Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 28 Sep 2017

1. May to praise market as ‘agent of progress’

After Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted yesterday that the public now wants more state control, Theresa May is expected to say today that the free market is the “greatest agent of human progress”. The Prime Minister will maker a speech at an event celebrating the Bank of England’s 20 years of independence from government.

2. Head teachers write to 2.5 million parents

A group of 4,000 head teachers is sending a letter to 2.5 million homes today, warning that schools are being underfunded by the government. The teachers, co-ordinated by Horsham head Jules White, say they won’t stop their campaign until they are given an extra £1bn over two years. White warned: “We are going bankrupt.”

3. Playboy’s Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, has died at the age of 91. He created the lifestyle magazine, known for its sexually explicit content, in 1953. By the mid-1970s, the circulation was more than seven million and the magazine still sells in more than 20 countries. Hefner died in the famous Playboy Mansion, of natural causes.

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4. Fourth round of Brexit talks in final day

This is the last day of the fourth round of talks between the EU and the UK on Brexit – and there has been little sign of compromise on either side, according to Sky News. Brexit Secretary David Davis will meet chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels later today. Barnier has said a transition period is not guaranteed.

5. Trump unveils plan for sweeping tax cuts

US President Donald Trump yesterday unveiled a plan for sweeping tax cuts for individuals and businesses, insisting it would not benefit the “wealthy or well-connected”. The plan also greatly simplifies the country’s complex tax code and has been called “ambitious” by experts. Trump told an audience in Indiana cuts would be “fair”.

6. US ‘fake news’ kingpin found dead

A writer who boasted his fake news websites were behind Donald Trump’s election as US president has been found dead at the age of 38, of a suspected drugs overdose. Paul Horner invented stories including one about protesters being paid to oppose Trump which was then spread by Trump’s son Eric. He claimed his work was satire.

7. Twerking man ad is most complained

An ad for financial price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com which featured a man in cut off shorts twerking was the most complained-about in 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority says. The ad was felt by some to be homophobic. An advert for Match.com showing a lesbian couple kissing also drew protests.

8. Market boom created millionaires

More than one million people became very wealthy – defined as having free assets of more than $1m (£750,000) – in 2016, thanks to a strong performance by shares in Europe and the US. There are now 16.5 million people in this select group, says business consultancy Capgemini, and their collective fortune has reached $63.5tn.

9. Couple sought to live on French island

France’s Coastal Protection Agency has advertised for a volunteer couple to take on the running of an island off Brittany. Quemenes is a one mile-long grassy islet home to wild birds and a flock of Ushant sheep. The successful applicants will be provided with a farmhouse. The current residents have spent ten years on the island.

10. Briefing: Six things women in Saudi Arabia cannot do

Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive for the first time in the country’s history, thanks to a decree issued by King Salman.

Although women were not technically banned from driving under Saudi law, local authorities consistently refused to issue women with a driving licence, resulting in a de facto ban.

Many Islamic scholars justified the ban on the grounds that allowing women the means to travel without supervision would inevitably mean contact with unrelated men, and thus would undermine the country’s strict principles of gender segregation.

What are women banned from doing in Saudi Arabia?

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