Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 24 Jan 2019

1. Trump forced to postpone State of Union speech

US President Donald Trump last night announced that he will not be giving his State of the Union address to Congress next Tuesday, after the Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, withdrew his invitation. Pelosi said Trump must first agree to end the government shutdown over the funding he wants for a border wall.

2. Dutch in Brexit talks with 250 UK companies

The Dutch government is in talks with at least 250 UK-based companies about relocating to the Netherlands because of Brexit, The Times reports. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had previously said that Brexit was “not a business opportunity” but the Dutch investment agency is now offering tax breaks to banks and other firms.

3. UK seeks ‘swift’ extradition of speedboat killer

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said he will seek the “swift” extradition of fugitive Jack Shepherd, who handed himself in to police in the former Soviet state of Georgia yesterday. Shepherd was found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Charlotte Brown, 24, who died when his defective speedboat crashed on the River Thames in 2015. He was sentenced to six years in jail.

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4. US recognises Venezuela’s Guaido as leader

The US has recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela, where 14 people are reported to have been shot dead during two nights of unrest over disputed elections. Incumbent Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen the country’s slide to authoritarianism and economic ruin, accused Washington of using Guaido to install a “puppet government”.

5. Grayling blamed for courts IT network chaos

The IT failures that have paralysed the courts system date back to Chris Grayling’s “nihilistic legacy” at the Ministry of Justice, lawyers have said. Now the transport secretary, Graying oversaw the introduction of a new IT system during his three-year reign as lord chancellor until 2015. Chris Henley QC, chair of the Criminal Bar Association, representing 4,000 lawyers, said: “The unrealistic planning has all the hallmarks of a Grayling project.”

6. Malaysia seeks new king after shock abdication

Malaysia is choosing a new king today, following the abdication earlier this month of Sultan Muhammad V after just two years as ruler - a historic first for the 61-year-old nation. Muhammad V went on medical leave in November. Later that month, photos appeared online that appeared to show the 48-year-old marrying a former Miss Moscow in Russia.

7. Australian heat wave breaks records

Australia has experienced record high temperatures during a fierce heat wave. Adelaide recorded its highest ever temperature, 46.6C, as did Port Augusta (49.5C). The authorities were forced to cull 2,500 camels and hundreds of feral horses because they were dying of thirst. The heat wave is expected to continue.

8. William: celebrities shunned mental health charity

Prince William told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday that every celebrity approached to back his mental health charity Heads Together had refused. The Royal said there was a stigma surrounding mental health, and suggested that the stoicism of the Second World War generation may be a factor in why the issue is considered taboo.

9. Real Madrid back at top of football rich list

Real Madrid is once again the richest football club in the world, according to the annual football rich list compiled by consultants Deloitte. The Spanish team has held the top spot in the list 12 times. Winning the Champions League for the third year in a row last May helped Real bring in revenue of €356.2m (£310m) last year.

10. Briefing: where is the cheapest place to rent?

The average cost of renting in the UK has fallen for the first time in a decade, according to new figures.

The Deposit Protection Service (DPS), a government-authorised organisation that protects tenancy deposits, found that average monthly rents dropped by £9 from £774 in 2017 to £765 in 2018.

Where is the cheapest place to rent in the UK?

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