Five things you need to know today: House of Lords agrees anti no-deal bill will progress

Plus, Hong Kong leader warns of “stern law enforcement”, US and China to resume trade war talks, Trump shows fake Hurricane Dorian map.


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Anti no-deal Brexit bill to pass Lords by Friday

The House of Lords has agreed to complete the passage of a bill preventing a no-deal Brexit before parliament is suspended by Boris Johnson. At 1:30am on Thursday, peers passed a business motion ensuring that the proposed legislation will return to the House of Commons by 5pm on Friday, ruling out the possibility of pro-Brexit Conservatives seeking to filibuster it. Lord Ashton announced that the Commons would vote on any Lords amendments on Monday and that “ it is the government’s intention that the bill be ready for royal assent”. Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour is prepared to support an early general election once the bill is enshrined in law. 

Hong Kong leader warns of "stern law enforcement" against protesters

Hong Kong’s leader has vowed to use “stern law enforcement” to prevent pro-democracy protests a day after she dramatically announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill which sparked the revolt. “To step out of the impasse, the most important thing right now is to stop the violence and to sternly enforce the law,” she said. “If there is still violence going on every day, it will affect the city’s operation and people’s everyday lives.” Protesters have demanded a government investigation into police brutality following the use of water cannon, teargas, rubber bullets and severe beatings.

Snack tax would have "huge impact" on obesity, experts say

Imposing a snack tax of 20 per cent on biscuits, cakes and sweets could be more effective at tackling obesity than the tax on sugary drinks, according to a new study. The authors of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) research emphasised that such snacks account for a higher share of sugar intake than drinks. Dr Pauline Scheelbeek, the lead author of the study, said a snack tax could cut obesity in the UK population from around 28 per cent to around 25 per cent. But Boris Johnson has declared his opposition to “sin stealth taxes” in July, ordering a review and opposing plans to extend the sugar levy to milkshakes.

US and China agree to resume talks on trade war

The US and China have agreed to resume direct negotiations in an attempt to end their rapidly escalating trade war. The decision was announced following a call between Liu He, China’s vice-premier, and senior US officials including Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary. In-person talks will resume in “early October” in Washington D.C. according to a statement released on Thursday morning by China’s commerce ministry. 

Trump shows fake Hurricane Dorian map

Donald Trump has shown an apparently fake map of Hurricane Dorian’s path in an attempt to prove his claim that Alabama could be affected. During a briefing at the Oval Office, the president held up a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration graphic with a black line encircling a portion of the US state. Asked whether the map had been drawn on, Trump insisted: “I don’t know, I don’t know.” Altering official government weather forecasts is against the law.

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