Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 23 Jul 2018

1. Briefing: who is Q and what is QAnon?

Since its birth in October 2017, the US QAnon conspiracy theory - which is based on the enigmatic messages of an anonymous poster named “Q” - has spread from the fringe internet forums 4chan and 8chan to more widely used platforms like Reddit and Facebook.

Firebrand conservative commentators including Roseanne Barr, Curt Schilling and Alex Jones from Infowars have helped amplify the theory, which has often had real-world consequences.

What is QAnon - and why does it matter?

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2. Toronto gunman shoots 14, killing woman

A gunman opened fire on the crowded streets of Toronto last night at 10pm local time, hitting 14 people. One woman was killed and a girl of nine or ten is fighting for her life in hospital. The shooter was killed in an exchange of fire and his motive is not yet known. The shooting took place on an avenue in the city’s Greektown area.

3. Trump trades threats with Iran’s Rouhani

US President Donald Trump has accused Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani of being “demented” in an all-capitals tweet after Rouhani told Iranian diplomats that a war with the US would be “the mother of all wars”. Trump warned: “You will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”

4. Acid attack on boy: three arrested in London

Three men have been arrested in London on suspicion of attacking a three-year-old boy in Worcester on Saturday, spraying him with acid in what the police believe was a deliberately-targeted attack. The boy suffered serious burns to his arm and face but has now been discharged from hospital. The arrested men are aged 22, 25 and 26.

5. UK drops objections to death penalty for IS men

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has dropped the UK’s demand that two British men, now stripped of their citizenship, must not face the death penalty or be held at Guantanamo Bay if extradited to the US. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh were dubbed ‘The Beatles’ because of their accents when they were executioners for Islamic State.

6. Amazon: Brexit no-deal could incur civil unrest

The UK boss of tech firm Amazon told Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab on Friday that there could be “civil unrest” within a fortnight if Britain left the EU without a deal. Doug Gurr told Raab, and other business leaders at a meeting organised by the minister, that this worst-case scenario formed part of Amazon’s contingency planning.

7. Johnson: Khan must take responsibility for knife crime

Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said his successor Sadiq Khan is failing to “take responsibility” for the surge of knife crime in the capital this year. Johnson said Khan has blamed “everyone but himself” for the upswing. Last month, Khan said cuts to policing had hit London hard and called the deaths “an utter tragedy”.

8. ‘Recycled’ packaging ending up in landfill

Packaging which consumers have attempted to send for recycling may well end up in landfill, the National Audit Office (NAO) is warning. The watchdog says more than half of packaging recorded as recycled is actually sent abroad to be processed. Once overseas, there is little chance to check whether it is burned, buried or recycled.

9. Teenager commended after notes ‘save lives’

A college student from Northumbria has been given a certificate of commendation by police who say she helped save six lives by putting up notes on a bridge which is a frequent suicide spot. Paige Hunter, 18, attached more than 40 laminated messages of hope to Sunderland’s Wearmouth Bridge. One said: “Your life matters … so just hold on.”

10. First recording of Bowie found in breadbasket

The first recording ever made of David Bowie singing is expected to make £10,000 at auction after it was found in a breadbasket. The demo track, recorded in 1963 by Bowie’s first band The Konrads, was turned down by record label Decca and subsequently mislaid by band manager David Hadfield, who rediscovered it when moving house.

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