Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 2 Mar 2020
Coronavirus: 3,000 deaths as Johnson convenes Cobra
The global death toll from the new coronavirus has reached more than 3,000, with almost 90,000 confirmed cases. No one has died from the infection in the UK but 36 cases have been diagnosed, with Scotland declared its first case. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee to discuss the outbreak.
Fresh Severn floods after wettest February on record
Storm Jorge brought fresh flooding to the UK at the weekend, with the Environment Agency warning that the River Severn would peak overnight on Sunday. However, the resulting floods are expected to be less serious than those of last week. The Met Office says February 2020 was the wettest ever recorded, with 7.96in of rain.
US presidential wannabe Pete Buttigieg drops out
The man who wanted to be the first openly gay US president has dropped out of the race to become the Democrat candidate for the election later this year. Announcing his decision just a day before the decisive “super Tuesday” of voting by Democrat members, Pete Buttigieg said he was stepping aside to “help bring our party and our nation together”.
Markets bounce back despite coronavirus fears
Asian stock markets recovered overnight after news of government stimulus plans soothed investors frightened about the economic impact of the new strain of coronavirus. However, Wall Street trader Peter Tuchman told The Guardian that he believes the worst is still to come, with further dramatic sell-offs in the pipeline.
EU ambassador vows to help nationals ‘outside mainstream’ stay in UK
The EU’s first ambassador to the UK has pledged to help Europeans living in Britain to remain after the end of the Brexit transition. Joao Vale de Almeida told The Guardian that he will focus on supporting “everyone that is for some reason outside the mainstream for socio-economic [reasons] or age or ethnic or otherwise”.
Foy and Scott win WhatsOnStage theatre awards
Claire Foy and Andrew Scott were among the winners at last night’s WhatsOnStage Awards for theatre, formerly the Theatergoers’ Choice Awards. Voted for by the public from a shortlist compiled by critics, the awards this year recognised Foy for her performance in Lungs and Scott for his work in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter.
Philippines: security guard takes 30 hostage
A shopping centre security guard in Manila was holding around 30 people hostage at gunpoint this morning following a shooting rampage in which at least one person was killed. The gunman is said to have launched the attack after being fired from his job at the mall, which was subsequently evacuated and surrounded by police.
Comedian Joe Lycett changes name to Hugo Boss
Birmingham-born comedian Joe Lycett has changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss, in protest at what he alleges are bullying tactics employed by the German fashion brand. Announcing his name change on Twitter, the 31-year-old said that Hugo Boss threatens small businesses that try to use the word “boss” in their title.
Canaletto painting of Westmister Abbey on show
A painting of Westminster Abbey by Italian master Canaletto is to go on public show in the building that it depicts for the first time in more than two centuries. The 1749 canvas, called Westminster Abbey with a procession of the Knights of the Bath, has been kept in the Dean’s private quarters since 1792 and has been loaned out to be exhibited in public only a handful of times over the past 100 years.
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.