Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 5 Feb 2020

1

Pelosi rips up Trump’s State of Union script

Donald Trump delivered his annual State of the Union address in Washington D.C. yesterday after refusing to shake the proffered hand of the Democrat leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. In turn, Pelosi delivered a damning verdict on the 80-minute speech, which avoided the subject of the president’s ongoing impeachment trial - by ripping up her copy of the address as he finished. 

2

Coronavirus: ten cases on Japan cruise ship

Ten people on a cruise ship anchored off the shore of Yokohama in Japan have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus spreading across the world. Thousands of crew and passengers are being held in quarantine on board the Diamond Princess for at least two weeks. The total number of deaths from the virus is now 493, with all but two in mainland China.

3

David Cameron bodyguard leaves gun in loo

A Metropolitan Police protection officer tasked with guarding former Prime Minister David Cameron on a flight from New York to London on Monday has lost his job after his loaded gun was found in a plane toilet by another passenger. Police officials said the unnamed officer had been removed from operational duties while the incident on a BA flight was investigated.

4

Checks for 11,000 patients of rogue surgeon

More than 11,000 women who were treated by rogue breast cancer surgeon Ian Paterson should be called back for checks, an independent inquiry has recommended. Paterson was jailed for 20 years in 2017 for 17 counts of wounding with intent after carrying out thousands of unnecessary and damaging operations. The inquiry found that he was able to do so over a period spanning two decades because of a healthcare system that was “dysfunctional at almost every level”.

5

Cameron turns down offer to chair COP26

David Cameron has rejected a job offer from Boris Johnson to chair the United Nation’s upcoming COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow, according to Whitehall insiders. The Daily Telegraph says the former prime minister insisted the role should go to a serving minister. Former clean growth minister Claire O'Neill, who stood down as a Tory MP at the general election, was sacked from the job on Friday, with no replacement named as yet.

6

Syphilis cases at highest level since WWII

Cases of sexually transmitted infections are being diagnosed every 70 seconds on average in England, a new report by the Terrence Higgins Trust says. The sexual health charity warns that more cases of syphilis are being diagnosed now than at any other time since the Second World War, but that inconsistent testing by the “struggling” health service has resulted in many STIs going undiagnosed.

7

Pretty Little Thing underwear advert banned

An advertisement for online retailer Pretty Little Thing has been banned from YouTube by the Advertising Standards Authority for being “offensive” and showing women in an “overly sexualised way”. Pretty Little Thing said the promo - which features scantily dressed women wearing exposing lingerie - “celebrates all women” and was “in no way meant to cause any offence”.

8

MP defends off-the-shoulder top in Commons

Labour MP Tracy Brabin has hit back at online trolls after being criticised for wearing an off-the-shoulder top in the Commons. The former EastEnders actor tweeted that she had been told she looked like “a slag, hungover, a tart, about to breastfeed, a slapper, drunk”, or like she had “just been banged over a wheelie bin”.

9

Jay-Z staging protest with Beyonce

Music mogul Jay-Z has denied staging a protest with his singer wife Beyonce during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The couple were caught on camera remaining seated during the national anthem, in what some commentators interpreted as a Black Lives Matter-style protest. But the hip-hop star said they had stayed in their seats because they were talking.

10

Briefing: why everyone’s talking about American Dirt

A US author’s novel about the plight of Mexican migrants has fuelled global debate about cultural appropriation and representation.

Jeanine Cummins’ book American Dirt hit the spotlight after being chosen for Oprah’s Book Club, an honour that can boost sales of a title from thousands to millions. But not everyone is convinced that talk show host Oprah Winfrey made the right choice this time round.

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