Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 24 Aug 2018

1. Russia behind vaccine lies spread online

A study by a US university has found that fake social media accounts controlled by Russian bots and trolls spread disinformation about the safety of vaccination before and during the 2016 US presidential election. Researcher Mark Dredze said vaccination was used as a “wedge issue” to “promote discord in American society”.

2. Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from jail temporarily

The British-Iranian woman jailed by Iran for supposed spying in 2016, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been released for three days during Eid – and reunited with her daughter, Gabriella. Her Iranian parents were told by officials she had been treated too harshly. Home Secretary Jeremy Hunt said her being in jail at all was a “gross injustice”.

3. Former Scottish leader Salmond accused of sex assault

Former SNP and Scottish Government leader Alex Salmond has been accused of two sexual assaults in 2013 when he was First Minister. Salmond, who now has a talk show on Kremlin-backed TV channel RT, said he would sue the Scottish Government over the way it was investigating the allegations of assault, which he denies.

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4. British couple die mysteriously at hotel in Egypt

Thomas Cook has offered to move 301 British guests who were staying in a four-star hotel in Egypt after two Britons died within hours of each other. Susan Cooper, a travel agent with Thomas Cook, collapsed shortly after her husband John died in his room. Their daughter Kelly Ormerod has asked if the air conditioning might be dangerous.

5. Met police officer faces dismissal over strip-search

A Met Police sergeant could be dismissed over claims he wrongly ordered the strip-search of a music student who offered legal advice to a teenage boy being searched in Hackney, east London, in 2013. Konstancja Duff says officers cut her clothes off, paraded her through a police station with her breasts exposed and injured her.

6. Hawaii in lockdown as Hurricane Lane nears

For the first time in 26 years, a hurricane is expected to make landfall in Hawaii – and the islands are in lockdown in preparation, with residents told to expect the worst. Hurricane Lane has already caused flooding on the southernmost part of the archipelago but is now heading directly for Oahu, the most populated island in Hawaii.

7. Australia gets fifth new PM in five years

Australia has yet another new Prime Minister – the fifth in five years – after a party coup the BBC describes as “brutal”. Scott Morrison will take over the leadership of the country after Malcolm Turnbull was forced out by his own party. Turnbull made a veiled accusation that media baron Rupert Murdoch had helped bring him down.

8. ‘There is no safe level of alcohol consumption’

A global study published in The Lancet concludes that there is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol intake. While the team behind the Global Burden of Disease study – which looked at data from 195 countries – admitted there was a positive impact on heart disease from mild drinking, they said cancer risks outweighed this benefit.

9. Alexa’s child-friendly answers on drugs and sex

Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, has a new child-safe setting available to users in the US. When it is used, the AI programme will not directly answer questions about sex, death or drugs. Instead it will tell human interlocutors they should ask a grown-up where babies come from or what happens after death – and refuse to talk about drugs.

10. Briefing: who are the highest-paid actors in 2018?

George Clooney has topped Forbes’ annual ranking of the highest-paid actors, which tallies both onscreen and extracurricular earnings in the past 12 months.

The star’s film work accounted for only a fraction of his income, with “most coming from the sale of spirit company Casamigos Tequila”, reports The Guardian.

Who are the highest-paid actors in 2018?

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