Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 21 Nov 2019

1

Three older people ‘dying every hour for lack of care’

At least 74,000 older people will have died between the 2017 and 2019 general elections while waiting for social care – equivalent to three deaths every hour, AgeUK is warning. The charity wants whichever political party wins the 12 December election to put an extra £8bn into the system over the next two years in order to prevent further declines in care and support services.

2

Andrew stepping down from public life over Epstein

Prince Andrew has announced that he will cease his official duties, saying that the controversy over his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has become a “major disruption” to the Royal Family’s public work. A lawyer representing some of Epstein’s victims last night urged the Prince to contact US investigators to make a statement.

3

Trump-Ukraine: Sondland points finger at top

The US ambassador to the EU yesterday told an impeachment inquiry that he was ordered by Donald Trump to put pressure on Ukraine to investigate the president’s Democrat rival Joe Biden. Appearing on the fourth day of public testimony to the US House Intelligence Committee, Gordon Sondland said the instruction came from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

4

Labour: we’ll impose windfall tax on oil firms

Labour will release its general election manifesto today and it is expected to include a pledge to impose a windfall tax on oil companies as part of a drive to make the UK into a low-carbon, green economy. The Liberal Democrats released their manifesto yesterday, but the Conservatives have yet to do so as the clock ticks down until polling day.

5

UK staff ‘happy to pull sickies and steal stationary’

Two in five British workers would be willing to pretend to be ill to take a day off, research by the BBC suggests. A survey carried out by ComRes of 3,655 adults aged over 16 also found that staff steal work supplies such as stationery and would accept praise from a boss for work that another employee had done.

6

Extinction Rebellion founder criticised over Holocaust remarks

One of the British eco-warriors who founded Extinction Rebellion has caused anger within the protest movement by saying that the Holocaust was “almost a normal occurrence” and nothing “unique”. Sociologist Roger Hallam told an interviewer that the systematic murder of six million Jews by the Nazis was “just another f***ery in human history” and accused Germany of being too “paralysed” by the trauma to learn meaningful lessons from it.

7

Murdoch: ‘No climate change deniers around here’

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch told shareholders at a meeting yesterday that there are “no climate change deniers around, I can assure you” when asked why his news outlets give “climate deniers … so much airtime in Australia”. The 88-year-old said News Corp had committed to “science-based” targets to reduce its carbon footprint.

8

Lloyd Webber to tackle ticket touting in West End

Composer and theatre owner Andrew Lloyd Webber is to tackle ticket touting in London’s West End by signing his venues up to Twickets, a service that sells returned tickets for no more than their original price. Twickets styles itself as a more ethical re-selling platform that prevents customers from being charged over the odds. 

9

Coldplay rule out tour in bid to protect environment

British rock group Coldplay has announced that they will not tour their latest album, because of the the impact that such concerts have on the environment. Frontman Chris Martin told the BBC that the band, one of the biggest stadium acts in the world, were working on ways to make their shows greener before returning to the stage, saying: “We’re taking time to see how our tour can be actively beneficial.”

10

Briefing: countries hit by major protests in 2019

From the students occupying university buildings in Hong Kong to activists overthrowing a 30-year dictatorship in Sudan, 2019 has seen a resurgence in the use of protesting as a tool for political and social change.

Dozens of countries have been affected by mass unrest this calendar year, most prompted by similar economic woes and anti-corruption drives but yielding mixed results ranging from total revolution to violent and bloody crackdowns.

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