Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 14 Dec 2017

1. May heads to Brussels following Commons defeat

Theresa May is heading to Brussels today, for a summit at which she is expected to begin agreeing a trade deal with the EU, hours after losing a key Brexit vote in the Commons. Tory rebels refused to back down yesterday and, supported by Labour, imposed an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that will allow MPs to vote on the terms of Brexit.

2. Royals to attend Grenfell Tower service

The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will all attend a multifaith memorial service in St Paul’s Cathedral today for the 71 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. The Prime Minister is also expected to be there, before heading off to Brussels for the next round of Brexit negotiations.

3. Salma Hayek: ‘Weinstein threatened to kill me’

The actor Salma Hayek has written an essay about the years of harassment that she claims she suffered from disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein – including allegations that he physically threatened her, saying: “I will kill you – don’t think I can’t.” Hayek says her many refusals to sexual advances were met with “Harvey’s Machiavellian rage” and an “attack of fury”.

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. Surgeon admits burning initials onto patients’ livers

A surgeon who burned his initials onto the livers of transplant patients has pleaded guilty of assault. Simon Bramhall, 53, could be sent to jail for up to six months after admitting using an argon beam, designed to stop bleeding during surgery, to write “SB” on two patients’ organs during surgery at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2013. A prosecutor said the case was “without legal precedent in criminal law”.

5. Wine glasses ‘are now seven times bigger’

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that wine glasses are now typically seven times bigger than they were 300 years ago. In the early 18th century, the average wine glass held just 66ml – compared with 449ml today. There has been a particular spike in the last two decades. The study says larger glasses may encourage drinkers to consume more.

6. Rain from Hurricane Harvey ‘weighed 127bn tons’

The total amount of rain that fell during tropical storm Hurricane Harvey has been calculated to have weighed 127bn tons - equivalent to the volume of 26,000 sports stadia, according to meteorologists. In a separate study, researchers said the heavy rainfall from Harvey was probably made worse by the global warming caused by greenhouse gases.

7. ‘Mobot’ picture leads to long-lost family reunion

A man was reunited with his long-lost family after his amateur running group posted a picture of him doing Mo Farah’s ‘mobot’ pose on Facebook. Relatives of Jonathan Mainwaring, whose father grew up in an orphanage, had been searching for him and tracked him down through the photo. Mainwaring does not use the social networking site himself.

8. Dog escapes 30ft bridge fall with bruising

A Labrador which jumped off a 30ft bridge in Glasgow, landing on the rocks of a shallow river below, survived with just a collapsed lung and bruising. Chino, a four-year-old, jumped over the parapet of bridge in the city’s Linn Park without warning. He was monitored overnight at a vet’s surgery, given painkillers and released the next day.

9. Comic Peter Kay cancels his comeback tour

Stand-up comic Peter Kay has cancelled what would have been his first tour for eight years, apologising to fans for “unforeseen family circumstances”. He added: “This decision has not been taken lightly and I’m sure you’ll understand my family must always come first.” He asked the media and public to respect his family’s privacy.

10. Briefing: the Honduras election crisis

Demonstrators set on fire campaign posters of Juan Orlando Hernandez in front of the US embassy. Honduras has been shaken by a surge of political violence after its contested presidential election two weeks ago.

“The extreme electoral irregularities and the charged context in which they arose are threatening to inflame instability for years to come,” Al Jazeera English writes.

Honduras election crisis: violent clashes and no winner in sight

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.