Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 25 Nov 2019

1. Tories put NHS at heart of ‘cautious’ manifesto

Boris Johnson yesterday promised to recruit 50,000 more NHS nurses as part of the “biggest cash injection in the NHS for a generation”, in a Conservative election manifesto that the prime minister said represented “sensible One Nation Conservatism”. The Guardian’s Larry Elliott views the manifesto as a “cautious, tepid” offering from a party that thinks it is guaranteed to win the 12 December election.

2. Labour promises new controls on private landlords

Labour has pledged to cap rents for private tenants if the party wins power at the upcoming election. Rents would not be allowed to increase above inflation - and private landlords would be fined for letting out substandard properties. Labour would also act to protect tenants from being evicted without fair justification.

3. Baroness Hale to sit as judge in Hong Kong

The judge who ruled that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was illegal is to sit on Hong Kong’s highest court for a month. Commentators say the appointment of Baroness Hale of Richmond shows the former British colony is trying to demonstrate its independence from China, following months of pro-democracy protests.

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4. Living near busy roads ‘stunts children’s lungs’

Children living within 50 metres of busy roads may have up to 14% slower lung growth than those near quieter streets, a new study has found. The risk of lung cancer may also be increased by up to 10%, according to a team from King’s College London who looked at data from 13 cities in the UK and Poland.

5. Andrew to stand down from 230 patronages

Prince Andrew is to stand down as patron of 230 charities, orchestras and other organisations, amid concerns over his links to late paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. Buckingham Palace said the move was only “temporary”. Lawyers for Epstein’s victims continue to urge the Prince to make a statement under oath.

6. Doctors warn that Julian Assange may die in jail

More than 60 doctors have signed an open letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel urging her to move jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Belmarsh Prison to a hospital. The letter warns that Assange, serving a 50-week sentence for breaching bail, is in such poor mental and physical health that he could die behind bars.

7. Web inventor calls for action to avert ‘dystopia’

World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global plan of action that he says governments must act on to avoid “digital dystopia”. He told the press: “I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater. We could end up with a digital dystopia.”

8. Rescuers try to save sheep after ship capsizes

Rescuers are struggling to save the lives of 14,600 sheep trapped in the hold of a cargo ship that overturned in the Black Sea while transporting the animals from Romania to Saudi Arabia. The crew of the Queen Hind - 20 Syrians and one Lebanese - were rescued along with 32 sheep after the ship overturned on Sunday shortly after leaving Romania’s Midia port.

9. Jeremy Clarkson changes mind on global warming

Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has performed a major U-turn in his stance on global warming, saying he now believes there is a climate crisis. Clarkson, host of Amazon’s Grand Tour, told The Sunday Times that his epiphany came while filming a 500-mile boat race from Cambodia to Vietnam, where his team were unable to cross a lake because water levels were so low. The “graphic demonstration” of global warming was “genuinely alarming”, he said.

10. Briefing: should the voting age be lowered to 16?

The Welsh National Assembly has announced a series of electoral reform proposals that could see 16- and 17-year-olds given the right to vote in local elections.

All opposition parties in Parliament currently back the idea of lowering the voting age to 16, which would extend the right to vote to a total of 1.5 million teenagers.

Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

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