Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 28 Sep 2020

1

Trump denies report that he paid $750 in federal income taxes

Donald Trump has dismissed as “fake news” a report in The New York Times that he paid just $750 (£587) in federal income tax both in 2016, the year he ran for the US presidency, and in his first year in the White House. The report also claims that he paid no income taxes at all in ten of the previous 15 years, amid “chronic losses and years of tax avoidance”.

2

Ministers are ‘planning a total social lockdown’

The government is preparing to impose a “total social lockdown” across much of northern Britain and London to combat a “spiralling second wave” of coronavirus, says The Times. The emergency plan would see all pubs, restaurants and bars ordered to shut for at least two weeks. Households would be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location where they were not already under that restriction.

3

World leaders pledge ten-point plan to help planet

Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson are among 64 leaders from five continents pledging to clamp down on pollution, embrace sustainable economic systems and eliminate the dumping of plastic waste in oceans by the middle of the century. The Guardian says governments and the European Union have agreed a ten-point pledge to counteract the damage to systems that underpin human health and wellbeing.

4

Sunak throwing jobs on the scrapheap, says Labour

Labour has accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak of failing to protect workers in the wedding, exhibition and festival industries in his emergency Covid plans. “The chancellor is consigning whole sectors of our economy to the scrapheap, damaging lives and livelihoods, and threatening the recovery,” said Lucy Powell, the shadow business minister. “He must think again, before the jobs crisis reaches tipping point.”

5

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict flares up with 23 deaths

The long-running territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan has re-ignited, resulting in 23 deaths yesterday as the two ex-Soviet republics battled over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Although the region is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, it is controlled by ethnic Armenians. The dispute has remained unresolved for more than three decades.

6

Downing Street considers annual Neighbour Day

Boris Johnson is weighing up the introduction of an annual Neighbour Day bank holiday to strengthen community cohesion. A government report proposes that residents be given automatic permission to close off roads for street parties on the day. Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph says, the prime minister is urging neighbours to call the police and report on “Covid self-isolation cheats”.

7

Judge ushers in a last-minute reprieve for TikTok

TikTok has enjoyed a stay of execution in the US after a federal judge partially granted the company’s request for a temporary injunction against a push by the Trump administration to ban it in the country. The dramatic ruling blocked a US government ban on downloads of the video-sharing app a matter of hours before the policy was due to take effect.

8

Bosses urge ministers to agree a deal with EU

The CBI, which represents business leaders is calling on the government to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which it says is supported by just 4% of company bosses. By contrast, it says, 77% want a deal between the EU and the UK. Carolyn Fairbairn, the group’s director general, said businesses “face a hat-trick of unprecedented challenges – rebuilding from the first wave of Covid-19, dealing with the resurgence of the virus, and preparing for significant changes to the UK’s trading relationship with the EU”.

9

Expert says US faces a surge in Covid-19 cases

The US could see “an explosion” of Covid-19 cases in the autumn and winter as people exercise less caution and spend more time indoors, according to Dr Chris Murray of the University of Washington. Almost half of the country is reporting increased numbers of new cases, with the number of new coronavirus cases increasing by at least 10% or more compared to the week before in 21 states.

10

Concern grows over Johnson's plans for media appointments

BBC veterans have expressed concern that Boris Johnson is pressing for the former Telegraph editor Charles Moore to be the corporation’s next chairman. The prime minister also wants to hand the chairmanship of communications regulator Ofcom to the former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, in what The Guardian describes as “part of a wider attempt to shake up the media by placing rightwing figures in key positions”.

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