Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 1 Jan 2018

1. Spectacular firework displays usher in 2018

The UK has welcomed 2018 with huge fireworks displays, including London’s event where 100,000 ticketholders turned out to watch the midnight firework show from the banks of the River Thames. Despite 76mph winds hitting parts of Scotland, Hogmanay in Edinburgh went ahead.

2. UK boss and family named as victims of Sydney seaplane crash

The CEO of catering company Compass Group has been named as one of the victims of a New Year’s Eve seaplane crash near Sydney along with his two sons, fiancée and her daughter. The Australian pilot also died after the plane fell into a river 30 miles (50km) north of Sydney.

3. ‘Nuclear button is on my desk’, says Kim Jong Un

In a warning to the United States, Kim Jong Un has said a nuclear launch button is “always on my table”. In a televised speech, North Korea's leader said the entire US was within range of North Korean nuclear weapons, adding: “This is reality, not a threat.” But he also suggested he was "open to dialogue".

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4. ‘Iranians free to protest not destroy’, says Rouhani

The president of Iran has told protesters that they “have the right to criticise”, but warned that antisocial behaviour would not be tolerated. Speaking at a cabinet session following four days of street protests, President Hassan Rouhani said criticism was “different from violence and destroying pubic properties”. Officials said they arrested at least 200 people in central Tehran on Saturday.

5. May considers move for Johnson in cabinet reshuffle

In a new year cabinet reshuffle, Theresa May is reported to be considering offering Boris Johnson a move to a “Brexit delivery role”. However, the foreign secretary is likely to resist such a move. The offer is part of a broader shake up following a year of challenges, both domestic and foreign, for the Prime Minister.

6. Prince Philip makes ‘terrorist’ joke about bearded bystander

Prince Philip has been accused of making an ill-judged joke during a walkabout at Sandrginham yesterday after he reportedly pointed at a bearded member of the public and asked: “Is that a terrorist?” According to the Daily Mail and Sun, the man in question found the apparent joke hilarious.

7. Cryptocurrency Ripple enjoys end-of-year surge

The market value of a cryptocurrency called Ripple, also known as XRP, rose more than 50% last week, to a record $85bn. It continued to climb throughout the weekend hitting $100bn yesterday. Ripple is now the second most valuable cryptcurrency after Bitcoin ($237bn), beating out rival Ethereum ($72bn).

8. 12 dead in Costa Rica plane crash

A small plane crash yesterday in northwest Costa Rica has killed 12 people, including ten US citizens and the flight’s two Costa Rican pilots. There were no survivors. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. An investigation is scheduled to begin this morning.

9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits $1 billion worldwide

Two weeks after its release, the latest sequel in the long-running Star Wars movie franchise has already raked in more than $1 billion (£741 million) around the world. The result makes The Last Jedi the third most successful film of 2017, behind Disney's Beauty and the Beast which earned $1.26 billion (£930 million) and Universal Pictures' Fate of the Furious, which earned $1.24 billion (£920 million).

10. Indian movie star to enter politics

Indian actor Rajinikanth, a star of more than 150 movies, is set to enter politics. The 67-year-old star dubbed Thalaivar (The Leader) told fans in Chennai yesterday, “I am entering politics and we will contest all seats in the next assembly elections”, adding that he would form his own political party.

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