Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 26 May 2020

1

Dominic Cummings says he does not regret Durham trip

Dominic Cummings has said he does not regret driving 260 miles from London during the coronavirus lockdown. At a Downing Street briefing, the prime minister’s chief adviser said he believed he had acted “reasonably” and within the law. However, the BBC says the press conference “did not answer the fundamental question: is his continued presence in Downing Street more of a hindrance than a help to Boris Johnson?”

2

All shops can reopen from 15 June as UK eases lockdown

Non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, Boris Johnson has announced. The prime minister says retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, adding that the move is “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus”. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June.

3

‘Milestone’ as Ireland records no Covid-19 deaths

Ireland has recorded no Covid-19 deaths for the first time since March. “Significant milestone today,” tweeted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, describing it as a “day of hope”. Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland's chief medical officer, said figures over the past week indicated “we have suppressed Covid-19 as a country”. He added: “It has taken strict measures to achieve this.”

4

Volunteering and local support soar during the lockdown

Volunteering in community has been soaring during the coronavirus crisis, with 10 million UK adults taking part. A study found that one in five UK adults has volunteered their time for community activities since the start of the lockdown. It also discovered that Brits have spent £1bn on services and goods that they knew they would never be able to use, including payments to home cleaners and gardeners.

5

EU says it may have to choose between the US and China

The European Union may have to choose paths between China and the US, says its foreign affairs chief. “Analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century. This is now happening in front of our eyes,” Josep Borrell told a group of German diplomats yesterday, adding that “pressure to choose sides is growing”.

6

Study says Cheltenham Festival ‘caused suffering and death’

This year’s Cheltenham Festival “caused increased suffering and death”, the scientist leading the UK’s largest Covid-19 tracking project has said. Statistics gathered from millions of volunteers found coronavirus “hotspots” shortly after the Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid – both held in March. Professor Tim Spector said rates of cases locally “increased several-fold”.

7

Scientists discover doughnut-shaped new galaxy

Scientists say they have discovered a galaxy that looks like a “cosmic ring of fire”. It has a similar mass to our Milky Way but is shaped like a doughnut with a hole in the middle, according to a press release from the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions. “It is a very curious object that we’ve never seen before,” said lead researcher Tiantian Yuan.

8

Two die in separate Bank Holiday incidents on the Cornish coast

Two people died in separate incidents along the Cornwall coastline on bank holiday Monday. Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police were called to reports of an upturned rigid inflatable boat in the water in Wadebridge yesterday afternoon, a teenage girl was later pronounced dead. The force was notified by the coastguard of another incident at Treyarnon Bay in Padstow, where a man was pulled from the water.

9

Joe Biden appears in public after two-month quarantine

Joe Biden has made his first public appearance after more than two months in coronavirus quarantine. Wearing a black face mask, the US Democratic presidential candidate laid a wreath to mark Memorial Day - an annual holiday in honour of those who died serving in the US military. “It feels good to be out of my house,” he said.

10

YouTube delete Michael Moore movie after copyright claim

YouTube has removed the Michael Moore-produced movie Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer. Producers claimed it was a politically motivated censorship of the documentary, which has been condemned as inaccurate and misleading by climate scientists and activists. The Guardian says the film is a “full-frontal assault” on the sacred cows of the environmental movement.

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