carried out analyses of its data and found no “significant attempt” by outside forces to influence the referendum result.

Will Facebook be broken up?

6. Murray sets sights on singles titles following hip surgery

Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray won the doubles title at Queen’s Club yesterday, just five months after undergoing a hip resurfacing operation. Following his victory alongside Feliciano Lopez in the final in London, the 32-year-old Scot said: “I’ve won with a metal hip. It is mental really.” Murray added that he was aiming to return to the singles game – and hinted that he might enter the US Open.

7. NHS opens gambling addiction clinic for children

The NHS is to open a gambling addiction clinic aimed specifically at children and young people. The move comes after the Gambling Commission found that 55,000 children in the UK have a gambling problem. The watchdog has also found that 450,000 children are gambling regularly – more than those who have taken drugs, drunk alcohol or smoke.

8. UK to get one month’s rain before heatwave

Some parts of the UK will experience up to a month’s worth of rain this week, before a heatwave hits the country. Areas of Scotland could see 80mm of rain today, while central and eastern England may get two week’s worth in one hour this evening. Meanwhile, lightning, hail and strong winds are forecast in eastern areas of Wales.

9. Woman wakes up alone and ‘freezing’ on parked plane

Air Canada has confirmed that a woman passenger woke up alone on a parked plane in the dark after sleeping through disembarkation. Tiffani Adams says she was freezing cold and still buckled into her seat when she woke following a 90-minute flight from Quebec to Toronto. The battery of her phone died before she could call for help, but she managed to unlock a door and alert a luggage cart handler.

10. 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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