Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 5 Jun 2020
Face masks to be mandatory on public transport
Face coverings will be compulsory on all public transport in England from 15 June. Following a government U-turn, anyone without a face covering will be fined or stopped from boarding buses, trains, tubes, trams, aeroplanes or ferries. The rule change coincides with the reopening of non-essential shops and an expected increase in demand for transport.
Al Sharpton: it's time to say ‘get your knee off our necks’
The civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton has told mourners at a memorial service for George Floyd that it is time to stand up and say “get your knee off our necks”. In an emotional eulogy for the man who died in police custody, he added: “What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services and in every area of American life.”
Test-and-trace system ‘won't be at full speed for months’
The government’s coronavirus test-and-trace system, designed to prevent a second wave, is not expected to work at full speed until September or October, reports The Guardian. During a webinar, Tony Prestedge, the chief operating officer of the NHS scheme, said the programme would be “imperfect” at first but “world class” by the autumn. An app to complement the system is now due by the end of June, a month later than planned.
New prime suspect in Madeleine McCann case named
The new prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case has been named as Christian Brueckner. He has a string of convictions ranging from child sexual abuse to theft and drug-dealing. Police investigating the background of the suspect are trying to track down his former partner, described by one person who had met her as an “underage Kosovan girl”.
Doctor quits NHS in protest at Dominic Cummings scandal
A doctor is quitting in protest at Dominic Cummings’ refusal to resign for flouting lockdown rules. Dr Dominic Pimenta says he fears that the behaviour of Boris Johnson’s chief adviser could trigger a second wave of Covid-19. He said his decision was driven by the “laughable fairytale” explanation Cummings gave for his trip from London to Durham and nearby Barnard Castle.
Bald men ‘at higher risk’ of severe coronavirus symptoms
Bald men may be at higher risk of suffering from severe Covid-19 symptoms, according to a new study. The link is considered to be so strong that experts say baldness should be considered an official risk factor. The lead author of the study told The Telegraph: “We really think that baldness is a perfect predictor of severity.”
British Airways boycotts quarantine meeting
British Airways refused to attend a meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel to discuss the UK’s quarantine plans. The airline, which is under huge financial strain due to the coronavirus lockdown, has called the plans “another blow to our industry”. Bosses are understood to be angry at what they see as a lack of consultation over the introduction of the new rules.
Campaigners call for extension to moratorium on evictions
Tenants who have struggled to pay rent during the coronavirus lockdown could lose their home within weeks as the government’s temporary ban on evictions comes to an end, campaigners have warned. From 25 June, landlords will be allowed to launch or continue repossession proceedings against tenants unable to meet rent demands over the past few weeks. Campaigners want an extension to the government’s moratorium on evictions.
Former military general slams Trump over protests response
A former military general has condemned Donald Trump’s threat to use troops to suppress protests in the US. General Martin Dempsey, who was chairman of the joint chiefs, told National Public Radio that Trump’s remarks were “very troubling” and “dangerous”. Earlier this week, Trump’s former defence secretary James Mattis said the president deliberately stokes division.
Charity censured for ‘unbalanced research’ after race row
An anti-racism charity that accused an MP of acting like a “neo-fascist murderer” after she highlighted the sexual abuse of girls by British Pakistani men has been found guilty of multiple failings by the Charity Commission. Just Yorkshire, a racial justice charity, was censured by the regulator for “unbalanced research” and a “concerning lack of transparency” in reports that it published in 2017 and 2018.