Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 6 Jul 2020

1

Government pledges £1.57bn for beleaguered arts venues

The government has announced a support package worth £1.57bn to help protect theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues. The playwright James Graham, who has campaigned on behalf of Britain’s beleaguered venues, said: “I think it is a surprisingly ambitious package.” Andrew Lloyd Webber, the theatre impresario, said: “It is absolutely critical that Britain’s cultural sector is restored to health as soon as possible.”

2

Health institute warns of 35,000 extra cancer deaths

As many as 35,000 more people could die of cancer next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, modelling by Health Data Research UK has suggested. The institute has warned that the overwhelming focus on Covid-19 was likely to cause 18,000 excess cancer deaths, a figure that could almost double to 35,000 in the worst-case scenario. Urgent referrals have dropped and treatments have been delayed or cancelled.

3

Gangs dress drug mules as nurses and Deliveroo workers

Drug dealers have been dressing young people as nurses and Deliveroo workers to deliver cocaine and heroin during lockdown, according to a senior police officer. Supt Andy O’Connor of Merseyside police said Liverpool gangs have been operating a “click and collect” service with couriers, who are disguised as key workers to allow easy travel. “Crime groups are clever and ingenious,” he said.

4

Maxwell due in court as details emerge of arrest

Ghislaine Maxwell is scheduled to appear in a New York court this week. The socialite is accused of grooming underage victims for the disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that more than 20 armed agents and police took part in her arrest in New Hampshire. They reportedly broke down the front door at the 156-acre property, which is called Tucked Away.

5

Iran fears it faces an international sabotage operation

Suspicions are growing in Iran that the country is under attack from an international sabotage operation after a fire at a power station - the third incident in nine days. The blaze broke out in the transformer of an electricity plant in Ahvaz. There was also an explosion at a missile factory at Khojir near Tehran last week and an explosion and fire at the country’s main uranium enrichment facility on Thursday.

6

Team GB sprinter accuses Metropolitan Police of racial profiling

A British sprinter has accused police of “racial profiling” after she and her partner were stopped and searched in London. Bianca Williams, a Commonwealth gold medallist, was with her partner Ricardo in Maida Vale on Saturday when they were stopped. Williams told The Times: “It’s racial profiling. The way they spoke to Ricardo, like he was scum, dirt on their shoe, was shocking.”

7

China issues warning after discovering case of bubonic plague

Authorities in China have issued a warning after a city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region confirmed a case of bubonic plague. Local media says the Bayannur patient - a herdsman - is in quarantine and in a stable condition. The BBC says the bubonic plague, caused by bacterial infection, can be deadly, but is treatable with commonly available antibiotics.

8

Number of renters in arrears doubles during the pandemic

The number of tenants in England who have fallen behind on rent has doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study by Shelter has found. Polling for the housing charity estimated 226,785 are now in arrears despite having been up to date in March, out of a total of 442,403. It said urgent government help is needed before a ban on new evictions ends next month.

9

IFS say 13 universities face insolvency without bailout

A study has concluded that up to 13 universities face “a very real prospect” of insolvency following the coronavirus crisis unless they receive a government bailout. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says high-ranking universities with large numbers of international students face the most dramatic drop in income. It found that a targeted bailout to keep the institutions afloat could cost £140m.

10

Australia closes border after state suffers leap in Covid-19 cases

Australia has closed the border between New South Wales and Victoria after the southern state recorded largest ever jump in Covid-19 cases. Victoria confirmed its 21st death as the premier announced the border closure. The southern state has recorded its largest jump in cases at any point in the coronavirus crisis, with 127 cases reported on Monday alone.

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