Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 26 Jan 2020


China's president warns that coronavirus is accelerating

The deadly coronavirus is accelerating, Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned. The virus has killed at least 56 people and infected almost 2,000 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan. The US government is arranging a charter flight to evacuate American diplomats and citizens from the city. Meanwhile, in the UK, NHS staff have been issued with instructions on handling bodies


Boris Johnson told he risks diplomatic war with Trump

Boris Johnson is on course for a diplomatic war with Donald Trump over plans to hand Huawei, the Chinese telecoms firm, access to Britain’s 5G phone network. The Sunday Times says Trump suggested to Johnson that Britain and America build an alternative to Huawei together but UK officials believe that would take too long.


Six dead in shooting incident in southwest Germany

Six people have been killed and two are in serious condition following a shooting in southwestern Germany on Friday. A gunman opened fire at a building in the town of Rot am See, in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Police said the incident appeared to be linked to a “family drama” and a spokesman said a suspect has been arrested.


Gambling boss and JK Rowling both high on new tax list

The author JK Rowling, the inventor Sir James Dyson and the pub baron Tim Martin are among 50 individuals and families who have together paid almost £2.5bn of tax in a year, according to The Sunday Times Tax List. The founder of Bet365, Denise Coates, tops the list, with a reported contribution put at £276m.


Corbyn ‘plans to visit Iraq to cement legacy’

Jeremy Corbyn will spend the next two months “embedding a socialist narrative” and “ensuring a Corbyn legacy,” according to a leaked document in The Sunday Times. The outgoing Labour leder has drafted plans for a symbolic visit to Iraq to promote “anti-imperialism” and distance the party from the Tony Blair era. He is also expected to focus on “inspiring young people” and visiting the “red wall” of seats in the north and Midlands.


Kenya suffers worst outbreak of locusts for 70 years

Kenya is suffering the worst outbreak of desert locusts in 70 years with hundreds of millions of the insects swarming into the east African nation from Somalia and Ethiopia. The outbreak is destroying farmland and threatening the region with hunger. “Even cows are wondering what is happening,” one farmer told The Observer.


Bercow peerage is in question as bullying claims resurface

John Bercow’s chances of a seat in the House of Lords have been undermined after a retired senior parliamentary official claimed he would be submitting a formal complaint with allegations of bullying against the former Speaker. David Leakey, a former parliamentary Black Rod, said he was “reluctantly” filing his own a complaint “detailing allegations of bullying, intimidation and unacceptable behaviour” by the former MP.


World's largest twin-engined plane passes first test flight

Boeing has completed the first test flight of the world's largest twin-engined plane, the 777X. After two attempts were called off this week due to high winds, the flight took off near Seattle and lasted four hours. The BBC says the company is attempting to boost its image after its 737 Max plane was grounded last year following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.


Grenfell panel member quits over links to cladding firm

A member of the Grenfell Tower inquiry panel has quit after she was linked to a charitable arm of the firm that supplied the tower block’s deadly cladding.​ Benita Mehra stepped down just days before the recommencement of the inquiry into the 2017 fire that killed 72 people. She said she recognised and respected that there was a “depth of feeling” among some regarding her appointment.


Heseltine: Brexit celebrations ‘rub the noses’ of Remainers

Lord Heseltine says Boris Johnson is trying to “rub the noses of Remainers in their defeat,” after the prime minister announced events to commemorate the UK’s departure from the EU. Three million special 50p coins bearing the words “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” will enter shops, banks and restaurants from Friday. Union Jack flags will also line Parliament Square and the Mall.

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