Hello! Here’s what you need to know on Thursday.
1. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair defended his decision to take the country to war in Iraq after Wednesday’s release of the Chilcot Report into the Iraq war . “The world was, and is in my judgment a better place without Saddam Hussein,” Blair said in a press conference.
2. A declassified note that Tony Blair sent former US president George W. Bush in July 2002 suggests that Blair committed the UK to war with Iraq months before his Cabinet and Parliament voted on the issue . The note, declassified as part of the Chilcot Report, begins with Blair saying: “I will be with you, whatever,” adding that: “Getting rid of Saddam is the right thing to do.
3. Deutsche Bank thinks that the British public will get to vote on the final deal to leave the European Union. The bank expects a deal to be finalised in 2019.
4. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday said no charges will be brought against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. Lynch’s decision comes one day after FBI Director James Comey said his agency would not recommend charges against Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
5. China is trying to discredit the international court that will rule on the South China Sea dispute next week. “The final award of the arbitration, which will come out in the next few days, amounts to nothing more than a piece of paper,” senior diplomat Dai Bingguo said.
pizza chef killed during a militant attack on a cafe where he worked in Bangladesh’s capital city last week was probably in league with the assailants. Saiful Islam Chowkidar carried no arms but was seen “moving and running” with the five gunmen during the 12-hour stand-off, the chief of counter-terrorism police said.
8. Donald Trump defended his campaign’s use of a six-pointed star next to a picture of Hillary Clinton that was widely viewed as anti-Semitic. Speaking to an Ohio audience, Trump said he told the senior aide who posted the tweet: ‘Too bad, you should have left it up. I would have rather defended it just leave it up and say no that’s not a Star of David it’s just a star.'”
9. Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in jail for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa said it was a “noble gesture” of South African Paralympic gold medalist to offer to do community service but said punishment ought to be painful.
10. Portugal beat Wales to advance to the European Championship final. “I am very confident. I deserve it, Portugal deserves it, all the Portuguese people deserve it,” Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the first goal of the match, said.