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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 21 Sep 2019

US to send troops to Saudi Arabia after oil attacks

Washington has announced plans to send forces to Saudi Arabia after attacks against the country's oil infrastructure. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the deployment would be “defensive in nature”. Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks against two oil facilities last week but the US and Saudi Arabia have both held Iran itself responsible.

Epstein accuser says Andrew was ‘abuser and participant’

One of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers says that Prince Andrew was “an abuser, a participant” in the disgraced US financier’s exploitation of her as a teenager. In her first television interview, Virginia Giuffre, who was pictured with Prince Andrew in a now notorious photograph, says Andrew “knows the truth” about Epstein’s abuse of underage girls and said he should be made to testify.

Brexit to dominate Johnson's trip to the UN summit

Boris Johnson will attend the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations summit in New York where Brexit is expected to dominate his time. The prime minister will meet Donald Tusk, the European council president and speak with Emmanuel Macron of France and Germany’s Angela Merkel. There will also be a meeting with Ireland’s Leo Varadkar.

Thomas Cook on brink of collapse as appeals for help fail

Thomas Cook is on the brink of collapse with the government expected to reject a last-ditch appeal for a bailout. The world’s oldest travel company has begged ministers for £200m in emergency funding after lenders threatened to pull out of a rescue. However, the government is expected to refuse amid concern about the longer-term viability of the company.

Climate strike: millions protest across 185 countries

Millions of people demonstrated across the globe yesterday in the biggest climate protest in history. In the estimated 185 countries where demonstrations took place, adults joined in with the youth movement started by the Swedish school striker Greta Thunberg just over 12 months ago. The demonstrations took place on the eve of a UN climate summit.

Trump ‘asked Ukraine leader to investigate Biden's son’

Donald Trump repeatedly asked Ukraine’s new leader to investigate the son of Joe Biden, according to the Wall Street Journal. The US president encouraged Volodymyr Zelensky to press ahead with the probe into the son of his potential rival in the 2020 presidential elections, even suggesting he work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Rise in catalytic converter thefts from hybrid cars

A surge in thefts of catalytic converters from hybrid cars has left hundreds of owners unable to drive them because of a shortage of replacement parts. Hybrids contain more precious metals than other vehicles, so criminal gangs are targeting easily identifiable models such as the Toyota Prius and Lexus 400h. Toyota said it had experienced a 2,000% increase in demand for parts.

Tom Watson facing new Momentum bid to oust him

Allies of Jeremy Corbyn are attempting to abolish Tom Watson’s post of deputy leader. Jon Lansman, founder of the Momentum campaign group, tabled a last-minute motion at the party’s ruling national executive committee on Friday night, calling for Watson’s job to be scrapped. After the first bid failed, NEC members agreed to return to the issue at a meeting today.

Huge asteroid slips past Earth nearly undetected, says Nasa

The largest asteroid to pass close to the Earth in a century “slipped through” Nasa’s detection systems, according to internal emails. The asteroid nearly passed by undetected as it came five times closer to Earth than the moon, reports Buzzfeed. “So, was this just a particularly sneaky asteroid?” asks a Nasa employee in the emails. “I wonder how many times this situation has happened without the asteroid being discovered at all?”

John Humphrys ‘complains of liberal bias at the BBC’

John Humphrys says there is an “institutional liberal bias” at the BBC and that the corporation’s bosses failed to read the nation’s mood on Europe. The 76-year-old said that BBC staff had a tendency to “confuse their own interests with those of the wider world”. The controversial Humphrys, who retired yesterday, also compared the BBC to the Kremlin.

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