Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 14 Jun 2017

1. Huge fire engulfs London tower block

At least six people have died and at more than 70 have been taken to hospital after fire engulfed a tower block in west London in the early hours of this morning. Reports of smoke from Grenfell Tower in north Kensington began shortly after midnight. Witnesses reported seeing people trapped inside and a person falling from the 24-storey building.

'Twenty suicide attempts' since Grenfell Tower fire

2. Diane Abbott reveals she has Type 2 diabetes

Hackney MP Diane Abbott has revealed she is suffering from Type 2 diabetes and that this forced her to step down as shadow home secretary. Abbott, who increased her majority at the general election, said the condition was "out of control" during the campaign, leading her to put in some faltering interview performances. She added she was now ready to get back to work.

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3. Cameron calls on May to 'listen to other parties'

Former prime minister David Cameron has called on Theresa May to "listen to other parties" and "consult more widely" on her plans for Brexit. Speaking at a business conference in Poland, he said the Tory failure to win a majority at the general election meant increased pressure for a softer exit from the EU and that parliament "deserves a say".

Brexit: Theresa May says ‘trust me’ to deliver

4. US attorney general refuses to discuss Russia

US attorney general Jeff Sessions yesterday refused to answer questions on conversations he had with Donald Trump about alleged links between the US President's election campaign and Russian figures. Sessions, who met the Russian ambassador twice during the campaign, was giving evidence to a congressional committee.

Jeff Sessions denies secret meeting with Russians

5. Academic killed by cows in East Sussex

A retired Oxford University professor was trampled to death by a herd of cows in a field near Hastings, East Sussex, on Monday. Brian Bellhouse, 80, was walking through the field by himself, five miles from his home in Winchelsea. A fellow walker heard his screams and raised the alarm. Police said the death was not suspicious.

6. North Korea releases US student

US student Otto Warmbier has been freed from jail in North Korea, 13 months after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labour. It is claimed the 22-year-old University of Virginia student has been in a coma since being convicted in a one-hour trial in Pyongyang in March 2016, accused of stealing a propaganda banner from a hotel.

US student Otto Warmbier freed by North Korea has 'severe brain injury'

7. Republican congressman shot at baseball practice

Senior Republican congressman Steve Scalise and four others have been wounded after a gunman opened fire during a baseball practice Washington. Scalise was with other lawmakers practising for the annual congressional match due to be played on Thursday. Two policemen and the gunman were also injured in the incident.

8. 60s icon Anita Pallenberg dies aged 73

Anita Pallenberg, who became an icon of the 1960s, has died at the age of 73. The Italian born model was closely associated with the Rolling Stones. In 1965 she left Brian Jones for bandmate Keith Richards, with who she had three children. She starred with Mick Jagger in Performance and sang backing vocals on Sympathy for the Devil.

9. Guardian newspaper confirms tabloid move

The Guardian and Observer newspapers have confirmed they are moving to a tabloid format next year as part of a three-year plan to cut costs in the hopes of breaking even. The publications will be printed on presses owned by Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, with the Guardian group selling its three £80m printing presses in London and Manchester.

10. Briefing: Hard or soft Brexit?

"Brexit means Brexit", Theresa May used to be fond of saying. As the phrase suggests, the UK is on course to leave the European Union, but how this will happen is still highly uncertain - even more so after last week's general election.

May took the country to the polls seeking a mandate for what commentators typically refer to as a "hard" Brexit. Her failure to secure a majority has given rise to speculation we will instead end up with a "soft" Brexit.

The precise hardness or softness could have a profound effect on the UK in the years ahead.

Hard or soft Brexit: What will the deal look like now?

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