Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 1 Jul 2016

1. Silent vigil marks centenary of Somme

The Battle of the Somme started 100 years ago today. The centenary has been marked with a two-minute silence at dawn after an all-night vigil in Westminster Abbey in London. The battle lasted for 141 days, with around 1.3 million deaths on both sides. Some 20,000 British troops were killed on the first day alone.

Why the Battle of the Somme was so significant

2. May wins backing of cabinet ministers

Home Secretary Theresa May has a head start in the race to be the next prime minister, after receiving the backing of cabinet ministers Michael Fallon and Patrick McLoughlin and the support of the Daily Mail. She has the support of many more MPs than any of her rivals: Michael Gove, Stephen Crabb, Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox.

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3. Blair calls for 'statesmanship' from Tories

Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair has written an article for the Daily Telegraph in which he calls for "serious statesmanship" in Brexit negotiations, which will have "extraordinary complexity" and put "our nation in peril". He added that his own party is "effectively disabled" by rivalries over the leadership.

Brexit: Theresa May says ‘trust me’ to deliver

4. Police report fivefold spike in racism

The police are reporting a fivefold rise in reported racist incidents in the wake of the EU referendum, with 331 incidents recorded on the online hate-crime reporting website True Vision since last Thursday, compared with a normal weekly average of 63. Pensioners have reportedly had to leave a Manchester day centre after receiving threats of "a backlash against the black community".

5. Osborne drops budget surplus target after Brexit

Chancellor George Osborne has abandoned his target of a budget surplus by 2020 in the wake of the UK Brexit vote. He said there were "clear signs" of shock in the economy and warned that the UK must be "realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade". The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, says interest rate cuts are likely after the Brexit vote.

6. Angela Eagle delays leadership challenge

Labour's Angela Eagle has decided to delay challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership by a week, says The Guardian, after 60,000 new supporters joined the party over the last seven days. Both pro and anti-Corbyn factions have been recruiting members. Eagle's supporters say Labour MPs want more time to pressurise Corbyn to resign.

Jeremy Corbyn is a 'disaster', says Stephen Hawking

7. Soliciting should not be a crime, say MPs

The home affairs select committee of MPs is recommending today that soliciting by sex workers should no longer be a crime in England and Wales. The committee says laws about brothels should be modified so sex workers don't have to work alone and is calling for previous offences to be deleted from sex workers' criminal records.

8. New trial for Serial podcast's Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed, who was convicted in Baltimore of murdering his girlfriend in 2001, is to be given another trial after a judge ruled the original defence lawyer failed to cross-examine an expert witness. Syed's case has become a cause celebre and around the world as the subject of the podcast Serial. A witness has come forward to offer an alibi.

What happened to Serial’s Adnan Syed?

9. Tesla accident leads to first self-driving fatality

The first death caused by a self-driving car has happened in Williston, Florida. Joshua Brown, a keen user of Tesla electric cars, apparently died when his car's autopilot system failed to distinguish between a bright sky and the white side of a trailer, with which it collided. Tesla owner Elon Musk expressed his "condolences".

Tesla driver killed using Autopilot mode

10. Briefing: Why has Boris Johnson bowed out of the leadership race?

Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of the race to replace David Cameron. The announcement has left the battle for the Conservative leadership "dramatically transformed", says the Daily Telegraph, with Theresa May now competing against Michael Gove, who announced a surprise bid yesterday. It's long been thought that Johnson had his eye on No 10, so why has he pulled out at the very last minute?

Theresa May rejects calls to increase Indian visa quota

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