Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 27 Jul 2020
Spain insists it is safe after UK launches new quarantine
Spain says it is safe to visit despite outbreaks of new coronavirus cases. “Spain is safe for Spaniards and for tourists,” said the foreign minister after the UK abruptly ordered people coming from the country to quarantine. The UK’s move to require arrivals from Spain to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect on Sunday.
Over-40s may pay more tax to tackle social care crisis
People over 40 would start contributing towards the cost of care in later life under plans being considered by ministers to end the crisis in social care. Over-40s would have to pay more in tax or national insurance, or be compelled to insure themselves against “hefty bills” for care when they are older, says The Guardian. Last year, Boris Johnson vowed to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.
Speaker fears No. 10 briefings will sideline Commons
Parliament could be sidelined by plans for daily televised press briefings from Downing Street, the Commons Speaker has warned. Sir Lindsay Hoyle told the BBC he was worried the proposal was “not the way forward” and insisted that major announcements should always be made in Parliament first. No. 10 is planning to trial daily televised press briefings from October, modelled on briefings from the White House.
Anti-obesity drive to include ban on in-store promotions
Buy-one-get-one-free deals on unhealthy food will be banned as part of the government’s drive to tackle obesity. There will also be restrictions on where foods high in fat and sugar can be promoted in store and new guidelines for displaying calories on menus. Boris Johnson said the plans would help “reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus”.
Portland demonstrators bring down courthouse fence
Protesters in Portland have brought down a steel fence around a courthouse after days of trying. Federal agents fired teargas and “non-lethal projectiles” to drive back thousands of demonstrators surrounding the courthouse to demand Donald Trump withdraw the paramilitaries. The Guardian says Portland is the focal point of nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
Regulator to get tough on airlines over holiday refunds
Regulators are poised to launch a crackdown on airlines that have failed to refund families for flights cancelled due to coronavirus. The Daily Telegraph says the Civil Aviation Authority is understood to have drawn up a list of the “worst culprits”, with millions of customers still owed billions of pounds after being told they could not fly. The body may threaten carriers with a ban from operating in the UK.
Republican senator says slavery was ‘necessary evil’
A Republican senator has called the enslavement of millions of African people “the necessary evil upon which the union was built”. Tom Cotton, who represents Arkansas, is introducing laws to prohibit use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project, a project from the New York Times that reframes US history around August 1619 and the arrival of slave ships on American shores for the first time.
Mental health experts call for lift on magic mushroom ingredient
Restrictions on the active ingredient in magic mushrooms are blocking potential treatments for severe depression, addiction and other mental health disorders, scientists and politicians have said. According to clinical trials, psilocybin may be a safe and effective medicine for patients with certain psychiatric illnesses. Experts are urging ministers to order a review of psilocybin and remove the obstacles faced by researchers.
Star from Hollywood’s golden age dies at age of 104
Olivia de Havilland, one of the last remaining stars from Hollywood’s “golden age”, has died at the age of 104. During her career, which spanned more than 50 years and almost 50 feature films, she appeared in Gone with the Wind. She was a pivotal figure in getting actors better contracts. At the time of her death she was the oldest living performer to have won an Oscar.
Elon Musk challenges Johnny Depp to a cage fight
Elon Musk, boss of the US electric car maker Tesla, has challenged Johnny Depp to a cage fight. In court, the Hollywood actor has alleged that Musk had an affair with actress Amber Heard while they were married. The court heard that the actor had said of Musk: “I’ll show him things he’s never seen before like the other side of his dick when I slice it off.”