Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 28 Feb 2020

1

Coronavirus: two new cases in UK

Two more patients in England have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, bringing the total known infections to 15. The new patients are being treated at the Royal Free Hospital in London and the Royal Liverpool Hospital. They picked up the virus, which causes the Covid-19 disease, during trips to Tenerife and Italy, according to England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.

2

Covid-19 may mean economic growth downgrade, warns Carney

The outgoing governor of the Bank of England has warned that the UK may be facing an economic growth “downgrade” as the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak is felt. Mark Carney said it was too early to tell how badly the economy would be effected, however. Global markets are on course for their worst crash since 2008.

3

Britain braces for Storm Jorge following Ciara and Dennis

Another big Atlantic storm is set to hit Britain this weekend, forecasters are warning. With areas of Shropshire and Worcestershire still struggling with record high river levels and flooding following storms Ciara and Dennis, the new extreme weather front, named Jorge, is expected to bring two to three inches of rain to parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Winds of 70mph are forecast and warnings are in place.

4

Heathrow expansion plan deemed unlawful

Judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday ruled that the Government’s decision to press on with a third runway at Heathrow was unlawful because it did take into account the UK’s climate change commitments. Heathrow has vowed to appeal the decision, which throws the expansion into doubt, but the Goverment said it would not contest the ruling.

5

Universal Credit ‘linked to rise in stress’

The Government’s flagship Universal Credit benefits scheme is likely to increase pressure on the NHS, because it is causing psychological stress among claimants, a study by Liverpool University. Researchers found that the introduction of universal credit across the UK coincided with a 6.6% in mental health issues among recipients - equivalent to an estimated 63,674 people - compared with a comparison group who were employed or retired. 

6

Canada to cut security for Harry and Meghan

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not have personal security paid for by the Canadian government when they officially step down as senior royals, officials have announced. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been guarding the couple since they moved to a rented mansion on Vancouver Island in November, but the country’s government says this “assistance will cease in the coming weeks”. Harry is in the UK this week carrying out his final royal duties.

7

Astronomers find traces of biggest explosion since Big Bang

A US-led team of scientists has discovered evidence of a huge explosion in space that is believed to be five times bigger than any other known blast with the exception of the Big Bang. The eruption took place in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, about 390 million light years from Earth, and left a supermassive black hole with a mass equivalent to ten million Suns. 

8

British skier warns others to ‘stay safe’ following hole rescue

A British skier has warned of off-piste dangers after being filmed digging his 11-year-old son out of a snowhole in the French Alps. London-based design agency boss Gillon Campbell, 44, was skiing off-piste with his son Fox in Chamonix when he lost sight of the boy, an experienced skier. Using a transceiver device, Campbell finally located his son, who was trapped under five feet of snow after falling into the hole. The family say their hope sharing their story will mean “others stay safe in the mountains”.

9

Steve Coogan thought The Trip was ‘stupid idea’

Steve Coogan has revealed that he and Rob Brydon thought the concept of their show The Trip was “stupid” and “self-indulgent” when director Michael Winterbottom first suggested the idea. Promoting the final series, Coogan said he had loved filming the programme - a mash-up of travel documentary and comedy drama – but joked that he wished he’d had better company than Brydon.

10

Briefing: why everyone’s talking about Amal Clooney

The Maldives has hired British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Clooney to represent its case against Myanmar in an ongoing trial at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

Clooney, the wife of Hollywood actor and producer George Clooney, was brought on board by the tiny island nation as part of the country’s move to formally join The Gambia in filing a case of genocide against Myanmar over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.

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