Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 11 Sep 2020

1

Up to 30 Tory MPs prepare new Brexit revolt

Boris Johnson is facing a rebellion of up to 30 Tory MPs over plans that would break international law by allowing him to renege on parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, The Times says. Meanwhile, The Guardian adds that there is a behind–the–scenes rift between the government’s top legal advisers over the legality of the decision to introduce legislation that overrides the treaty.

2

Rio Tinto boss leaves after controversial cave plan

The chief executive of mining giant Rio Tinto is leaving the company after its decision to blow up 46,000-year-old rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia. The board said Jean-Sebastien Jacques, and two other senior bosses, were leaving “by mutual agreement”. The iron ore head, Chris Salisbury, and the corporate affairs boss, Simone Niven, will also depart.

3

MPs back continuation of ‘targeted’ furlough scheme

MPs have said the government should consider a targeted extension of its furlough scheme. The Treasury Select Committee said that though the Covid-19 crisis risks mass long-term unemployment, a blanket retention of the scheme would not be good value for money. The committee instead said that “targeted extensions” should be considered as the scheme comes to an end on 31 October.

4

Climate change ‘will displace over one billion people’

More than a billion people will be displaced from their homes by the climate crisis over the next 30 years, a new report claims. The Ecological Threat Register, conducted by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace, says that ecological disasters will continue as “the world's least resilient countries… experience civil unrest, political instability, social fragmentation and economic collapse”.

5

Commercialised BBC plan would keep stars’ salaries secret

BBC talent could keep their salaries secret under proposals to put parts of the corporation on a commercial footing, says The Times. New director-general Tim Davie is considering a move to transform many of the remaining in-house production divisions into for-profit subsidiaries. Stars such as Gary Lineker would be excluded from future salary tables, which the corporation started publishing in 2017.

6

Harry Dunn suspect admits she drove on wrong side of road

The woman accused of killing 19-year-old Harry Dunn has said she drove on the wrong side of the road for “approximately 20 seconds” before colliding with the young motorcyclist. Anne Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving after the collision in Northamptonshire last year. In a statement said she is “devastated” and “continues to grieve deeply” for Harry’s family.

7

Tribes expert killed by arrow fired from indigenous site

An expert on Amazonian tribes has been killed by an arrow that struck him in the chest as he approached an indigenous site. Rieli Franciscato died in a remote region of Rondonia state in north-western Brazil as he prepared to monitor a tribe for the government’s indigenous agency. A witness said Franciscato and his colleagues came under fire from “armed men - a war party”.

8

Huge fire breaks out in Beirut a month after explosion

An investigation is underway into a massive fire at a Beirut aid warehouse. The blaze, which came one month after a massive explosion killed more than 190 people in the Lebanese city, broke out where an aid agency had been storing food and cooking oil. Firefighters and troops spent hours battling the fire, using helicopters to drop water. No injuries were reported.

9

Watchdog slams government over prison failures

The level of failure in the prison system in England and Wales is “staggering”, parliament’s spending watchdog has claimed. A new report by the Public Accounts Committee found that only 206 out of 10,000 promised new prison spaces have been delivered by the government, as ministers and officials failed to stick to promises to improve the condition of the prison estate by 2020.

10

Tributes pour in for ‘luminous’ Diana Rigg

Tributes have been paid to the actress Diana Rigg, who has died at the age of 82. Playwright Tom Stoppard described her talent as “luminous”, with actor Samuel West saying “she generally lived the hell out of everyone”. Game of Thrones co-star Nikolaj Coster Waldau said she “always raised the bar with her incredible talent”. Rigg is best known for roles in The Avengers and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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