Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 7 Jan 2018

1. Greening and Leadsom may lose their jobs in reshuffle

Justine Greening could lose her job within days as Theresa May prepares to appoint a new education secretary, reports the Sunday Telegraph. The PM is expected to use this week’s reshuffle to promote younger MPs from diverse backgrounds. Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the party chairman, and Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, are also thought to be vulnerable.

2. Eight die as rubber dinghy sinks off Libya

At least eight people died after a rubber dinghy starting sinking in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya, according to the Italian authorities. An aircraft on patrol for a European anti-smuggling operation noticed the dinghy was struggling yesterday morning. Italian navy and coast guard vessels were involved in the rescue of 86 people. Around 119,000 migrants arrived in Italy from across the Mediterranean last year.

3. Trump 'may scrap post-Brexit deal if Harry snubs him'

Donald Trump could abandon plans for a post-Brexit transatlantic trade deal with the UK if he is not invited to Prince Harry's wedding, according to the author of the explosive book about the US president. Michael Wolff said Trump "doesn't like being snubbed," adding that if "you Brits suck up to him and enlist in whatever geopolitical fantasy he has going, he'll give you what you want".

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. Outcry as 81-year-old dies after four-hour ambulance wait

There has been uproar at news that a pensioner died after a four-hour wait for an ambulance. The 81-year-old woman in Essex, who rang 999 complaining of chest pains around 8pm on Tuesday evening, was still alive when she spoke to the control room again at 9.47pm, but it took another two hours for an ambulance to arrive at her home. "This should not be happening in our country," said Jeremy Corbyn.

5. Leading chains ban acid sales to the under-18s

Top retailers including Tesco, B&Q, Wickes and Screwfix have signed up to a new voluntary government plan aimed at stopping acid attacks. The commitment bans sales of acids and corrosive substances for under 18-year-olds and includes checking the age of buyers both in store and online. In the year to last April, police recorded more than 500 attacks in England and Wales, double the number five years ago.

6. Theresa May drops vote on fox hunting ban

The Prime Minister has dropped plans to hold a vote on the fox-hunting ban during this parliament. During the general election campaign Theresa May had promised a vote on repealing the Hunting Act - which bans the use of dogs to hunt foxes and wild mammals. But she has told the BBC that there was a "clear message" against it from the public.

7. 'Brexodus' fear as 2,300 academics resign from unis

More than 2,300 EU academics resigned from British in 2017 amid concerns over a 'Brexodus' of top talent in higher education. Although Theresa May has urged EU citizens to stay in the UK after Britain leaves the bloc, confusion over post-Brexit rights has made some academics anxious. There was a 19% increase in departures of European staff from universities last year compared to before the Brexit vote.

8. Saudis arrest princes after protests over energy reforms

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have detained 11 princes after they protested at a royal palace in Riyadh against the government no longer paying their utility bills. The Saudi regime has reduced energy subsidies, introduced value-added tax and cut some perks to royal family members to try to cope with a drop in crude oil prices that has caused a budget deficit estimated at 195bn riyals ($52bn).

9. Toby Young under more pressure as new tweets emerge

Toby Young’s controversial appointment at the new Office For Students watchdog has been put into further doubt as it is revealed that he posted a lewd quip about starving children on Comic Relief. Theresa May has voiced her "distaste" over a series of tweets sent by Young. Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said Young’s appointment risks "alienating" voters, while Sarah Wollaston MP says she feels "deeply uncomfortable" over it.

10. British businesses furious over post-Brexit VAT plans

More than 130,000 UK companies will be forced to pay VAT upfront on goods imported from the EU after Brexit, under new legislation to be considered by MPs next week. Business groups are livid at the proposed changes in the taxation (cross-border trade) bill, which say that they will create huge cashflow problems and stifling new bureaucracy.

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.