Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 27 Dec 2017

1. Snowstorm leaves 15,000 homes without power

Around 15,000 homes are without power this morning across western and central parts of England, after up to three inches of snow fell across Exmoor, south Wales and the Cotswolds last night. The M1 was closed when wintry conditions caused an accident. Flood warnings and alerts are in place today for south-west and central England.

2. Armed police called as London shoppers panic

Armed police were called to Oxford Street in London yesterday when Boxing Day shoppers panicked and reported gunshots. A woman was hurt in a fall and a window in House of Fraser was broken as people rushed outside – but police said there was no evidence any gun had been fired. A similar panic occurred before Christmas.

3. British woman jailed for three years in Egypt

A British woman is “on the verge of a mental breakdown”, her family say, after she was sentenced yesterday to three years in an Egyptian jail for bringing 320 tramodol painkillers into the country. Laura Plummer insisted she did not know she was doing anything illegal and the pills were for her boyfriend, who suffers from chronic back pain.

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. Medical evacuations begin from Damascus suburb

The Red Cross says medical evacuations have begun from the rebel-held Damascus suburb Eastern Ghouta. The charity said “critical” patients are being moved to the centre of the city, but did not say how many were involved. Last week, another charity said President Bashar al-Assad was considering a request to move children with cancer.

5. Grenfell Tower firm hands control back to council

The organisation which managed the Grenfell Tower block for Kensington and Chelsea Council has handed control back, in what former residents say is a “cynical” attempt to avoid taking the blame for failings around this year’s tragic fire. KCTMO said it had decided it could no longer guarantee to fulfil its obligations to the council.

6. Tesco apologises after ‘rancid’ turkey fiasco

Britain’s biggest retailer has apologised after several customers complained on social media that their Christmas dinners were “rancid” and “rotten” turkeys and turkey crowns. One Tesco customer said the store had “ruined” her Christmas. Tesco offered refunds, saying it had sold hundreds of thousands of “great” birds.

7. US places sanctions on North Korea missile men

The US has unilaterally put two North Korean officials under sanctions, saying they are “key leaders” of the country’s ballistic missile programme. Meanwhile, North Korea said the UN’s decision on Friday to impose further sanctions was an “act of war” which was tantamount to a total economic blockade on the impoverished nation.

8. Lewis Hamilton apologises for nephew remark

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has apologised for an Instagram video, since removed, in which he told his young nephew: “Boy’s don’t wear princess dresses.” In the video, the boy was wearing a pink outfit and holding a wand. On Twitter, Hamilton said his words were “inappropriate” and offered his “deepest apologies”.

9. LA to Tokyo flight turns back after four hours

A flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo turned back on Tuesday after four hours because it was discovered that a passenger had somehow boarded the wrong flight, in error. Model Chrissy Teigen, who was on the flight, asked on Twitter: “Why not just land in Tokyo and send the other person back? How is this the better idea…?”

10. Briefing: The ten most important new cars of 2017

The motoring industry has had an exciting year, with the launch of innovative new cars ranging from hypercars inspired by racing machines to electric cars aimed at the masses.

Here are ten of the most important cars that made their debut in 2017.

The ten most important new cars of 2017