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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 11 Sep 2019

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Johnson reverses May’s student visa rules

Boris Johnson has announced plans to reverse student visa curbs in a bid to attract the “brightest and best” to the UK following Brexit. Foreign students studying in Britain will now be able to stay in the country for two years after graduation to find a job - considerably longer than the maximum four months allowed under rules introduced in 2012 by then-home secretary Theresa May. Campaign group Migration Watch says the proposed change is a “retrograde” step.  

Labour’s Watson pushing for second EU referendum

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson will call today for the party to “unambiguously and unequivocally back Remain” - and set himself at odds with Jeremy Corbyn by saying there should be a second referendum on membership of the EU before the next general election. In a speech in London, Watson will argue that Labour must prioritise Brexit over winning power.

Trump fires national security hawk John Bolton

Donald Trump has fired his third national security adviser in as many years. Announcing his decision to axe John Bolton, the US president tweeted that he had “disagreed strongly” with his top aide over a number of issues. Bolton, a driving force behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq, is a fiercely hawkish figure, so his dismissal raises hopes that Trump may shift to a more conciliatory foreign policy.

Two British-Australian women detained in Iran

Two women with British-Australian nationality have been arrested in Iran and sent to the Tehran jail where British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been held on spying charges since 2016. The Times reports that one of the woman, a blogger, was arrested along with her Australian boyfriend ten weeks ago on unknown charges while travelling across Iran. The other woman, an academic, was seized in a separate incident and jailed for ten years. They are thought to be the first British citizens who do not also have Iranian nationality to be imprisoned by Tehran in recent years.

More than 80 migrants found crossing Channel in single day

A total of 86 people were intercepted trying to cross the English Channel illegally in six small boats yesterday - the most discovered in a single day since migrants began attempting the route. More than 1,100 people have made the crossing this year, including 336 in August alone. The Home Office says that men, women and children from at least eight different countries were intercepted yesterday.

Archbishop apologises for Amritsar massacre

The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his “regret and shame” over the massacre of 400 unarmed Indian civilians, including women and children, at Amritsar in 1919. Prostrating himself at a memorial to the victims, Justin Welby said the shooting by British Indian army troops was a crime and a sin.

Vaginal fluid transplants ‘may be key to treating infection’

US doctors have set up a screening programme for vaginal fluid donors as part of plans to offer transplants to women who could benefit from a dose of healthy vaginal microbes to protect against an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). The Johns Hopkins University team say they were inspired by the success of faecal transplants, used to treat a debilitating gut condition called clostridium difficile.

British man dies in Grand Canyon skydive

A 55-year-old British man has died after a skydive into the Grand Canyon went wrong, Arizona police say. Christopher Swales was making a tandem dive with an instructor, who survived the accident on Sunday. Police said the pair encountered difficulties as they came in to land, causing them to freefall for “an unknown distance”.

Apple announces three-lens iPhone 11 Pro

Apple has unveiled its latest range of smartphones, the iPhone 11, which include a Pro version with three lenses. Launching the handset at an event in California, the tech giant made its most ambitious pitch yet for the iPhone as a device for professional photographers and videographers. The device includes a 4X optical zoom, with two cameras behind the three lenses.

Briefing: Brexit uncertainty in four charts

Boris Johnson wants to deliver Brexit, with or without a deal. Of this he is certain. But Brexit-related policy uncertainty is on the rise and this is already harming the UK economy.

The following four graphs show the extent that the UK is at risk of a recession.

Read more

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