Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 8 Oct 2018

1. UN report warns of global warming

A new report from the UN warns of a huge risk if global warming is allowed to exceed 1.5C and calls for unprecedented action within the next 12 years to prevent extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. The authors of the report, some of the world’s leading scientists, say the goal is affordable and feasible although it is ambitious.

2. Businesses ‘more worried about Brexit’

British companies are more worried about Brexit now than they have been so far, according to a survey by accounting firm Deloitte, which says more business leaders are reining in plans to hire and invest. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the UK would be “welcome” to join a Pacific trade deal after Brexit.

3. ‘One third’ of girls in uniform harassed

A survey by the charity Plan International UK has suggested that one third of girls in Britain has been sexually harassed while wearing school uniform, while 66% of girls and young women have experienced unwanted sexual attention in public and 35% have been groped or grabbed. Plan says girls see harassment as part of growing up.

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4. Stretch limousine crash kills 20 in NY

A stretch limousine taking guests to a birthday party crashed in New York state yesterday, killing all 18 people inside and two pedestrians. It is thought the guests included two newlywed couples and four sisters. The cause of the accident is unknown but it took place on a hilly section of road near Schoharie where HGVs are banned.

5. Missing Interpol head resigns from China

The current president of international police force Interpol, who has been missing since last month, has resigned. Meng Hongwei, 64, is a senior Chinese security official. He flew from France to China last month, without telling his employer or wife where he was going. Last night, the Chinese authorities said they were holding him.

6. House prices: 40% cannot afford to buy

Around 40% of young adults in the UK cannot afford to buy the cheapest homes in their area, even if they can manage to put up a 10% deposit, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says. The IFS says house prices in England have risen 173% in 20 years but the average salary for 25- to 34-year-olds has only risen 19% in the same time.

7. Facebook tax bill rises to £15.7m

Facebook paid three times as much tax last year as it did the year before, with a total bill of £15.7m. The firm’s revenue rose by one third year-on-year to £1.2bn last year but its profits were only up £4m in the same period, rising from £58.4m in 2016 to £62.7m in 2017. There has been concern about the amount of tax Facebook pays.

8. UK to use £1,000 drones in war games

Britain is preparing to take part in joint war games with Oman for the first time since 1981 – and troops will be using commercial drones which cost £1,000 each and make popular Christmas gifts, The Times reports. The drones will be used to pinpoint ‘enemy’ positions. Russian separatists in Ukraine have used drones in action.

9. Taylor Swift breaks political silence

US singer Taylor Swift, criticised in the past for being one of the few pop stars not to come out against Donald Trump’s presidency, has ended her political neutrality, urging fans to “educate” themselves about local candidates in the mid-term elections and saying she will be voting for Democrat candidates in Tennessee.

10. Briefing: is Britain experiencing an ‘empathy crisis’?

Only 12% of people quizzed for a new study by YouGov said they had noticed an increase in most peoples’ ability to put themselves in others’ shoes, while 51% reported a decrease.

The findings point to “an emerging crisis of empathy”, according to the Scout Association, which commissioned the research.

Is Britain experiencing an ‘empathy crisis’?

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