Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 15 Sep 2017

1. Japan condemns ‘reckless’ North Korea missile launch

North Korea has fired another ballistic missile over Japan, prompting the Japanese government to condemn the launch as a “reckless act”. South Korea says the missile reached an altitude of 770km (478 miles) and travelled 3,700km (2,300 miles) before landing in the sea off Hokkaido. Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said his country would “never tolerate” such “dangerous provocative action”. Washington has also condemned the move.

2. NHS unions demanding a 3.9% pay rise

Unions representing NHS staff have written to the Government demanding a 3.9% pay rise. Fourteen unions have teamed up to ask for the increase, saying that once inflation is taken into account, pay has fallen by 15% since 2010. Ministers recently agreed to give police officers a 1% rise and a 1% bonus, with prison officers getting a 1.7% rise.

3. Trump reprises his ‘both sides’ stance on Charlottesville

Donald Trump has revived his contentious “both sides” rhetoric about white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the US president said: “When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”

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4. British journalist killed by crocodile in Sri Lanka

The body has been found of a Financial Times journalist who was killed by a crocodile while on holiday in Sri Lanka. Paul McClean, 24, is believed to have been ambushed by the reptile as he washed his hands in the water after a visit to the toilet. The Daily Telegraph says the Oxford University graduate was seen “waving his hands in the air” for help before being dragged under water at the Crocodile Rock lagoon.

5. Health body recommends diabetes tests for all over-40s

All over-40s should have diabetes checks and millions should be put on a diet, according to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence. The public body says “intensive lifestyle change programmes” will be offered as a matter of course to those whose weight or lifestyle is endangering their health. It is believed that around four million adults in England have diabetes, of which almost a million cases are undiagnosed.

6. Cuts have left the Royal Navy a ‘laughing stock’

The Royal Navy is a “laughing stock” thanks to spending cuts that have left the Armed Forces “struggling to protect Britain’s citizens”, reports The Daily Telegraph. Senior military sources say 13 of the Navy’s 19-strong fleet of Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers are unable to go to sea owing to a lack of manpower, fuel and supplies.

7. Rees-Mogg slammed for calling food banks ‘uplifting’

Charities have angrily criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg after he said the rise in food banks painted a “rather uplifting” picture of a compassionate country. The Tory MP said the “charitable support” offered by food banks “shows what a good, compassionate country we are”. There are now more than 2,000 food banks in the UK. The Guardian says that in 2010, just a handful existed.

8. Wenger surprised that Cologne match went ahead after trouble

Five people were arrested after crowd trouble at Arsenal’s Europa League clash against Cologne. Around 20,000 Cologne fans turned up despite the German club being given a ticket allocation of just 2,900. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: “We live in a society of 100% security. I thought they would never take a gamble to play this game when I saw the images around the stadium.”

9. Harvard rescinds Manning offer after CIA protest

Harvard University has withdrawn an offer to make Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow after CIA director Mike Pompeo cancelled an appearance at the institution. Pompeo, who had been booked to give a speech on global security concerns, withdrew on Thursday, in protest at the university’s invitation to the military whistle-blower, which he called a “shameful stamp of approval”.

10. UN says global austerity is hampering equality progress

The United Nations says austerity programmes across the world are to blame for undermining the job security of millions and threatening the progress made by women in the workplace. In a report entitled “Beyond austerity – towards a global new deal”, the UN said that spending cuts meant “the increasingly limited” supply of “good jobs” were going to men rather than women.

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