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18 March 2015updated 07 Jun 2021 2:22pm

Five things you need to know today: Trump accused of racism over “go back” comments

By New Statesman

Trump tells US-born congresswomen to “go back”

Donald Trump has been accused of racism after denouncing four ethnic minority Democratic congresswomen. The US president tweeted that the women, known as “the Squad”, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”  Of the four left-wing congresswomen, three – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Rashida Tlaib (Massachusetts) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) – were born and raised in the US, while the fourth, Ilhan Omar, moved to the US from Somalia as a child.

Sick pay may be extended to part-time workers

Two million low-paid workers could receive statutory sick pay for the first time under proposals announced by the government. At present, employees must earn at least the equivalent of 14 hours on the minimum wage (£118) a week to qualify. But ministers are consulting on whether to extend eligibility in the hope more people with disabilities and long-term conditions will be encouraged to return to work after sickness. According to the Department for Work and Pensions, nearly half (44 per cent) of those are absent due to illness for a year do not return to the workplace. 

Journalist threatened by Johnson demands apology

A journalist who Boris Johnson discussed helping a friend to have beaten up has demanded an apology from the Conservative leadership frontrunner. In 1990, Johnson was secretly recorded agreeing to provide the address of News of the World reporter Stuart Collier to Darius Guppy, who wanted Collier to suffer “a couple of black eyes” and a “cracked rib” as revenge for investigating his affairs. The former journalist said of Johnson’s claim that the conversation was a joke: “I didn’t treat it as a joke. That’s why I warned my wife to be careful about who she answered the door to.”

China grows at slowest pace for nearly 30 years

China’s economy grew at its slowest pace since the early 1990s in the second quarter of this year, according to official figures, as the trade war with the US suppressed output. GDP rose by 6.2 per cent, compared with 6.4 per cent in the first three months of 2019. The Chinese government has pursued fiscal stimulus – higher public spending and tax cuts – this year in an attempt to offset reduced global demand for exports. 

Rees-Mogg mocked over cricket tweet

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been derided after seeking to use England’s Cricket World Cup victory to promote Brexit. The Conservative MP tweeted of the team’s triumph against New Zealand:  “A d..n close run thing, we clearly don’t need Europe to win… #CricketWorldCupFinal.” In response, thousands pointed out that the English cricket captain (Eoin Morgan) was Irish and that the UK had yet to leave the EU. Alastair Campbell tweeted: “perhaps instead of making a silly Brextremist point, offer congratulations to the Irish captain, the NZ-born man of the match, and the Barbadian bowler who got it over the line.”

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