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18 March 2015updated 07 Jun 2021 4:26pm

Five things you need to know today: Corbyn bids to stop Johnson’s no-deal Brexit plan

By New Statesman

Corbyn challenges Johnson’s “anti-democratic abuse of power”

Jeremy Corbyn has urged the UK’s most senior civil servant to intervene to prevent Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit during a general election campaign. In a letter to Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary, the Labour leader accused the Prime Minister of plotting an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power”. Corbyn, who has said he will propose a motion of no confidence in Johnson’s government at an “appropriate” time, asked Sedwill to clarify whether the Prime Minister would be forced to seek an extension to Article 50 beyond 31 October in order to allow a post-election government to determine the UK’s Brexit policy.

Salvini demands new Italian general election 

Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s far-right League Party, has called for a new general election after concluding that his party’s governing coalition with the Five Star Movement is unviable. “Italians need certainty and a government that does things, not a ‘Mr No’,” said Salvini, the country’s deputy prime minister and interior minister. The gulf between the two parties was exposed on Wednesday when parliament rejected a motion by Five Start to build a high-speed rail project linking Italy and France. Opinion polls since last year’s election have shown the League opening up a commanding lead.

Amazon accused of using overtime child labour to produce Alexa device

Amazon has been accused of flouting Chinese labour laws by using school children working nights and overtime to produce its Alexa devices. According to interviews with workers and leaked documents from the company’s supplier Foxconn, some of the pupils have been required to work more than two months to supplement staffing levels. Under Chinese law, factories are permitted to employ students aged over 16 but they are not allowed to work nights or overtime. 

Former FBI director sues US government over sacking 

The former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe is to sue the US justice department and the FBI over his firing last spring. The lawsuit accuses FBI director Chris Wray and former attorney general Jeff Sessions of acting as “Trump’s personal enforcers rather than the nation’s highest law enforcement officials, catering to Trump’s unlawful whims instead of honoring their oaths to uphold the constitution”. McCabe is seeking to be reinstated as deputy director of the FBI so that he can earn a pension. 

Northern Ireland bonfire: riot police forced to retreat

Riot police and youths have clashed in north Belfast over an unauthorised republican bonfire. Officers withdrew from the New Lodge area after being pelted with bottles, bricks, fireworks. At a press conference assistant chief constable Alan Todd accused the ringleaders of using women and children as human shields. The bonfire was built to commemorate the anniversary of the mass internment of republican suspects in 1971.

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