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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 21 Jun 2020

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Three dead after stabbing attack in Reading park

Three people died and three more were seriously injured after stabbings in a park in Reading. A 25-year-old man from Reading has been held on suspicion of murder after being arrested at the scene. The attack happened at Forbury Gardens around 7pm last night. Although counter terrorism officers were called, police are not currently treating the incident as terror-related.

Low turnout at Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa

Donald Trump has held his first campaign rally since the coronavirus lockdown began, in front of a smaller than expected crowd in Tulsa. Those attending had to sign a waiver protecting the US president from responsibility for any illness. Shortly before the rally, six organisers tested positive. During his speech, Donald Trump said he had told officials to slow down coronavirus testing because of the rising number of cases in America.

Controversy as hardliner is chosen as Israel's ambassador

The appointment of a self-declared “religious right-winger” as Israel’s new ambassador to the UK has caused controversy. Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s settlements minister, rejects Palestinian claims to any part of the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem. Hundreds of British Jews have signed respective petitions either opposing or welcoming her appointment here.

Sunak may cut VAT and pump billions into the economy

Rishi Sunak is willing to slash VAT and pump billions into the economy, reports The Sunday Times. As social distancing rules are lifted, the chancellor is considering options to reduce the sales tax, including a cut in the headline rate, and zero rating more products for a fixed period. After the 2008 crash, the then chancellor Alistair Darling, reduced VAT from 17.5% to 15%.

Govt warned of mental health crisis following school closures

School closures will trigger a mental health crisis among UK children, according to experts. Educational psychologists advising the government say the state will have to foot a huge bill for professional help for those in urgent need. Dr Gavin Morgan said: “We are going to have to pick up a lot of broken pieces and put things back together.”

Investigation after Canada finds hundreds of puppies on flight

Canada has launched an inquiry after some 500 puppies – 38 of them dead – were found on board a Ukraine International Airlines plane at the Toronto airport. An eye-witness described a “horror scene”. The surviving French bulldogs, a popular breed in Canada, were suffering from symptoms including dehydration, weakness and vomiting.

Under-fire minister watched video on tycoon's phone

Robert Jenrick watched a promo video for a £1bn housing development on media tycoon Richard Desmond’s mobile phone weeks before he overruled his officials and approved the scheme. The secretary of state for housing, communities and local government was shown the clip promising a “new urban oasis” in east London during a Tory Party dinner held at the Savoy Hotel.

David Attenborough steps in to save London Zoo

Sir David Attenborough has stepped in after London Zoo warned that it is “at risk of extinction”. The broadcaster has agreed to intervene as the face of a fundraising campaign to raise £12m as part of a £25m rescue package. “What happens if you can’t raise the money to keep the animals? What happens if you can’t afford the food? Are we supposed to put them down?” said the 94-year-old.

Man dies following shooting incident in Manchester

A 36-year-old man has died following a shooting in Manchester, police have announced. Another man, a 21-year-old, is in a critical condition in hospital, Greater Manchester Police said. The men had “self-presented” at a hospital in the early hours, according to the force. Police numbers have been increased in the Moss Side area, where the shooting is thought to have happened.

Pigs are getting thinner as humans gets fatter

Pigs have been getting leaner as humans have been getting fatter, according to a new study. Alterations in the way pigs are bred and mean they have only 16% fat by weight compared with more than 20% two decades ago. Meanwhile, people have been heading in the opposite direction: the proportion of British adults considered obese has risen from 15% in 1993 to 28% today.

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2020-07-04
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