Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 16 Jul 2019

1. Congresswomen: Trump has ‘white nationalist agenda’

Four US congresswomen of colour targeted by Donald Trump in tweets widely decried as racist have accused him of leading the US with “the agenda of white nationalists”. The Democratic lawmakers - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley - also said the president’s remarks were a “distraction” and urged the American people “not to take the bait”.

Today’s newspapers: ‘Bullish Boris ready to walk away’

2. Hunt and Johnson avoid calling Trump racist

Both candidates for the Conservative leadership have condemned Donald Trump over his tweets in which he suggested congresswomen of colour should “go back” to the countries from which their families originally came. However, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson both stopped short of describing the US president’s comments on Sunday as racist. Meanwhile, Theresa May has said the tweets were “completely unacceptable”.

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Johnson and Hunt join May in condemning Trump’s ‘completely unacceptable’ tweets

3. Mossad group tries to block return of tanker to Iran

An activist group linked to Israeli secret service Mossad is to petition a court in Gibraltar to stop the UK returning an oil tanker to Iran. The Grace 1 tanker was stopped earlier this month by Gibraltar authorities with the assistance of Royal Marines amid claims that it was transporting oil to Syria, in violation of EU sanctions. However, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the vessel could be released to Tehran, as he battles to ease tensions in order to save the Iran nuclear deal.

Can Jeremy Hunt save the Iran nuclear deal?

4. At least 100 killed by floods in Asia

Millions of people have been forced to flee their homes and at least 100 killed by floods in south Asia caused by torrential rain and monsoons. India, Nepal and Bangladesh are all affected, with 4.3 million people displaced from their homes in the Indian state of Assam in the last ten days alone. In Nepal, at least 64 are dead and 31 missing.

5. Review: ‘Fat Controller’ should run UK railways

The man reviewing the state of the UK’s railways for the Government has said he believes they should be run by an independent Fat Controller-style figure - a reference to the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s books. Former British Airways boss Keith Williams said government involvement should be limited to overall policy and budget decisions.

6. Hearing aids ‘can help stop onset of dementia’

Wearing a hearing aid later in life may help stave off dementia, a new study has found. The researchers, from the universities of Exeter and King’s College London, suggest that hearing loss can contribute to isolation and depression, known to exacerbate the condition. However, people who wear hearing aids are typically more affluent and have healthier lifestyles, both factors that also protect against cognitive decline.

7. Banned toxic chemicals found in UK mothers’ breast milk

The Government is being complacent about the exposure of Britons to toxic chemicals, particularly flame retardants now banned but previously used in domestic furniture, according to a new report by the Environmental Audit Committee. The cross-party group warn that even mothers’ breast milk has been found to contain a high concentration of flame retardants.

8. London mayor rejects plan for Tulip tower

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has refused permission for a new skyscraper, dubbed the Tulip tower. The City of London Corporation had approved the plans, by Foster + Partners, for a bulbous tower on a “stalk” at 20 Bury Street, near the building known as the Gherkin, but Khan says the tower would impact negatively on the skyline.

9. Street in Wales declared world’s steepest

A street in the Welsh town of Harlech has been declared the world’s steepest by Guinness World Records, taking the title from Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand. Ffordd Pen Llech has a gradient of 37.45% at its steepest, with residents struggling up to the post office at the top. Baldwin Street has a 35% gradient at its steepest point.

10. Briefing: how can dementia be prevented?

A healthy lifestyle may reduce the risk of dementia, even for those with a genetic predisposition to the disease, according to researchers.

The team, led by Professor David Llewellyn, of Exeter University, found that a healthy lifestyle was “linked to about a 30% lower risk of dementia compared with an unhealthy lifestyle, regardless of a high or low genetic predisposition”, reports The Guardian.

What is dementia and how can it be prevented?

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