Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 4 Mar 2020

1

Coronavirus: hospitals to see patients via video

NHS England is asking hospitals to carry out more video-based consultations with patients in a bid to prevent the spread of the new strain of coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Government is launching a public health campaign urging people to wash their hands regularly in order to minimise the risk of infection. A total of 12 new coronavirus cases were reported in England on Tuesday, bringing the total to 51.

2

Priti Patel hit by bullying claim in third department

Home Secretary Priti Patel is facing allegations of bullying staff during her stint at the Department for International Development (DfID) – the third government office where such claims have been leveled against her, according to the BBC. The latest allegations, relating to the period between 2016 and 2017, follow reports that she was accused of bullying an aide in the Department for Work and Pensions and her permanent secretary at the Home Office.

3

Joe Biden bounces back on Super Tuesday

Wannabe US president Joe Biden has staged a remarkable comeback by claiming nine of the 14 states that voted to pick a Democratic candidate yesterday on so-called Super Tuesday. However, closest rival Bernie Sanders is projected to win California - the biggest prize of the night - as well as three other states. The only female candidate, Elizabeth Warren, experienced crushing losses but has not yet quit the contest.

4

Amazon Ring ‘keeps track of every movement’

The Amazon Ring smart camera and doorbell sends records to Amazon of every doorbell press and app action, a data request by the BBC reveals. The tech company reportedly keeps records of every motion detected and the exact times they are logged, down to the millisecond, as well as the model of phone or tablet and mobile network used. Amazon says the information is used to evaluate and improve its products and services.

5

Tornadoes kill at least 25 people in Tennessee

At least 25 people are confirmed to have been killed and several more are missing after two tornados ripped through the US state of Tennessee in the early hours of Tuesday. The storms moved so quickly that many people did not have time to wake and seek shelter. Widespread damage to homes and properties has been reported in Nashville, the state’s biggest city.

6

Boxer who saved Princess sells medal

A former heavyweight boxer who thwarted an attempt to kidnap Princess Anne is selling the George Medal that he was awarded for his brave actions. Ronnie Russell, now 72, says he feels like he is “betraying” the Royal Family but has had several strokes and does not want his family to be left with his funeral expenses. Russell, from Bristol, was shot at after punching loner Ian Ball twice in the head as he tried to take the Princess hostage at gunpoint in central London in March 1974.

7

Boris Johnson names his five favourite women

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed the five women who have been most influential in his life – and the list, for Grazia magazine, does not include either of his ex-wives, his current partner, the Queen or Margaret Thatcher. Instead, the 55-year-old cites role models ranging from musician Kate Bush to campaigner Malala Yousafzai.

8

Snickers apologises for Welsh language ‘mockery’

The makers of Snickers chocolate bars have been forced to apologise after comparing the Welsh language to someone “sitting on a keyboard” in a tweet from the brand’s official social media account. Snickers, owned by confectionary giant Mars, deleted the post following uproar online. The offending tweet, posted on Tuesday, listed Welsh place names and asked: “A place in Wales or someone sat on a keyboard? A thread.”

9

Public Enemy row: Flavor Flav eschews Trump

Rapper Flavor Flav has denied supporting Donald Trump and being opposed to Bernie Sanders. Flav was kicked out of Public Enemy, the hip-hop act that he co-founded, last week after he objected to performing at a Sanders rally. However, he has now told The Guardian the he left after arguing with lead rapper Chuck D and has no beef with the Democratic presidential candidate, adding: “I think he’s a good person and I wish him luck.” 

10

Briefing: the difference between coronavirus and flu

The new coronavirus outbreak has dominated the international news agenda in recent weeks, as more than 90,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide.

But another virus is currently causing far more illness and death around the world. Influenza causes an estimated one billion illnesses and up to 650,000 related deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. Here are some of the differences between the two viruses.

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