Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 29 Apr 2016

1. Blair worked for Saudi oil firm while envoy

Former prime minister Tony Blair's firm was paid £41,000 a month to help a Saudi oil company break into the Chinese market while he was Middle East peace envoy for the US, UN, EU and Russia. The Guardian says the news could provoke claims of a conflict of interests, although there is no suggestion Blair did anything improper.

How Tony Blair wooed Chinese leaders for a Saudi oil company

2. Corbyn denies anti-Semitism 'crisis' in Labour

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has denied the party is in "crisis" over anti-Semitism after former London mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from the party for suggesting Hitler was a Zionist. Livingstone was trying to defend suspended MP Naz Shah, who reposted material on Facebook calling for Israel to be moved to the US.

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Jeremy Corbyn is a 'disaster', says Stephen Hawking

3. Briton among dead in Norway helicopter crash

Eleven people have died and two are missing after a helicopter crash west of the Norwegian city of Bergen. One of the dead was British. The flight, which crashed on an island as it transported workers from a North Sea offshore oil field, was also carryiing 11 Norwegians and an Italian. Norway's civil aviation authority has imposed a flight ban on the model of helicopter that crashed.

4. Teenage murderer detained for 27 years

A teenager who had a fascination with the Yorkshire Ripper and other serial killers has been detained for 27 years for the murder of two strangers in Colchester in 2014. James Fairweather, now 17, admitted manslaughter but claimed he was suffering from psychosis when he stabbed James Attfield and Nahid Almanea to death, but a psychiatrist cast doubt on his claims during his trial.

5. Billionaire investor Icahn sells Apple stock

Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, has dropped his entire stock in tech giant Apple, saying he is worried about China's economic slowdown and its potential to become prohibitive in doing business. Saying he had divested himself of his 45.8 million Apple shares, Icahn added he was "still very cautious" about the markets this year.

iPhone 7 Pro among three new headsets leaked

6. EU referendum poll finds voters in favour of Brexit

The Leave campaign has narrowly edged ahead of its Remain rivals, according to the latest European Union referendum poll. The survey, carried out by YouGov for The Times on Monday and Tuesday, puts Out on 51 per cent and In on 49 per cent, when non-voters and unsure voters are removed. The results suggest that US President Barack Obama has failed to boos the In campaign.

Brexit: Theresa May says ‘trust me’ to deliver

7. Prince: Prescription drugs found in home

Investigators in the US are considering the possibility that Prince may have been prescribed powerful painkillers in the week before his death and could have taken an overdose. Officials told AP that prescription drugs had been found in the star's Minnesota home. Prince died last week at the age of 57,

Universal buys rights to Prince's 'legendary' music vault

8. Sian Blake's partner admits three killings

The partner of former EastEnders actress Sian Blake today admitted killing her and their two children, but 48-year-old Arthur Simpson-Kent has yet to enter a plea to the charge of murder. The 48-year-old hairdresser was arrested in Ghana in January after the three bodies were found buried in the back garden of their house in Erith. He had earlier been questioned about their disappearance.

9. Experts warn of 'slug population explosion'

Last year's wet summer and the mild winter have created a generation of "wide awake" slugs. The gastropods usually hibernate but the warm temperatures have kept them active all year. Conservation charities say there will be a population boom as a result, with the animals laying 200 eggs per cubic metre.

10. Briefing: UK standard of living lags behind nine European countries

Britain has the tenth-highest standard of living in Western Europe, according to new analysis of 17 countries. The study correlates average wages with the cost of living to decide where Europeans have the highest standard of living. The UK comes behind the likes of Switzerland, Denmark and Germany based on the purchasing power of its inhabitants, although it does rank higher than France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

UK standard of living lags behind nine European countries

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