Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 16 Aug 2020

1

Donald Trump's younger brother dies in hospital

Donald Trump has paid tribute to his “best friend” and youngest brother, who has died at the age of 71. “It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” said the US president. “He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.” It is unclear what caused Robert Trump's death.

2

Deaths warning as cancer referrals fall by 43%

A report is to warn that thousands of lives may be lost to cancer because 250,000 patients were not referred for urgent checks. GPs made 339,242 urgent cancer referrals in England between April and June, down from 594,060 in the same period last year — a 43% drop. This means cancers are being spotted too late, says the Institute for Public Policy Research.

3

GCSE results to be assigned by notorious algorithm

More than 4.6m GCSEs in England – about 97% of the total – will be assigned this week solely by the controversial algorithm drawn up by the exam regulator Ofqual. Meanwhile, the exams regulator is reviewing its guidance published on how to appeal against A-level and GCSE grades using mock exam results. Almost 40% of A-level grades were marked down from teachers' predictions.

4

Conservative MP arrested for rape allowed back to Commons

A Tory MP who is under criminal investigation for rape will be free to return to parliament in two weeks’ time after his bail was extended until early November. The party has refused to suspend the former minister, who was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of offences including rape, sexual assault and assault.

5

Priti Patel says migrants avoid France over racism

Priti Patel claims that migrants are heading for Britain because they regard France as a “racist country” where they might be “tortured” by the authorities. The home secretary admitted that the current asylum system is “broken” and spoke of legal reforms to deter migrants from seeking asylum in the UK, which she predicted would “send the left into meltdown”.

6

Israel bombs Gaza after balloon attacks and border clashes

Israeli has bombed Gaza for a fifth night in a row, the country’s military says. A spokesperson claimed that the airstrikes were in response to arson balloons that Hamas-affiliated groups sent into Israeli territory. There have also been clashes on the border, with reports of dozens of Palestinians burning tyres and hurled explosive devices and grenades towards the security fence.

7

NHS chiefs plead for more resources for winter

NHS chiefs are pleading for more funds as they warn the health service is already at increased risk this winter due to a shortage of resources. Health figures say chancellor Rishi Sunak has already broken a pledge to give the NHS “whatever it needs” this winter after the Treasury refused a request for thousands of acute hospital beds and an increase in crisis community care.

8

Newsweek apologises for op-ed questioning Harris elibility

Newsweek has apologised for an article that questioned the Kamala Harris’ American citizenship and her eligibility to be Joe Biden’s running mate. “This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize,” said the editor. Speaking of the false conspiracy theory, Donald Trump has said he has “heard” rumours that Harris does not meet the requirement to serve in the White House.

9

Starmer piles the pressure on Boris over school return

Sir Keir Starmer has told Boris Johnson it is his duty to ensure schools in England re-open in September. The Labour leader said pupils must return to the classroom after six months away due to the Covid-19 pandemic with “no ifs, no buts, no equivocation”. He added that Johnson’s “priorities were wrong” because he set up a task force for the reopening of bowling alleys but not schools.

10

Female comics demand protocol after ‘decades of abuse’

Female comedians are demanding a “sexual harassment protocol” for clubs and promoters after “decades of abuse” in the industry. Leading the call, Kiri Pritchard-McLean said women in the industry have been “harassed or belittled” for too long and people are now “realising that shouldn't be the norm”. Earlier this month, comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli apologised for “intimidating, undermining and undervaluing” women after a string of allegations.

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