Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 1 Dec 2017

1. ‘Thousands’ of porn images on MP’s computer

A former Met Police detective who examined the office computer of Damian Green MP in 2008 says there were “thousands” of legal pornographic images on it. Neil Lewis, who retired in 2014, told the BBC he is convinced it was Green himself who accessed the images. Green, now deputy PM, denies the claim, blaming an aide.

2. May sticks to careful rebuke for Trump tweet

The Prime Minister yesterday repeated her carefully worded rebuke of Donald Trump for retweeting Islamophobic videos originally posted by Britain First, saying it was “wrong”. Some ministers have been more vehement, with Justice Minister Sam Gyimah saying last night that he was “deeply uncomfortable” about a state visit by Trump.

3. Kim Jong Nam ‘carried nerve agent with him’

The half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had a dozen vials of antidote for nerve agents, such as the VX used to kill him, in his bag when he was poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport in February, a Malaysian court has heard. Two young immigrant women are accused of killing Kim Jong Nam, but say they were tricked into it.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

4. Tesla’s 100-megawatt battery switched on

The world’s biggest battery – said by maker Tesla to be three times as big as its nearest rival – has begun dispensing power into the electricity grid in South Australia. Designed to hold renewable power, the battery was built in 60 days after entrepreneur Elon Musk said he would provide the system for free if it took longer than 100 days to construct.

5. Argentinian navy gives up hope for sub crew

The Argentinian navy says it has given up hope of rescuing the crew of a missing submarine, last contacted after reporting an electrical fault on 15 November. The navy said it had extended the rescue attempt for more than twice as long as it is believed the crew could have survived. The search will continue, but in a recovery mode.

6. Fortnum & Mason struggles for staff post-referendum

World-famous London luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason is struggling to recruit staff in the wake of the Brexit referendum and the subsequent collapse in value of the pound, its boss has said. Ewan Venters said Brexit was “an alarming issue” in terms of recruitment, adding that one in five chef’s jobs at the firm’s six restaurants is now unfilled.

7. Meghan and Harry to make first royal visit

Prince Harry and his fiancee, Meghan Markle, are to carry out their first royal duty together today. The couple will visit a community group in Nottingham supported by Harry’s Royal Foundation, to which he has been a frequent visitor in recent years. A statement said the Prince is “looking forward” to introducing Markle to the group.

8. Hundreds of drivers banned for phone use

Almost 300 new drivers have received bans for using their mobile phones behind the wheel since new rules were brought in on 1 March this year, it has emerged. Drivers now get six points for using a phone – and it was already the case that those who get six points within two years of passing their test are automatically banned.

9. Hundreds of jobs to go as RBS closes branches

RBS is closing 259 branches – 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest – and cutting 680 jobs. The bank, still part-owned by the taxpayer, said that shift towards phone and online banking meant the branches were no longer viable. Compulsory redundancies would be “kept to an absolute minimum” and it would “support” those affected, an RBS spokesperson added.

10. Briefing: how the driving test is changing

A new driving test will come into effect from Monday in a bid to bring the format up to date by including “modern driving styles” and technology.

From 4 December, anyone taking their driving test will face “more manoeuvres”, such as reversing into a bay parking space. The “reverse around a corner” and “turn-in-the-road” manoeuvres will no longer feature, says the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, although instructors may still include them in lessons.

Driving test changes 2017: what’s in the new practical exam?

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.