Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 29 Feb 2020
Hunt on for source of UK-infected coronavirus case
Health officials are trying to discover how a man in England caught coronavirus. The man, from Surrey, had not been abroad recently. In a separate case, a British man who was quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan has died from the virus. There are now 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, with 18 in England plus one each in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Storm Jorge to bring fresh misery to flood-hit communities
Storm Jorge is expected to bring heavy rain, winds of up to 60mph and snow today. With Met Office yellow weather warnings in place for much of the country, regions still dealing with floodwater are set to get another deluge. "It's going to be quite lively with some heavy rain and strong winds," said the Met Office's Emma Salter.
Javid claims he planned cuts to tax and stamp duty
Sajid Javid says he wanted to cut 2p from the basic rate of income tax in the budget he was due to announce. The former chancellor has told The Times he also wished to cut stamp duty and to offer generous reliefs for capital investment in a radical tax-cutting programme. He said he wanted to send a “huge signal for working people” that the government was “absolutely on their side”.
Asia Bibi applies for asylum in France after Macron meeting
Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges, has applied for asylum in France after being invited to live in the country by Emmanuel Macron. Speaking after she met the French president, she said: “France has been very good to me – and France has given me a name.”
Actresses walk out as Polanski wins French movie award
Several women have walked out of a movie awards ceremony in Paris after Roman Polanski, who was convicted of the statutory rape of a 13 year old in 1977, won best director. Actress Adèle Haenel left the room saying “shame!" and was followed by director Céline Sciamma. The César awards is considered France's equivalent of the Oscars.
Dozens of top companies warned over gender failure
An investor group has warned 63 publicly listed companies over their failure to increase the number of women on their leadership teams ahead of a year-end deadline. The companies in the firing line include Stagecoach Group and the Ladbrokes owner GVC. The Investment Association chief executive, Chris Cummings, said: “Diversity results in better decision-making and plays an essential role in a company’s long-term success.”
Thatcher speech inspired by young Boris Johnson
Margaret Thatcher’s famous “No, no, no” retort to Jacques Delors may have been inspired in part by an article written by a young Boris Johnson, her newly released private papers show. The briefing pack for the speech, described by The Guardian as “a historic moment in the UK’s relationship with Europe”, included a Daily Telegraph article written by Johnson.
One-fifth of students lose money by going to university
One in five students lose money by going to university, a study for the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found. Researchers say that around 20% of students earned less than those with similar school results who did not attend. Certain subjects, such as creative arts, offer negative financial returns, they concluded.
Markets endure worst week since 2008 financial crisis
US markets have suffered their worst week since the global financial crisis of 2008, as fears over the coronavirus continue to rattle investors. The three main US indexes ended the week down 10% or more from last Friday. There have also been sharp drops on European markets with London's FTSE 100 index down 3.2% for the day.
Eight-year ban imposed on Chinese swimming star
The triple Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang is to be banned for eight years for missing an out-of-competition doping test, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled yesterday. The 28-year-old is one of China's leading athletes, having won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympic games and another in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.