Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 30 Jul 2020

1

Isolation period to be extended amid fear of second spike

The period that people with coronavirus symptoms will have to self-isolate for is expected to be increased from seven to 10 days in England. Ministers are trying to avoid a second spike of Covid-19 infections in the UK. Boris Johnson said that “we need to act fast” amid fears of a Spanish-style outbreak within weeks.

2

Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump in Texas poll

Joe Biden has edged ahead of Donald Trump in the traditionally Republican state of Texas. Although the US president toured an oil rig and told supporters that “radical left crazy Democrats” would “destroy our country,” he has fallen behind in the polls there. Jimmy Carter was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win Texas, in 1976.

3

Watchdog questions Johnson’s claims on child poverty

The UK’s statistics watchdog says Boris Johnson has made a number of inaccurate claims about child poverty levels since coming to power. After the PM argued that poverty levels have come down under his government, the Office for Statistics Regulation said it had “reached the conclusion that these statements are incorrect”. Labour is calling on the Tories to “come clean”.

4

Police in Hong Kong make student arrests under new laws

Hong Kong police have arrested four members of a student-led pro-independence group for suspected secessionist offenses on social media. The arrests, among the first since a new law was imposed on the city by China on 1 July, are believed to have involved the political group Studentlocalism. The Hong Kong government has defended the law as necessary to protect national security.

5

One in three children has dangerous pollution blood level

A third of children have concentrations of lead in their blood at levels likely to cause significant long-term health damage, according to a new study from the World Health Organization. About 800 million children and young people under the age of 19 are likely to have blood levels of lead at or above 5 micrograms per decilitre, according to the report.

6

Madeleine McCann police discover cellar in Germany

Police in Germany searching an allotment plot used by the chief suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have found a cellar used by a suspect in the disappearance of the British girl from a Portuguese hotel in 2007. The search, which involved a large team of police officers, forensic specialists and sniffer dogs, began in the early hours of Monday morning.

7

Ghislaine Maxwell asks judge to block release of intimate material

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell have asked a judge to block the release of transcripts containing “intimate information about her personal life”. A day before the documents were due to be made public, Judge Loretta Presca denied the “eleventh hour” request but allowed for a delay until Monday, so that Maxwell’s team can lodge an appeal.

8

Universities expect record numbers through clearing

Record numbers of students are expected to get a university place through clearing this year after places for British students were increased to help offset the fall in those coming from overseas because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ucas, the admissions service, predicted that 80,000 students could find a place in clearing, up from 73,000 last year.

9

Japanese court recognises Hiroshima survivors from outside city

A Japanese court has recognised dozens of people who were exposed to radioactive “black rain” as survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The court said the 84 plaintiffs, who continue to suffer from radiation exposure, were entitled to medical benefits, even though they lived outside the area hit hardest by the attack in August 1945.

10

Study finds Dominic Cummings scandal hit national unity

The scandal over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham damaged trust and caused the breakdown of national unity during lockdown, according to new research. The report from the thinktank British Future found that a new community spirit dissipated as the Cummings scandal emerged. It says the Cummings scandal was “a highly salient issue that appeared to damage trust in politicians”.

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