Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 24 Aug 2020

1

Warning for teachers as Johnson plays down school risk

Boris Johnson says it is “vitally important” children go back to school, with the life chances of a generation at stake. The prime minister said the risk of contracting coronavirus at school was “very small”. However, teachers have been warned that they may spread Covid-19: a leading government scientist said adults working in schools were far more likely to transmit the virus than children.

2

Biden maintains lead after Democrats’ online convention

Joe Biden remains well ahead of Donald Trump in the presidential race after last week’s Democratic convention, which was held online. A new CBS News/YouGov poll puts Biden ahead by a 52% to 42% margin among likely voters - identical to the lead he had before the convention. In a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, his net favourability rating climbed 8 points from -3 points last week to +5 points among all adults.

3

Rape victims may be allowed to pre-record court testimony

Rape victims will be spared the ordeal of court under plans being considered by the Ministry of Justice to let them give pre-recorded video evidence. The approach has been piloted at three courts in Liverpool, Leeds and Kingston. Alex Chalk, the justice minister, said: “Vulnerable victims show great courage by coming forward. It’s vital they can do so in the least traumatic way possible.”

4

Care home staff were told not to resuscitate residents

NHS managers and GPs told care homes to place ‘Do not resuscitate’ orders on all their residents at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to keep hospital beds free, according to a new report. The Queen’s Nursing Institute discovered one in ten care home staff surveyed was ordered to issue the instructions without consulting family members, nursing staff or the residents themselves.

5

Israel bombs Gaza after incendiary balloon attacks

Israeli jets, tanks and drones attacked the Gaza Strip this morning in the latest in a series of air strikes responding to  arson balloon attacks launched into Israel. The Israeli government says the balloon attacks have sparked dozens of fires that have caused environmental and property damage in the region.

6

Bolsonaro tells reporter he wants to ‘smash their face in’

A journalist asking questions about alleged corruption was told by the Brazilian president that he would like to “smash their face in”. Jair Bolsonaro lashed out at the reporter from one of Brazil’s leading newspapers, O Globo, amid reports of a series of mystery payments into his wife’s bank account from a former police officer with alleged links to the Rio de Janeiro underworld.

7

Mass rally in Belarus despite ban and threats

Opposition supporters in Belarus have defied a ban and held a rally in the capital, Minsk, two weeks after a disputed election gave President Alexander Lukashenko another term in office. Tens of thousands filled the central square despite a heavy police presence and Lukashenko’s warning that he will crush the unrest, which he blames on “foreign-backed revolutionaries”.

8

New Zealand killer wanted to attack a third mosque

The man who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand last year had plans to target a third. At his sentencing hearing, it was revealed that Brenton Tarrant also planned to burn down the buildings to “inflict as many fatalities as possible”. The 29-year-old Australian has pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 attempted murders and one charge of terrorism.

9

Thousands evacuated as storms approach south of US

Several southern US states and parts of the Caribbean have been evacuated, displacing thousands, as two storms hit the region. Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura have caused damage to areas of Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Marco is expected to make landfall in the US state of Louisiana today, with Laura due in Texas by Thursday.

10

Kellyanne Conway to quit White House within days

The White house adviser Kellyanne Conway will leave the administration of Donald Trump at the end of the month, she announced last night. Conway, who in 2016 became the first woman to successfully steer a White House campaign, then became a senior counsellor to the US president. Her husband, George Conway, has been a vocal critic of Trump.

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