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8 October 2019

Five things you need to know today: Trump threatens Turkey and no deal debt to soar

Also, help at last for young gamblers.

By New Statesman

Trump abandons Kurds, threatens Turkey

President Trump has unexpectedly pulled US forces out of north eastern Syria, tweeting that he had been elected on a platform of “getting out of these ridiculous endless wars”. After the US’ Kurdish allies warned that this would leave them at the mercy of Turkish forces, which regard them as terrorists, Trump added that he would “destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it does anything that he in his “great and unmatched wisdom consider[s] to be off limits”. Everything is fine.

A No Deal Brexit to make debt soar

Even a “benign” no deal Brexit would push the national debt to its highest level in half a century, a think tank has said. The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that crashing out of the European Union with a trade deal in place deal would mean an annual deficit of nearly £100bn, and push national debt to nearly 90 per cent of GDP for the first time since the 1960s. There’s a terrifying graph in the Guardian. As things stand, Britain will automatically leave the European Union, deal or no deal, in 23 days.

Johnson attacks Extinction Rebellion protesters

The Prime Minister has attacked the Extinction Rebellion Protestors occupying parts of central London as “uncooperative crusties” who live in “hemp-smelling bivouacs”. Boris Johnson made the comments at a book launch last night. Around 280 people were arrested yesterday for blocking roads around Westminster, in an anti-climate change protest expected to continue for the next two weeks.

NHS offers help to gamblers and gamers

The NHS has begun accepting referrals for young people addicted to online gambling and video games. The consultations for 13 to 25 year olds, a part of the new  Centre for Internet & Gaming Disorders, will be available via Skype.

Heidi turns yellow

And finally, in the least surprising political development since Winston Churchill said he fancied a drink, Heidi Allen has joined the Liberal Democrats. The South Cambridgeshire MP — who previously sat as a member of The Independents; prior to that was an independent; prior to that the interim leader of Change UK; and prior to that, all the way back in February, a Conservative — is the 7th MP to join the yellow team this year, taking its total membership to 19.

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