Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 17 Jan 2016

1. Iran hails 'new chapter' as sanctions are lifted

Hours after economic sanctions on his country were lifted, president Hassan Rouhani says Iran "has opened a new chapter" in its ties with the world. On Saturday the international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, announced that Iran had complied with a deal designed to prevent it developing nuclear weapons. The move will allow Iran to recoup some $100bn (£70bn) in assets frozen overseas.

2. PM's 'rabbits in hat' as pro-EU campaign launches

A vote for Britain to leave the EU would be a "jump into a void", according to the head of a new pro-European Conservative campaign group. The education secretary is also warning young people could be "cut off from the world" if the UK leaves. David Cameron is said to have a trio of secret “rabbits in the hat” in his bid to keep the UK in a reformed EU.

3. Will new pollution figures change Heathrow decision?

The World Health Organisation has issued a grave warning about levels of pollution in many of the world’s biggest cities. It claims that poor air quality is killing millions and threatening to overwhelm health services across the globe. The new data, described by the WHO as a “health emergency”, could influence the UK government’s decision over Heathrow expansion.

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4. Britain is now 'Post-Christian', says survey

“Post-Christian Britain” has arrived, reports The Sunday Times, as a survey finds that most white Britons say they have no religion. The poll found almost half (46%) have no religion, up from 42% in February 2015 and from 37% in January 2013. This rises to more than 50% among white British. Among under-40s of all races, 56% have no religion, with less than a third saying they are Christian.

5. Band of snow sweeps across the UK

Snow has swept across parts of the UK, with many people in south-east England seeing their first fall of the season. The corridor of snow moved through western Scotland, north-west England, the Midlands, and south-east England overnight. Temperatures in parts of rural Scotland dropped to -10C (14F) for a second evening running.

6. Celine Dion in double cancer bereavement

The older brother of Celine Dion has died of cancer, two days after her husband also died. Daniel Dion, 59, died on Saturday near Montreal, according to a statement by the Canadian singer's spokeswoman. Dion's family has paid tribute to the father-of-two, describing him as "a gentle and reserved man of many talents".

7. Simon Danczuk may sue the Labour Party

Simon Danczuk will use the “John Prescott defence” to stop Labour expelling him over his lurid text messages to a teenage girl, says the Mail On Sunday. The MP will argue party bosses have no right to kick him out because they took no such action against Prescott over his infamous affair with his diary secretary. Danczuk has threatened to take legal action against the party.

8. Just a third of UK teens conform to global standards

Little more than a third of teenagers in England are expected to reach the standard achieved by an average student in countries at the top of world education rankings, claims a think-tank. A study, to be released tomorrow by Centre Forum, will predict that just 35% of pupils will achieve a “good” pass in English and maths GCSEs next year, down from the current level of 58%.

9. Stuart Broad sweeps England to victory

Stuart Broad inspired England to victory over South Africa with seven wickets in the third Test to secure a series win. The impish Broad took 5-1 in 31 balls as the hosts were bowled out for 83. He ended with 6-17, while Ben Stokes claimed 2-24 and James Taylor held two stunning catches at short leg. "England are on an upward curve, in all formats,” says ex-skipper Michael Vaughan.

10. Sir Alex could be planning Old Trafford return

Could Sir Alex Ferguson be on his way back to Old Trafford? The Sunday People says the 74-year-old ex-boss is waiting in the wings ready to help Ryan Giggs if Louis van Gaal loses his job. Victory is essential for van Gaal today as his side travel to Anfield for the weekend’s biggest showdown. Meanwhile, Arsenal are at Stoke.

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