Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 20 Jan 2016

1. Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump campaign

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 US vice-presidential candidate, has backed Donald Trump in his run for the White House. "I'm proud to endorse Donald J Trump for president," she said, in a statement on Trump’s campaign website. The billionaire replied he was "greatly honoured" by the endorsement.

Trump travel ban: Judge expands definition of relatives

2. Stock markets slump as oil price continues to fall

Stock markets around the world have registered large losses amid concerns about the continued slide in oil prices and fears about the impact on global growth. The FTSE100 share index dipped below the 5,700-mark, falling by almost 4% and knocking up to about £58bn off its value. The London market has fallen by 10% so far this year and is at its lowest level since 2012.

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Oil price posts two-year highs - but how long can it last?

3. Beckett warns of 'huge' obstacles for Labour in 2020

Labour faces "huge challenges" to win the 2020 general election, says the party's former deputy leader Margaret Beckett. She highlights changes to parliamentary boundaries and Britain’s ageing population's drift away from Labour, in a gloomy assessment. "It is critically important for the country that Labour is able to win the 2020 election, but we will face huge challenges," she said.

4. Taliban gunmen attack Pakistan university

As many as 30 people are feared dead and dozens wounded in a gun attack at a university in Pakistan. At least four armed men in suicide vests opened fire at the Bacha Khan University campus in Charsadda, in the north-west of the country this morning. The attackers were reportedly killed by security forces. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility.

Bacha Khan: at least 19 dead in attack on Pakistan university

5. Former minister wants Poppi case reopened

Former justice minister Sir Simon Hughes has called for a criminal case against the father of toddler Poppi Worthington to be reopened. A family court judge ruled on Tuesday that Paul Worthington had sexually assaulted the 13-month-old shortly before she died in 2012. The 48-year-old was arrested after her death but has never been charged. He denies any wrongdoing.

Poppi Worthington: ex-justice minister says death of toddler 'must' be re-examined

6. Don't throw sticks, top vet tells dog owners

A leading vet is telling dog owners not to throw sticks for their pets. The president of the British Veterinary Association in Scotland, Grace Webster, spoke out after a collie called Maya got a 4in stick wedged in her throat. "Throwing sticks for your dog can be dangerous and lead to horrific injuries that can be very distressing for both you and your dog," she said.

Stop throwing sticks for dogs, top vet tells owners

7. UK unemployment falls to ten-year low

UK unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate for more than a decade according to government figures. It stood at 5.1 per cent in the three months to November, its lowest level since October 2005, after the number of people out of work fell by 99,000 to 1.68m. Average weekly earnings for the period were up 2 per cent, less than expected. It is the slowest increase since February.

Pound plunges after Bank of England's dovish rates signal

8. Oldest monastry in Iraq destroyed by IS

Iraq's oldest Christian monastery has been destroyed by Islamic State, satellite images have confirmed. St Elijah's, built by Assyrian monks in the sixth century, is thought to have been demolished in late 2014, after the terror group seized the city of Mosul. Meanwhile, IS has confirmed the death of Jihadi John, who was killed by a drone in November, in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

UN report unveils 'staggering' level of violence in Iraq

9. Nazi comparisons over red-door asylum policy

"A secret apartheid policy" is housing asylum-seekers in properties with red front doors, says The Times. The doors, in deprived areas of Middlesbrough, make the homes easy to identify and are blamed for harassment. The properties are owned by multi-millionaire Stuart Monk. A local MP has compared the practice to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear by Nazis.

10. Five planets to align for first time since 2005

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are expected to appear together in the night sky this morning for the first time since 2005. They will line up diagonally from the Moon to the horizon, say experts, and should all be visible from the UK. They are expected to stay in place for a month.

Five planets line up in a row in rare cosmic event

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