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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 14 January 2023

1

British-Iranian ‘spy’ executed

A British-Iranian national has been executed after being sentenced to death on charges of spying for Britain, according to state media. The Iranian judiciary claimed Alireza Akbari, who was deputy defence minister under former president Mohammad Khatami until 2001, was a “key spy” for the British government. UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly had warned yesterday that “Iran must not follow through with their brutal threat of execution”.

2

NHS chief wants more homegrown medics

The chief executive of the NHS has called for a major increase in the training of homegrown doctors and nurses. Speaking to The Times, Amanda Pritchard said that hospitals are “over-reliant” on foreign staff and more medical school places were needed to stop “excellent” British candidates being turned away. Around 50% of new doctors, nurses and midwives registered in the UK received their training overseas. “We will always welcome staff wherever they come from”, said Pritchard.

3

Army bosses criticise Johnson

Military figures have accused Boris Johnson of “looking for publicity” in a warzone after it was revealed he plans to visit Ukraine. Lord Dannatt, the former head of the army, said that the ex-PM was a “loose cannon” whose plan could upstage Rishi Sunak. Lord West, former First Sea Lord, said: “Generally, my position would be that ex-prime ministers shouldn’t be looking for publicity and kudos.” Johnson reportedly plans to travel to Kyiv in the coming months.

4

Harry left out key details

Prince Harry said he had enough material for “two books”, and omitted some details from his memoir because his father and brother would never forgive him. Speaking to The Telegraph, Harry said: “There are some things that have happened, especially between me and my brother, and to some extent between me and my father, that I just don’t want the world to know. Because I don’t think they would ever forgive me.” During the interview he also demanded the Royal family apologise to Meghan.

5

Weather warnings for UK

Heavy rain, flooding and cold weather are expected in the coming days. The Environment Agency has issued 80 flood warnings and 155 flood alerts. Additionally, an alert for severe cold weather has also been issued for England from Sunday evening as temperatures drop. Forecasters said that the cold weather could increase health risks to vulnerable patients or those with underlying health conditions, forecasters warned.

6

Judge dismisses Trump legal bid

A judge has rejected as “absurd” Donald Trump’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit from the author E Jean Carroll, who alleges he raped her in a department store changing room in the 1990s. Carroll’s lawsuit was brought against the former president under the Adult Survivors Act, a new state law that gives adults a one-year window to sue alleged attackers even if statutes of limitations have expired. She has also sued Trump for defamation, after he described her as not his “type” while denying her allegation.

7

Takeaways worry about plastic ban

The government has announced that a ban on some single-use plastics will come into force in England from October. Takeaways, restaurants and cafes will be forced to stop using single-use plastic cutlery, plates and bowls, but the takeaway sector told the BBC that businesses need more support to implement the change. Andrew Crook, who runs a fish and chip shop in Lancashire and is deputy chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, said: “We believe in doing our bit for the environment but many small businesses are only just hanging on.”

8

Anger as Tesla slashes prices

Tesla has cut prices by a record £8,000 as the leading electric carmaker struggles to reverse a slowdown in sales. Elon Musk’s company said it would lower prices across the US and Europe by as much as 20%. The move has prompted anger among customers who had just bought a Tesla car. “I just picked up the car yesterday,” wrote one on Facebook. “What should I do? Go to Tesla and give back the car? I can’t believe after a few hours from picking up the car I lost £5k.”

9

Heinz hikes prices after Tesco row

Heinz is raising its prices for the second time in less than 12 months following a war with Tesco. A spokesman told The Telegraph that as costs of energy and ingredients continued to rise, it had been forced to raise prices. Last summer, Tesco had refused to accept a price increase, so Heinz stopped making deliveries. At the time Tesco said it would not pass on “unjustifiable” price increases. Meanwhile, said the Daily Mail, the prize of a can of Heinz tomato soup has risen from 95p to £1.70.

10

‘Psychopath with conscience’ jailed

A murderer who described himself as a “psychopath with a conscience” was condemned by a judge after he failed to turn up to court. Mark Brown, 41, murdered two women, having kept one of them semi-captive in a shipping container, was sentenced to at least 49 years in prison. Brown met both women on an escort website, the court heard. The judge at Hove Crown Court said that Brown had not attended court for sentencing because his conscience “is untroubled by what he has done”.

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