Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 27 Apr 2017

1. Terror arrest in Whitehall prompts lockdown

A man has been arrested following a suspected terror incident close to Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. Armed police swooped on the man, said to be in his 20s, following a stop-and-search operation in Whitehall, which was sealed off. Police said the man was arrested at approximately 2.22pm by armed officers from the Met's specialist firearms command.

Man 'carrying knives' arrested in Whitehall on terrorism charges

2. Boris Johnson criticises 'mugwump' Corbyn

Boris Johnson has used an article in The Sun to strike his first blow in the election campaign, writing that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a "mutton-headed old mugwump" and a threat to national security. Shadow housing minister John Healey accused the Foreign Secretary of feeling "left out" and resorting to "look-at-me name-calling that you would expect in an Eton playground".

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What is a 'mugwump'? The multiple interpretations of Boris Johnson's bizarre Corbyn put-down

3. May wants 'deep and special' EU partnership

Theresa May held a working dinner for European Council President Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, at Downing Street last night, telling them she wanted a "deep and special partnership with the EU". Sky News says the Prime Minister was "all smiles" as she greeted Juncker.

Brexit: Theresa May says ‘trust me’ to deliver

4. US to tighten sanctions on North Korea

The US is to tighten sanctions and apply diplomatic pressure to deal with the "problem" of North Korea. The announcement was made after Donald Trump briefed all 100 US senators at the White House yesterday. However, "it is not clear what further sanctions Washington could impose" on top of those put in place by Barack Obama last year, says the BBC.

5. UK drops to 40th in press freedom rankings

Journalists in the UK are now less free to hold people in positions of power to account than their peers in South Africa, Chile or Lithuania, according to the latest Press Freedom Index. Britain came 40th in the world in the latest rankings, published annually by Reporters Without Borders, which accused the government of "menacing measures". The UK has dropped 12 places in the past five years.

UK drops to 40th place in global Press Freedom Index

6. Huge explosion hits Damascus airport

A large explosion has hit the area around Damascus Airport, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which claims the blast could be heard 15 miles away in the city. There is no word on casualties or the cause of the explosion, which was followed by a large fire. Damascus has remained relatively insulated from the fighting in Syria's bitter civil war.

Syria 'planning a new chemical attack', US claims

7. Ministers admit 'mistake' over Dubs refugee scheme

Another 130 unaccompanied child migrants will be allowed into the UK after the government admitted making a mistake when calculating the number it was willing to take. An "administrative error" meant it had not taken up all the offers of places from local councils, ministers said. Labour peer Lord Dubs, who proposed the original scheme, criticised the "shocking mistake".

8. Couple married 69 years die holding hands

A US couple married for 69 years died side-by-side in hospital beds within minutes of each other, US media reports. Isaac Vatkin, 91, held his wife Teresa's hand as she passed away at the age of 89, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He died 40 minutes later. They met in their native Argentina before moving to Illinois.

9. Ebook sales fall as readers shun fiction

Ebook sales fell 3% to £538m last year, although a boom in non-fiction saw a 6% rise in total book sales, including print editions. Figures from the Publishers Association showed fiction fell 7% while sales of factual titles rose 9%, helped by books about the Danish lifestyle concept hygge.

10. Briefing: Labour's Brexit reset

Labour will scrap the government's white paper on Brexit and replace it with a new one should Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister in June. In a speech today, shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said: "We do not accept that there has to be a reckless Tory Brexit."

He added that if Labour won the election, it would rip up Theresa May's plans for leaving the EU and give EU citizens the right to stay.

General election 2017: Security tight as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn cast their votes

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