Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 29 May 2016

1. Child refugee numbers are soaring, warn aid agencies

More than a third of refugees arriving in Europe are children, says a charity report. Aid agencies are warning of a worrying new trend, as children as young as nine risk their lives in desperate attempts to reach Europe. Gemma Parkin, a Save the Children spokesperson, said the proportion of unaccompanied children has increased dramatically.

2. Colleagues slam David Cameron over migration 'failures'

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have told David Cameron to accept the failure of the government's manifesto pledge to reduce migration into the UK. The pair said the pledge was "corrosive of public trust" while Britain remained in the EU.

Meanwhile, cabinet minister Priti Patel says David Cameron and George Osborne are “too rich” to care about the issue.

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3. New plastic banknotes to be launched this week

The Bank of England will launch its first plastic banknotes this week, reports The Sunday Times. The polymer notes can survive a 90C washing machine cycle and repel dirt and moisture. “You can pour a glass of red wine over it and simply wipe it clean," says the report. The new fiver will be about 15% smaller than the current one and will feature Winston Churchill.

4. Athletes and health experts play down Olympic Zika fears

Cancelling the Olympic Games in Rio because of concerns over the Zika virus would be "unthinkable", says tennis star Novak Djokovic. The World Health Organisation has played down fears over the spread of the virus, which is linked to severe birth defects. Britain’s leading expert on the virus has rejected a call by 150 international academics for the tournament to be postponed.

5. Iraqi forces make progress in battle with Islamic State

The Iraqi army has made gains in its bid to drive Islamic State from Falluja - one of two major Iraqi cities in the hands of the militants. The BBC says that the nearby town of Karma is now in the hands of government forces. Earlier this week, the IS commander in Falluja, Maher al-Bilawi, was killed in US-led coalition air strikes, according to Washington.

6. Paint homes white in heatwaves, says government

Homeowners should paint their property white to protect themselves from heatwaves, the government has advised. Warning that people start dying from the heat at just 24.5C, the government said metal blinds and dark curtains should be replaced in a bid to cool down homes. “As a result of climate change we are increasingly likely to experience extreme summer temperatures,” said the chief medical officer.

7. Rare gorilla shot dead after toddler falls into cage

An endangered gorilla was shot dead by workers at a zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio after a three-year-old boy fell into its enclosure. The toddler is thought to have crawled through a public barrier into the Gorilla World enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden yesterday afternoon, and then fallen into the exhibit's moat.

8. Boys who live with books ‘earn more as adults’

Boys who grow up with books earn more as adults, according to a new study. Economists at the University of Padua studied 6,000 men born in nine European countries and concluded that children with access to books could expect to earn more than those who grow up with few or no books. They examined the period from 1920 to 1956, when the minimum school leaving age was raised.

9. Charities 'spend up to 78% of donations on mailshots'

Charities’ costs eat up 78% of donations, claims The Sunday Times this morning. According to the report, American direct mailing firms have been creaming off millions of pounds in donations. In one case, 90% of the donations intended to help sick and impoverished children never reached them, but instead paid for fundraising campaigns run by the direct mailing firms.

10. Ronaldo penalty lands Real their 11th European title

Real Madrid are champions of Europe for the 11th time after they overcame Atletico Madrid in a dramatic penalty shootout in Milan. Sergio Ramos' controversial finish put Real ahead before substitute Yannick Carrasco equalised, to send the Champions League final into extra-time. Former Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo struck the winning penalty after Juanfran had missed.

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