Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 25 Oct 2018

1. Trump turns on media in wake of bomb attempts

Donald Trump yesterday blamed the media for failing in its “responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility”, after at least seven mail bombs were sent to individuals and organisations that the president himself has repeatedly attacked verbally. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberal financier George Soros and CNN were among those targeted.

2. Labour: Hammond must ‘stump up’ in budget

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell yesterday called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to “stump up the cash” in his 2018 budget, which will be revealed at 3.30pm on Monday. Theresa May has said that austerity is nearing an end, after nearly a decade of cuts, but Labour has calculated that £30bn in extra spending will be needed by 2023 to make this a reality.

3. Debenhams to close up to 50 branches

Struggling department store Debenhams has published record-making annual losses and warns that it will have to close as many as 50 of its 166 branches. The high-street chain lost £491.5m in the year to the end of September - compared with a profit of £59m the previous year. In an effort to turn things around, Debenhams will offer new “experiences” including beauty treatments and Prosecco bars.

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4. Under-resourced police at risk of ‘irrelevance’

Police in England and Wales are at risk of becoming “irrelevant” as a result of service reductions following government cuts and spending freezes, a cross-party group of MPs has warned. The Home Affairs Select Committee says that forces are “struggling to cope” and that the Home Office has exhibited a “complete failure of leadership”.

5. May’s ‘emotional’ speech sees off 1922 critics

Theresa May yesterday won over backbench Conservative MPs with an “emotional and personal” speech, according to former home secretary Amber Rudd. The prime minister was addressing the influential, and sometimes career-breaking, 1922 Committee – and is said to have won a reprieve from the backbiting in Tory ranks.

6. Asia markets follow Wall Street’s slide

Stock markets in Asia slumped dramatically this morning as investors reacted to the worst day for tech stocks seen in the US for seven years. Concerns about the global economy and rising borrowing costs pushed down share prices in Tokyo and elsewhere.

7. MPs say BBC should pay stars’ tax bills

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of MPs is calling for the BBC to be made liable for the unpaid tax bills of hundreds of its staff paid via personal service companies (PSCs). The now-abandoned payment method meant the corporation did not have to make National Insurance contributions for its highly paid presenters – but many are now facing hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid income tax and NI contributions.

8. Superdry founder: ‘Stick to core products’

UK clothing firm Superdry should stick to its core jackets and hoodies, co-founder Julian Dunkerton has said. The ailing firm, which he started 15 years ago, has seen its shares drop to £7.29 each, down from £20 in January. Dunkerton, who stepped down as chief executive in 2014, is now campaigning to re-join the board.

9. Harry unveils monument to SAS hero

The Duke of Sussex has unveiled a sculpture in Fiji commemorating one of the SAS’s most highly regarded figures. Talaiasi Labalaba was killed in 1972 in one of the UK’s secret wars. He died during the Dhofar rebellion in Oman, holding a position against overwhelming odds. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle head to Tonga today for the next leg of their 16-day overseas tour.

10. Briefing: what is sepsis and how can you spot it?

Sepsis death rates in the UK are five times higher than in the best-performing European country, a study has found.

Sepsis is already one of the UK's biggest silent killers, taking 44,000 lives every year, according to the UK Sepsis Trust. Now researchers from Harvard Medical School and Imperial College London have warned that Britain is failing to keep up with other wealthy nations’ progress on cutting sepsis mortality.

Sepsis: what is it and what are the symptoms?

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