July 22, 2019

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Tory leadership contest closes  

The waiting is almost over. Voting in the contest to become the next Conservative leader – and prime minister – ends at 17:00 BST today. Theresa May’s replacement will be announced on Tuesday and will take office after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. Arguments over Brexit are continuing, with Chancellor Philip Hammond telling the BBC on Sunday that he would resign if frontrunner Boris Johnson wins – in protest against Mr Johnson’s pledge to take the UK out of the EU by 31 October “do or die, come what may”. His rival Jeremy Hunt has ruled out the option of proroguing – suspending – Parliament to get a no-deal Brexit through, if necessary. Mr Johnson has not. Here we look at the two contenders’ lives and policies. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats announce their new leader today, with Jo Swinson and Sir Ed Davey in the running.

BBC News Daily

Hong Kong protests
Armed mob storms train station  Forty-five people were injured in Hong Kong as dozens of masked men attacked passengers at a train station in the district of Yuen Long. It’s not known who the men, wearing white T-shirts, were, but they stormed the station as people were making their way home from a pro-democracy protest. Footage shows them beating up people on platforms and in train carriages. Hong Kong’s government has condemned their actions.

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July 23, 2019

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Boris Johnson wins race to be Tory leader and PM

Boris Johnson has been elected new Conservative leader in a ballot of party members and will become the next UK prime minister.

He beat Jeremy Hunt comfortably, winning 92,153 votes to his rival’s 46,656.

The former London mayor takes over from Theresa May on Wednesday.

In his victory speech, Mr Johnson promised he would “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn”.

Speaking at the Queen Elizabeth II centre in London, he said: “We are going to energise the country.

“We are going to get Brexit done on 31 October and take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring with a new spirit of can do.

“We are once again going to believe in ourselves, and like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self doubt and negativity.”

(BBC)

Hyperloop test pod sets speed record

A competition helping to drive development of the futuristic hyperloop transport system has been won by engineering students from Munich.

The hyperloop idea involves passengers in pods travelling at very high speeds down sealed tunnels.

The team’s pod hit 457km/h (290mph) on a 1.2km (0.75 mile) test track.

Run by the SpaceX aerospace company, the competition aims to refine the technologies that could underpin the super-fast transport system.

The win is the third in a row for the Technical University of Munich team.

The competition saw student teams from universities around the world gather in California to put their prototype pods through their paces.

The idea for hyperloop, which would see pods speed through a sealed tunnel to reduce friction or air resistance, has been around for decades and was fleshed out by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2012.

He suggested that pods could travel along the system’s tunnels at speeds in excess of 1,000km/h.

Critics have voiced concerns about the potential cost of building a large hyperloop and whether its technical demands can be met.

Mr Musk’s SpaceX company has run a series of competitions to drive development of the concept.

In the latest round of the competition, the Munich team, Warr Hyperloop, outpaced rival capsules, which could manage speeds of only 88mph (Delft University) and 55mph (EPF Loop, from Switzerland), to beat its own record speed, 323km/h, set in the second competition, in September 2017.

(BBC)

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July 24, 2019

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Climate crisis blamed as temperature records broken in three nations

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures as the second extreme heatwave in as many months to be linked by scientists to the climate emergency grips the continent.

The Dutch meteorological service, KNMI, said the temperature reached 39.2C(102.5F) at the Gilze-Rijen airbase near Breda on Wednesday afternoon, exceeding the previous high of 38.6C set in August 1944.

In Belgium, the temperature in Kleine-Brogel hit 38.9C on Wednesday afternoon, fractionally higher than the previous record of 38.8C set in June 1947, and then subsequently rose to 39.9C. Forecasters said temperatures could climb further on Thursday.

Germany’s national weather service, DWD, said it believed a new all-time national high of 40.5C – 0.2C higher than the record – had been set in the town of Geilenkirchen near the Dutch and Belgian borders, but had still to confirm it.

“The most extreme heat will build from central and northern France into Belgium, the Netherlands and far western Germany into Thursday,” said Eric Leister of the forecasting group AccuWeather.

The latest heatwave, caused by an “omega block” – a high-pressure pattern that blocks and diverts the jet stream, allowing a mass of hot air to flow up from northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula – follows a similar extreme weather event last month that made it the hottest June on record.

(Guardian)

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July 25, 2019

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Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac face carjacking gang

Two Premier League footballers have been involved in a carjacking attempt by an armed gang in a London street.

Arsenal players Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were targeted, the club confirmed, but both escaped uninjured.

Footage on social media appears to show Kolasinac chasing the robbers in Platts Lane, near Golders Green, at about 17:00 BST.

Arsenal said in a statement: “We have been in contact with both players and they are fine.”

(BBC)

 Mesut_Özil

Mesut Özil

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July 26, 2019

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US Supreme Court gives go-ahead for Trump wall funding

The US Supreme Court has said that President Donald Trump can use $2.5bn (£2bn) of Pentagon funds for a section of wall on the southern border.

The court ruled by five votes to four to block a ruling by a federal judge in California that barred the president from spending the money on the wall.

The wall, dividing the US and Mexico, was Mr Trump’s major campaign promise during the 2016 election.

It is fiercely opposed by Democrats.

The decision by the Supreme Court means that the money will be used for wall projects in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The court in California had argued that Congress had not specifically authorised the funds to be used for constructing the wall.

In a tweet, Mr Trump described the ruling as a “big victory”.

Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump: Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!

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July 27, 2019

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‘Mass brawl’ breaks out on P&O cruise ship Britannia

Plates and furniture were reportedly used as weapons after a mass brawl broke out on a British cruise ship.

Six people were hurt as P&O’s Britannia sailed to Southampton after a week-long trip to Norway’s fjords, police said.

A man, 43, and a 41-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of assault.

Good Morning Britain journalist Richard Gaisford, who was on board, said an emergency tannoy summoned security staff to the ship’s restaurant in the early hours of Friday.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Witnesses told me they were so frightened they had to hide, as family groups fought,” he said.

A police spokeswoman said: “The incident took place during the early hours of Friday, 26 July, on board P&O’s Britannia while it was en route to Southampton from Bergen.”

She said three men and three women were assaulted, with their injuries including significant bruising and cuts.

The man and the woman arrested, both from Chigwell, Essex, are in police custody.

(BBC)

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July 28, 2019

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US teenager wins $3m as Fortnite world champion

A US teenager has won a record-breaking $3m (£2.4m) to become world champion of the computer game Fortnite.

It is the largest prize pool in the history of e-sports, with $30m shared amongst the winners.

Kyle Giersdorf, 16, won the solo event of the competition in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, which hosts the US Open tennis tournament.

Jaden Ashman – a 15-year-old from Hornchurch, London – won almost £1m for coming second in the duos event.

And another British teenager – 14-year-old Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson from Sidcup, Kent – also walked away with a major prize.

Mr Giersdorf, known online as Bugha, stood laughing and shaking his head as the crowd erupted when his name was announced.

He told the BBC he wants to save most of his prize. “All I want is a new desk and maybe a desk for my trophy,” he said.

The final game was described by the commentators as a “ridiculous victory lap” as the winner played with a smile on his face whilst beating his rivals.

(BBC)

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  • At least 36 people die in a landslide striking a village in southern China(BBC)
  • Heavy storms across central Italy kill three people and cause damages. One death was caused by lightning, one by a tornado, and one by getting caught in a flood. (Il Messaggero)

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