Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 9 Dec 2019

1. Labour pledge to nationalise utilities in first 100 days

Labour is kicking off the final three days of campaigning before Thursday’s general election with a pledge to nationalise water and energy firms within 100 days of taking office. In a speech today, shadow chancellor John McDonnell will also promise to end austerity if Labour wins power. Meanwhile, Tory leader Boris Johnson will visit key marginal seats.

2. New Zealand volcano eruption: at least five dead

At least five people have been killed by a volcanic eruption on a popular tourist island off the coast of New Zealand. Visitors were seen walking inside the rim of the White Island crater just moments before the eruption. Police said 23 people had been rescued but several remain unaccounted for, and conditions are hampering rescue efforts.

3. Finland to be led by world’s youngest PM

A woman of 34 is to become Finland’s new prime minister, making her the youngest world leader. Sanna Marin will head a centre-left coalition of five parties, all of them led by women - of whom four are in their early 30s and one is 55.

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4. NHS gives Amazon free use of health data

Amazon has been given free access to healthcare information collected by the NHS as part of a deal with the government to use the technology giant’s Alexa personal assistant to give health advice, according to The Sunday Times. The revelations, following a freedom of information request, have triggered concerns that Amazon could use the data to generate further profit.

5. Big Bird puppeteer Carol Spinney dead at 85

Sesame Street puppeteer Carol Spinney has died at the age of 85 at his home in Connecticut after suffering a muscular disorder. Spinney operated and voiced the characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch well into his 80s. A statement from production company Sesame Workshop praised his “enormous talent and outsized heart”.

6. ‘Perfect’ collection of Scotch expected to sell for £8m

More than 3,900 bottles of Scotch whisky amassed by a Denver man are to be auctioned online with a hammer price of £7m to £8m. Perth-based firm Whisky Auctioneer says the “perfect collection” includes very rare bottles from the Macallan, Bowmore and Springbank distilleries. Former owner Richard Gooding died in 2014.

7. M*A*S*H actor Rene Auberjonois dies at 79

Actor Rene Auberjonois, best known as military chaplain Father John Mulcahy in Robert Altman’s 1970 Korean war film M*A*S*H, has died at the age of 79. Auberjonois, who also appeared in TV shows Benson and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, passed away on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He had been battling metastatic lung cancer.

8. Police files on Queen Victoria goddaughter to go on display

Police files on the suffragette activities of Queen Victoria’s goddaughter Princess Sophia Duleep Singh are to go on show at the British Library in London next year. Despite her royal connections, Singh was subject to heavy surveillance because of her campaigning for the vote.

9. I’m a Celebrity winner: ‘I have no words’

Former EastEnders actor Jacqueline Jossa was last night named winner of the 19th series of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. After being named queen of the jungle, Jossa - who played Lauren Branning in the BBC soap - said: “I have no words.” Fellow actor Andy Whyment was runner-up, with radio DJ Roman Kemp in third place.

10. Briefing: why Iran has erupted into protest

The Iranian government has admitted that its security forces shot and killed protesters taking part in street demonstrations across the country last month.

President Hassan Rouhani had been accused of “deliberately covering up the scale of the crackdown on the four days of unrest in more than 100 locations”, the BBC reports. Here is what’s going on.

Why Iran has erupted into protest

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