Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 16 Jan 2020

1

TV cameras to be allowed in Crown Courts

Filming of Crown Court cases in England and Wales is to be allowed for the first time, under new legislation due to come into force in late spring. Only judges will be seen on camera – and only their sentencing remarks will be filmed, after a verdict is reached. Filming of sentencing statements has been permitted in Scotland since 2012.

2

Alcohol ‘more damaging than hard drugs’

Alcohol is “the most damaging drug in pretty much every Western country”, the government’s former chief drug adviser has warned. Professor David Nutt was sacked by the Home Office in 2009, after claiming that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol. In a new book, he says that studies carried out with his colleagues in the independent Drug Science group show that alcohol harm outstrips that of heroin and crack cocaine, tobacco, cannabis and ecstasy in the UK, Europe and Australia.

3

Attenborough calls for urgent action on climate crisis

Veteran natural history presenter David Attenborough has warned the world is at a “moment of crisis” for climate change, and is urging China and other economic superpowers to tackle the growing problem. The 93-year-old told the BBC that it was “palpable nonsense” to suggest, as have some politicians, that the ongoing bushfires in Australia have nothing to do with the world becoming warmer.

4

Momentum throws weight behind Long-Bailey

Left-wing Labour group Momentum is expected to back Rebecca Long-Bailey to become the party’s next leader - as the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group asks its members to vote on whether to support her campaign without offering an alternative. The shadow business secretary’s leadership bid has received a further boost from the results of a poll of readers of the independent LabourList website. The survey put Long-Bailey in the lead with 42% of the vote, followed by Keir Starmer on 37%.

5

Giuliani aide: Trump knew about Ukraine

A Ukrainian-American businessman who worked for Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the US president “knew exactly what was going on” when Giuliani lobbied Ukraine to smear Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. In an interview on US television on Wednesday, Lev Parnas said Giuliani’s intention was to damage Biden’s political standing in the US.

6

Harry carrying out first duty since shock announcement

Prince Harry is today carrying out his first royal duty since revealing that he and wife Meghan Markle plan to step back from their position as senior royals. The Duke is hosting the Rugby League World Cup draw at Buckingham Palace, meeting representatives from the 21 nations taking part. Harry is expected to remain in the UK for meetings next week, despite rumours that he was preparing to fly to Canada to be reunited with the Duchess and their baby son Archie.

7

Russian government quits as Putin plots to retain power

Russia’s government has resigned en masse without warning, leaving President Vladimir Putin to rule alone. Putin, who is due to step down in 2024, is believed to have ousted former ally Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as he pushes for massive changes to the country’s Constitution that could allow him to stay in office.

8

Scottish FA to ban headers for children

The Scottish Football Association is set to impose a ban on children under 12 heading the ball during training, after a study found a link between headers and dementia among former players. A similar ban has been in place in the US since 2015 but Scotland would be the first European country to follow suit.

9

Patrick Stewart: Brexit is ‘grimmest thing’

Veteran actor Patrick Stewart yesterday described Brexit as the “grimmest thing” to have happened in politics in his lifetime, as he launched his new Star Trek spin-off series, Picard. The 79-year-old was joined on the red carpet in Leicester Square by his friend Ian McKellen. The new show will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video from 24 January.

10

Briefing: the problem with the UK’s immigration rules

The UK’s immigration rules are “overly complex and unworkable”, according to the Law Commission.

The independent law reform agency, which advises government ministers, says the regulations have been “criticised for being poorly drafted” and have quadrupled in length since 2010.

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