Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 1 Mar 2020
Government battle plan for coronavirus is revealed
Recently-retired doctors and nurses could be asked to return to the NHS as part of a battle plan to combat a possible further spread of coronavirus. The government contingency proposals could also see people asked to work from home. Three more cases have been confirmed in the UK, taking the total to 23. The prime minister will chair a COBRA meeting on the virus on Monday.
Priti Patel under pressure after senior civil servant quits
Home Secretary Priti Patel is facing calls to respond to allegations of bullying made by the former top civil servant in her department. Sir Philip Rutnam, the Home Office's most senior official, resigned on Saturday complaining of a “vicious and orchestrated” campaign against him. Sir Philip said he received allegations that Patel's conduct included “swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands”. She has previously denied mistreating staff.
Joe Biden bounces back in South Carolina primary
Joe Biden enjoyed a landslide victory in the South Carolina primary vote, as the race for the Democratic presidential nomination continues. “We are very much alive,” he told supporters. “For all of you who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind this is your campaign. Just days ago, the press and the pundits had declared this candidacy dead,” he added.
Boris Johnson and Carrie engaged and expecting baby
Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds are engaged and are expecting a baby in early summer, the couple have announced. In a post on her Instagram account, Symonds wrote: “Many of you already know but for my friends that still don't, we got engaged at the end of last year... and we've got a baby hatching early summer. Feel incredibly blessed.”
US and Taliban sign a historic peace agreement
The US and the Taliban have signed a peace agreement after nearly 20 years of war. The deal could result in American troops leaving Afghanistan within 14 months. The US has agreed to start a phased withdrawal of troops if the Taliban severs ties with al-Qaida and holds peace talks with other Afghans, including a government they have always denounced as a US puppet.
Mo Farah responds to documentary allegations
Mo Farah says questions raised in a recent documentary over his relationship with his banned former coach Alberto Salazar are “depressing”. The Olympic champion said: “I can sleep at night knowing I've done nothing wrong.” Farah, who has never failed a drugs test or been accused of doping, said: “I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but I've always done the right thing.”
Anti-corruption party wins election in Slovakia
The anti-corruption Ordinary People party has won in Slovakia's parliamentary election. With nearly all results counted, the party had secured almost 25% of votes after its popularity soared in recent weeks. Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini has admitted defeat. The general election comes after last year's presidential vote, won by anti-corruption campaigner and lawyer Zuzana Caputova.
Government official suggests Britain does not need farming
A senior government official has said that Britain does not need its own farming industry, reports the Mail on Sunday. In leaked emails, the Treasury adviser Tim Leunig argues that the food sector is not “critically important” to the economy – and that agriculture and fishery production “certainly isn’t". A senior industry insider has responded, saying: "Why would any adviser to Government seek to decimate our own farming sector?”
Three dead after birthday party dry ice stunt goes wrong
Three people have been killed after dry ice was poured into a swimming pool during a party in Moscow. The victims had been celebrating the birthday of online influencer Yekaterina Didenko. About 25kg of dry ice was tipped into the pool to create a “visual effect”. However, ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, produces a heavy vapour when put into water. The people inside the pool instantly began to choke and lose consciousness.
David Beckham's US football team to play its first game
David Beckham's US football club Inter Miami plays its first game today. Beckham said there had been “bumps in the road” in the six years it has taken to get his project to this point. The former England captain said he wants to create the best team in America - and has talked about one day signing up superstars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.