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27 September 2019

Five things you need to know today: Cummings declines to apologise, and no deal threatens NHS

Also, the New York TImes under fire.

By New Statesman

This is all your fault, says Cummings

Anger towards MPs is unsurprising and will only abate if they deliver Brexit, Dominic Cummings has said

In comments unlikely to reduce tensions, the prime minister’s adviser and former head of the Vote Leave campaign said: “If you are a bunch of politicians and say that we swear we are going to respect the result of a democratic vote, and then after you lose you say, ‘We don’t want to respect that vote’, what do you expect to happen?

“In the end, the situation can only be resolved by Parliament honouring its promise to respect the result.”

In an open letter today, Church of England Bishops described the current tone of the Brexit debate as “unacceptable”.

No deal Brexit “still a risk” to health service 

We still don’t know whether the NHS will be able to provide enough medicine in the event of a No Deal Brexit, an official report has warned. The National Audit Office report found that the additional freight capacity intended to maintain the flow of goods across the channel may not be ready until a month after the UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October – and that there was no evidence that the fragmented private social care sector had prepared for no deal.

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A government spokesperson replied that medical stockpiles were growing by the day.

US media helps out in search for whistleblower

The New York Times is under fire after describing the White House whistleblower, whose work has triggered an impeachment inquiry, as a CIA officer. The paper’s comments, on the whistleblower’s employer and skillset, will have a “very chilling effect on anyone who is even thinking of blowing the whistle”, a spokesperson for the Whistleblower & Source Protection Program said. 

Saudi Arabia opens to tourists

Saudi Arabia is to unveil a new tourism visa regime covering 49 countries today, in an attempt to encourage visitors. The reforms include moves to weaken the kingdom’s notoriously strict dress code for women (so long as they’re foreign). Non-Muslims will still not be able to visit the holy cities of Mecca or Medina, however.

Posh teabags leaking plastic

Expensive tea bags are peppering your tea with microplastic particles, researchers from Montreal’s McGill University have found. The research found that the premium tea bags – which have switched from paper to plastic meshing – release literally billions of invisible plastic particles if placed in hot water, which feels like a design flaw. Luckily, this does not appear to pose a health risk, so that’s something.

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