Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 10 Dec 2017

1. Global powers tell EU to deny May a special deal

Brussels says it is coming under international pressure to deny Britain special treatment, casting a shadow over Theresa May’s bid to secure a unique post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. A source said a number of non-member countries have approached Brussels expressing concerns and making it clear that it would constitute "a major problem" for them "if suddenly the UK were to get better terms than they get".

2. Weather warnings as snow, gales and rain lash UK

Snow is continuing to fall after an amber weather warning was issued across large parts of the country. The Met Office expects heavy snow across Wales, the Midlands, northern and eastern England. It says rural areas could become "cut off". Flights have been temporarily suspended at Birmingham Airport. London, the South and southern parts of Wales will be hit by winds of up to 70mph and heavy rain.

3. Human rights body to probe Grenfell fire tragedy

The human rights watchdog will hold an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, investigating whether the government and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea failed to protect life and provide safe housing. The findings of the independent Equality and Human Rights Commission are due in April, far ahead of the official inquiry’s full findings.

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4. Tremors from North Korea 'aftershock from nuke test'

Two minor tremors detected from North Korea yesterday were probably aftershocks from the country’s nuclear test in early September, a US Geological Survey official said. "They’re probably relaxation events from the sixth nuclear test," he explained. "When you have a large nuclear test, it moves the Earth’s crust around the area, and it takes a while for it to fully subside."

5. Straight couples may be offered civil partnerships

Heterosexual couples would be granted the option of a civil partnership rather than marriage under plans from the SNP. Ministers have come under pressure from campaigners who say the current position, which only allows civil parterships for gay couples, amounts to discrimination against straight people. Civil partnerships give same legal rights as marriages, including on inheritance, next-of-kin arrangements and tax breaks.

6. Disgraced Clifford in critical care after heart attack

Max Clifford is being treated in a critical care unit after suffering a cardiac arrest, his daughter has said. The former celebrity publicist, 74, is reportedly "in a bad way" after collapsing twice at Littlehey prison in Cambridgeshire, where he is serving an eight-year jail sentence for historical sex offences. His daughter told the Mail on Sunday that Clifford first collapsed in his cell on Thursday.

7. Arab League denounces Trump's 'void' Jerusalem move

The Arab League says US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital risks plunging the region into "violence and chaos". The statement by 22 countries, including close US allies, says the move means Washington cannot be relied upon as a broker of Middle East peace. However, the group also said the US leader's recognition had no legal implication and was "void".

8. Social networks must adapt their websites for the young

Facebook and Twitter will be forced to adapt their websites for younger users after the government responded to pressure from peers and children's charities. Ministers have agreed a code of practice with minimum standards for the "age-appropriate design" of social networks. Any companies flouting the rules could face substantial fines. Prince William has expressed concern over the impact of social media on youngsters.

9. New figures spotlight gender disparity in murder cases

New data shows more than 113 women in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in 2016 were killed by men - two thirds a current or ex-partner. Drawing on information from police and media reports, the Femicide Census found 85 of the 113 women killed by men last year were in their own homes. Women's Aid says the data makes clear the "disparity in the sexes of the victim and perpetrator".

10. 'Frank talks' as Boris meets Iranian opposite number

Boris Johnson "spoke frankly" with his Iranian opposite number during a two-hour meeting in Tehran, says the Foreign Office. In "two hours of frank talks", the Foreign Secretary aired "grave concerns" over jailed British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, it added. Boris is due to meet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on Sunday. His is the first trip of a British Foreign Secretary to Iran since 2015 and only the third since 2003.

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