Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 2 Oct 2020

1

Donald and Melania Trump test positive for coronavirus

Donald Trump has announced on Twitter that he and his wife Melania have tested positive for coronavirus. The US president tweeted: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” He said earlier that he and the first lady were self-isolating after Hope Hicks, one of his top aides, tested positive.

2

Coronavirus cases double in locked-down cities

Cases of Covid-19 have doubled in 11 out of 16 of English cities and towns that are under local lockdown, says The Guardian. Infections in five areas of Greater Manchester have risen faster than the England average while in Wigan, cases have risen from seven per 100,000 residents to 102 in that period. Confusion over rules has been blamed.

3

Disruption expected as Storm Alex hits southern England

Flooding and gales of up to 65mph are forecast in the south of England today as Storm Alex hits. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning, announcing that the storm will cause wet and windy weather across the south of the country from the early hours of the morning until 8pm. Road, rail, air and ferry transport could be delayed and there is the risk of short power cuts.

4

Priti Patel team says Foreign Office trying to undermine her

Priti Patel’s allies have accused the Foreign Office of leaking “bizarre and unworkable” asylum policies to discredit her. Following reports that the home secretary had asked officials to consider the construction of an asylum processing centre on Ascension Island, an ally of Patel said: “It’s pretty obvious what’s happened here.”

5

BP and Shell shares collapse to 25-year low

Shares in BP and Shell sank to 25-year lows yesterday after Brent crude dropped back below $40 a barrel. BP ended the day 3.1% lower at 218.2p, pushing the company to a 20% decline over the past two months. Meanwhile, a bad day for Britain’s two biggest oil companies was confimed when Shell also fell to a 25-year low on Thursday, just 24 hours after announcing more than 9,000 redundancies.

6

Driver dies attempting a British land speed record

A man has died attempting a British land speed record at an airfield in Yorkshire. The fatal accident occurred at Elvington Airfield, a former RAF base near York, governing body Motorsport UK said. It added that an investigation into the circumstances had begun. Elvington airfield is where former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond crashed in 2006.

7

A-levels could be delayed next summer

Next year’s A-level exams could be pushed back by three weeks under new plans. The Daily Telegraph says the education secretary is expected to announce changes to the schedule next week. There was uproar this summer following A-level results day when it emerged thousands of teacher-submitted grades had been marked down in a moderation process. Downing Street has resisted pressure for next summer’s exams to be scrapped. 

8

Harry and Meghan say ‘structural racism’ harms the young

The Duchess of Sussex says “structural racism” is holding back young people of colour in the UK. In an article in the Evening Standard, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex say: “As long as structural racism exists, there will be generations of young people of colour who do not start their lives with the same equality of opportunity as their white peers.”

9

Sturgeon anger as Ferrier reveals she travelled despite Covid

Nicola Sturgeon says the decision by an SNP MP to travel to Westminster despite having Covid symptoms is “utterly indefensible”. Margaret Ferrier said she made the journey because she was feeling “much better” but also returned home after getting a positive test result. Nicola Sturgeon said: “It's hard to express just how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country making hard sacrifices every day to help beat Covid.”

10

Messi and Ronaldo to face each other in Champions League group

Football’s greatest rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, will face each other in this season’s Champions League group stage after the draw was announced. Ronaldo’s Juventus and Messi’s Barcelona were pitted against each other in Group G. The two men are regarded as the best players on the planet and each has a dedicated fan-base who insist their man is the greatest.

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