Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 28 Jul 2020

1

Europe bracing for second wave of Covid-19

Europe is preparing for a second wave of Covid-19 amid continuing outbreaks. The Belgian government has warned that the country could be put into a second “complete lockdown” and Catalonia says it may also have to reintroduce lockdown measures. Germany’s public health advisory body has said it is “deeply concerned” about the rise in cases and France has called for greater vigilance.

2

Former Malaysian PM found guilty of corruption charges

The former prime minister of Malaysia has been found guilty of all seven charges in the first of several multi-million dollar corruption trials. Najib Razak pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power. The various charges he is facing carry up to 20 years in prison.

3

Study finds men are performing more domestic tasks

Men are performing more domestic duties than ever, according to new research. The study found that men are spending an extra five-and-a-half hours a week on childcare and housework compared to 40 years ago, while women do nearly three hours less of domestic work. However, women still do 80% more cooking, cleaning and caring than men.

4

Spain says UK quarantine measures are ‘unjust’

The UK’s two-week quarantine on everyone arriving from Spain is “unjust”, the country’s prime minister has said. Pedro Sanchez insisted that tourists in most Spanish regions would be safer from coronavirus than in the UK. Labour said the government’s handling of the restrictions, which were imposed on Sunday, had been “chaotic”.

5

Top chains drop goat milk producer after violent video

Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s have withdrawn sales of goat milk from the UK’s biggest producer after footage showed animals being violently attacked at its supply farm. The chains said they were dropping products by St Helen’s Farm, after videos showed goats being punched, kicked and slammed onto conveyor belts.

6

Sunak’s stamp duty cut is only benefiting London

The government’s stamp duty cut has benefited London most and had little impact elsewhere so far, according to Zoopla. The property website said that agreed house sales in the capital jumped by 27% in the first two weeks of the stamp duty holiday. Rishi Sunak has temporarily removed the tax on properties up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland.

7

Covid-19 detected in pet cat in Surrey

The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that Covid-19 has been detected in a pet cat. The government says that all “available evidence” suggests that the cat contracted it from its owners who had previously tested positive for coronavirus. The cat and its owners have since made a full recovery and there was no transmission to other animals or people in the household.

8

Anxious investors push gold to a new record high

Gold soared to a record high as the US’s deepening Covid-19 crisis encouraged anxious investors to choose the precious metal for their investment. The price of the safe-haven commodity climbed as much as 2.4% in intraday trading on Monday to a record $1,945.16 a troy ounce, passing its previous high of $1,921 set in 2011.

9

Britons say lockdown has damaged work-life balance

A poll has found that 42% of Brits fear their work-life balance has worsened because working from home means they find it difficult to switch off and they miss talking to their colleagues. The pandemic has left one-fifth longing for their commute as it gave them a chance to unwind before arriving at home in the evening.

10

Ryanair endures heavy losses as passenger traffic collapses

Ryanair suffered heavy losses between April and June due to the coronavirus pandemic. As passenger traffic fell by 99%, Europe’s biggest budget airline lost €185m (£167m) – an average of £20 per second. The proportion of seats filled fell from 96 to 61%. The carrier has been widely criticised for its sluggish pace in issuing refunds after tens of thousands of flights were cancelled.

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