Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 15 Jun 2020
Beijing fears second coronavirus wave as cases rise
Beijing fears it is facing a second wave of the coronavirus after it noted 36 new locally-transmitted coronavirus cases. The same number of cases was also recorded on Saturday after the capital city had previously seen no new cases in more than 50 days. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan called on officials to take “decisive measures”, warning that the risk of further spread remained high.
Shops fear for their future as they prepare to reopen
Shops in England selling non-essential goods can reopen today for the first time in almost three months. Boris Johnson has urged people to “shop with confidence” and said he is “very optimistic” about the reopening. However, small retailers fear for their survival amid a boom in online sales and new social-distancing rules.
WHO: England still in ‘active phase of pandemic’
The World Health Organization says England’s coronavirus lockdown should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system has proven to be “robust and effective”. As shops reopen and the government reviews the two-metre rule, Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s director for Europe, warned that the UK remained in a “very active phase of the pandemic”.
Man charged after photo of memorial urination
A man has been charged with outraging public decency after a man was photographed apparently urinating at the Westminster memorial dedicated to PC Keith Palmer. Andrew Banks, 28, of Stansted, Essex will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday. PC Palmer, 48, was stabbed while on duty during the Westminster terror attack on 22 March 2017.
Johnson criticised for phrasing as he launches race commission
Boris Johnson has announced a new commission to look at all “aspects of inequality” and declared there is “much more that we need to do” to tackle racism. However, he has come under fire for saying he wants to end “the sense of victimisation”. Marsha de Cordova, the shadow women and equalities secretary, said the phrase was “condescending”.
Philippines writer convicted of ‘cyber libel’
Philippines journalist Maria Ressa has been found guilty of “cyber libel” in a case that has been described as a politically motivated prosecution by the Duterte authorities. Ressa was arrested early last year in the Manila offices of Rappler, the online news outlet that has become famous for its critical coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Trump claims ‘radical left’ has taken over Seattle
Donald Trump has claimed the “radical left” has “taken over” Seattle. After protesters in the city took control of part of the Capitol Hill neighbourhood, the US president tweeted: “Does anyone notice how little the Radical Left takeover of Seattle is being discussed in the Fake News Media. That is very much on purpose because they know how badly this weakness & ineptitude play politically.”
Johnson to give European Union a no-deal warning
Boris Johnson will tell the EU today that Britain will opt for no-deal unless there is a sign of agreement by the end of next month. In a video call today with Charles Michel, president of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and David Sassoli, president of the European parliament, the prime minister will urge “renewed energy and commitment” in negotiations.
Spike Lee apologises after defending Woody Allen
Spike Lee has apologised after defending Woody Allen and criticising cancel culture. During a radio interview on Friday, Lee called Allen “a great, great film-maker” and added: “This cancel thing is not just Woody.” However, Lee has now tweeted an apology, writing: “My words were WRONG. I do not and will not tolerate sexual harassment, assault or violence. Such treatment causes real damage that can’t be minimized.”
Macron declares ‘first victory’ as France reopens
France reopens for business today after President Emmanuel Macron announced a “first victory” against Covid-19. He said virtually all lockdown restrictions for bars, restaurants and cafes would end from today. Schools, colleges and nurseries are expected to return next week. The country's weekly death toll fell to 243, down from 353 the previous week.