Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 29 Dec 2017

1. Travel warnings over expected heavy snow

The Met Office is warning of power cuts, flight cancellations and delays on Britain’s roads, with further heavy snowfall expected today. Falls of four inches are likely, with six on higher ground. A temperature of -12.3C was measured at Loch Glascarnoch in Scotland last night, after a day in which Stansted airport closed its runway.

2. Mobile drunk tanks to relieve NHS pressure

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, says mobile drunk tanks may become the norm on city streets. They are already in use in Newcastle, Cardiff, Manchester and Bristol, where they relieve pressure on A&E wards. ‘Patients’ are checked over and allowed to sleep it off. Stevens said: “NHS doesn’t stand for National Hangover Service.”

3. Father’s body found in recycling plant

The body of a 28-year-old father of one who went missing after a night out on 22 December in County Durham has been found at a recycling plant. Jay McLaren is thought by police to have climbed into a bin, from where he was taken to the plant in the early hours of Saturday morning. The young man was engaged to be married.

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4. Facebook and Twitter ‘could face sanctions’

The chair of a Commons inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the EU referendum says Twitter and Facebook may face sanctions if they continue to refuse to hand over information about fake news stories planted on their social media platforms by Russian agents. Damian Collins has set a deadline for the firms of 18 January.

5. Apple apologises for slowing older iPhones

Apple has apologised after admitting it slows down the functioning of older iPhones. Customers have long claimed the tech giant does this, to force users to upgrade. Apple says its reason is to prolong the life of phones with older batteries. The firm is to cut the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacement from $79 (£58) to $29 (£21).

6. Trump says US ‘could use some global warming’

Donald Trump has once again expressed doubt about the scientific fact that global temperatures are rising. Referring to cold spells in the US, he wrote on Twitter: “Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against.”

7. Two men charged over Christmas terror plot

Two of four men arrested on 19 December will appear in court today by video link over an alleged Christmas terror plot. Farhad Salah, 22, from Sheffield, and Andi Sami Star, 31, from Chesterfield have been charged with the preparation of an act of terrorism. A 36-year-old from Sheffield is also in custody but the fourth man was released.

8. ‘Historic’ fire in NYC kills 12 including baby

A baby is among at least 12 people killed by a fire in a New York City apartment building. The blaze was “historic in its magnitude”, according to fire services. More than 160 firefighters tackled the blaze, with water from hoses turning to ice on the freezing street. Excluding 9/11, this is the worst loss of life to fire in NYC since 1990.

9. Thatcher refused to share flight with panda

Newly declassified files reveal Margaret Thatcher refused to share a flight with a giant panda in 1981. London Zoo had suggested the prime minister might take Chia Chia with her to Washington on Concorde, to lend it to a zoo. On a memo, Thatcher wrote: “I am not taking a panda with me.” She double-underlined “not”.

10. Briefing: Top 10 social media disasters of 2017

With brands and individuals alike increasingly living their personal and professional lives online, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we would all have pulled it together by now.

Au contraire, 2017 was rife with social media gaffes, from the luxury festival that only existed on Instagram to Dorothy Perkins using an inadvertent porn hashtag.

Read on to see ten of the best.

Top 10 social media disasters of 2017

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