Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 20 Oct 2018

1. Saudi Arabia says journalist Khashoggi killed in fight

The journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a fight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the country's state TV reported. Referring to an initial investigation, the report said deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, were dismissed over the incident. This is the first time the kingdom has admitted Khashoggi has died.

2. Bolton calls for US to leave arms treaty with Russia

Donald Trump’s third national security adviser is pushing for Washington to withdraw from a cold war-era arms control treaty with Russia. Sources say that John Bolton is facing resistance from others in the Trump administration and US allies. He argues Russia has been violating the treaty with the development of a new cruise missile. He is a longstanding opponent of arms control treaties.

3. Earthquake detected near Lancashire fracking zone

A small earthquake has been detected in the vicinity of a controversial fracking operation in Lancashire. The British Geological Survey detected the tremors after energy company Cuadrilla started hydraulic fracturing at the site in Little Plumpton, near Blackpool. The BGS said that the seismic activity recorded at 2.20pm on Friday was "not unexpected", as hydraulic fracturing is "generally accompanied by microseismicity".

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4. Former cabinet secretaries strike out at Brexiteers

Former cabinet secretaries who have served every PM since Maggie Thatcher have joined forces to launch an unprecedented attack on Tory Brexiteers for undermining the civil service. Lord Armstrong of Ilminster said that "those who wish to undermine or frustrate" Theresa May’s Brexit policy should "concentrate their fire on the organ grinder" rather than the "monkey". Lord Butler of Brockwell and Lord O’Donnell echoed the sentiment.

5. European and Japanese space mission heads to Mercury

Two satellites developed in Europe and Japan are on their way to Mercury. The joint endeavour left Earth on an Ariane rocket that launched out of South America. It will take the probes seven years to reach Mercury, which is the planet closest to the Sun. It is hoped the project will reveal new facts about the origins and evolution of the solar system.

6. Nick Clegg slammed for hypocrisy over Facebook role

Nick Clegg has been branded a hypocrite for joining Facebook despite previously criticising the social media giant for paying too little tax. The former Deputy PM will earn more than £1m a year to lobby on behalf of Facebook, which is facing investigations over its tax affairs and data breaches. Two years ago he criticised Facebook’s tax affairs and said he found its "messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture… a little grating".

7. More than 60 killed as train ploughs into crowd in India

More than 60 people have been killed and 100 were injured after a train ran into a crowd India's northern Punjab state. The victims were standing on the railway tracks in near Amritsar watching celebrations for the Hindu festival of Dusshera. Eye witnesses say many on the tracks were filming the festivities on their phones.

8. Tommy Robinson nearly derailed grooming convictions

Trials that led to the largest ever gang being convicted for years of sexual abuse were almost derailed by Tommy Robinson as he claimed to "expose" the crimes, says The Independent. A judge halted jury deliberations in one of three linked trials over concerns that the far-right activist's live stream of the case from outside Leeds Crown Court would lead to the case collapsing.

9. Tory backbencher dubs May's government a 's*** show'

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer has branded Theresa May’s government a "s*** show". The backbencher said he would not have run in Plymouth Moor View "if the situation was like it is now". He added that "under this chief whip, under this prime minister, there is no role for people like me", adding: "That's fine because nothing lasts for ever."

10. Delays mean rail passengers must sprint for trains

Rail passengers are forced to sprint to reach their trains at mainline stations because of late platform announcements, according to watchdog Transport Focus. Commuters said they were given as little as three and a half minutes to reach their trains when platform numbers were revealed late on departure boards. The knock-on effects of delays are being blamed - they are at their highest level in 12 years.

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