Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 19 Jul 2018

1. New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab heads to Brussels

Dominic Raab is making his first trip to Brussels as Brexit secretary, following David Davis’s resignation in protest at Theresa May’s plans. Raab, who was part of the 2016 EU referendum Leave campaign, will hold talks with Michel Barnier. Meanwhile, May says she will make a national tour this summer in a bid to sell her Brexit strategy to the Tory grass roots.

2. Bravery awards for London Bridge attack heroes

Eight people who confronted the perpetrators of the London Bridge terror attack in the capital last summer have been honoured for their bravery, two of them posthumously, by being included on the Queen’s Civilian Gallantry List. Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria was killed when he confronted the knife-wielding attackers and tried to fight them off with his skateboard.

3. Novichok poisoning: police identify Russian suspects

Police have identified several Russians whom they suspect were involved in the novichok nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury earlier this year, according to media reports. Investigators are believed to have spotted the suspects on CCTV recordings, and to have identified them using a list of Russians known to be in the UK at the time.

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. Thai cave boys: ‘We tried to dig our way out’

The 12 Thai boys who spent more than two weeks trapped in a cave before being rescued last week have given a press conference with their 25-year-old coach, who said: “We took turns digging at the cave walls. We didn’t want to wait around until the authorities found us.” The group survived by drinking water dripping down the walls of the cave.

5. BA apologises for ‘complete chaos’ at Heathrow

Dozens of flights in and out of Heathrow Airport were cancelled yesterday evening, prompting one passenger to complain of “complete chaos”. British Airways has apologised for the cancellations, and blamed “an issue with some of our IT systems”. Further problems were caused by a fire alarm in the airport’s air traffic control tower, which led to some flights being diverted.

6. Trump back-pedals further on Russian meddling

US President Donald Trump yesterday continued his U-turn on Russian meddling in the 2016 US election that brought Trump to office. He told an interviewer that he held Russian leader Vladimir Putin personally responsible for what happened and said he agreed with the assessment of US intelligence agencies that Russia is guilty.

7. Putin retracts claim made at Helsinki summit

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has claimed that he made a “slip of the tongue” when he said American financier Bill Browder donated $400m to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, at a Helsinki press conference following his summit on Monday with Donald Trump. The Russian leader said that he meant to say $400,000. Browder, who has worked to have Putin’s overseas assets frozen, called it an “amateurish lie”.

8. Police rebuked over handling of hate crime

The police watchdog has said forces must do better in handling reports of hate crimes, which spiked after the 2016 EU referendum and is expected to do so again when the UK leaves the EU in 2019. In a new report, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) says police “should prepare for this eventuality”. It also warns of a “postcode lottery” in how such crimes are handled by different police forces.

9. Boater accidentally drains Kennet and Avon Canal

A canal boater accidentally completely drained a section of the Kennet and Avon Canal, in Wiltshire, by leaving all the lock gates open. The Canal and River Trust said the action was not malicious but the boater had been “rushing and left the paddles up”, adding that the paddles “work like a plug on a bath in allowing water in and out”.

10. Briefing: why Cliff Richard’s win against the BBC matters

The BBC has lost a privacy case brought to court by Sir Cliff Richard in a ruling it describes as a “dramatic shift against press freedom”.

The singer sued the BBC over its coverage of a police raid at his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014. Richard, who denied any wrongdoing and was never arrested nor charged for an offence, took legal action to redress the “profound and long-lasting damage” he suffered.

What is Cliff Richard doing now?

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.