Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 August 2022

The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am

1

Trump’s passports confiscated by FBI

In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Donald Trump claimed the FBI took three of his passports during the raid on his Florida home last week – a step that would usually only be taken if investigators deemed a suspect a flight risk. “Wow. In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” the former president wrote. “This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our country. Third world.” CNN said Trump’s “groundless caterwauling” proves he’s “concerned about possible prosecution”.

2

PM ‘not working’ on holiday

Boris Johnson will not be working during his holiday unless he is needed urgently, Downing Street has said. As the outgoing PM faces criticism for taking a second holiday within three weeks, Brandon Lewis MP defended him on LBC, saying: “Even when you are not in the office in Downing Street you are working.” But Johnson’s official spokesperson later clarified that Johnson will not be doing routine work while “on leave” and will only be contacted if there are “urgent decisions” to be taken.

3

Truss may stop £400 energy grant

Liz Truss would prefer to give targeted support to those who need the most help with their energy bills rather than increasing the £400 grant for every household, which is one of the government’s cost-of-living interventions. The foreign secretary believes that the reduction, which will be applied to every household’s energy bills from October to April, is a “blunt instrument” because it benefits the rich as much as the poor. Instead, claim allies, Truss is considering a “mix and match approach”, with a combination of targeted support for poorer households and tax cuts for wealthier households.

4

UK approves dual Covid jab

The UK has become the first country to approve a dual vaccine that tackles both the original Covid virus and the Omicron variant. The bivalent vaccine, known as “Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron”, has been given the green light for use as a booster for people over the age of 18. Ministers say the vaccine will now form part of the autumn booster campaign. All over-50s are likely to be offered an updated coronavirus vaccine in a booster rollout due to begin within a month.

5

Navy to stop patrolling Channel

The Royal Navy is planning to relinquish its role of dealing with migrants crossing illegally to the UK on 31 January next year, said The Telegraph. Just months after Boris Johnson brought in the first Navy vessels to patrol the Channel, government sources said the Navy is planning to hand back control to the Border Force. The news comes after MPs complained that policing the Channel had turned the Navy into a “super taxi service” for migrants. The next PM will be presented with a dilemma over whether to overrule military advisers.

6

‘Hustler’ wins Kenyan election

Deputy president William Ruto has been crowned the winner of Kenya’s presidential election amid scuffles at the announcement. He narrowly beat his rival, Raila Odinga, taking 50.5% of the vote, according to the official results. The son of a goat herder who has styled himself as Kenya’s “hustler-in-chief” has been declared the winner of the country’s presidential election, marking a “major shift” in Kenyan politics. His “populist campaign” which was “anchored on the hustler narrative” won him the election, said The Nation.

7

Civil service could strike

A “bitter confrontation” is on the cards, said The Guardian, as ministers plan to reduce redundancy pay for civil servants while cutting 91,000 Whitehall jobs. The proposals are set out in a consultation document that highlights how changes to redundancy payments would “create significant savings on the current cost of exits”. Trade unions said relations between the government and civil service are already at “rock bottom”. Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, the union which represents those working in the public service, said they would be “exploring every route – including industrial and legal ones”.

8

Heathrow extends passenger cap

Heathrow airport will extend its cap on passenger numbers for another six weeks, meaning no more than 100,000 travellers a day will be able to depart until 29 October. The measures, which were due to end on 11 September, will now continue through the half-term holidays, a popular getaway time for many families. This means prices could go up for flights which haven’t yet been sold, while existing flights could have their times changed, departure airport moved or be cancelled altogether, said The Times.

9

Sussexes ‘won’t meet Cambridges’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to see the Cambridges when they visit the UK next month, said The Telegraph. The couple will visit the UK and Germany to attend charity events “close to their hearts”, their spokesperson said, but although William and Harry are not thought to have spoken face-to-face since last summer, they have no plans to meet. The Sussexes are planning to attend a summit for young leaders in Manchester on 5 September and an awards ceremony for seriously ill children on 8 September, said Reuters.

10

Revelations made by nuclear war study

Argentina and Australia are the countries most likely to survive a nuclear war, a study has found. Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey found that even if you avoid being among the initial deaths in a nuclear war, the indirect effect of the conflict means five billion people could starve to death globally in the years after. Australia and Argentina, as well as a swathe of nations in central Africa, have the best prospects because they grow more resistant crops, such as wheat, in large quantities and also have relatively smaller populations.

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