Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 18 Jun 2020

1

Oxford college backs removal of Cecil Rhodes statue

Campaigners have welcomed the news that Oxford University’s Oriel College has voted in favour of removing its statue of the Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes. However, they say protests will continue while the controversial statue remains in place. The college says there will be consultations over planning regulations before it can be taken down. Campaigners say the statue is a symbol of racism and imperialism.

2

Trump ‘didn’t know Britain is nuclear power’

President Trump did not know that Britain was a nuclear power, according to his former national security adviser. In his new book, John Bolton, who served for 17 months in the White House, says that during a meeting, the “stunningly uninformed” US president asked a British official: “Oh, are you a nuclear power?” The book also claims that Trump tried to get China's Xi Jinping to help him secure re-election.

3

Doctors call for government to re-open schools

More than 1,600 paediatricians have called on the government to re-open schools or risk “scarring the life chances” of a generation of children. In an open letter to Boris Johnson, they asked the government to establish a clear plan for getting all children back to school. With most children out of school for more than 12 weeks, the letter describes that break as “without precedent”.

4

Indian soldiers beaten with clubs in border clashes

Indian soldiers were beaten with clubs wrapped in barbed wire and pushed off a cliff during clashes with Chinese troops, it has emerged. There are fears of further clashes after high-level talks failed to reduce tensions caused by the battle in the Galwan Valley, Ladakh, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed. The deaths on Monday night were the first at the border since 1975.

5

Theatre sector faces ruin from Covid-19 lockdown

Britain’s theatre sector faces ruin without urgent government investment, an influential group of nearly 100 actors, writers, directors and creatives has warned. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, James McAvoy, Sharon D. Clarke, Tom Stoppard, Wendell Pierce, Emma Rice and Andrew Scott are among the figures who have signed a letter warning of the danger facing theatre, opera and dance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

6

Minister admits contact-tracing app won't be ready until winter

The UK’s much-delayed contact-tracing app will not be ready until winter and “isn’t the priority at the moment”, says a minister. Lord Bethell, the Junior Health Minister, told MPs he was “managing expectations” by saying winter. Earlier this year, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, had said the app would be launched in May.

7

That ’70s Show actor is charged with rape

The actor Danny Masterson has been charged in Los Angeles with three counts of rape, authorities have announced. Masterson, best known for his role on That ’70s Show, is charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003, a press release from the District Attorney’s Office said. The actor’s attorney Tom Mesereau said: “Mr Masterson is innocent.”

8

George Carey suspended over abuse inquiry

George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has had his permission to officiate as a priest revoked. The Church of England said it acted after new evidence linking Lord Carey, 84, to a review into allegations of abuse against the late John Smyth emerged. However, there are no claims of abuse against Carey himself, who says he is “dismayed” by the revocation.

9

Flood warnings as heavy rain and thunder hit the UK

Weather warnings are in place across the UK today as torrential rain and thunderstorms threaten potential flooding. The Met Office has issued two separate weather warnings for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with heavy and slow-moving downpours expected. The warning read: “Flooding of homes and businesses could happen quickly.”

10

Premier League stars take a knee as matches restart

Premier League football has returned with two matches played behind closed doors yesterday. Players from Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sheffield United displayed their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee ahead of their respective Premier League matches. The BBC says there was an “eerie atmosphere” during the ties.

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