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20 September 2019

Five things you need to know: Millions to march in global climate strikes

Plus, Thomas Cook in trouble, Brexit negotiations continue, a stalled sugar tax report and a fake severed head at the Mercury Prize.  

By New Statesman

Millions join global climate strike protests

Striking school children are leading global protests on climate change set to attract million on Friday. Hundreds of thousands have turned out at marches in Asia and Australia, with a rolling series of events planned across Europe, Africa and the Americas. 

Thomas Cook must find £200m say banks

Banks have demanded that travel operator Thomas Cook find £200m in contingency funds in case it needs to draw on extra finance during the winter. Without the extra funding the troubled firm is likely to collapse, potentially leaving 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.

Brexit secretary to meet EU negotiator

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is to hold talks with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Friday as the UK government continues its attempts to avoid crashing out of the EU. UK and EU politicians have issued statements this week reiterating their hope that a deal can be agreed that resolves the key issue of the Irish border. However, Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney said there remains a “big gap” between the two sides. 

Downing Street stalled report revealing effectiveness of sugar tax

Number 10 stalled a report revealing that the sugar tax targeting soft drinks was far more effective than asking firms to make their products healthier, according to a report in the Times. Whitehall sources suggested to the paper that the delay was due to concerns the report’s findings would clash with Boris Johnson’s vocal skepticism over so-called “sin taxes”.

Slowthai pulls Boris Johnson head stunt at politics heavy Mercury prize

A live performance featuring a fake severed head of Boris Johnson was among talking point at a politically-charged Mercury Music Awards on Thursday evening. Nominee slowthai produced the prop during a performance in which he sang “f*** Boris” and “there’s Nothing Great About Britain”, the name of his new album. Mercury winner Dave talked about the influence of his older brothers, both of whom have served time in prison, while Indie band Foals held up a banner saying “no music on a dead planet”. 

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