Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 26 Jun 2020
Coronavirus warning as crowds flock to the beaches
Fears are growing that poor social distancing will lead to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases as hot weather leads crowds to flock to the seaside. After police declared a major incident in Bournemouth, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said: “If we do not follow social-distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.”
More than 100 people killed by lighting in India
Dozens of lightning strikes across two Indian states have killed more than 100 people in recent days. Authorities in Bihar state said 83 were killed there and at least 20 more people are reported dead in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the victims' families. Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains.
Jenrick faces questions over links to Israeli billionaire
Robert Jenrick is facing further controversy after it emerged that he met an Israeli businessman with an interest in the future of a multibillion-pound project that the minister was overseeing. The Guardian says the embattled minister has suspicious ties to the billionaire, Idan Ofer, a London-based shipping and mining heir whose father, Sammy, was once Israel’s richest man.
Emergency Nightingale courts to tackle backlog of cases
Courts built on the model of the Nightingale NHS hospitals will be deployed to help to tackle a backlog of more than half a million criminal cases that have built up during the Covid-19 lockdown. Among the venues earmarked for hearings are town halls and university lecture theatres, where cases could be held within social-distancing guidelines. Jury trials could be suspended in cases such as burglary and low-level violence.
Police officers attacked at music event in Notting Hill
Police attempting to disperse crowds at an unlicensed music event in west London came under attack last night. Scotland Yard said objects were thrown at officers dispersing the crowd at an event at Colville Gardens, Notting Hill. Kensington and Chelsea police tweeted: “Violence will not be tolerated.” The incident came 24 hours after scenes of violence at a street party in Brixton.
Pressure mounts on UK to open more air bridges
Boris Johnson has been urged to open air bridges to the whole of Europe, as he prepares to announce that “dozens” of countries will be exempted from the 14-day quarantine. Paul Charles, spokesman for the campaign group Quash Quarantine, said an air bridge to Spain but not Portugal, or neighbouring EU countries, would be unenforceable and lead to “tourism subterfuge.”
Tehran investigating large explosion near a military base
Iranian authorities are investigating a large explosion near a military base thought to have played a role in the country’s past nuclear testing activities. Video footage shows a bright light across the sky over the city followed by a large plume of smoke. In 2014, the military site was suspected to have been damaged by a fire or explosion.
Officers arrested over claims of inappropriate photo of victims
Two Metropolitan police officers have been arrested after a photograph was allegedly taken of the bodies of murdered sisters in a park in north London. Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were found stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park. An inquiry is under way into two officers after claims that an “inappropriate” photograph was taken at the scene and sent to a group of people.
Keir Starmer sacks Long-Bailey over controversial article tweet
Labour leader Keir Starmer has sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary asfter she posted an approving tweet about an interview with the actor Maxine Peake. In it, Peake said the US police tactic of kneeling on someone’s neck was taught by the Israeli secret service. A statement from the Labour leader’s office said: “The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.”
Crowds at Anfield as Liverpool win title after 30 years
Liverpool's 30-year wait for a top-flight title is over after Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea confirmed the Reds as Premier League champions. It is Liverpool’s 19th top-flight title and their first since 1989-90. Manager Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports: “I have no words, it's unbelievable.” Thousands of fans gathered at Anfield to celebrate, despite being urged to “stay home” because of Covid-19 by the city’s mayor .