Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 17 Nov 2019

1. Prince Andrew denies sex claims in BBC interview

Prince Andrew has said he “categorically” denies having any sexual contact with an American woman, who says she was forced to have sex with him aged 17. Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, said of the Duke’s BBC interview: “I expected a train wreck. That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad.”

2. Grenfell campaigners concerned by cladding at Bolton fire block

Grenfell United campaigners have raised concerns over the cladding at a student accommodation building in Bolton where a fire spread rapidly. “It brings back memories of Grenfell and we can’t believe that over two and a half years later this is happening. Our hearts go out to all the students affected,” the group said.

3. British army and government covered up war crimes

The British army covered up torture and child murder in the Middle East, reports The Sunday Times. According to leaked documents that had been kept secret by the government, military detectives unearthed disturbing allegations that senior commanders had tried to conceal war crimes by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq Soldiers should have been prosecuted for the killings, say insiders.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

4. Corbyn promises to protect NHS from US drugs firms

Jeremy Corbyn says a Labour government will pass an emergency “NHS protection” law if it wins the general election, to guard against US drug firms. Labour has also promised that the public will be entitled to a “free teeth MOT”. The party believes patients are put off going for dental check-ups because of the fee with many ending up in accident and emergency.

5. Tories extend lead over Labour in new opinion poll

Boris Johnson has extended his lead over Jeremy Corbyn, according to a poll in the Mail on Sunday. The survey gives the Conservatives a 15-point lead, up from 12 points last week, with Johnson’s party on 45 per cent and Labour on 30. The Liberal Democrats are down five to 11 per cent.

6. Donald Trump has unscheduled two-hour medical check

Donald Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for an unscheduled medical check up. The US president’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said the 73-year-old was “anticipating a very busy 2020” and wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend” in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.

7. Samoa declares a state of emergency over measles

Samoa has declared a state of emergency over the deadly measles outbreak spreading across the Pacific islands. The island state of just 200,000, took the move after declaring a measles epidemic last month. Since then, at least six deaths, mostly infants under the age of two, have been linked to the outbreak, according to health officials.

8. Deaths as gas pipeline explodes in Bangladeshi city

At least seven people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong. Eight people who were injured in the blast have been taken to hospital. Quoting eye witnesses, a police official said the explosion happened in front of a five-storey building, blowing its walls off.

9. Polarising Rajapaksa set to win Sri Lankan presidency

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's former wartime defence chief looks set to win the country's presidential election. The divisive politician has claimed victory and his main rival has conceded, but official results are not confirmed. Electoral officials said at least 80% of the electorate came out to vote in the polling which followed a terror attack killed more than 250 people earlier this year.

10. FBI says the far-right was behind synagogue vandalism

The FBI says a member of a far right network orchestrated the vandalism of synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin last year. Richard Tobin, 18, allegedly encouraged other members of the group to paint the synagogues with neo-Nazi slogans and insignia as part of what he called “Operation Kristallnacht”, in reference to the Nazi pogrom in Germany in the 1930s.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.