NEWS
23/07/2019 12:22 BST | Updated 23/07/2019 12:28 BST

7 Big News Stories That Have Nothing To Do With Boris Johnson, Brexit Or The Heatwave

There's more to life than sweating over the Tories.

There’s a lot going on in the world of news today, not that you’d know it from the wall-to-wall coverage of the battle to be the next PM.

While news coverage is dominated by the announcement of the new Tory leader - who will tomorrow set to be prime minister, a whole range of other important stories are simmering away.

So instead of having to sift through page upon page dedicated to the leadership of Boris Johnson to find out what else is going on, we have selected seven news stories that are both important and, crucially, not about a middle-aged Tory or the weather.

Pressure builds on Tom Watson

A number of Tuesday’s front pages lead with the growing calls for the deputy Labour leader to apologise for his role in false accusations of a paedophile gang operating in Westminster.

The claims were made by Carl Beech, 51, who was yesterday convicted of making up the lurid story which led to raids the homes of 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

A massive police investigation was launched after Watson, based on Beech’s claims, told the House of Commons in 2012, there was ​“clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10″.

Yesterday Watson said it was not his role to judge whether convicted fantasist and fraudster Carl Beech was telling the truth.

The MP said he only once met the man known as “Nick”, in 2014, two years after speaking out in parliament about the existence of a high-profile paedophile ring.

Watson also declined to apologise to former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, one of Beech’s victims, but appreciated he was “hurt and angry”.

Lincoln Seligman, godson of former prime minister Ted Heath, who was also accused by Beech, said the allegations had affected him, his family and Sir Edward’s friends.

“What I find astonishing is that senior police officers in the Metropolitan Police and politicians like (Labour deputy leader) Tom Watson, and some elements of media, believed Beech and made frequent public statements to that effect,” he said.

“Those who were being investigated by the police watchdog have been let off scot-free.”

Another Trump irony overload

Just days after spending an entire week posting racist tweets targeting four congresswomen, Donald Trump yesterday accused them of being racist.

Continuing his attack on the self-described “squad” of four Democrats, the president said they were a “very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart”.

The outburst comes just days after he appeared to bask in chants of “send her back” at a rally last week when he mentioned Ilhan Omar.

Omar is one of four Democratic congresswomen targeted by Trump in tweets telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

The row escalated on Wednesday when the president rounded on them by name, criticising Omar along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

Students data stolen at Lancaster University 

Computer systems at Lancaster University have fallen victim to a “sophisticated and malicious phishing attack”.

The personal data of a number students was stolen in the hack. The university said it was aware of some students receiving fraudulent invoices as a result.

The ID documents of a smaller number of individuals were also obtained by the hackers.

The police and Information Commissioner’s Office have been informed and an investigation is underway.

South Korea fires warning shots at Russian plane

South Korean air force jets fired 360 rounds of warning shots after a Russian military plane briefly violated South Korea’s airspace twice, Seoul officials have said.

Three Russian military planes – two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft – initially entered South Korea’s air defence identification zone off its east coast before the A-50 intruded in South Korean airspace, the South’s Defence Ministry said.

South Korean fighter jets then scrambled to the area, including F-16s, and fired 10 flares and 80 rounds from machine guns as warning shots, a ministry official said.

The Russian reconnaissance aircraft left the area three minutes later, but it returned and violated the South Korean airspace again for four additional minutes later on Tuesday, the ministry official said.

He said the South Korean fighter jets fired 10 flares and 280 rounds from machine guns as warning shots again.

Later on Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff summoned Russia’s acting ambassador and its defence attache respectively to file a formal complaint with them.

An fortuitous accident

Police got a lucky break of sorts when a van carrying £112m worth of crystal meth crashed into patrol cars parked outside their station.

A Toyota HiAce van hit the cars outside Eastwood police station, causing significant damage to one car but injuring no-one, according to a police statement.

Police stopped a van in a nearby suburb about an hour later, arrested a 28-year-old man and seized 273kg (602lbs) of the drug.

The man was charged with supplying a commercial quantity of drugs, negligent driving and not giving his details to police.

The mystery bearded man

Police in Canada are hunting a bearded man thought to be behind three suspicious deaths and two disappearances, all of which occurred within days of each other.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Lucas Fowler, 23, from Sydney, Australia, and his girlfriend, Chynna Deese, 24, from Charlotte, North Carolina, were wrapping up a two-week-long road trip through Canada when their bodies were found on Highway 12 miles south of Liard Hot Springs, a popular tourist destination.

Police are also searching for two missing teenagers believed to have been driving a vehicle that was found in flames on a highway about 310 miles from the site of the couple’s murder, leading to speculation in local media about a connection between the two cases.

A body was found two kilometres from the burning car, which was identified as not being either of the missing teens. 

On Monday police revealed they were looking for a bearded man seen talking to Fowler on the side of the highway last week.

The end of smoking?

The government is aiming to end smoking in England by 2030 as part of a range of measures to address preventable ill health.

Its green paper, released late on Monday, says that though “traditional public health interventions have led to significant improvements in the nation’s health”, more needs to be done.

“Thanks to our concerted efforts on smoking, we now have one of the lowest smoking rates in Europe with fewer than 1-in-6 adults smoking. Yet, for the 14 percent of adults who still smoke, it’s the main risk to health, the Press Association reports.

“Smokers are disproportionately located in areas of high deprivation. In Blackpool, 1-in-4 pregnant women smoke. In Westminster, it’s 1-in-50.”

The paper says “obesity is a major health challenge that we’ve been less successful in tackling”, and that clean air will continue to be challenging for the next decade.

And finally...

Because you made it all the way to the end, here’s a cat licking an ice lolly...