Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 4 Feb 2016

1. Refugee crisis: UK pledges £1.2bn as leaders meet

David Cameron will today pledge an extra £1.2bn in aid over the next four years to help stem the flow of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to Europe, as leaders from 70 nations meet in London to discuss the refugee crisis. The extra funds will more than double Britain's financial contribution. The news comes after Syrian peace talks in Geneva broke down.

Islamic State targets vulnerable refugee children for recruitment

2. UN panel to say Assange has been 'arbitrarily detained'

A United Nations panel is to rule that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has spent the past three and a half years in "arbitrary detention", it has been claimed. Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012, to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. However, he could still be arrested if he leaves the building.

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Will Julian Assange be forced to leave Ecuador’s London embassy?

3. Europe deal not good for Britain, says poll

More than two thirds of voters think David Cameron's draft deal with the European Union is bad for Britain, a snap poll has found. Sky News surveyed 1,031 of its customers yesterday, after talks between Cameron and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, for Britain's membership in the EU. The reforms include an "emergency brake" on in-work benefits for EU migrants.

Brexit: Theresa May says ‘trust me’ to deliver

4. Islamic State leaders 'have fled to Libya'

Senior commanders in Islamic State (IS) have fled to Libya to escape US-led bombing in Syria and Iraq, a Libyan intelligence official has told the BBC. He said increasing numbers of fighters are arriving in Sirte, the hometown of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, which was taken over by the terror group last year. IS is thought to have the support of Gaddafi loyalists there.

5. More people suffer cancer but fewer die

The number of people dying from cancer in the UK has fallen by ten per cent in the last ten years, even though more people are now falling ill with the disease. The figures come from Cancer Research, which says that because people are now living longer, one in two Britons born after 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer eventually.

6. Trump accuses rival Cruz of 'fraud' in Iowa

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has accused his rival Ted Cruz of "fraud" after he was beaten in the Iowa caucus. Trump accused Cruz of falsely claiming another candidate had withdrawn from the race to attract more votes and said he should be disqualified for cheating. Cruz dismissed the claims as a "Trumpertantrum".

Trump travel ban: Judge expands definition of relatives

7. Matt LeBlanc to join BBC Top Gear team

Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc is to join Chris Evans as one of the presenters of the BBC's revamped Top Gear series when it relaunches in May. LeBlanc, described as a "lifelong petrolhead", set the fastest-ever celebrity lap on the show's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment in 2012. He will be the first non-British presenter in Top Gear history.

Has Top Gear returned to its former glory?

8. Bank of England cuts 2016 growth forecast

The Bank of England has cut its forecast for economic growth in 2016. It now believes gross domestic product will grow 2.2 per cent this year, down from an estimate of 2.5 per cent in November. It also cut its estimate for 2017 from 2.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent and downgraded predicted wage rises this year. The bank now expects average weekly earnings to increase by 3 per cent, down from the 3.75 per cent three months ago.

Pound plunges after Bank of England's dovish rates signal

9. UK now has fewest pubs for a decade

There are now fewer pubs in Britain than there have been for ten years, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which says there are 52,750 pubs in the country. The group says the closure rate slowed from 29 to 27 a week in the second half of 2015, thanks to a cut in beer tax. It is calling on the Chancellor to do more.

10. Briefing: Corbyn's team prepare for leadership challenge

Jeremy Corbyn's allies are preparing for a possible leadership challenge if Labour underperforms in the London mayoral and local elections in May. "We have got to be in a position to be able to run another leadership campaign," party activist Jon Lansman told a meeting of Momentum, the pro-Corbyn campaign group. He added that the London mayoral contest would prove to be "crucial" to the party's future - Labour candidate Sadiq Khan is currently the bookmakers' favourite to replace Boris Johnson.

Jeremy Corbyn is a 'disaster', says Stephen Hawking

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