Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 14 Nov 2019

1. Flooded areas braced for ‘danger to life’ rainfall

The Met Office is warning of rainfall that may present a “danger to life” in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands, where residents are already suffering the worst floods that the UK has seen in more than a decade. Weather warnings are in place for areas around Nottingham, Sheffield and Doncaster, as well as elsewhere across the country. The heaviest rain is expected this morning.

2. Conservatives pledge to cut immigration

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that the Tories will reduce “immigration overall” to the UK after Brexit if they win the next election. Labour’s latest campaign pledge is to close the gender pay gap by 2030. Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party (SNP) is taking legal action against ITV after being excluded from the broadcaster’s leaders’ debate next week.

3. Donald Tusk: don’t give up on stopping Brexit

Outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk last night urged Britons to continue efforts to stop Brexit, telling Remainers: “Don’t give up.” Tusk said it was still possible for the UK to change its mind about leaving the EU. He admitted his remarks were controversial and said that had he spoken out earlier in his office, he could have been “fired for being too frank”.

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4. Trump impeachment inquiry: new claims made as hearing goes public

Yesterday marked the first day of public hearings in the US Democrat-led inquiry into impeaching President Donald Trump for threatening to withhold aid to Ukraine unless the European nation agreed to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. New details that emerged on Wednesday include the claim that Trump asked staff directly about the probe into the Democrat and his family’s business dealings.

5. Hillary Clinton: ‘UK on path to fascism’

US political grandee Hillary Clinton has warned that the UK is on “the path to authoritarianism [and] fascism”. Speaking in London last night, the former secretary of state said she was concerned by the number of MPs, “particularly women”, who say they have decided not to stand again in the 12 December election because of online intimidation and threats against their safety.

6. Global demand for SUVs ‘offsetting benefits from electric cars’

The increased global demand for fossil fuel-guzzling suburban utility vehicles (SUVs) is undermining the efforts of drivers who are switching to electric vehicles, the International Energy Agency is warning. Sales of SUVs have increased sixfold since 2010 and they now account for around 40% of new car sales worldwide.

7. Backpacker murder accused: ‘It didn’t seem right’

The man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Mullane in New Zealand last year told an Auckland court yesterday that he put her body in a suitcase and buried it in a shallow grave. The unnamed 27-year-old, who says he killed 21-year-old Mullane by mistake during sex, added: “I remember putting Grace in the suitcase, I was just in shock, I couldn’t put her in it, it didn’t seem right, it didn’t seem right.”

8. Farage rules out giving his vote to Tories

Nigel Farage yesterday said that he would not vote for the Conservatives at the general election, after previously suggesting that he might consider doing so depending on their manifesto. Farage’s decision not to field Brexit Party candidates in Tory-held seats means he will not be able to vote for his own party in his home constituency of Orpington. He has agreed to return fees to his frustrated candidates.

9. UK graduate wins prize for plastic substitute

A graduate of the University of Sussex has won the top prize in the international James Dyson Award for design. Lucy Hughes, 24, has invented a type of biodegradable plastic made from fish waste that would otherwise end up in landfill. Known as MarinaTex, the new product won its creator a £30,000 cash prize.

10. Briefing: seven disgraced election candidates

The selection of candidates for a snap general election always throws up some unusual personalities and, with the major parties all finalising their choices ahead of the 12 December poll, this time is no different.

The Week takes a look at seven candidates who have been grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Seven disgraced election candidates: from aliens to offensive tweets

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