Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 1 Jun 2020

1

Violence across US as curfews ignored

Violence has continued in cities across the US on the sixth night of protests sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd. Curfews have been imposed in nearly 40 cities but have been largely ignored. In response to the unrest, Donald Trump has announced that he will designate anti-fascist group Antifa as a terrorist organisation. The president was reportedly taken to an underground bunker during protests outside the White House on Friday.

2

Parents unconvinced on safety as primary schools reopen

Primary schools in England begin to reopen today but half of parents might not send in their children, according to surveys. The Guardian says a million children in England – half of those who are eligible to return – are likely to stay at home, as many parents and teachers remain unconvinced by the government’s assurances over safety.

3

Health experts urge ministers to reconsider lockdown easing

Leading public health officials have made a last-minute plea to the government to scrap today’s easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England. The Association of Directors of Public Health said new rules were “not supported by the science”. Dame Donna Kinnair, of the Royal College of Nursing, said staff were “anxious that easing lockdown could undo the progress we’ve made as a country in combatting this virus”.

4

Artist Christo dies at 84

Bulgarian-born artist Christo has died at his New York home at the age of 84. Christo - best known for wrapping buildings and famous landmarks in fabric or plastic - died of natural causes, according to a statement posted on his official Facebook page. The BBC’s arts editor Will Gompertz paid tribute, saying: “He wanted to turn everyday life into art, to make people look again and think again about their surroundings.”

5

Travel bosses say Covid-19 quarantine will ‘kill’ industry

The quarantine set to be imposed on arrivals to Britain will “kill” the travel sector, industry leaders are warning. Aviation bosses and tourism chiefs have urged ministers to reconsider the plan, saying it would be the equivalent of hanging up a “Britain is closed” sign. From next week, all travellers to Britain, including Britons returning home, will be forced to spend two weeks isolating at a single address.

6

Former foreign secretaries tell UK to take lead on Hong Kong

David Miliband, William Hague and Malcolm Rifkind are among seven former Conservative and Labour UK foreign secretaries who have joined forces to argue that Britain must take the lead in coordinating the international response to China’s efforts to impose draconian security laws in Hong Kong. In a letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, they say: “Many of our international partners continue to take their cue from the British government.”

7

Pandemic and Brexit pose ‘threat’ to Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland faces a “potent threat” from uncertainty over post-Brexit trading rules and economic damage from coronavirus, according to the House of Lords European Union Committee. “There is a real danger that businesses based in Great Britain could conclude that it is economically unviable to continue to operate in Northern Ireland… thus undermining Northern Ireland’s economic model, its future prosperity and, potentially, its political stability,” the peers say in a new report.

8

US astronauts dock at International Space Station

Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have arrived at the International Space Station following a historic launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Saturday. The pair disembarked to join the Russian and American crew already on the ISS after their Dragon capsule attached to the bow section of the orbiting lab more than 260 miles above China. The launch of the capsule - supplied and operated by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX - marks the first time that Nasa has sent astronauts into space from US soil in nine years.

9

Conservative Party's poll rating stabilises after plunge

The Tories’ poll rating has bounced back to see the party’s lead over Labour grow to ten points. According to a YouGov poll, support for the Conservatives is at 45%, up one point from the beginning of last week, while Labour is at 35%, down three points. Asked who would make the best PM, 37% chose Boris Johnson, while 32% said Keir Starmer.

10

Queen makes first public appearance since lockdown

The Queen has made her first public appearance since the coronavirus lockdown began. The 94-year-old monarch was photographed riding in the grounds of Windsor Castle on a 14-year-old Fell Pony called Balmoral Fern. Her Majesty has been isolating at the castle with her 98-year-old husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and a small number of staff. She has made two televised addresses to the nation during the lockdown.

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