Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 12 Aug 2020

1

Britain in recession as PM warns of ‘bumpy months’

Boris Johnson has said the British economy faces “bumpy months” ahead and has a “long, long way to go” until it sees a return to “economic vitality and health”. GDP figures announced this morning confirmed that the UK has officially fallen into recession for the first time since the 2008 financial crash. The Office for National Statistics has announced earlier this week that about 730,000 jobs have been lost since March.

2

Biden names Kamala Harris as running mate

Senator Kamala Harris, the former presidential candidate, has been picked by Joe Biden to be his running mate, making her the first black woman and Asian-American to be selected as vice-presidential nominee. Writing on Twitter, Harris said she was “honoured” to join Biden on the Democratic ticket and pledged to “do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief”. Biden will face President Donald Trump in the election on 3 November.

3

French PM says Covid situation is ‘deteriorating’

Jean Castex, the French prime minister, has warned that the country had been going “the wrong way” with the coronavirus for two weeks as a surge in cases builds. The health ministry warned of a spike in infections since Monday. “The epidemiological situation, which we are following very closely, is deteriorating,” he said, “with 2,000 new cases per day compared to 1,000 three weeks ago.”

4

Climate change to make hot nights more common

Meteorologists have warned that “tropical nights”, during which temperatures remaining above 20C, could become a more regular feature of UK weather due to climate change. Four tropical nights have been recorded in the UK so far this year, with three occurring since 8 August and one on 25 June.

5

Sheep farmer accused of Tesco extortion attempt

A court has heard that a sheep farmer tried to extort £1.4m from Tesco by claiming he had contaminated products with salmonella and planted jars of baby food laced with metal. Nigel Wright, who said he was part of a group of disgruntled dairy farmers, allegedly bombarded the grocery giant with letters and emails using the name “Guy Brush” for nearly two years.

6

Doreen Lawrence pledges not to give up on ‘inactive’ case

The Metropolitan Police declared the investigation into the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence “inactive” yesterday, stating that all “identified lines of inquiry have been completed”. His mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence said she would keep hoping for a conviction. “Whilst the Metropolitan Police have given up, I never will,” she said.

7

Priti Patel bites back after Ben and Jerry’s criticism

A Home Office source has hit back at the ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s after it posted a series of tweets accusing Home Secretary Priti Patel of “a lack of humanity” in her response to refugees attempting to cross the Channel. Patel was “working day and night to bring an end to these small boat crossings”, the source said. “If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food, then so be it.”

8

Bush’s pro-immigration paintings ‘a swipe at Trump’

George W. Bush is to publish a book of his paintings as part of a campaign to promote the value of immigration. The book, Out of Many, One, features portraits of 43 people who migrated to the US. Its release has been interpreted as a thinly-veiled critique of Donald Trump’s approach to immigration. Bush says he hopes the book will highlight “the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country”.

9

Isle of Wight bones belong to relative of T-rex

Bones found on the Isle of Wight come from a new species of dinosaur from the same family as Tyrannosaurus rex, according to palaeontologists from the University of Southampton. The experts say the creature lived in the Cretaceous period, 115 million years ago. The fossil hunter who discovered them said: “The joy of finding the bones we discovered was absolutely fantastic.”

10

Meghan and Harry ‘upset Eugenie with baby announcement’

Princess Eugenie was irritated when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose her wedding day to announce they were expecting a child, according to a new book. A source told its authors that the princess “told friends she felt the couple should have waited to share the news”. The book, Finding Freedom, has also revealed that Prince William referred to Meghan as “this girl”, leading to a rift with Prince Harry.

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