Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 4 Aug 2017

1. Grand jury convened over Trump-Russia links

US special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury to investigate alleged collusion between Donald Trump's election campaign team and Russia. According to media reports, this could see witnesses and records being called in the near future. Trump last night denounced the investigation, telling a rally in West Virginia it was a "fake story".

Senators question firm tied to Trump dossier – is MI6 spy next?

2. Briton who stopped WannaCry arrested in US

A British cyber security researcher has been arrested in the US and charged with creating the Kronos banking malware in 2013-2014. Marcus Hutchins rose to fame earlier this year after helping stop the spread of the WannaCry ransomware which attacked NHS computers. He appeared in court in Las Vegas yesterday.

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US arrests British expert who halted WannaCry virus

3. RBS reports half-year profit of £939m

Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has reported its first half-year profits for three years, making £939m before tax in the first six months of this year. In the same period in 2016, it lost more than £2bn. The lender, which is 73% owned by the state, said the profits were "proof of the investment case for this bank".

RBS smashes expectations with £940m profit

4. Europe swelters in extreme heatwave

Parts of Europe are sweltering in temperatures of 44C as a heatwave grips the continent. There are health warnings in place in 26 cities and there have been wildfires in Italy, where temperatures are more than 10C above average for the time of year. The weather conditions have also raised the prospect of severe drought in some areas. The heatwave is expected to last another week.

5. Australian police say IS chief behind alleged bomb plot

Police in Australia claim an IS "commander" was behind an alleged terror plot to put a bomb on a plane leaving Sydney last month. Two men face terror charges over claims they attempted to take an improvised explosive device on to an Etihad flight. Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said their instructions came "from a senior member of the Islamic State" based overseas.

Sydney terror plot 'organised by IS chief overseas'

6. Second fire at Dubai's 86-storey Torch Tower

One of the world's tallest residential buildings was hit by fire last night for the second time in two years. Fire chiefs say they successfully evacuated all 86-storey Torch Tower in Dubai, which has external cladding. The building, which contains 676 apartments, suffered another major blaze in 2015.

7. Henrik of Denmark refuses to share grave with wife

Prince Henrik of Denmark has asked not to be buried beside his wife, Queen Margrethe, saying he is unhappy at never being acknowledged her equal and named king consort. The 83-year-old royal has retired from public duties and spends most of his time on a vineyard in France. Margrethe, 77, is still working.

Henrik: Prince of Denmark refuses to be buried next to his Queen

8. England knocked out of Euro 2017 semi-final

England's female football team suffered "semi-final heartbreak" after being knocked out of Euro 2017 with a 3-0 defeat to hosts the Netherlands, says the BBC. Coach Mark Sampson paid tribute to his team, saying they "gave everything to try and achieve something this summer". The team also went out in the semis at the 2015 World Cup.

Euro 2017: Bitter deja vu as England Lionesses fall short

9. Simple change for greener washing machines

Researchers have invented a way to make washing machines lighter and greener. At the moment, the appliances contain concrete blocks weighing 55lbs to stop vibrations. However, a team from Nottingham has created a device to replace this with plastic containers that can be filled with water when the machine is in place, making it easier and cheaper to transport.

10. Briefing: The rise of the vegan

Going vegan was once regarded as an extreme lifestyle choice taken by tie-dyed hippies, but the tide appears to be turning.

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of vegans in Britain more than trebled,the Daily Telegraph reports. Supermarkets are now stocking up on special products and a host of celebrities have come out in support of the diet, including footballer Jermain Defoe and boxer Mike Tyson.

Supporters say veganism's benefits extend well beyond animal welfare and that followers are less likely to be overweight, have younger-looking skin and lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

What is vegan diet and are there health benefits?

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