Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 19 Nov 2019

Jeffrey Epstein: new accuser urges Andrew to testify

Another woman has come forward to accuse US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in jail in August, of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. Identified as “Jane Doe 15”, the woman urged Prince Andrew to give a statement under oath on his former friend. Now 31, she said Epstein subjected her to a “vicious” assault.

Protesters still barricaded in Hong Kong university

There were still between 100 and 200 pro-democracy protesters barricaded inside Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University this morning, after police surrounding the campus allowed younger demonstrators to leave. Those still holding out are said to be running low on supplies. They first entered the campus to protest last week.

US calls Israeli settlements legal in defiance of UN

The US has shifted its position on the legality of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, putting itself at odds with the UN. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the occupation and settlements in the West Bank were not necessarily “inconsistent with international law” – a reversal of Barack Obama’s policy – and said each case should be decided by the Israeli courts.

Attenborough: we’re starting to shift our plastic use

Sir David Attenborough says he believes the world is starting to take the threat posed by plastic waste seriously. He told the BBC: “I think we’re all shifting our behaviour, I really do.” The 93-year-old naturalist and broadcaster has just won an award for his Blue Planet II series – the prestigious international relations Chatham House Prize.

Backpacker murder trial: suspect had no real motive

A court in Auckland, New Zealand was told today that the 27-year-old man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane, who was 21 at the time of her death, had “an absence of any motive” for killing her. The accused man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Millane died when consensual rough sex went wrong on a date.

Ex-Marine accused of murder tells of suicide attempt

A former Royal Marine who was acquitted of the murder of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2011 has told the BBC he attempted suicide last year. Sam Deen, identified during his trial as Marine E, has revealed his own identity after the military lifted an anonymity order. He said he did not feel that he had done anything wrong.

Temperatures drop to almost -10C in UK

Parts of the UK had the coldest night so far this autumn last night, with Braemar in Aberdeenshire experiencing -9.9C. The Met Office issued a cold weather warning, which will stay in place until noon on Wednesday, after which temperatures are expected to rise again. The coldest November temperature recorded in the UK was -23.3C in 1919.

Doctors warn of danger of ‘feather duvet lung’

A team of doctors in Scotland is warning GPs to be alert to the possibility that patients experiencing breathlessness this winter are suffering from exposure to feathers in duvets and pillows. Co-author Dr Owen Dempsey said hypersensitivity pneumonitis appeared to be rare but added that he believed there could be many undiagnosed cases.

Queen of de-cluttering starts selling knick-knacks

A Japanese woman who has become famous worldwide for her books and videos advocating de-cluttering one’s home for a simpler lifestyle has caused consternation by opening an online shop selling homeware. Marie Kondo said: “If the bowl that you’re using currently sparks joy for you, I don’t encourage replacing it at all.”

Briefing: Who is Clint Lorance and why has Donald Trump pardoned him?

Donald Trump has granted a full pardon to Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2013 for ordering his men to fire on three men on a motorcycle in Afghanistan.

Two of the men died in the ensuing fire, with members of Lorance’s platoon testifying against him, but Trump has granted him clemency having previously suggested that “soldiers are mistreated in the military justice system”.

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