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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 March 2023

1

Bank woes ‘reminiscent of 2008 crisis’

Credit Suisse says it will borrow up to 50bn francs (£44.5bn) from the Swiss central bank to shore up its finances. Shares in the “troubled banking giant” fell 24% yesterday after it found “weakness” in its financial reporting, said the BBC, sparking a general sell off on European markets, and fears of a wider financial crisis. The Times said that the panic was “reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis” and “any problems at the Swiss group would have repercussions for the City of London”.

Would Credit Suisse collapse mean a repeat of 2008?

2

Hunt ‘proving doubters wrong’

Jeremy Hunt told the BBC his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work, filling some of the million vacancies across the UK, so firms can “grow faster”. The chancellor added that he was “proving the doubters wrong” but Labour said that “after 13 years of his government, our economy needed major surgery, but like millions across our country, this Budget leaves us stuck in the waiting room with only a sticking plaster to hand”.

Budget 2023: the big giveaways and takeaways

3

Israel ‘close to civil war’

The president of Israel has warned the nation risks descending into civil war. In a speech described by the Jerusalem Post as “impassioned”, Isaac Herzog said that “anyone who thinks that a real civil war, of human life, is a line that we will not reach has no idea. The abyss is within touching distance.” The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has rejected a proposed compromise from Herzog, aimed at resolving a standoff over the planned judicial overhaul by Netanyahu’s far-right coalition

Israel on the brink: cycle of violence gathers speed

4

Uranium missing in Libya

More than two tons of natural uranium have gone missing in Libya, said the nuclear watchdog. Efforts are underway to find the material reported missing, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed. Director general Rafael Mariano Grossi has informed the agency’s member states and officials are working to find out what happened to the uranium and where it is now. Since Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011, the country has been “divided into competing political and military factions”, said the BBC.

5

Raab sounds ECHR warning

Dominic Raab has warned that Britain is prepared to consider leaving the European Convention on Human Rights if it blocks the government’s plans to crack down on illegal migration. Appearing before a House of Lords Justice Committee, the Justice Secretary said the government was committed to staying within the ECHR and would “strive every sinew” to do so but could not “rule out forever and a day the possibility that we might need to revisit our membership.”

European Convention of Human Rights: The pros and cons of leaving

6

Hopes of health talks breakthrough

Unions and the government are on the brink of a “breakthrough” in talks to resolve their long-running pay dispute, with an announcement expected today, said The Guardian. The paper said a “well-placed source” put the chances of the government making a formal offer soon at “more than 50/50; about 60/40”. However, they added, “the unions still have to sell it, whatever it is, to their members, who may or may not accept it”. Meanwhile, a three-day walkout by junior doctors ends this morning.

Junior doctors’ strike: can bitter row be solved?

7

Clarkson farm workers face abuse

Workers at Jeremy Clarkson’s farm have been given body-worn cameras after facing abuse from disgruntled locals. Villagers are opposed to plans by the broadcaster to extend the car park on his Diddly Squat Farm in west Oxfordshire. One member of staff said that 16-year-old workers on the farm had to “wear body cameras” as a precaution following “abuse directed” at them by local residents. Speaking to The Times, Clarkson played down the scale of local opposition, saying “there’s really only half a dozen really touchy ones and four mildly touchy ones”.

Jeremy Clarkson ordered to shut his farm’s dining areas

8

Concern over octopus cruelty

Scientists have expressed alarm over a plan to build the world’s first octopus farm. Confidential documents seen by the BBC show the farm, in Spain’s Canary Islands, would raise about a million octopuses each year for food. The “famously intelligent creatures” have never been intensively farmed and some scientists said the proposed icy water slaughtering method is “cruel”. However, Nueva Pescanova, the Spanish multinational behind the plans, denies the octopuses will suffer.

Octoculture: why is the world’s first octopus farm so controversial?

9

Sleep quality most important

Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to sleep, scientists have found. Researchers from Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences studied more than 4,000 people in the Czech Republic over a period of three years. They said they discovered that “while when we sleep and how long we sleep is important, individuals who have better quality sleep also have a better quality of life, regardless of the time and length of sleep”.

The benefits of a good night’s sleep

10

Meghan ‘knew what she was getting into’

An actor has claimed that Meghan Markle had longstanding “ambitions” of marrying into the royal family. Brian Cox, star of Succession, said Meghan “clearly” had an “ambition” when she wed Prince Harry. “The childhood dreams of marrying Prince Charming and all that s**t we see as fantasy that could be our lives in our dreams,” he said. The Emmy winner also dismissed her complaints about the Royal Family’s behaviours and attitude, saying: “She knew what she was getting into.”

Meghan Markle bullying report: why the palace is staying ‘tight-lipped’

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