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News Daily: MPs’ Brexit rebellion threat, and Begum family challenge Javid

If you want to get this briefing by email, sign-up here Image copyright AFP Brexit: Tory MPs warn of rebellion With five weeks to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, Theresa May has been warned that more than 30 normally loyal Conservative MPs could rebel against the government in an effort to prevent a no-deal Brexit. The Brexit Delivery Group, containing Leave and Remain supporters, says members may back alternative plans if the prime minister’s reworked deal with the EU fails to gain majority support in…

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Science 

UN: Growing threat to food from decline in biodiversity

Image copyright Getty Images The plants, animals, crops and micro-organisms that are the bedrock of food production are in decline, according to a UN study. If these critical species are lost, the report says, it “places the future of our food system under severe threat”. The study says that land use changes, pollution, and climate change are all causing biodiversity loss. While species friendly policies are increasing, they are not growing quickly enough, the scientists say. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who’ve put the report together using data…

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Technology 

Is new game Apex Legends a threat to Fortnite?

Image copyright Electronic Arts Apex Legends – a new Battle Royale game – has had over 2 million concurrent players and over 25 million downloads in its first week. The game, released at the start of February, has a similar narrative to Fortnite. But Apex’s new spin has taken the gaming world by storm, leading people to question whether it will be a threat. Apex Legends is available on PlayStation and Xbox – and Like Fortnite, it’s free to download. What’s come as a shock to some is how fast…

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Science 

Dogs’ becoming major threat’ to wildlife

Image copyright Pitam Chattopadhyay Image caption Protected species like blackbuck are attacked by feral and free-ranging dogs They may be our “best friends” but dogs have also emerged as a major threat to wildlife. Scientists say they have contributed to the extinction of nearly one dozen wild bird and animal species. As such, they have become the third worst human-introduced predators after cats and rats. Now dogs are said to threaten nearly 200 species worldwide, some of which are critically endangered, studies suggest. And yet, feral and free-ranging dogs have…

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Venezuela crisis: Guaidó ridicules ‘civil war’ threat

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy Venezuela matters to the US… and vice versa Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó has dismissed warnings from President Nicolás Maduro the country’s political crisis could spark civil war. Mr Guaidó has declared himself interim president and won support from major powers including the US. Mr Maduro said that whether there was war would depend on the “madness” of the US and its allies. But Mr Guaidó rubbished the suggestion as an “invention” of his presidential rival. Who is supporting whom in…

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Speedboat killer: Jack Shepherd’s lawyer receives death threat

Image caption Jack Shepherd appeared in an extradition hearing in the Georgian capital Tbilisi last week Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd’s British lawyer, Richard Egan, has received a chilling death threat amidst torrents of abuse. The letter, which tells him to “remember Jo Cox”, the Labour MP murdered by far right extremist Thomas Mair, has been passed to the police. It talks of stabbing, bombing, features a swastika and the words “Heil Hitler”. Former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, says the letter represents an attack on the rule of law. As…

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Antibiotic resistance plan to fight ‘urgent’ global threat

Image copyright Getty Images Superbugs are as big a threat as climate change, the health secretary will say as he unveils a new five-year plan to tackle antibiotic resistance. Overuse of antibiotics is making infections harder to treat and leading to thousands of deaths a year through drug-resistant superbugs. The government is planning to change the way it funds drug companies to encourage them develop new medicines. It is also increasing efforts to cut unnecessary use of the drugs. ‘An urgent global response’ The government’s plan aims to control and…

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Brexit: Universities warn no deal is ‘biggest-ever threat’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Universities say that UK research in science and medicine will be harmed by a no-deal Brexit University heads are warning a no-deal Brexit is “one of the biggest threats” the institutions have ever faced. Higher education leaders have written to MPs to say it is “no exaggeration” to warn that it would take universities “decades to recover”. They say it would undermine scientific research and threaten universities’ £21bn contribution to the UK economy. The government has said its immigration plans will keep universities “open…

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BBC presenter Alex Lovell’s rape threat stalker jailed

Image caption BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell was repeatedly sent threatening letters A man who stalked a BBC presenter with letters in which he threatened to rape her has been jailed. Gordon Hawthorn, 69, of Street, Somerset, sent the threats to Points West’s Alex Lovell over six years. She began receiving cards at the BBC’s regional centre on Whiteladies Road, Bristol, in 2012. Jailing Hawthorn for two and a half years, Bristol Crown Court judge Martin Picton said the letters had made Ms Lovell “frightened and miserable”. Hawthorn had…

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Technology 

FBI swoops on ‘national threat’ ‘hacks for hire’ sites

Image caption All 15 websites targeted in the operation have been seized The FBI has seized control of 15 websites that let people pay to knock individuals and other sites offline. The so-called booters sought to swamp targets with huge amounts of data in what are known as distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Three US men have been charged with allegedly offering DDoS services. “DDoS-for-hire services such as these pose a significant national threat,” US Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder said in a statement. The FBI says more than 200,000 attacks have…

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