Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 15 Jul 2020
‘Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born
A global drop in births is set to have a “jaw-dropping” impact on societies, say researchers. As fertility rates fall, nearly every country could have a shrinking population by the end of the century and 23 nations are expected to see their populations halve by 2100. The study also found that countries will age significantly, with as many people turning 80 as there are being born.
China responds to ‘disappointing' ban on Huawei
Beijing’s ambassador to the UK has described Britain's decision to ban telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network as “disappointing and wrong”. After the UK government ordered companies to strip equipment from Huawei out of the system by 2027, Liu Xiaoming said: “It has become questionable whether the UK can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries.”
Rishi Sunak orders review of capital gains tax
The chancellor has ordered a review of capital gains tax in his bid to claw back the costs of the coronavirus pandemic. Rishi Sunak said last week that he was prepared to take difficult decisions after spending £188bn on the pandemic since March. Experts said that he may raise historically low rates of capital gains tax to the same levels as income tax, which could bring in £90bn over five years.
Donald Trump makes inaccurate claim about white deaths
Donald Trump has inaccurately claimed that white Americans are dying more often at the hands of police than Black Americans. The US president was asked during a television interview: “Why are African Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement?” He replied: “And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people. More white people by the way.”
Covid-19 outbreaks more likely in large care homes
Covid-19 outbreaks are up to 20 times more likely in large care homes, according to a major study seen by The Guardian. NHS researchers found the likelihood of infection tripled with every additional 20 beds. The news has prompted calls to urgently divide care homes into “bubbles” before any second wave hits this winter.
Ghislaine Maxwell denied bail after first court hearing
Ghislaine Maxwell has been denied bail after facing court for the first time. At a hearing via video link, a New York judge said the British socialite and ex-girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein would remain in custody while awaiting trial on charges of trafficking minors. She is set to face trial in July 2021. She could receive up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
Surge in people quitting smoking during Covid-19 pandemic
More than one million people have given up smoking since the coronavirus pandemic began, suggests a survey by Action on Smoking and Health. Some 41% said it was in direct response to coronavirus. A separate study from University College London found more people quit smoking in the year to June 2020 than in any year since its survey began in 2007.
EU citizens set to be deported for even minor offences
EU citizens will be deported for even minor offences under a post-Brexit immigration crackdown, claims a top lawyer. From January, existing rules that allow foreign offenders to be expelled only if they represent a threat to the UK will be tweaked to target persistent pickpockets and shoplifters. Colin Yeo, an immigration barrister, warned the crackdown was “a major change” from the current law.
Singapore falls into recession in biggest contraction on record
Singapore’s economy sank into recession in the last quarter as the coronavirus lockdown hit businesses and retail spending. In the country’s biggest contraction on record, growth in the city state shrank by 41.2% compared to the previous quarter. The BBC says the figures reveal the severity of the virus-driven downturn faced globally.
Stylist disputes Amber Heard’s black eyes claim
Amber Heard’s claim that Johnny Depp gave her “two black eyes” the day before she appeared on The Late, Late Show has been disputed by her stylist. Samantha McMillen told court she spent “much of the afternoon and early evening” with Heard as she prepared to appear on the show and could “see clearly” that Heard had no marks, cuts or bruises.