Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 23 Jun 2020
Museums and cinemas to re-open as PM loosens lockdown
Museums, cinemas, and galleries will be able to reopen in England from 4 July, Boris Johnson is expected to announce today. The prime minister is also due to explain how pubs can safely reopen following a review of the two-metre distancing rule. There were fewer than 1,000 confirmed new cases on Sunday and the number of daily virus deaths also fell to 15, the lowest since the middle of March.
Boris Johnson accused of a ‘colonial mindset’
Several dozen Commonwealth countries have raised concerns over Boris Johnson using his role as chair of the organisation to block the reappointment of its secretary general, Patricia Scotland. A high commissioner said the prime minister’s behaviour is “redolent of a colonial mindset”. Scotland, a Labour peer and former attorney general, has been secretary general of the Commonwealth of Nations since 2016.
White House denies adviser's claim that China deal is ‘over’
The White House has denied trade adviser Peter Navarro’s claim that a trade deal between the US and China is finished. Navarro told Fox News “It’s over”. But shortly after, the US president tweeted: “The China trade deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the agreement!” However, Navarro’s comments still caused momentary panic on the markets.
Sajid Javid warns against a return to austerity
Former chancellor Sajid Javid has warned against a return to austerity. With the government grappling with the effects of the coronavirus crisis, Javid has called for low taxes on business to aid the UK's recovery. He said “early hopes of a V-shaped recovery” had “proved optimistic”. Javid also predicted that “some long-term damage to the economy” had become “unavoidable”.
One in three Covid-19 survivors could face long-term issues
One in three patients who recover from Covid-19 could endure long-term damage to their lungs, chronic fatigue and psychological disturbances, according to new research. The study also found evidence that the coronavirus could cause impairment to the brain and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The Daily Telegraph says around 30% of patients who recover from Covid-19 may be left with damaged and scarred lung tissue.
Europe facing a serious shortage of oil warns new report
Europe could face a shortage of oil within 10 years, according to a new report. The authors have warned that oil production may fall faster than the European Union’s reliance on fossil fuels, raising the spectre of an oil supply crisis and severe market price shock. The report by the Shift Project, a French climate think tank, said the findings are “an additional compelling reason for designing a world without oil”.
Burnley FC swiftly condemns ‘White Lives Matter’ banner
Burnley Football Club says it is “ashamed and embarrassed” by a banner reading “White Lives Matter Burnley” banner that was towed by an aeroplane over Etihad Stadium during last night’s match against Manchester City. “Fans like that don’t deserve to be around football,” Clarets skipper Ben Mee told BBC Radio 5 Live. Burnley said that the banner “in no way represents” what the club stands for.
Dominic Cummings pledges to reform Britain’s planning system
Dominic Cummings has vowed to overhaul Britain’s “appalling” planning system. The prime minister’s special adviser said that there would be no return to austerity and that the government would address “long-term problems” such as the planning system. Denying that there would be a reshuffle, he dismissed rumours that Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, would be moved on as “invented bollocks”.
Authors quit Rowling's agency over transphobia row
Several authors have quit the literary agency that represents J.K. Rowling in protest at her views on transgender issues. Explaining their move, the authors said that they could no longer work with the Blair Partnership because they felt it had not shown what they regarded as an appropriate “commitment to transgender rights and equality”. They said that they were “saddened and disappointed”.
Health warning as Britain prepares to out-sizzle Ibiza
Meteorologists have issued a health warning as Britain prepares for a heatwave this week. Over the next four days, temperatures are forecast to exceed 34C. A “heat-health alert” has been announced by the Met Office as London is expected to be hotter than Ibiza. On Thursday, temperatures in southern and central England could exceed 34C.