Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 7 Oct 2018

1. Controversial Kavanaugh sworn in after securing Senate backing

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's controversial nominee for the Supreme Court, has been sworn in following weeks of controversy. The Senate backed his nomination by 50 votes to 48, despite allegations of sexual assault, which he denies. Trump said Kavanaugh had been a victim of "radical Democrats" who took part in a "shameless campaign of political and personal destruction".

2. UK war-games a cyber attack on Russia

The UK has "war-gamed" a "massive cyber-strike" on Moscow, reports The Sunday Times. The exercise was to rehearse blacking out Moscow if Vladimir Putin launches a military attack on the West. Defence chiefs have concluded that the only other way of retaliating would be to use nuclear weapons. Senior security sources are worried that Britain has too few weapons to meet Kremlin aggression short of firing a Trident.

3. Pret examining second sandwich 'allergy' death

Pret a Manger is investigating the death of a second customer suspected to have had an allergic reaction to its food, reveals The Sunday Times. The customer died in December last year after eating a vegan sandwich contaminated with milk protein. The news comes after it was revealed that Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, died of a severe allergic reaction caused by sesame seeds hidden in a Pret baguette.

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4. Sexual crime set to soar, warn chief constables

Chief constables say crime will continue to rise over the coming years with children, elderly people and vulnerable adults at particular risk. Police fear a surge in cases such as fraud, cyber-crime, child sexual exploitation and slavery. One force, the South Yorkshire police, forecasts that sex offences will rise by up to 82% by 2023 while "violence with injury" will increase by up to 52% in the same period.

5. Mental health referrals among children rise by 26%

Child mental health referrals are up 26% in five years, new research has found. The Education Policy Institute’s report also says one in four referrals was either rejected or deemed inappropriate for treatment. In response to the news, the Department of Health said it was investing an additional £1.4bn into mental health services for children.

6. Theresa May tells Labour voters to switch to the Tories

Theresa May has encouarged Labour voters who are discontented with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership to switch to the Tories. In an article for The Observer, the Prime Minister said the Conservatives had a "moderate and patriotic programme" and would be "a party for the whole country". However, Labour said people were facing "brutal cuts" and "won't be fooled" by May’s claims.

7. At least ten die in earthquake in Haiti

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake killed at least 10 people in Haiti on Saturday, according to local authorities. The quake, near the northernmost tip of Haiti, damaged buildings, including an auditorium and a hospital. Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, has urged people to remain calm after the civil protection agency said the quake caused injuries and panic in northern towns.

8. Medical cannabis on prescription within a month

Medical cannabis will be available on prescription in the UK within a month, says the Sunday Telegraph. Announcing the "rescheduling" of cannabis-derived medicines in Parliament, the Home Office is lifting restrictions on its sale. People suffering chronic pain, severe epilepsy or nausea as a result of chemotherapy could be prescribed the drug by specialist doctors.

9. Pro-Kremlin party set to be largest in Latvia

The pro-Russia Harmony party looked set to be Latvia’s largest party following a general election on Saturday. An exit poll showed Harmony had a 19.4% vote share, while the liberal pro-EU, pro-Nato For Development was in second place with 13.4%. Harmony is popular with Latvia’s ethnic Russian minority, which makes up about a quarter of the country’s 1.9m population.

10. House of Commons cleaners complain of condoms and vomit

MPs will be warned about their conduct after cleaners complained of finding used condoms and vomit in their House of Commons offices. The Commons authorities may introduce a new service agreement with strict new rules about the appropriate use of their workspace. "It’s the type of behaviour you would expect from students enjoying freshers’ week, not MPs and their staff," a source said.

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