Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 11 Aug 2017

1. North Korea: US 'gaining diplomatic results'

American defence secretary James Mattis, a retired general, has struck a conciliatory tone on North Korea, saying the US is still "gaining diplomatic results" there. James Mattis added that war with the rogue state would be "catastrophic". US President Donald Trump said earlier North Korea should be "very, very nervous" of provoking the US.

North Korea rails against US military exercises

2. Evacuations over tower block safety

Hundreds of people are to be evacuated from their homes in south London after an investigation suggested four 13-storey blocks on the Ledbury estate in Peckham could collapse if there was a gas explosion. Safety checks found that the towers have been at risk of collapse for decades. Gas supplies have been cut off by the council.

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Grenfell fallout: New fears about UK structural failures

3. Asteroid to pass Earth 'damn close'

An asteroid the size of a house will just miss Earth in October, astronomers say. Rolf Densing of the European Space Agency said: "It's damn close… this is indeed a close miss." The object is between 50 and 100 feet long. In 2013, a meteoroid 66ft long exploded over central Russia and blew out windows in 5,000 buildings.

4. CCTV for all abattoirs in England

CCTV could become compulsory for abattoirs in England as part of plans to monitor animal welfare. Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, said the proposals would make the UK a "global leader on animal welfare". By next year, the Food Standards Agency will be able to request CCTV footage of livestock.

5. Jogger suspect released on bail

Eric Bellquist, the financier arrested after a woman was pushed in front of a double-decker bus by a jogger on a Putney Bridge in London, says he was in the US when the incident occurred in May. Bellquist was arrested at an address in Chelsea, west London and released on bail without charge. CCTV footage shows a bus narrowly avoiding the women after she was shoved into the road.

London investment banker denies 'jogger rage'

6. At least 36 die in China coach crash

At least 36 people are dead, and 13 injured, after a coach crashed into the wall of a tunnel in Shaanxi province, China, just before midnight (6pm UK time) yesterday. State media says rescue work is still underway and a cause has not been established. The WHO says 250,000 people were killed on China's roads in 2013.

7. Father and son 'shone lasers at planes'

A British father and son are facing fines of up to £540,000 for allegedly shining laser pens at planes landing at Malaga Airport. Spanish police say several pilots complained about being dazzled as the pair – aged 41 and 15 – stood on a balcony at their Torremolinos hotel. They were identified and two laser pens were seized.

8. Chelsea Manning appears in Vogue

Former US Army analyst Chelsea Manning who, as Bradley Manning, leaked thousands of classified US files to WikiLeaks, appears in a red swimsuit in the current September edition of Vogue magazine. The 29-year-old, released from prison by Barack Obama, commented online: "Guess this is what freedom looks like."

9. BBC defends Lawson climate change interview

The BBC is once again under attack for interviewing former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson about climate change on Radio 4's Today programme. The Green Party complained to the broadcaster that Lawson made statements which were "demonstrably untrue" but the BBC said it had to reflect all sides of the debate.

10. Briefing: Ghana joins the space race

Ghana's space programme took one small step last week and one giant leap into the sub-Saharan space race.

The successful orbit of GhanaSat-1, its first space satellite, means the tiny West African nation is now one of dozens of nations competing to occupy the low and high Earth orbits and to further the scientific discoveries of humanity.

GhanaSat-1 launched from Kennedy Space Center in June and was released from the International Space Station nearly a month later. It began orbiting last week.

Africa joins space race: Should Ghana be over the moon?

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