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28 October 2019

Five things you need to know today: EU to propose Brexit extension, MPs to vote on election

Also: opposition candidate wins Agentinian presidency.

By New Statesman

EU to grant three month Brexit extension

The EU is poised to sign off a three-month extension of the Brexit deadline, according to a draft agreement seen by the Guardian. The shorter extension proposed by the French government, which would have extended the deadline only to 15 November, does not appear in the plan – but the UK would still be able to leave the EU earlier than 31 January 2020 if it passes a Brexit deal. 

MPs to vote on early election

Back in Westminster, MPs are to vote on Boris Johnson’s plan for an election on 12 December. Under the terms of the 2011 Fixed Term Parliament Act, two-thirds of MPs – 434 – would need to back the motion to dissolve Parliament early. MPs have already declined to support the plan twice. 

Trump confirms Islamic State leader death

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, is dead following a two-hour raid conducted by US special forces. President Trump claimed the terrorist leader and three of his children died when he set off a suicide vest. Security experts stressed, however, that thousands of ISIS fighters remained at large in Syria.

Opposition candidate wins Agentinian presidency

Alberto Fernández, the candidate of the centre-left opposition candidate, has been elected as Argentina’s new president in an election dominated by the economy. At time of writing, Fernández had won over 48 per cent of the vote, compared to just 40 percent for the conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri, enabling him to win on the first round. The result also means that the country’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returns to office as vice president.

BBC in court over gender pay gap

BBC presenter Samira Ahmed will appear before an employment tribunal today, claiming that she has faced a “600 per cent pay gap” at the broadcaster. Ahmed is paid £465 per episode of audience-feedback progamme Newswatch, while Jeremy Vine receives £3,000 for each episode of Points of View.

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“I just ask why the BBC thinks I am worth only a sixth of the value of the work of a man for doing a very similar job,” she said in a statement. The BBC claims the two programmes are sufficiently different to justify the gap.