Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 21 Aug 2017

1. Sailors missing after US Navy ship collision

Ten US sailors are missing – and another five have been injured – after the second collision between an American ship and a commercial vessel in south-east Asia this summer. Guided missile destroyer the USS John S McCain was hit by a Liberian-flagged oil tanker three times its weight as it prepared to dock in Singapore.

US Navy destroyer collides with oil tanker near Singapore

2. Elon Musk calls for killer robot ban

Entrepreneur Elon Musk and Google's AI leader Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 experts calling for an outright ban on lethal robots. They have written an open letter to the UN warning robots could "permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend".

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Elon Musk and other AI experts send 'killer robots' warning

3. CPS to crack down on online hate

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, wants prosecutors to treat online hate crimes as seriously as those carried out in person. She says that "left untreated", online hate speech could lead to the sort of extremism seen recently in Charlottesville, USA, where neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched and killed a woman.

Twitter's plan to crack down on trolls and online abuse

4. North Korea warns drills could start war

North Korea has expressed its anger as annual joint military drills between South Korea and the US get underway on the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang said the 10-day exercise was "reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war" and warned the US was "pouring gasoline on the fire".

5. British boy among Barcelona dead

The Spanish authorities have confirmed that a British boy of seven was one of the 13 people killed in the Barcelona terror attack last week. Julian Cadman had dual British-Australian nationality. He was killed as he walked with his mother, Jumarie, who had both legs broken by the van which was driven through the crowds on Las Ramblas.

British boy of 7 among Barcelona dead

6. US prepares for total solar eclipse

From 6.15pm UK time tonight, the US will experience a total solar eclipse – the first to be seen right across the nation from coast to coast since 1918. Millions are expected to watch the eclipse pass, despite fears the phenomenon could be spoiled by cloud cover, or by smoke from several major forest fires currently burning.

Solar eclipse: Millions await first US total eclipse in a century

7. King of comedy Jerry Lewis dies at 91

US actor and director Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91. He passed away of natural causes with his family at his bedside in Las Vegas, a statement said. Lewis rose to fame with singer Dean Martin as his straight man and became a huge box office draw in his own right. He played his last lead role in a film, Max Rose, in 2013.

Jerry Lewis dies at 91: Who was the King of Comedy?

8. Original Beatles score up for auction

The original score for the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby, partly hand-written by Paul McCartney and signed by producer George Martin, will be sold at auction next month – and is expected to fetch £20,000. At the same time, deeds for the grave which inspired the song and a bible belonging to Eleanor Rigby will also be sold.

9. MPs to bow heads for 'final bongs'

MPs from all parties are expected to gather outside the Palace of Westminster at noon today to hear Big Ben toll for the last time before it is silenced for refurbishment, possibly until 2021. Labour MP Stephen Pound said he hoped to be there with at least 20 "like-minded traditionalists … with our heads bowed but hope in our hearts".

Big Ben: 10 fast facts about the Great Clock

10. Briefing: The truth about America's opioid crisis

The deadly opioid epidemic in the US was officially declared a national emergency last week, a designation that gives states and federal agencies more resources to combat the crisis.

Donald Trump is depicting the escalating public health crisis as a law and order issue, arguing that tougher border controls coupled with harsher jail sentences will solve the problem. Is he right?

Fact Check: how bad is America’s opioid crisis?

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.