Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 8 Nov 2018

The Week - Nov 08, 07:01 GMT

Donald Trump fires Attorney General Sessions US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by Donald Trump

Donald Trump fires Attorney General Sessions

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by Donald Trump. Taking to Twitter, the US President wrote: “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!” Matthew Whitaker, who served as chief of staff to Sessions, has been named as the acting attorney general. Whitaker is described by analysts as a “compliant replacement” who may end the investigation into Russian collusion.

Prince Charles denies he will be a meddling monarch

Prince Charles says he will not be a meddling monarch when he eventually becomes king, insisting: “I'm not that stupid”. In an open interview ahead of his 70th birthday next week, the Prince of Wales said that as heir to the throne: “I've tried to make sure whatever I've done has been non party political.” He has become renowned for his views on climate change and the environment.

Asia Bibi released but remains in protective custody

Asia Bibi, the Christian whose blasphemy case has sparked violent protests and assassinations in Pakistan, has been freed from jail. However, the farm labourer remains in protective custody, a week after the country’s supreme court overturned her conviction. “She has been freed. I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land,” her lawyer Saif-ul-Malook told AFP.

Knife crime: Sajid Javid says police need extra funding

The home secretary says the police need more funding to tackle knife crime. Speaking to Sky News, Sajid Javid said he was “deeply worried” about the spiralling violence after five fatal stabbings in London. Community policing has fallen by up to a fifth since 2010 amid government cuts to police budgets. Officer numbers fell by more than 20,000 over the same period.

Brexit: May's pivotal cabinet meeting delayed

Theresa May's crunch cabinet meeting over Brexit deal has been delayed due to a row over whether to give full legal advice on customs backstop to senior ministers. The meeting, originally due to be held today, has been moved to the weekend or early next week after the disagreements. Theresa May had hoped the cabinet would sign off her Brexit plan this week.

Pensioner's legal bid to lower his age for Tinder

A Dutch pensioner has started a legal battle to legally change his age in the hope it would boost his prospects on dating app, Tinder. Emile Ratelband, who is 69, wants to alter his birthday from 11 March 1949 to 11 March 1969. Speaking to Dutch paper De Telegraaf, he compared the change to identifying as being transgender. “You can change your name. You can change your gender. Why not your age?” he said. 

JK Rowling sues former assistant over spending

JK Rowling has launched a £24,000 legal claim against a former employee for allegedly using her money to go on shopping sprees. The Harry Potter author claims Amanda Donaldson broke working rules by using her funds to buy cosmetics and gifts. Donaldson, 35, worked as a personal assistant for the author between 2014 and 2017, before being sacked for gross misconduct. She has denied the allegations.

Cockatoos 'as clever as human four year olds' says study

Cockatoos rival apes and human four-year-olds in their ability to invent and create complex tools to reach food. Austrian scientists found the birds are capable of judging the length of poking device needed to reach seeds through a hole in a perspex box, and then fashion it from a piece of cardboard. Previous studies have found the birds can ride miniature bicycles along a tightrope.

Top Tories tell May to end the benefit freeze

Senior Tories have warned Theresa May to end the benefit freeze for seven million people or risk losing the next general election. Five former cabinet ministers, including David Davis and Justine Greening, are spearheading the call for benefits to be raised immediately, in line with inflation. The freeze, introduced by George Osborne in 2015 is due to continue until April 2020.

Briefing: how to solve knife crime

Five people have been stabbed to death on London’s streets in six days, amid a worsening knife crime epidemic in the capital. But many believe that tighter laws and harsher punishments are not the solution.

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