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Morning Briefing: April 13, 2018 (FRIDAY)

13/04/2018 News desk

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know to start your day with our daily briefing, compiled by Zoya Thomas.  

UK vows to ‘take action’ against Syria as RAF Tornadoes get ready

Theresa May's Cabinet on Thursday agreed to 'take action' to 'deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime'. Britain will also act to alleviate 'humanitarian' suffering in Syria. A Downing Street spokesman did not state what taking action would mean or on what what timescale it would happen. Meanwhile, Tornado jets were being fuelled at RAF Marham in Norfolk as preparations mounted for reprisals against Syria. (Daily Mail)

Yulia Skripal abducted by Britain to blame us, says Russia

Russia believes Yulia Skripal has been abducted by Britain and that the UK is faking sources in order to blame the Kremlin for her poisoning. The Russian foreign ministry's spokeswoman told Sky News they are also suspicious of statements from the 33-year-old released through Scotland Yard. (Sky News)

Fury over BBC's plan to broadcast Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech

The BBC has refused to drop plans to broadcast Enoch Powell’s “racist” Rivers of Blood speech on Radio 4 after critics branded the decision “appalling”. The broadcaster defended its choice to broadcast the speech, which is widely considered to be one of the most inflammatory in modern history by a British politician. After facing intense criticism over the broadcast, the BBC assured that there would be "rigorous journalistic analysis" and the show was not endorsing controversial views. (Evening Standard)

Hundreds demand terminally-ill boy Alfie Evans's release from hospital

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the hospital where terminally-ill Alfie Evans is being cared for as his parents continued their fight for him to be discharged. Police were called to the Liverpool hospital where demonstrators chanting “release Alfie Evans” had arrived to show their support for the family at the centre of a life-support treatment battle. The 23-month-old boy's parents want to take him to Italy for possible treatment for his rare degenerative brain disease. (Evening Standard)

Huge swarms of basking sharks baffles experts

Swarms of up to over a thousand basking sharks have been spotted along the northeastern US, puzzling experts who study the normally solitary species. Aerial surveys meant to locate endangered North Atlantic whales in recent decades have revealed massive groups of the world's second-largest fish. Found worldwide, these slow-moving filter feeders pose no threat to humans. As big as basking sharks are - at 32 feet long outsized only by the whale shark - the deep-sea dwellers can be tricky to track down. (National Geographic)

In Depth: Lessons from psychology to understand the Trump era

In January 2017, when then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to claim that President Donald Trump’s inauguration was the most-watched in history, it felt like the beginning of a new, dark era of politics and public life. Here are some social science lessons that will help explain what’s happening in America in the Trump era. (

Video of the day: Snowmobilers' encounter with giant bear

In the Kuril Islands, Russia, these men were fishing when they were surprised by a bear. They tried to scare the animal away, but it didn't work. (BuzzVideos)

On this day:

Bahamian American actor Sidney Poitier holding his Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'Lilies Of The Field' © Getty Bahamian American actor Sidney Poitier holding his Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'Lilies Of The Field' 1964 In a year packed with landmark civil rights activism, another barrier is broken at the 36th Academy Awards as Sidney Poitier becomes the first African American to receive the Oscar for Best Actor, for his role in 'Lillies of the Field.' (Bing)

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