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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 8 Sep 2017

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Hurricane Irma hits Turks and Caicos

Hurricane Irma, the biggest Atlantic storm ever recorded, has swept across the Turks and Caicos islands and is now moving towards the Bahamas, Cuba and the US state of Florida, where some 500,000 have been told to evacuate their homes. At least 14 have been killed by the storm so far, and infrastructure has been devastated.

Rohingya: Tutu criticises Aung San Suu Kyi

Desmond Tutu has written to his fellow Nobel peace price winner Aung San Suu Kyi, criticising her for not stopping violence in her country against the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority. The retired South African prelate says: “If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.”

Earthquake strikes Mexico, killing three

At least three people have been killed by a large earthquake off the Pacific coast of Mexico, with fears the death toll may rise and the country braced for aftershocks. Different reports say the tremor was 8.1 or 8.4 magnitude. One of the deaths was in neighbouring Guatemala. A tsunami measuring around two feet hit the Mexican coast.

Justice system ‘is racially biased’

A review led by Labour MP David Lammy has found that the justice system in England and Wales is biased against people from black and Asian minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Lammy has warned that BAME young offenders will become the “next generation” of adult criminals unless their treatment is radically reformed.

DUP MP Paisley denies £100,000 holiday claim

Ian Paisley has denied enjoying two family holidays in Sri Lanka worth £100,000 at the expense of the authorities there – and has referred himself to the parliamentary watchdog in a bid to clear his name. The Daily Telegraph says the DUP MP recently met Sri Lankan officials to discuss the possibility of a post-Brexit trade deal.

Farage to address German far-right party

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has accepted an invitation to address the German anti-immigration far-right AfD party, at the invitation of MEP Beatrix von Storch, granddaughter of Adolf Hitler’s finance minister Lutz von Krosigk. Farage is to speak on “developments in the European Union, Brexit, direct democracy”.

PR firm Bell Pottinger ‘could go under in days’

The global PR firm Bell Pottinger, headquartered in the UK, could go bust as soon as next week, a source told The Guardian, with a desperate attempt to find a buyer running out of time. The firm is in deep financial trouble after clients deserted it because of a scandal over a campaign it ran to foment racial tension in South Africa.

Girl’s organs given to a record eight people

The organs of girl of 13 who died of a brain aneurysm have been given to a record eight people in need, five of them children themselves. Jemima Layzell from Somerset died in March 2012. Her parents said she would have been “very proud of her legacy”. They had coincidentally spoken to her about organ donation weeks before her death.

Software ‘can tell sexual orientation from face’

An AI program developed by Stanford University researchers can tell a person’s sexual orientation from a photograph of their face with 81% accuracy for men and 74% for women. The researchers say gay people tended to hold different expressions and had different grooming styles – but they also had physical facial differences.

John Le Carre's Smiley returns in A Legacy of Spies

The new John Le Carre novel A Legacy of Spies brings back his most famous protagonist George Smiley - and the critics are thrilled.

Published in the UK today, the book is the 24th novel from Le Carre, now 85. Despite fears that the author's "mnemonic power" might be diminished, says Dwight Garner in The New York Times, the good news is that A Legacy of Spies "delivers a writer in full".

Le Carre's prose "remains brisk and lapidary" and his "wit is intact", Garner says; and while the spymaster maintains his interest in the values and conflicts of loyalty, "he wears his gravitas lightly". There's even some showmanship as the author brings out "his greatest creation, the Yoda-like spymaster George Smiley, for a cameo".

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