Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 21 May 2017

1. Jeremy Corbyn halves the Tories' lead

Labour has closed within nine points of the Tories in a new poll. The YouGov survey puts the Conservatives down to 44%, with Labour up to 35%. This is Labour's highest standing since the last general election. Ministers fears that May’s cuts for the elderly will cost them seats. Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to protect pensioners from Tory "attacks" as he steps up his push for older voters.

2. Donald Trump to give speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump is expected to discuss the danger of extremism in Islam when he makes a speech in Saudi Arabia today. However, commentators believe the US President will attempt to strike a collaborative tone as he tries to build support for America's battle with Islamic State. During his election campaign, he called for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns.

3. China has 'killed and jailed' CIA sources

China has weakened the CIA by killing American sources, according to the New York Times. Up to 20 CIA informants were killed or imprisoned by Beijing between 2010 and 2012, with one shot in the courtyard of a government building as a warning to others. Former CIA officials say that sources deep inside the Chinese regime started to dry up in 2010 and informants began to disappear in early 2011.

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4. May’s lunch plan ‘to hit 900,000 struggling families’

As many as 900,000 children from struggling families would lose their right to free school lunches under a Theresa May government, according to a study by the Education Policy Institute. The claim puts a dent in Theresa May’s cornerstone pledge to prioritise families that are "just about managing" – those who are in work, but struggling to make ends meet.

5. Mass extinction will see exotic species gone within months

The world has entered a sixth mass extinction, says the WWF, as habitat loss, hunting and disease mean some of the most exotic animals could be extinct within months. The charity says that the vaquita porpoise is just one of the types of animal that could disappear forever. Some 23,000 species are threatened with extinction, including 25% of mammals and 13% of birds.

6. Street parties in Tehran after Rouhani romped home

There have been joyous street parties in Tehran as thousands of Iranians celebrate the overwhelming re-election of President Hassan Rouhani. Revellers waved flags and balloons, says The Sunday Times, as cars honked their horns and fireworks lit up the sky. Rouhani beat hardline opponent Ebrahim Raisi by 57% to 38.5%. "People have shown they don’t want to go back to the past," he said.

7. Met's top cop warned off 'stop and search' escalation

Race relations experts have urged Britain’s top police officer to rethink her support for stop and search, warning that escalating its use would make it harder to tackle the knife crime epidemic in London. As the number of stabbings rise, the new head of the Metropolitan police, Cressida Dick, said stop and search could be "hugely powerful" in tackling knife crime.

8. Two million register to vote as deadline nears

More than two million people have applied to register to vote since Theresa May announced plans for a snap general election. The number of young people registering is the highest of any age group. The Electoral Commission says that around seven million people who are eligible to vote are not registered. The deadline to register online through the official website is 23.59 GMT on Monday.

9. Brussels warning after David Davis tough talk

David Davis claims that Britain will walk away from Brexit negotiations unless Brussels drops its de­mand to charge €100bn to leave the EU. The Brexit secretary said a "crisis" would arise if the EU refuses to discuss a trade deal until Britain agreed to pay the sum. An EU negotiator said that Davis' remarks mean the chances of Britain leaving the EU without a deal were now "over 50%".

10. Foie gras and royal guests as Pippa Middleton weds

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte were among the guests at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and hedge fund manager James Matthews. The bride was accompanied by her father, Michael, as she arrived for the 45-minute ceremony at a church a few miles from the Middleton family home in Bucklebury. Guests ate foie gras at the celebration.

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