Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 April 2021

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

1

Breakaway clubs join Euro league

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have come under fire after agreeing to join a new European Super League - a “seismic move”, says the BBC. The Premier League clubs will join AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid in the new competition. Boris Johnson, Fifa, Uefa and the Premier League have all condemned the move, along with several fans’ organisations, which say it is motivated by greed.

2

Poverty causes crime, says cop

A police chief has stated that tackling poverty and inequality is the best way to reduce crime. In an interview to mark his retirement as chief constable of Merseyside police, Andy Cooke said that if he was given £5bn to cut crime, he would put £1bn into law enforcement and £4bn into tackling poverty. “The best crime prevention is increased opportunity and reduced poverty,” he said. “That’s the best way to reduce crime.”

3

Patel knocks Facebook encryption

Priti Patel says Facebook is “blinding” itself to the issue of child abuse by adopting new security measures that will make it more difficult to catch paedophiles. Demanding that tech giants “take the safety of children as seriously as they do the business of selling advertising, phones and online games”, the home secretary will call for Facebook to rethink plans for all messaging on its platforms to be “end-to-end” encrypted.

4

Floyd trial verdict due today

Protests have broken out across the US as Americans wait for a verdict in the trial of the white police officer charged with murdering George Floyd last year. With closing arguments expected in Derek Chauvin’s trial today, tensions are growing in several cities. The most serious charge the former officer is facing is second-degree murder, but The Guardian says the jury might choose to find him guilty on third-degree murder or manslaughter, or acquit him altogether.

5

Harry and William ‘spoke at Windsor’

Prince Harry and Prince William reunited for two hours after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, according to reports. The Sun says the brothers joined Prince Charles for the first time since Harry and wife Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey “threatened to tear the family apart”. Charles held private talks with his warring sons after the Windsor Castle ceremony, raising hopes that their rift can be healed.

6

Deaths in Egypt train crash

At least 11 people have been killed and 98 injured when a train derailed near the city of Toukh, north of Cairo. The Egyptian Railways Authority said it was still investigating what caused the Cairo-to-Mansoura train to crash. It was the third major rail accident Egypt in less than a month. At least 32 people were killed and 165 injured in March when two trains collided.

7

US warns Russian on Navalny

Washington has told Russia there will be “consequences” if the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny dies in jail. Navalny’s doctors say he “will die within the next few days” if he does not receive urgent medical attention for acute back pain and leg numbness. However, Russia’s ambassador to the UK has said that Navalny is attention seeking and “will not be allowed to die in prison”.

8

Spies could be deported

Foreign spies in Britain could be prosecuted and deported under new laws, according to The Times. Boris Johnson is set to announce a bill next month to counter hostile states, including a requirement for all individuals working on behalf of foreign governments in Britain to register their presence. There is growing concern over the espionage activities of Russia and China.

9

Covid tests could be VAT-free

Covid tests for holidaymakers could fall below £50 as the Treasury considers plans to exempt them from VAT. The government has already ruled that PCR tests will be exempt from VAT when they are administered or overseen by a registered nurse, but now all tests may be excluded from the 20% tax. Prices range from £60 to £300 per test.

10

De Niro ‘being forced to act’

Robert De Niro is unable to turn down acting roles because he must pay for his estranged wife’s expensive tastes, according to his lawyer. Caroline Krauss told a Manhattan court that the Hollywood legend is struggling financially partly due to the demands of Grace Hightower, who filed for divorce in 2018. “Mr De Niro is 77 years old, and while he loves his craft, he should not be forced to work at this prodigious pace,” Krauss told the court.

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