Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 30 Jan 2016

1. Nurses and morale under threat from new NHS cuts

Nurses and other frontline medical workers are at risk of the sack after hospitals were told to cut staff to rescue the NHS from a severe funding crisis. The health service’s regulators have taken the controversial decision despite deep concern among hospital bosses and health unions that job cuts will increase waiting times, while hitting the quality of care, patient safety and staff morale.

2. Google whistleblower: HMRC 'didn't seem interested'

The whistleblower who handed emails about Google’s tax affairs to HMRC says the tax authority seemed "quite defensive" and "more interested in justifying their position" than looking into the issue. Barney Jones was a Google sales executive who handed over thousands of emails to the tax body. “I only heard from them briefly a few times after that,” he tells The Independent.

3. Army chief says legal actions will undermine troops

Fabricated legal claims against soldiers could undermine Britain on the battlefield, the chief of general staff warns today. General Sir Nick Carter tells the Daily Telegraph that the threat of legal action would make soldiers afraid of making “honest mistakes” in war zones. The MoD is facing an unprecedented number of lawsuits relating to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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4. UK public health warning over Zika

Couples should delay trying for a baby for a month if a man visited a country hit by the zika virus, UK health chiefs said yesterday. They urged men who had travelled to affected areas to wear condoms for 28 days if their partner was at risk of getting pregnant or expecting a child. Half a million Britons are thought to have visited these areas since the start of the outbreak last year.

5. Iran says it flew a drone over a US warship

Iran flew an unarmed drone over a US warship and took "precise" photographs during a naval drill in the Gulf, according to its state broadcaster. Images allegedly depicting an unnamed US aircraft carrier were shown on television. Tehran’s navy commander praised the operation and the "accurate footage of the combat units of foreign forces".

6. Dragons Den star cleared of sex charges

Former Dragons Den panellist Doug Richard has been cleared of child sex charges despite admitting he had sex with a 13 year old girl. Richard, 57, contacted the girl through a "sugar daddy" website. He admitted having sex with her but told the court he believed the girl, who was slightly built and weighed less than six stone, was 17.

7. Vicious Gloucester swans prompt water-pistol armament

Vigilantes in a once peaceful residential park are arming themselves with water pistols and walking sticks to fight off a pair of aggressive swans. The feathered duo have attacked a toddler, ripped up lawns and pecked at windows. They have also harassed cyclists and cars. Some pensioners near the Hope Mill Park site at Brimscombe near Stroud, Gloucs, are too scared to go outside.

8. Poll shows more Anglicans supporting gay marriage

More Anglicans in England support gay marriage than oppose it, a poll has suggested for the first time. In a YouGov survey of more than 1,500 Anglicans, 45% said same-sex marriage was right while 37% thought it was wrong. The Church of England's official stance is that marriage can be only between a man and a woman.

9. Did Jeremy Corbyn 'show off' naked Dianne Abbott?

A new book claims that Jeremy Corbyn “showed off” a naked Diane Abbott to impress his friends when he was a young Labour activist. According to the book, Comrade Corbyn, the Labour leader invited fellow activists to his London flat where they were “shaken” to find Ms Abbott in his bed. “He was slightly showing off: ‘I’ve got a new girlfriend, and she’s black’,” one of his friends recalled.

10. Morale boosting victory for Louis van Gaal

Manchester United have eased the pressure on boss Louis van Gaal with a 3-1 victory at Derby in the FA Cup fourth round. After the win, the Dutchman dismissed claims he offered to resign after losing to Southampton on Saturday. His team were more positive against the Championship side. Today, Aston Villa host Manchester City, while Burnley are at Arsenal.

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