Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 26 Nov 2017

1. Two dead and dozens hurt in China explosion

At least two people are dead and 30 injured after an explosion in the Chinese port city of Ningbo. The blast, which occurred this morning at a factory in the city's Jiangbei District, caused nearby buildings to collapse. The city has a large international shipping port and is best known for its auto-manufacturing industry.

2. Labour member dies 'suddenly' after 'pornography suspension'

The Labour Party member says a second member has died "suddenly" following his suspension from the party over allegations of sexual misconduct. The senior staff member, who was in his 30s, had been suspended over allegations involving pornography, according to The Sunday Times. The news comes weeks after Welsh assembly cabinet member Carl Sargeant took his own life after being suspended over claims of sexual harassment.

3. Ireland will hardball 'to the end' over Brexit

Ireland says it will "play tough to the end" over its threat to veto Brexit talks moving on to discuss trade. After the European Union said "sufficient progress" has to be made on the Irish border before Brexit negotiations can begin, a Dublin spokesman told The Observer staying in the customs union would avoid there being a hard border on the island.

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4. Concern as paramedics allowed to prescribe pills

Paramedics will be given new powers to prescribe medication to speed up access to treatment, reports the Sunday Telegraph. As part of contentious reforms to prevent thousands of needless hospital visits, specially-trained ambulance workers will take on duties traditionally performed by GPs and hospital doctors. Patients groups questioned whether the ambulance workers are adequately skilled.

5. Mugabe and wife 'to get $10m golden handshake'

Robert Mugabe is in line for a "golden handshake" worth many millions of dollars. Although the precise sums to be paid to the former president and his wife Grace are yet to be decided, one senior ruling party official said the total would not be less than $10m. The Observer says Mugabe’s 37-year rule left Zimbabwe with a "worthless currency, massive debts… and an estimated unemployment rate of more than 80%".

6. Britain 'is training Saudi troops for dirty Yemen war'

The British Army is secretly training Saudi Arabian troops to fight in Yemen, says the Mail on Sunday. According to the report, up to 50 UK military personnel have been teaching combat skills to soldiers who will be deployed in the "dirty war". The Saudis have been accused of committing crimes against humanity after thousands of civilians were killed in bombing raids and an estimated one million children face starvation.

7. Merseyside policeman hurt in 'despicable' assault

An officer has been seriously injured in a "despicable attack", say Merseyside Police. A white Transit van was driven at the officer in the Norris Green area of the city last night after police attempted to stop the vehicle. Although he was taken to hospital following the incident, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

8. Nepalese vote in historic two-phase elections

Millions of Nepalis are to vote in historic polls that are seen as a turning point for the deprived Himalayan nation. The Observer says it is hoped the two-phase elections for national and provincial parliaments will end the "ruinous instability that has plagued the country since the end of a bloody civil war a decade ago". They come as part of a peace deal that ended the 10-year Maoist insurgency in 2006.

9. Government to introduce drone safety measures

The government has announced the introduction of a draft drone bill that will mean drone pilots will have to register and sit safety awareness tests. The bill will give police the right to ground drones or to seize parts to prove the device has been used to commit a crime. National Police Chiefs' Council lead for criminal misuse of drones, Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, said: "Do not take this lightly."

10. Will Harry and Meghan announce engagement on Tuesday?

Prince Harry will announce his engagement to the actress Meghan Markle within days, according to newspaper speculation this morning. Bookmakers have suspended betting on Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan Markle, 36, announcing their engagement. The Mail on Sunday claims further evidence can be found in the fact that actress Markle has brought her dogs, Bogart and Guy, to London.

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