Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 24 Sep 2020

1

Sunak to announce winter job protection plan

Rishi Sunak is today expected to unveil a plan aimed at minimising further unemployment as stricter Covid-19 restrictions come into force. The chancellor will announce new measures to replace the furlough scheme, which is set to expire next month. Scrapping the normal budget announcement, Sunak tweeted he would reveal the details of a “winter economy plan” that would “continue protecting jobs”.

2

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power

Donald Trump yesterday refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's US election. Asked about the issue at a White House news conference, the US president said: “Well, we’ll have to see what happens. You know that.” Democratic rival Joe Biden said Trump’s comments on the transition of power were “irrational”.

3

Truck drivers could be turned around in Kent post-Brexit

Truck drivers will require a government permit to enter Kent under post-Brexit plans to prevent chaos at Channel sea ports. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said that drivers who dp not have the correct paperwork could be stopped and turned around by police. He added that in a “reasonable worst-case scenario” only 50% to 70% of large businesses would be ready for strict European Union requirements.

4

Diagnoses down as people avoid GPs during pandemic

Studies have found that concerns over contacting GPs during the coronavirus outbreak could be powering a surge in missed or delayed diagnoses. Data has revealed a large increase in the number of people dying at home, with visits to A&E significantly down. An NHS poll this year found that 40% of people said they were avoiding contacting their GP due to concerns about burdening the health service.

5

Officers shot in protests after Breonna Taylor decision

Two police officers have been shot and injured in Kentucky, after no charges were brought against officers for the death of Breonna Taylor. Daniel Cameron, the state attorney general, has called for calm after announcing that a grand jury, which sits in secret, decided that two police officers were “justified” in firing 22 times. Taylor’s boyfriend fired first, Cameron added, hitting one of the officers in the leg.

6

Newly-discovered asteroid to pass Earth today

A newly discovered asteroid will scrape past Earth today. Discovered only last week in Tucson, Arizona, the asteroid - estimated to be somewhere between 15 to 30ft in diameter - is expected to pass the planet’s surface with about 13,000 miles to spare. The space rock falls well below the orbit of weather satellites, which are located about 22,000 miles above Earth.

7

Students could be told to stay at university over Christmas

Students could be told to stay away from their families over the Christmas period as fears grow over a festive flare-up. The latest minutes from meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) say that larger Covid-19 outbreaks are expected at the end of the academic term, when students begin moving around the country to travel home during their two-week break.

8

Study finds China has built more camps in Xinjiang

China has built almost 400 internment camps in the Xinjiang region, despite claims from Beijing that the regime’s “re-education” system is winding down. The network of camps in China’s far west, used to detain Uighurs and other minorities, include 14 that are still under construction, according to the latest satellite imaging obtained by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

9

Volunteers to be injected with Covid-19 in challenge trials

Volunteers will be deliberately infected with Covid-19 in “ground-breaking” trials aimed at speeding up vaccine development. Patients at the Royal Free Hospital in London will be inoculated with a vaccine developed by Imperial College, London, before being exposed to the coronavirus. So-called challenge trials are controversial, but can give a quick answers a vaccine’s effectiveness, says The Telegraph.

10

Legendary editor Harold Evans dies aged 92

Harold Evans, the newspaper editor who enjoyed a legendary 70-year career as an investigative journalist, magazine founder, book publisher and author has died at the age of 92. His wife, Tina Brown, said Evans died of congestive heart failure in New York. The Guardian says that Evans was “one of the most influential media figures of his generation”.

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