Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 2 Mar 2019

1. Veterans ‘to be charged with murder over Bloody Sunday’

Army veterans are facing murder charges over the deaths of Bloody Sunday protesters 47 years ago, reports the Daily Telegraph. Four ex-paratroopers, now in their 60s and 70s, expect told on March 14 they will face murder charges in connection with the shootings in Londonderry in 1972. The notorious incident saw 14 civilians killed and another 14 wounded when soldiers opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in the city.

2. Travel agents' ‘unprecedented’ cuts amid Brexit slump

Tour operators are offering “unprecedented” discounts on Easter holidays as fears over Brexit put off travellers. The anxiety has helped to push down the price of trips to European destinations by a record 24%. The Times says that seven day packages to destinations including Corfu, the Algarve, Mallorca and Ibiza are being cut to about £100 a person, including flights. An analyst described the cuts as “unprecedented”.

3. Trump asks Beijing to abolish tariffs as talks 'move nicely'

Donald Trump has asked China to scrap tariffs on agricultural products imported from the US. “I have asked China to immediately remove all Tariffs on our agricultural products (including beef, pork, etc.),” the US president wrote on Twitter. Trump added that negotiations with China were “moving along nicely”. After months of tensions, a 90-day truce has been agreed.

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4. Court rules that May's 'right to rent' violates human rights

The High Court has ruled that the government’s controversial Right to Rent scheme is causing racial discrimination and violating human rights law. The scheme, which requires private landlords to check the immigration status of potential tenants, was found to violate the European Convention on Human Rights. The scheme was a key plank of Theresa May’s policy when she was home secretary.

5. Top scientists speak out on dangers of e-cigarettes

Leading scientists say e-cigarettes are creating a generation of nicotine addicts, with teenagers at particular risk due to the effects of nicotine on brain development. They accuse Public Health England of “walking around with blinders on” regarding the issue. Meanwhile, the head of Britain’s biggest smoking clinic says that children as young as 14 are now seeking help for addiction to vaping.

6. IMF: scrap workplace sexism and boost economy by 35%

The head of the International Monetary Fund says supporting women in the workplace could boost economies by 35%. Tackling sexism at work is the key to making the world economy richer, more equal and less prone to colossal financial collapses, said Christine Lagarde in an interview to mark International Women’s Day. She said some countries could boost the size of their economies significantly if they abandoned discriminatory laws.

7. Climate researcher declares February weather ‘incredible’

The UK's record-breaking temperatures this week were “incredible”, says a climate researcher. On Tuesday, Wales set a new UK high for the season for 20.8 in Porthmadog but this was smashed on Wednesday, when Kew registered 21.2C. The heat was so far above normal trends that scientists have been forced to reconsider their statistical models.

8. A big step for the US as SpaceX demonstration is held

The United States is poised to take a major step towards being able to fly its astronauts into space once again as the SpaceX performs a demonstration of a new rocket and capsule combination. If the demo goes well, the combination will be approved to carry people, with routine crew missions to the space station possibly starting within months.

9. Chris Grayling under pressure to go over ferry fiasco

The transport secretary is under escalating pressure to resign after reaching a £33m out-of-court settlement over a botched Brexit ferry deal. Labour has attacked Chris Grayling, saying “heads must roll”. The saga has seen a startup company awarded a £14m contract to open a new UK-EU ferry route for emergency medical supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit, even though it had no ships and no port contract.

10. Women's rights activists set to be put on trial in Saudi Arabia

Women’s rights activists detained in Saudi Arabia last year will be put on trial, prosecutors have said. The state-controlled Saudi Press Agency stated: “The public prosecution would like to announce that it has concluded its investigation and prepared the indictment list against the defendants ... and will refer the case to the relevant court.” More than a dozen activists were arrested last year, accused of undermining security and aiding enemies of the state.

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