Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 14 Mar 2020

1

Coronavirus: UK poised to ban mass gatherings

Mass gatherings could be banned in the UK from as early as next weekend, according to a government source. With the march of the coronavirus, ministers are said to be drawing up plans for the move to ease pressure on emergency services. Meanwhile, a newborn baby in England has become the world's youngest victim to test positive for coronavirus. 

2

Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus

Donald Trump has announced he is declaring a “national emergency” to free up federal resources to combat the coronavirus. The US president says the UK could be added to the list of European countries included in the US travel ban. Meanwhile, Europe is now the “epicentre” of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the head of the World Health Organisation.

 

3

Pilot of fatal Emiliano Sala jet was not licensed to fly

The pilot of the plane carrying the footballer Emiliano Sala was not licensed to fly the aircraft that plunged into the sea, killing both of them, according to an official study. The Guardian reports that David Ibbotson had not completed night-flying training or recently practised instrument flying, and the aircraft was travelling far faster than it should have been just before the accident.

 

4

Bill Gates quits the board of Microsoft

Bill Gates is to leave the board of Microsoft, 45 years after setting up the company with a childhood friend. He plans to dedicate more time to his charitable activities, which include health, education and climate change, the company said. The 64-year-old will continue as an adviser to Satya Nadella, who has served as chief executive since 2014.

 

5

Equity apologises to Laurence Fox for calling him ‘disgrace’

The actors’ union Equity has apologised to Laurence Fox for a tweet that called him “a disgrace to our industry”. However, the entire race equality committee of Equity has resigned in protest at the apology. The actor appeared as a panellist on Question Time in January, during which he called an audience member “racist” for calling him “a white privileged male”. 

 

6

Pregnant teenager falls and dies trying to scale border fence

A pregnant 19-year-old fell to her death while trying to scale a border fence in Texas. Miriam Estefany Giron Luna, of Guatemala, fell backward from the top of an 18-foot-high span of steel mesh fencing while trying to cross with the child's father, according to Guatemala's Foreign Ministry. She died from her injuries and doctors were not able to save the child, the statement said.

 

7

DUP's Foster apologises for errors in failed energy scheme

The leader of the DUP has apologised for her errors in the failed green energy scheme that led to the collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Arlene Foster, the first minister, was enterprise minister in the power-sharing executive and introduced the project in 2012. She admitted that she brought in the “cash for ash” scheme without reading the technical details and understanding what a risky venture it was.

 

8

Murder probe launched after teenager shot in Coventry

A murder investigation has been launched after a teenager was shot in Coventry. The unnamed 19-year-old was found with a serious back injury after officers were called to reports of a shooting in the Hillfields area of the city. West Midlands Police are looking for information on a black VW Golf R with light coloured or silver wing mirrors and five-spoke alloy wheels.

 

9

Dead Sea scrolls fragments in US museum said to be fakes

All of the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls owned by an American museum are fakes made from Roman boot leather, scientists have claimed. “The museum is trying to be as transparent as possible,” Harry Hargrave, chief executive of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, told National Geographic. “We’re victims of misrepresentation, we’re victims of fraud.”

 

10

Court hears Alex Salmond pretended to be zombie in assault

Alex Salmond pretended to be a zombie before sexually assaulting a woman, a jury has heard. In testimony on the fifth day of the former SNP leader’s trial for 14 alleged sexual assaults, including an attempted rape, witness J told the court about an “awful nightmare” that she claimed occurred at Salmond’s official residence. She told the court the incident “frightened” her. The trial, before Lady Dorrian, continues.

 

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