Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 13 Sep 2017

1. Boris Johnson visits devastated Anguilla

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived in the Caribbean last night to see the damage to British territories caused by Hurricane Irma. He will venture out later today in Anguilla before travelling to the British Virgin Islands. Anguilla’s chief minister said the visit “sends a very positive signal to Anguillians that the British are serious”.

2. Police and prison officers disparage pay rise

The chair of the Police Federation, Steve White, says members will be “angry and deflated” after Theresa May lifted the 1% public sector pay cap for police and prison officers. They had asked for a 2.8% rise, but will only get 1% and a one-off extra 1% for one year. Prison officers said their 1.7% rise amounted to a real-terms cut.

3. Government wins standing committee ‘fix’ vote

The Government has won a vote to change how standing committees – which handle amendments to bills – are made up, despite claims by the opposition that the proposals were a “power grab” and a “constitutional outrage”. The change means the Government will have a majority on the committee dealing with the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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4. Storm Aileen hits UK with 75mph winds

The UK’s first named storm of the season, Storm Aileen, brought high winds to much of England and Wales this morning, with gusts of up to 75mph. An amber warning from the Met Office was in place until 6am. A yellow warning for rain is in place for northern England, southern Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland, and flooding is possible.

5. Embarrassment as Apple launches iPhone X

There was an embarrassing glitch as Apple revealed three new phones to an audience of 1,000 and the world’s media yesterday. Executive Craig Federighi tried to demonstrate facial recognition software on the flagship iPhone X that unlocks the handset, only to have it fail. He was forced to switch to a backup device and Apple’s stock dipped in response.

6. Welfare reforms ‘fuel rise in homelessness’

The Government’s welfare reforms are partly responsible for a rise in homelessness, the National Audit Office has said. The spending watchdog said that the Government has not done enough to tackle a 60% increase in households living in temporary accommodation in the last six years. An overnight count in London last autumn recorded 4,134 rough sleepers.

7. Almost a third of Britons ‘have anti-Semitic beliefs’

Almost a third (30%) of British people hold at least one anti-Semitic view, according to a study by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. But researchers said this does not mean many Britons are anti-Semitic: only a relatively small number of adults, some 2.4%, expressed multiple anti-Semitic attitudes “readily and confidently”.

8. Boy and parents killed falling into crater

A boy of 11 and his parents have died after falling into a volcanic crater near Naples. The boy is said to have wandered into a prohibited area of the Solfatara di Pozzuoli, where he was overcome by fumes and fainted. His parents are thought to have been trying to save him when the edge of the crater collapsed. They are believed to have died of asphyxiation.

9. Grenfell: London fire chief calls for sprinklers

The commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Dany Cotton, has called for all existing high-rise council flats to be fitted with sprinklers, saying the Grenfell Tower fire earlier this year “should be a turning point”. She added: “If that isn't one of the recommendations [of the Grenfell Tower inquiry] then I will be so very disappointed.”

10. Briefing: profile of a neo-Nazi terror group

Two British soldiers are among three men charged with belonging to National Action, an extreme right-wing group banned last December under UK anti-terrorism laws.

Established in 2013, National Action is a racist neo-Nazi group with branches across the UK, according to the Home Office. Members conduct street demonstrations and “stunts” to intimidate communities, and distribute propaganda to recruit young members.

“The group rejects democracy, is hostile to the British state and seeks to divide society by implicitly endorsing violence against ethnic minorities and perceived ‘race traitors’,” the Home Office says.

National Action arrests: what is the far-right group and why is it banned?

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