Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 19 Oct 2018

1. European leaders to help May sell Brexit deal

EU leaders including Angela Merkel have pledged to help Theresa May sell her vision for Brexit by building a “coalition of the reasonable”, in a desperate bid to avoid a no deal scenario when the UK leaves the bloc, The Guardian reports. The Times says May has angered all sides of her party by agreeing an extended transition period.

2. Forest near Istanbul searched for Khashoggi remains

Turkish investigators are searching a forest near Istanbul for the remains of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who has not been seen since he entered the Saudi embassy in the Turkish city on 2 October. US President Donald Trump said yesterday that it “certainly looked” like Khashoggi was dead and that the consequences could be “severe”.

3. ‘Preacher of hate’ Anjem Choudary released

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary was released from Belmarsh Prison early this morning after serving half of the five-and-a-half year sentence he received in 2016 for inviting support for Islamic State. Sky News reports that Choudary will not return to his home and was instead taken to a secure bail hostel in a secret location by a police escort just after 4am.

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4. HS2 will cost 25% more than overseas trains

Britain’s forthcoming high-speed rail link from London to the North will cost 25% more than similar projects in other countries, a report commissioned by the government-owned company running HS2 has concluded. The increased cost is the result of the UK’s population density and land prices, which are higher than in most other nations – and also a skills shortage.

5. MPs call for petrol and diesel ban by 2032

A cross-party group of MPs is calling for petrol and diesel cars to be banned by 2032 - eight years earlier than is currently expected. The Business Select Committee condemned the government’s target as “vague and unambitious” and criticised cuts to subsidies for clean vehicles, along with the lack of the charging points for electric cars.

6. FA condemns online abuse of England player

The FA says it is “appalled and dismayed” by the online abuse faced by England and Chelsea midfielder Karen Carney. The 31-year-old footballer was bombarded with vicious abuse on Instagram after scoring the winning goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 Women’s Champions League victory over Fiorentina on Wednesday night. One Instagrammer said: “I hope someone will rape you to death.” Carney responded by writing: “Wow some people.”

7. Man pleads guilty to outback rape of tourist

An Australian man yesterday pleaded guilty to kidnapping and repeatedly raping a British backpacker in Queensland last year. Marcus Martin, then 22, had met the woman, from Liverpool, at a party in Cairns. She agreed to go on a road trip with him, but he began abusing her and holding her against her will, in a month-long ordeal.

8. Princess represents herself in London court

A princess from Luxembourg yesterday represented herself in a family court hearing in London, delivering a closing speech of close to an hour as she argued over a financial settlement with her ex-husband’s lawyers. Princess Tessy, 32, is a former soldier who married Prince Louis in 2006 when both were 21. They have two children.

9. Meghan and Harry barefoot on Bondi Beach

The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge visited Australian surfing’s spiritual home yesterday, walking barefoot on Bondi Beach in Sydney. The couple met members of a charity called OneWave, which uses beach culture to promote mental health issues. Later, Harry climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge, joined by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

10. Briefing: what is mad cow disease?

The first UK case of mad cow disease in three years has been confirmed at a farm in Aberdeenshire.

Signs of the disease were discovered in the brain of a cow after it died at an unidentified farm, which is now subject to a movement ban

What is mad cow disease - and why is it dangerous to humans?

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