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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 23 May 2023

1

Raab to stand down

Dominic Raab will stand down as an MP at the next election, reported The Telegraph. In a letter to the chairman of his local Conservative Association, the former deputy prime minister said he is concerned about “the pressure the job has placed on my young family”. His decision comes a month after he resigned as a minister when a bullying inquiry found he had acted in an “intimidating” way towards officials. His constituency, of Esher and Walton in Surrey, is a top target for the Liberal Democrats at the next election.

Was Dominic Raab really stitched up?

2

Trains may end free wi-fi

Passengers could lose access to free wi-fi on trains after the government told rail companies to cut costs. In controversial development, operators have been told they should stop providing the service unless they can demonstrate its business justification. “But we’re trying to attract commuters back on to the railway, and people like to get on their phone or laptops,” said author and railway historian Christian Wolmar. He added that “wi-fi is as essential as toilets now — people expect to be connected”.

3

McCann cops to search reservoir

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are to carry out new searches of a reservoir, reported Sky News. A search of the Arade dam will begin today, some 31 miles from where the toddler went missing in Praia da Luz in 2007. Heavy machinery from Portugal’s Department of Civil Protection is being brought to the area. British police will also be present during the search, according to local reports. Christian Brueckner, 45, was made a formal suspect, or an “arguido”, by Portuguese prosecutors in 2022.

What happened to Madeleine McCann? A timeline of the case

4

No 10 doesn’t back Braverman

Downing Street has refused to endorse comments made by Suella  Braverman that she had done “nothing untoward”, reported the inews site. As the home secretary “fought to keep her job”, Rishi Sunak “pointedly refused” to back assertions that she had done nothing wrong following her speeding charge last year, added the website. The Times reports that officials raised concerns about Braverman’s conduct over a speeding fine in emails sent to the Cabinet Office, which contradicts claims from her allies, who say she asked civil servants only for advice.

Can Rishi Sunak afford to sack Suella Braverman?

5

Regulation ‘holds London back’

London is falling behind rival financial centres because of over-regulation, claimed the chief executive of Britain’s biggest investment company. Nigel Wilson, the head of Legal & General, said that although entrepreneurship in universities is “off the scale” the UK’s financial centre doesn’t have “a capital system that is set up for these people to become successful in the way that the US has”. He is backing “urgent reforms to help the economy thrive”, said The Telegraph.

Should the UK relax bank ring-fencing rules?

6

Erdoğan gets key backing

The third-placed candidate in the first round of the Turkish presidential elections has officially endorsed Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for the runoff vote to be held this weekend. Sinan Oğan, a nationalist, emerged as a potential kingmaker after neither Erdoğan nor his main challenger, the opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, secured the necessary majority in the first round on 14 May. Oğan “underlined that Erdoğan’s alliance has the parliamentary majority and that it was necessary for the stability of the country”, said Hurriyet Daily News.

Erdoğan leads in tight race: what next for Turkey’s economy?

7

Mexicans warned over volcano

Millions of people in Mexico have been told to prepare for a possible evacuation after increased activity from the country’s most dangerous active volcano. Ash from Popocatépetl volcano has already delayed flights in Mexico City and led authorities to close schools in dozens of municipalities. “Activity” from the volcano resumed in late 1994 after a “56-year hiatus”, said Mexico News Daily, recalling that major eruptions in December 2000 led to the evacuation of over 40,000 people who lived in the vicinity of the volcano, which is known colloquially as “El Popo”.

8

Trump accuser seeks damages

The woman who a New York jury found was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump is seeking further damages from the ex-president over disparaging comments about her. A civil trial jury found earlier this month that Trump abused E Jean Carroll in Manhattan in the 1990s. Now she is seeking unspecified damages for remarks he made a day later during a town hall event on CNN. Trump had said she had “made up” the story and called her “whack job”, adding that the trial was “rigged”.

Will Republicans stick with Trump after sexual abuse verdict?

9

Britons back obesity curbs

A new study has found that voters overwhelmingly support the imposition of tougher curbs on junk food to tackle obesity. Some 80% of adults would back legislation to prevent the advertising of unhealthy food to children on television and online, according to the YouGov poll for the Obesity Health Alliance. Two thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese, noted The Times, a trend that is “driving record levels of long-term sickness in the UK”, with 2.6m people off work.

10

WhatsApp to launch edit function

WhatsApp will allow users to edit messages for 15 minutes after they are sent. The messaging service’s owner, Meta, has started rolling out the editing function globally and it should become available to all users in the coming weeks. “From correcting a simple misspelling to adding extra context to a message, we’re excited to bring you more control over your chats,” it said in a blog post. Rival apps such as Telegram and Signal already allow users to edit messages.

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