Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 9 Aug 2020
‘Moral duty’ to get children back to school says PM
Boris Johnson says there is a “moral duty” to get all children back into schools in England next month. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the prime minister said it was the “national priority”. A source told the BBC the PM believes the harm being done to children's prospects and mental health by not attending school is more damaging than the risk posed to them by the Covid-19 pandemic.
International leaders to meet to discuss aid for Beirut
World leaders will hold talks today to raise aid for Beirut, five days after the massive explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital. The authorities estimate the blast at the warehouse, which stored 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, caused up to $15 billion (£11.5bn) in damage. Tens of thousands of demonstrators demanded the resignation of Lebanon’s government yesterday.
US reaches record five million coronavirus infections
The United States has passed a world record five million mark on Covid-19 infections – meaning one out of every 66 residents has been infected. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total. President Donald Trump has signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans harmed by the pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.
Teenager hacked to death with machete near Oxford Street
A teenage boy was hacked to death with a machete after being chased along Oxford Street yesterday. The boy was attacked just after 5.30pm in a road off Oxford Street. An eyewitness reported seeing the attacker chase his victim along the road before stabbing him. “Someone was running down the middle of Oxford Street in broad daylight on a Saturday with a machete, chasing someone,” he said.
Courts pave way for millions more PPI payments
A series of court rulings mean millions of Britons could be entitled to a second wave of lucrative payment protection insurance compensation. The judgements mean that anyone who was denied a payment, received only partial refunds or has never claimed can demand all their money back. In the largest consumer redress scheme in British history, banks have already dolled out £38bn in compensation for mis-sold PPI.
Former govt adviser warns of new lockdown within weeks
Britain could be heading for full lockdown again by the end of the month, according to a former government chief scientific adviser. Sir David King said: “We need a proper test and trace system by September. Otherwise full school opening will put us right back.” He added: “The government has a month to deal with the level of infectivity as it stands now.”
‘Emergency’ in Mauritius amid oil spill from broken ship
Mauritius faces “a state of environmental emergency” after a wrecked ship began breaking up, spilling oil into the Indian Ocean. MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island last month and the large bulk carrier has since begun leaking tons of fuel into surrounding waters. Police have opened an inquiry into the spill.
Venezuelan court sentences US duo for attempted overthrow
A court in Venezuela has sentenced two former US special forces soldiers to 20 years in jail for their part in a botched attempt to overthrow president Nicolás Maduro. Lawyers for the former Green Berets, Luke Denman and Airan Berry, said they were barred from the secretive hearing. The men are being cited as proof that the United States is determined to violently overthrow Maduro’s socialist government.
Police chief calls for magic mushrooms law reform
A police chief says magic mushrooms could be the answer to the current mental health crisis. Arfon Jones, the police commissioner for north Wales, is calling for the drug to be reclassified because he believes the psilocybin compound could treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. “There is evidence to show psilocybin can be efficacious in treating depression,” he said.
Use-by dates for supermarket meat could be extended
Use-by dates on supermarket meat are to be lengthened. The Food Standards Agency is reviewing the shelf life of beef, lamb and pork and is expected to give the green light for longer expiry dates before Christmas. Beef is currently given a 10-day use-by timeframe but this is expected to be raised to 21 days, with pork and lamb having 15-day and 14-day deadlines respectively.