Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 19 Sep 2020


Boris considers new measures as ‘second wave hits’

Boris Johnson says he is considering whether to tighten Covid-19 restrictions further, after saying the UK was “now seeing a second wave”. With at least 13.5m people already facing local restrictions, the prime minister is understood to be looking at a ban on households in England mixing, and reducing opening hours for pubs and restaurants. There were a further 4,322 confirmed cases yesterday.


Tributes as US Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg dies

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87. The celebrated champion of women's rights passed away on Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington, DC, surrounded by her family. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. Donald Trump said: “She led an amazing life, what else can you say?”


Court told Trump figures offered Assange ‘win-win’ deal

A London court has found that two political figures claiming to represent Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a “win-win” deal to avoid extradition to the US. The deal proposed that the WikiLeaks founder would be offered a pardon if he disclosed who leaked Democratic party emails to his site. It was made by the then Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Trump associate Charles Johnson at a meeting in 2017 at the Ecuadorian embassy.


Belarus opposition leader on hunger strike in jail

A leading member of the Belarus opposition council has gone on hunger strike in prison after being charged with seeking to harm national security. Maxim Znak, a lawyer, is among seven leaders of the Co-ordination Council, five of whom are either in jail or in exile. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council has voted to intensify its monitoring of abuses in Belarus and President Alexander Lukashenko's post-election crackdown.


Clooney quits in ‘dismay’ over government's Brexit plan

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has quit her role as the UK's envoy on press freedom over her “dismay” at the government's willingness to break international law with Brexit. Clooney said it was “lamentable” for Boris Johnson to be contemplating overriding the Brexit agreement he signed last year, adding that she could not tell others to honour legal obligations when the UK “declares it does not intend to do so itself”.


TikTok and WeChat to be banned in the US this weekend

TikTok and WeChat are set to be banned from US app stores from tomorrow. The authorities say they will bar people in the US from downloading the messaging and video-sharing apps through any app store on any platform. The Donald Trump administration has claimed the companies threaten national security and could pass user data to China but both the companies and Beijing deny this.


UN: ‘powerful countries’ have abandoned people of Yemen

“Choices have been made to abandon people in Yemen,” according to a UN official. Sir Mark Lowcock says the “distressing” situation in Yemen is a result of choices made by “powerful countries and powerful people”. The country has been ravaged by conflict between Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi's administration and the Houthi armed movement since 2014, with both factions claiming to form the official government.


QAnon theory is gaining ground on UK social media

The QAnon conspiracy theory is gathering momentum in UK, according to a study. The Guardian found that interactions on QAnon slogans shared by UK Facebook pages have increased fivefold. It says the theory, that Donald Trump is waging secret war against ritual child abusers, is propelled by “spirituality and wellness groups, vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ networks, pre-existing conspiracy forums, local news pages, pro-Brexit campaigners and the far right”.


Angela Rayner demands wage rises for UK's care workers

The UK’s care workers should be paid at least the real living wage, Labour’s deputy leader has demanded. As care homes brace for a resurgence of Covid-19, Angela Rayner said the government must tackle low pay in the industry and challenged Boris Johnson to follow his “warm words” about the million-plus workers with meaningful change for the sector.


Banksy’s Monet painting could go for up to £5m at auction

Banksy’s version of Claude Monet’s impressionist masterpiece will go on sale at Sotheby’s London gallery for an estimated £3-5m. The street artist’s painting, entitled Show me the Monet, was created in 2005. The auction house will put the oil-on-canvas work up for on sale at a livestreamed auction in London on 21 October. Last year, Banksy’s Devolved Parliament, which portrayed MPs in the House of Commons as chimpanzees, sold for £9.9m

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