Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 28 Nov 2017

1. Crisis talks in Ireland as snap election looms

The leaders of Ireland’s two main political parties – Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, of Fine Gael, and Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin – are holding talks this morning in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a snap election. Fianna Fail is demanding the resignation of Fine Gael deputy PM Frances Fitzgerald over a scandal involving a police whistle-blower.

2. Bali airport still shut over volcanic ash

Bali airport was closed for a second day this morning, stranding thousands of travellers, because of a huge column of volcanic ash being emitted by Mount Agung. The plume of ash reaches up as high as two miles into the atmosphere. Indonesian authorities have instructed 100,000 residents to evacuate a six-mile area around the volcano.

3. All banks pass Bank of England test

For the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, all of the country’s biggest banks have passed the Bank of England’s stress test, which asks how well financial institutions would handle another crisis. Barclays and RBS came closest to failing – a snapshot of their businesses at the end of 2016 was not promising, but both have since improved.

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4. MPs call on Davis to reveal full Brexit reports

MPs including the Eurosceptic Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg have attacked Brexit Secretary David Davis for releasing only heavily-edited analyses of the potential impact of leaving the EU, rather than simply handing over the full reports. Opposition MPs accused Davis of leaving out “politically embarrassing” information from the papers.

5. Temperatures set to dip to -10C in Scotland

The UK is set for a big freeze this week, the Met Office says, with temperatures as low as -10C expected in parts of Scotland on Thursday. Yellow warnings for ice have been issued for parts of Wales, the northwest of England and the West Midlands. Thursday is forecast to be the coldest day, with snow in Durham, Newcastle and East Anglia.

6. Deprivation ‘at worst in richest places’

Wealthy areas including Berkshire and Crawley deliver worse outcomes for disadvantaged children than poorer areas such as Sunderland or Tower Hamlets, according to a new report by the Government’s social mobility watchdog. Chairman Alan Milburn is warning today of a “self-reinforcing spiral of ever-growing division” in the UK.

7. Details of royal wedding to be revealed

More details of next year’s royal wedding are expected later, after the Archbishop of Canterbury hinted that Prince Harry and divorcee Megan Markle will tie the knot in a church. The wedding was announced on Monday, but no date was given. Social media users were quick to ask if there would be a special bank holiday – the answer seems to be “no”.

8. Trump uses ‘racial slur’ at White House event

US President Donald Trump has been accused by Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren of making a “racial slur”, after he referred to her as “Pocahontas” over claims she exaggerated her Native American ancestry to advance her career. The remarks were made by Trump at a ceremony honouring two Native American WWII veterans.

9. Profumo ‘had relationship with Nazi spy’

Former Tory minister John Profumo had a relationship with a German model, starting in the 1930s, who became a Nazi spy, newly declassified government papers reveal. Profumo, who died in 2006, later became notorious for lying to the House of Commons about his relationship with Christine Keeler, in events later dramatised in the film Scandal.

10. Briefing: what title will Harry’s bride hold?

No sooner had Prince Harry announced his engagement to his American girlfriend Meghan Markle than speculation began on both sides of the Atlantic about his wife-to-be’s future title.

“She will make history as the first American, the first actress and the first biracial person to be welcomed into the British royal family, most likely as a royal duchess with the Her Royal Highness title,” USA Today reports.

Princess Meghan Markle? Duchess of Sussex? What title will Harry’s bride hold?

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