Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 20 Sep 2020
Coronavirus: £10,000 fines for self-isolation breaches
People who may have Covid-19 will be required to self-isolate by law - with those who refuse facing fines of up to £10,000 in England. The government's scientific advisers have estimated that just 20% of those reporting symptoms in England fully self-isolate at home for the required two weeks. A further 4,422 new Covid-19 cases and 27 deaths were reported on Saturday.
Trump says he will nominate woman to replace Ginsburg
Donald Trump says he will nominate a woman to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Although Trump's Democratic rival, Joe Biden, says the decision on the replacement should wait until after the White House election, the president says he will announce his choice next week. The BBC says that Democrats fear Republicans will vote to lock in a decades-long conservative majority on the country's highest court.
New restrictions could cause double-dip downturn
Economists have warned of a double-dip downturn after local lockdowns put the brakes on recoveries in coronavirus-hit areas. “The tightening in restrictions is economically important,” warned Sanjay Raja, Deutsche Bank UK economist. “This is one reason we expect the recent GDP surge to be short-lived.” ING economists said a return to a national lockdown would cause output to slump by almost 8%.
Former Tory minister paid £6m by energy giant linked to Putin
A former Conservative minister was paid £6m by a company linked to an ally of Vladimir Putin. Lord Barker of Battle received the sum in 2019 from EN+, an energy company in which Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire oligarch, has a 35 per cent stake. The Sunday Telegraph says the payment has never been disclosed to Parliament because House of Lords rules presently do not require it.
Ricin package intercepted before it reached Trump
A package containing ricin poison that was posted to US President Donald Trump has been intercepted before it reached the White House. Officials said that the letter was discovered at a screening facility for White House mail earlier this week. The FBI and the Secret Service are investigating where the package came from and whether others have been sent through the US postal system.
Labour ties with Tories for first time under Boris premiership
Labour has tied with the Tories in the polls for the first time since Boris Johnson was named party leader and prime minister. The latest YouGov study put parties at 40 per cent following a survey of 1,618 adults across 16 and 17 September. Sir Keir Starmer is ahead, with some 35 per cent of YouGov respondents saying they preferred the Labour leader, and just 30 per cent favouring Johnson.
Court backlogs means innocent people held for longer
Campaigners say that innocent people are being held in prison for months without trial amid mounting court backlogs. Government cuts meant that even before the pandemic, the number of outstanding criminal cases in England and Wales was mounting but this figure has rocketed to more than 500,000 in recent months. The Fair Trials campaign group said people were “suffering as a result of the government’s failure to properly resource the justice system”.
Two dead after shooting at house party in New York
Two people have been killed and 14 others wounded after a shooting at a party in the state of New York. Rochester police said they arrived to find around 100 people running down the street. Investigators believe at least three or four people were in possession of handguns and at least 40 rounds were fired. “This is truly a tragedy of epic proportions,” said acting police chief Mark Simmons.
Delivery slots fill up amid fears of a second lockdown
There are fears that panic buying has begun ahead of a possible national lockdown as Ocado and Sainsbury's warn customers that delivery slots are filling up. Ocado's website posted a warning that “delivery slots are selling out faster than usual,” with similar notices on the Sainsbury’s website. There are fewer slots on Tesco and Asda than usual, says the Mail on Sunday.
Brady will lead Tory backlash against Johnson's Covid measures
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, is leading a bid by senior Tories to stop Boris Johnson imposing limits on people's freedoms without scrutiny by forcing Parliament to have the final say on new lockdown measures. The rebels plan to use a vote next week to amend legislation to require ministers to put all new measures to a vote of MPs first.