Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 6 Jun 2020
Fears of second wave grow as ‘R number’ rises again
There are fears that coronavirus may be starting to spread again in the north-west and the south-west of England after scientists said the ‘R number’ may have surpassed one - the point at which the epidemic takes off again. Meanwhile, leading medics and scientists have called on Boris Johnson to order a public inquiry to prepare Britain for a second wave of the coronavirus this winter.
Johnson may suspend Sunday trading laws for a year
Sunday trading laws will be suspended for a year and pubs will be given fast-track approval to serve food and drink outside under plans being drawn up by Downing Street. Boris Johnson is planning a ‘Great Recovery Bill’ to cut red tape and help get the economy moving again. A mini-budget, scheduled for next month, is expected to include tax cuts to fuel consumer spending and business investment.
World Health Organization changes advice on masks
The World Health Organization has altered its advice on face masks, saying they should be worn in public to help stop the spread of coronavirus. In new advice, the global health body said new information showed they could provide “a barrier for potentially infectious droplets”. It had previously argued there was not enough evidence to say that healthy people should wear masks.
Did a Tory MP break the lockdown rules at barbecue?
The Conservative MP heading efforts to promote the Covid-19 contact-tracing app on the Isle of Wight broke lockdown rules at a barbecue, reports The Guardian. Bob Seely went to the meal hosted by the Spectator magazine’s deputy editor, Freddy Gray, in the village of Seaview on the island last month. Richard Tice, the Brexit party chairman, and his partner, the political journalist Isabel Oakeshott, were also present.
China warns of racial violence in Australia
China has advised against travel to Australia, warning of racial discrimination and violence against Chinese people in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. “There has been an alarming increase recently in acts of racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians in Australia, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday evening.
Dozens of Buffalo officers resign in protest at suspensions
More than 50 police officers in Buffalo have quit in support of two colleagues who were suspended after video showed them shoving a 75-year-old peace activist to the ground. The man cracked his head in the fall and was hospitalised with severe injuries. However, the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans said pair were simply “following orders”.
No-deal Brexit fears as new talks end with stalemate
Fears of a no-deal Brexit have grown as another round of trade talks came to an end without progress. After Brussels accused the UK of backtracking on its promises, business groups and unions have warned that a disorderly Brexit could mean we “potentially face a bigger challenge to the food supply chain” than coronavirus. EU negotiator Michel Barnier said that talks could not “go on like this forever”.
French forces kill al-Qaida chief in northern Mali
French forces in northern Mali have killed al-Qaida’s north Africa chief after searching for him for seven years, according to the French armed forces minister. Florence Parly, wrote on Twitter: “On 3 June, French army forces with the support of their local partners, killed al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s emir, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his closest collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali.”
Video shows McCann suspect sexually assaulting women
Footage of the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann raping and sexually assaulting women was found at his farmhouse shortly before the youngster went missing. Christian Brückner, 43, is suspected of kidnapping Madeleine in May 2007, five months after he was released from a prison in Portugal. The video was discovered by a burglar who broke into the rented building.
Tory rebellion as government pushes ‘quickie’ divorces
‘Quickie’ divorces will be legal from as early as next month, reports the Daily Telegraph. Boris Johnson is facing a backlash for introducing the plans when many marriages are under stress because of the coronavirus lockdown. Dozens of Conservative MPs are expected to oppose the legalisation of ‘no fault’ divorces amid concerns that the relaxation of marriage laws will lead to a spike in annulments.