Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 12 May 2017

1. Trump says 'Russia thing' a factor in firing Comey

Donald Trump admitted he had been thinking about "this Russia thing" when he fired FBI director James Comey this week. Giving his first interview since his decision, the US President also contradicted his vice president, saying he had decided to act without advice. Comey was leading an investigation into links between the Trump campaign team and Russia.

Donald Trump sued by two states over business links

2. May: Labour has deserted the working class

Theresa May will today say that Labour has "deserted" working class voters as she campaigns in the north-east of England. The Prime Minister will also argue that Tory policies, including a cap on energy bills, investing in the armed forces and protecting workplace pensions, will target "traditional Labour supporters" who are "appalled" by Jeremy Corbyn.

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Labour manifesto 2017: What the papers say

3. Corbyn: 'No more hand-holding with Trump'

Jeremy Corbyn will say there will be "no more hand-holding with Donald Trump" when he lays out his overseas goals in a speech in London tonight. The Labour leader will also tell an audience at Chatham House that he is "not a pacifist" and that he "accepts" that military action "as a genuine last resort is, in some circumstances, necessary".

Will Labour spend £300bn more on pensions?

4. Lib Dem candidate tells supporters to vote Labour

A Liberal Democrat election candidate has urged his supporters to vote Labour in a bid to defeat the Tories. Richard Baum was chosen to fight the marginal Bury North seat but he told the BBC he would take no part in campaigning and said dyed-in-the-wool Lib Dem voters should be "careful" not to waste their votes.

Lib Dems pledge a month off for new dads

5. Three dead in Ebola outbreak in Congo

An Ebola epidemic has been declared in the the Democratic Republic of Congo after three people died. Another person is thought to have developed the virus and a spokesman for the WHO said it was taking the situation "very seriously". The last outbreak in the Congo was in 2014 when 49 people died. The latest cases came in a heavily forested area.

6. Swords, knives and axes taken from schoolchildren

Police in England and Wales confiscated more than 1,369 weapons from schoolchildren last year, according to a Freedom of Information request, which revealed officers had seized the likes of samurai swords, knives and axes. However, as not all police forces provided data, the actual number of confiscated weapons is thought to be much higher.

7. Unseen Beatles footage found after 50 years

Previously unknown footage showing the Beatles relaxing between takes as they make their 1965 film Help! has gone on sale for £35,000. The footage, which features the Fab Four at a ski resort in the Austrian Alps, was shot by actor Leo McKern, best known for Rumpole of the Bailey, who played a baddie in the film.

8. Ex-wife awarded £453m divorce settlement

The former wife of an oil and gas trader has been awarded £453m, in one of the biggest divorce settlements ever granted by the British courts. The couple's names have not been released, but they were both raised in Russia before moving to the UK in 1993. Each accuses the other of extra-marital affairs.

9. Hospitals hit by NHS 'cyber attack'

The NHS has been hit by a cyber attack with hospitals belonging to several trusts across the country reportedly experiencing reporting IT failures. Phone and other communications systems have been shut down. Some hospitals have cancelled all non-urgent activity for the day and are asking people not to come to A&E. Patients should call the NHS advice line 111, or 999, in an emergency.

10. Briefing: Is Trump creating his own Watergate?

Donald Trump's dismissal of former FBI director James Comey has been compared with the Watergate scandal that eventually led to the impeachment of president Richard Nixon.

"Not since Watergate has a president dismissed the person leading an investigation bearing on him," said the Washington Post. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, said US politics had entered a "twilight zone".

Comparisons are even being made by those on Trump's own side of the political divide, with Republican Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut explicitly comparing his actions to those of the 37th president.

But are the comparisons fair?

James Comey firing: Are there really echoes of Watergate?

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