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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 11 Jul 2019

Iranian ship ‘tried to intercept’ British tanker

The Ministry of Defence says Iran tried to intercept a British oil tanker in the Gulf yesterday, in an apparent tit-for-tat response after Britain last week stopped an Iranian tanker alleged to be violating EU sanctions by carrying oil to Syria. Tehran denies that Iranian vessels tried to intercept the British Heritage tanker before being warned off by a Royal Navy frigate.

Johnson team ‘told May not to replace ambassador’

Boris Johnson’s allies have warned Theresa May to leave it up to her successor to decide who should replace Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the US who quit yesterday, The Times reports. Johnson this week refused to back Darroch following complaints from Donald Trump over leaked diplomatic cables in which the ambassador criticised the president. The Guardian claims this lack of support from the Tory leadership front-runner prompted Darroch’s resignation.

Branson warns no-deal exit will crash pound

Sir Richard Branson is warning that a no-deal Brexit will cause the value of the pound to plummet, forcing him to move investment out of the UK. The 68-year-old Vrigin boss says that a “hard Brexit” would be “devastating” for his business group, and predicts that the pound would fall to be worth the same as the dollar, from a pre-Brexit vote level of $1.53.

Six tourists killed by freak storm in Greece

Six tourists have been killed and at least 30 other people injured in a violent freak storm in northern Greece, near Thessaloniki. A Czech couple died when their caravan was blown away, while two Romanians and two Russians were killed in separate incidents. A Greek official said the gale-force winds and heavy rain, which follow an unusually hot spell, were an “unprecedented phenomenon”.  

Body of US scientist found in bunker

The body of an American molecular biologist has been found in a Second World War bunker on Crete, more than a week after she went missing while out running. Suzanne Eaton, 59, worked at the renowned Max Planck Institute at Dresden University in Germany but was attending a conference on the Greek island. She is said to have died of suffocation.

Drinking orange juice ‘may raise cancer risk’

Fruit fruit juices are among sugary drinks that could raise the risk of cancer if consumed excessively, according to a newly published study. The research, carried out in France, is the first substantial piece of research to find a specific association between sugar and cancer. Study leader Dr Mathilde Touvier said: “If you consume from time to time a sugary drink it won’t be a problem, but if you drink at least one glass a day it can raise the risk of several diseases.”

Japan’s space probe touches down on asteroid

Japanese scientists have successfully landed an unmanned spacecraft on a distant asteroid for a second time, as part of a mission to retrieve samples from beneath the surface of the space rock in a bid to shed light on the early solar system. The Hayabusa2 probe touched down this morning on the Ryugu asteroid, which is 185 million miles from Earth.

Kenya urged to halt power plant construction

Unesco has urged Kenya to reconsider the construction of its first coal-burning power plant, after a Kenyan court ruled in June that the environmental impact had not been properly considered. The £1.6bn plant is a joint Chinese-Kenyan project. The US ambassador to Kenya has been criticised for supporting coal power.

Court rules man is singer Julio Iglesias’s son

A Spanish judge has ruled that a man born in 1976 to a nightclub dancer is the son of crooner Julio Iglesias. The singer has refused to give a DNA sample but the judge in Valencia said there was an “obvious physical resemblance” between Iglesias and Javier Sanchez-Santos, son of Portuguese dancer Maria Edite Santos. The paternity case had dragged on for three decades.

Briefing: the richest country in the world

Economists are warning that Brexit is having a severe impact on the UK economy despite a growth pick-up in May. So how does the UK’s wealth compare to other countries, and which nation is the richest in the world?

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