Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 9 Oct 2018

1. Second Salisbury suspect ‘is military doctor’

The identity of the second man believed to have been behind the novichok nerve agent attacks in Salisbury has been revealed by the investigative journalism group Bellingcat. Alexander Mishkin, 39, is said to be a military doctor working for the GRU Russian intelligence agency. He claimed to have gone to the Wiltshire town as a tourist when questioned about the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

2. Trump apologises to Kavanaugh for ‘lies’

Donald Trump yesterday swore in Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, despite multiple accusations of sexual assault against the judge and questions over his temperament. The US president apologised to Kavanaugh for his having to endure a “campaign of lies” and “terrible pain and suffering”.

3. Barnier gives May reprieve on Brexit deal

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has granted Theresa May a “reprieve” by delaying the publication of his blueprint for a future trading relationship with the UK, The Times reports. The document is being redrafted after May’s team expressed concern that the proposals could lead to fresh demands from hard Brexiteers.

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4. New blood test to identify heart attack risk

The NHS may soon be able to offer a routine blood test that will identify whether patients have an increased risk of heart attack as a result of their genetic heritage, according to experts. A British team developed the £40 test, which could identify at-risk patients so that doctors can get them started on drugs such as statins at a younger age than is currently typical.

5. Australia rejects UN climate change target

The Australian government has said it will continue to back coal-fired electricity, after rejecting a UN report on climate change published yesterday that called on governments to drop coal by 2050. The country’s deputy prime minister dismissed the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as “some sort of report”, and shrugged off its call to action as a “suggestion”.

6. White tiger kills zookeeper in Japan

A rare white tiger has mauled a zookeeper to death in southern Japan. The 40-year-old keeper, who has not been named, was found bleeding from the neck in the animal’s enclosure at Hirakawa Zoological Park, in the city of Kagoshima, on Monday. Police are investigating how the zoo looks after its animals, local media says.

7. UK paedophile sued for damages by Filipinos

In a legal first, a convicted British paedophile is being sued for damages by five alleged victims who say he abused them in the Philippines. Douglas Slade was jailed for 24 years in 2016 for abusing boys in the UK. He was a founder member of the Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1970s, campaigning to legalise abuse.

8. Hubble space telescope stops working

Astronomers have announced that they are no longer able to use the Hubble Space Telescope, following the failure of a back-up gyroscope. All observations are on hold at the 28-year-old satellite. Hubble had been expected to fail some time his year, but the failure of the back-up was a surprise and brought the total of inactive gyroscopes to three. All six were replaced in 2009.

9. Strictly star dumped by girlfriend after kiss

A stand-up comic taking part in BBC talent show Strictly Come Dancing has been dumped by his girlfriend of several years after he was photographed kissing his dance partner. Rebecca Humphries said in a social media post that Seann Walsh had kissed Katya Jones on her own birthday, and called him “controlling”.

10. Briefing: the world’s most powerful passports

Citizens of Japan and Singapore have the world’s most powerful passports, ahead of Germany in second place and the UK at No. 4, latest figures show.

The Henley Passport Index ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can visit without applying for a visa.

The most powerful passports in the world

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