Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 27 Jul 2018

1. May heads to Austria for ‘waste of time’ talks

Theresa May is in Austria today for talks on Brexit, after the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said direct talks between the UK and major EU nations were a “waste of time”. During a press conference with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Barnier rejected the Prime Minister’s so-called ‘Chequers plan’ for post-Brexit trade and customs.

2. Furnace Friday: ‘Climate change is here’

This is ‘Furnace Friday’ – expected to be the hottest day of the year yet, as the heatwave bites in the east and south of England and a small part of eastern Scotland. Bob Ward of the LSE’s Grantham climate research institute said: “Climate change is here and this is what it looks like.” He said the nine warmest years on record all came after 2000.

3. North Korea returns remains of US soldiers

North Korea has returned the remains of US troops killed in the Korea war, a diplomatic measure agreed at the summit between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. US troops formed an honour guard as the plane carrying the remains touched down at an air base in South Korea, 65 years after hostilities ended.

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4. Five killed when minibus and car collided

Five people have died in a collision between a minibus and a car in the north of Scotland. A section of the A96 between Huntly and Keith has been closed and police are appealing for witnesses, saying they “urge anyone who was in the area last night leading up to the incident at around 11.50pm to please get in touch” quoting reference 5002.

5. Trump ‘knew of Russia meeting’ says lawyer

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he was present when the US President’s son Donald Jr told his father that he was planning to meet a Russian delegation with other Trump campaign aides in June 2016. Trump has insisted that he knew nothing of the encounter until one year after it took place.

6. British snowboarder dies on 18th birthday

One of the country’s most promising young snowboarders, Ellie Soutter, has died on her 18th birthday. Tipped for a place at the 2022 Winter Olympics, she won bronze at the 2017 Youth Olympic Winter Festival, the UK’s only medal. British Ski and Snowboard paid tribute to her in a statement which referred readers to the Samaritans.

7. Speedboat killer in hiding for verdict

The family of a 24-year-old woman killed when her date let her take the wheel of his speedboat after they had drunk two bottles of wine have appealed for Jack Shepherd to give himself up. The 30-year-old web designer was found guilty of manslaughter but absconded before his trial. He met Charlotte Brown on dating site OkCupid.

8. Imran Khan will need to form Pakistan coalition

Former star cricketer Imran Khan, who declared victory in Pakistan’s general election for his PTI party yesterday, will need to form a coalition to govern, latest results show. PTI has taken 109 out of 269 seats. Yesterday, Khan promised to investigate allegations of vote-rigging, while saying he was sure the election had been democratic.

9. ‘Blood moon’ eclipse to be visible tonight

The longest lunar eclipse this century – when the Earth’s shadow falls across the moon as the two line up with the sun – will be visible from the UK tonight, cloud cover permitting. The ‘blood moon’ effect is expected to last for 103 minutes, during which the moon will appear reddish in colour as the Earth’s atmosphere bend light.

10. Briefing: who is in charge of Brexit?

Theresa May has announced that she will take personal control of Brexit talks with EU negotiators, as the deadline to Britain’s exit from the bloc draws nearer.

The prime minister told Parliament yesterday that overall responsibility for the negotiations is being moved to the Cabinet Office - where a dedicated team reporting directly to May has “played an increasing role in Brexit talks during recent months”, says the BBC.

Who is in charge of Brexit?

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