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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 25 Jan 2020

China death toll rises as virus spreads into Europe

Chinese health officials say 15 more people have died from a coronavirus in the province of Hubei. There are currently 1,287 confirmed cases in China, 41 of whom have died. The virus has now spread to Europe, with three cases confirmed in France. UK health officials are trying to track down around 2,000 people who have recently flown here from Wuhan.

Boris Johnson signs the Brexit withdrawal agreement

Boris Johnson has announced that he has signed the Brexit withdrawal agreement. After he put his name to the document, the prime minister hailed a "fantastic moment" for the country. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union next Friday, Johnson said he hoped Brexit would “bring to an end far too many years of argument and division”.

Police unable to deal with the scale of fraud workload

Police in Britain are not adequately equipped to investigate fraudsters who are therefore able to “operate with impunity,” a study has concluded. The review, led by Sir Craig Mackey, former deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, found that no force can cope with the rapidly increasing number of cases which are therefore  regularly handed to “unskilled investigators”.

Surge in Labour membership as leadership race continues

Labour has experienced a surge in membership since the general election, reports the BBC. Local parties have reported rises in local membership during the ongoing leadership race. Hammersmith, west London, has seen a 32% increase while in Bury North numbers have gone up by 26%. Party figures believe these people joined in order to have a say about the next Labour Party leader.

Charles tells Palestinians they deserve ‘justice and equality’

The Prince of Wales has told the Palestinian people it is his “dearest wish” that the future will bring them “freedom, justice and equality,” enabling them to “thrive and to prosper”. Speaking at a reception in Bethlehem celebrating the ties between British and Palestinian people, he said: “It breaks my heart… that we should continue to see so much suffering and division.”

Trump downplays injuries US troops' injuries in Iran strike

Thirty-four American soldiers have been diagnosed with concussion or traumatic brain injury from the Iranian missile attack on their base in Iraq, the Pentagon has revealed. Donald Trump, who had previously said that the US “suffered no casualties” from the attack, downplayed the injuries. “I heard that they had headaches,” he said.

Powerful earthquake kills at least 20 in Turkey

At least 20 people have been killed after a powerful earthquake struck eastern Turkey. The authorities said more than 553 people are injured, including 11 who are in a serious condition, and around 30 were left trapped in the wreckage of toppled buildings. The quake has a preliminary magnitude of 6.8. Tremors were also felt in neighbouring Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

Cheshire police identify who Manchester body parts belong to

Police says that body parts found last month belonged to a woman who went missing more than two years ago. Cheshire constabulary found human remains by the Manchester Ship Canal near Frodsham. DNA tests show they beloned to Marie Scott, a 57-year-old who was reported missing from her home in Hale, Greater Manchester, in December 2017.

Taylor Swift reveals she has suffered from eating disorder

Taylor Swift has revealed that she has an eating disorder. She says under-eating on the road has left her feeling “like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it”. Speaking on a documentary, Swift said she struggled with the condition for several years. Some days, she admitted, she would “starve a little bit [and] just stop eating”.

Will Meghan intervene in the US presidential election?

Meghan plans to become more “politically engaged” after she and Prince Harry quit official duties, according to a report. “She has strong political opinions and will now take advantage of the greater freedom she has to express them publicly,” a source told the Daily Mail. The American actress, who once attacked Donald Trump for being “divisive” and “misogynistic,” may even intervene in the US election, says the source.

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