Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 15 Jun 2018

1. Universal Credit ‘not value for money’

The new Universal Credit benefits system may end up costing more money to administer than the system it was supposed to streamline, according to public spending watchdog the National Audit Office. The Government claimed the changes would bring 200,000 more people into work and save £2.1bn in fraud and error.

2. Labour’s Janet Daby wins Lewisham by-election

Labour candidate Janet Daby has won the Lewisham East by-election, triggered by the resignation of Heidi Alexander to work with London Mayor Sadiq Khan. With a low turn-out of 33%, Daby took just over 50% of the vote in the southeast London constituency, ahead of Lucy Salek of the Lib Dems, who leapfrogged the Conservatives to take second place. Labour’s share of the vote fell by almost 18% from the 2017 election.

3. ‘Punish a Muslim’ letter writer charged

A 35-year-old man from Lincoln has been charged with 14 counts including encouraging murder in connection with threatening letters sent to Muslims earlier this year. David Parnham allegedly posted hate mail promoting a so-called “Punish a Muslim Day”, to be held on 3 April, causing “anger, dismay and fear” among Muslim communities, according to Tell Mama, a group which assists victims of anti-Muslim prejudice.

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4. ‘Upskirting’ to be criminal offence in England

Taking photographs up women’s skirts in public without their consent is to become a specific criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to two years in jail. In the most serious cases, those found guilty of “upskirting” may be placed on the sexual offender register. The offence is currently prosecuted under wider existing laws.

5. Second Briton’s body found in South Africa

The body of a British botanist who was kidnapped in South Africa on 10 February this year has been found and identified, almost four months after her husband’s body was recovered. The kidnapping of Rachel and Rodney Saunders, who were 63 and 74 respectively, may be linked to the Islamic State group, police say. The couple owned a business in Cape Town.

6. Boris Becker claims diplomatic immunity in bankruptcy case

Retired tennis player Boris Becker has claimed diplomatic immunity from prosecution from ongoing bankruptcy charges in the UK, citing his appointment by the Central African Republic as its sports and culture attache to the EU. Becker is being pursued in the High Court by private bank Arbuthnot Latham for a debt dating back as far as 2015, but claims he is no longer subject to legal process.

7. World Cup continues with Egypt vs. Uruguay

The football World Cup continues in Moscow today, following a lavish opening ceremony last night. The first game today is Egypt vs. Uruguay, with a 1pm (UK time) kick-off. Morocco take on Iran at 4pm, while Portugal play Spain at 7pm. England’s first game will be on Monday, when they play Tunisia in Volgograd at 7pm, to be broadcast by the BBC. Last night Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0.

Pictures: Russia hit five in World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia

8. McDonald’s to replace plastic straws with paper

McDonald’s is to stop giving out plastic straws in its UK and Ireland restaurants. The burger chain, which gets through 1.8 million straws every day in the UK, will instead provide customers with paper straws. The Government proposed a ban on plastic straws in England earlier this year, a move that has already been undertaken by firms including Waitrose.

9. Macrons in trouble for expensive new plates

Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, have been criticised for lavish spending on new plates for the Elysee Palace, at a time when the French president has been railing against the country’s welfare bill. The new china, to be made by the Manufacture de Sevres, will cost between €50,000 (£44,000) and €500,000 (£440,000), according to French media.

10. Briefing: vintage US security posters

Formed by a secret presidential memo in 1952 amid growing Cold War tensions, the fledgling National Security Agency commissioned posters to remind its employees to keep mum about their top-secret work.

Government Attic, a website that requests historical government documents under the Freedom of Information Act, has secured the release of more than 100 of them produced between the 1950s and the 1970s.

Vintage US security posters range from bizarre to terrifying

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