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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 9 Nov 2019

Severe flood warnings still in place after ‘biblical’ rain

Severe flood warnings and rail cancellations are still in place in after after a month's worth of rain fell in a single day. South Yorkshire and Derbyshire have been worst hit by flooding, which has claimed the life of a woman swept away in a river near Matlock. Residents in some areas have been rescued from their homes by boats following torrential downpours described as “almost biblical”.

Private surgery in UK hospitals soars under Tories

The number of NHS patients having surgery in private hospitals has nearly trebled since the Tories came to power in 2010. NHS data shows that it paid for 214,967 people in England to have an operation in a private hospital in 2009-10, Labour’s most recent year in power. The figure had risen to 613,833 last year, a 185% rise in nine years.

Google under fire for promoting saving scammers

Google is reportedly raking in tens of millions of pounds from scammers who are using its search engine to lure savers into high-risk or potentially fraudulent schemes. The web giant is taking huge fees for promoting accounts from unscrupulous companies, says The Times. Google said that it would conduct a thorough investigation into the websites in question.

Mutiny as police in Bolivia join anti-government protests

Police in three Bolivian cities have declared mutinies and joined anti-government protests. The Guardian says the news is a possible signal that elements of the security forces may be withdrawing their backing for President Evo Morales after weeks of upheaval. At least three people have died in clashes between anti-government protesters and Morales’ supporters since a disputed election on 20 October.

Former NYC mayor Bloomberg may join race for White House

The former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has signalled he will join the race to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for US president. Although the billionaire has not formally announced his candidacy, he has filed paperwork ahead of a deadline for the Democratic primary election in Alabama. His spokesman says an announcement “could come as early as next week”.

Boris slammed for Northern Ireland's ‘great deal’ boast

Boris Johnson is under fire after boasting to exporters in Northern Ireland that his Brexit deal will leave them more closely tied to the EU than the rest of the UK. He said: “Actually, Northern Ireland has got a great deal. You keep free movement, you keep access to the single market and, as it says in the deal, unfettered access to the UK.”

Palm oil suppliers linked to Unilever blamed for fires

Nestle and Unilever are buying palm oil from suppliers held partly responsible for forest fires in Indonesia. Greenpeace says the household brands have been purchasing from producers linked to some 10,000 fires. A Nestle spokesperson said the company was committed to ensuring none of their products are associated with deforestation. A Unilever spokesperson said the company had already suspended sourcing from a number of suppliers.

Woman accuses Polanski of raping her as a teenager

A woman has accused movie director Roman Polanski of raping her in a Swiss ski resort when she was a teenager. Valentine Monnier told Le Parisien that the alleged attack took place in 1975, when she was 18, at Polanski’s chalet in Gstaad. The Polish-born director fled from the US to France in 1978 after confessing to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Revealed: which airline was voted as the most filthy?

Ryanair has been named the dirtiest flight operator in the UK, with fewer than half of passengers rating the airline as good for cleanliness. According to a Which? Travel poll of almost 8,000 passengers, only 42 per cent of those who flew with Ryanair considered it good for hygeine. Faster turnarounds have been blamed for declining cleanliness in the industry.

Blow for Britain as Moody's downgrades outlook on debt

The outlook on Britain’s debt has been downgraded, dealing a blow to the country’s standing on the international money markets. Ratings agency Moody’s lowered its outlook for UK debt to ‘negative’ from ‘stable,’ blaming the country’s weaker economic strength and its growing susceptibility to shocks. The Times says the Treasury did not respond to a request for comment.

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