Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 11 Jun 2020
Locking down earlier ‘could have saved 20,000 UK lives’
The number of UK deaths from Covid-19 could have been halved if the government had introduced the lockdown a week earlier, according to one of the scientists who was advising the government at the time. Responding to Professor Neil Ferguson’s statement, Boris Johnson said it was “premature” to make judgments about the government’s approach.
OECD says UK economy likely to be hardest hit by coronavirus
The UK is set to be the hardest hit by Covid-19 among major economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The group said that it expects Britain’s economy to slump by 11.5% in 2020, outstripping declines in countries such as Germany, France and Spain. “The crisis will cast a long shadow over the world,” said an OECD spokesperson.
Support bubbles launched as lockdown eases
People living alone in England will be able to stay at one other household from Saturday as part of a further easing of coronavirus restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that single adults will be permitted to spend the night at another house in a “support bubble”. Meanwhile, the government is under pressure from Tory backbenchers to drop the two-metre social distancing rule, in order to boost the economy.
US passes two million coronavirus infections
The US has passed the milestone of two million positive tests for Covid-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. However, the true figure of infection in the US is almost certainly “multiples more”, said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. A number of pandemic experts are warning that “further, perhaps far greater pain is yet to come”, The Guardian reports.
EU accuses Beijing and Moscow of disinformation
Brussels has accused China and Russia of running disinformation campaigns inside the EU. Launching a plan to tackle a “huge wave” of false facts about the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission said Russia and China were running “targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns in the EU, its neighbourhood, and globally”.
Ocado to raise £1bn to cash in on lockdown boom
Ocado plans to raise more than £1bn from investors as the delivery firm enjoys a boom in online deliveries sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, which has already enjoyed increased orders during lockdown, expects the surge in online grocery shopping to continue even after restrictions on movement are lifted.
J.K. Rowling reveals historical abuse in trans statement
J.K. Rowling has released a lengthy statement explaining that she spoke out about transgender issues partly due to her personal experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Her statement came after actor Daniel Radcliffe criticised Rowling’s earlier comments on the issue. Following the author’s latest comments, Harry Potter actor Emma Watson tweeted that “trans people are who they say they are”.
Donald Trump refuses to rename Confederate bases
Donald Trump says he will “not even consider” renaming military bases named for Confederate generals. Writing on Twitter, the US president argued that the facilities were part of “a Great American heritage”. The BBC says that for many, symbols of the Confederacy – the slaveholding southern states that seceded, prompting the 1861-65 American Civil War – “evoke a racist past”.
Sisters found dead in London park were stabbed to death
Two sisters found dead in a London park were stabbed to death, a post-mortem has found. The bodies of 27-year-old Nicole Smallman and 46-year-old Bibaa Henry were found in Wembley on Sunday, after they were reported missing the day before. Police say there have been no arrests over the deaths.
Ant and Dec sorry for ‘blackface’ sketches
Ant and Dec have apologised for impersonating people of colour on Saturday Night Takeaway. In a statement, the presenters said they were “sincerely sorry” for the sketches when they concealed their real identities with darker make-up and prosthetics. “We realise that this was wrong and want to say that we are sincerely sorry to everyone that we offended,” they said.