Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 30 May 2020
Protests continue in US as officer is charged with murder
Protests have been held in at least 20 US cities over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis. Hundreds of people rallied outside the White House, which was briefly put under lockdown yesterday. The former officer has been charged with murder and manslaughter. He is is due to appear in court in Minneapolis for the first time on Monday.
Scientific advisers say lockdown easing is ‘political decision’
Scientific advisers to the government say that lifting lockdown in England is a “political decision”. Prof Edmunds, from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine and a member of Sage, said the levels of the virus are still "very high" and many scientists would rather the number of cases declined before lockdown measures are eased.
Theresa May says Cummings ‘did not follow spirit’ of rules
Theresa May says Dominic Cummings did not “follow the spirit” of the lockdown guidance. In a message to her constituents in Maidenhead, the former prime minister said she can “well understand the anger” of people who had obeyed the guidance while the PM’s special adviser drove to Durham. The Guardian says tens of thousands of people have “flooded” their MPs’ inboxes to protest against Cummings.
‘Mosts schools will re-open’ despite union opposition
The Times claims that almost every primary school in England is set to re-open on Monday “in defiance of the biggest teaching union”. A poll, conducted by the National Association of Head Teachers, found that nine out of 10 members intend to open their schools. However, three in four will ignore government guidelines about which children should return, according to the survey of 2,000 heads.
Furlough scheme to be phased out from August
The furlough scheme will finish at the end of October, Rishi Sunak has announced. The chancellor also revealed how employers will be asked to start sharing the cost of the scheme. From August, employers must pay National Insurance and pension contributions, then 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% in October. Sunak said the scheme will adjust so “those who are able to work can do so”.
Brexit negotiations are heading for deadlock
Brexit negotiations are close to deadlock as advisers in Brussels and Westminster admit that a breakthrough in the final round of talks next week is unlikely. The Guardian says a June summit between Boris Johnson and the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, is now “almost certain” as talks among officials on a trade deal and the future relationship fail to make progress.
UK left off list of safe countries for Greek tourism
Britain has been excluded from a list of 29 countries deemed by Greece to fit an “epidemiological profile” that makes travel from them safe. People from countries including Albania, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Romania will be allowed to fly in from 15 June. Tourists from Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea will also be allowed to visit.
Trump terminates US relationship with the WHO
Donald Trump has announced that the United States will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization over its response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving, urgent global public health needs,” said the US president.
China threatens UK over the crisis in Hong Kong
Beijing has threatened “countermeasures” against the UK over the crisis in Hong Kong. As part of its response to international criticism of its Hong Kong national security law, China also described Washington’s efforts to raise the issue at the UN security council as “pointless”. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says Hong Kong is “purely an internal matter”.
Forbes claims that Kylie Jenner falsified billionaire status
Kylie Jenner fabricated documents to falsely claim she is a billionaire, according to Forbes. The magazine has accused her family of creating a “web of lies” and says the 22-year-old has inflated the size of her business and success. It accuses her of “lying about company figures and forging tax returns”. Responding on Twitter, she claimed the report was based on “inaccurate statements and unproven assumption”.