Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 8 Oct 2020

1

Harris and Pence lock horns in vice-presidential debate

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris last night accused Donald Trump of “the greatest failure of any presidential administration” in history during a US election television debate. Hitting back, Republican Vice-President Mike Pence said the Democratic plan for the Covid-19 pandemic amounted to “plagiarism”. The Washington Post said Harris came out on top after keeping “the focus on Trump”.

2

New restrictions expected as hospital beds reach capacity

Covid-19 restrictions are expected to be tightened in parts of England early next week, with the closure of bars and restaurants on the cards. A ban on overnight stays away from home could also be imposed, as hospitals in some parts of the country run out of dedicated Covid-19 beds, the BBC says. The UK yesterday reported 14,162 new cases and 70 deaths. 3,145 people are currently in hospital with Covid.

3

George Floyd murder suspect released on bail

The former US police officer charged with the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd has been released on bail. Court records show that Derek Chauvin posted a $1m (£774,000) bond and was released on Wednesday morning. Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, is due to face trial in March on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

4

Brexit ‘is sending UK towards dictatorship’, judge claims

The government’s approach to Brexit could send the UK down a “very slippery slope” towards “dictatorship” or “tyranny”, a former president of the Supreme Court has claimed. Lord Neuberger drew specific attention to the Internal Market Bill, warning: “Once you deprive people of the right to go to court to challenge the government, you are in a dictatorship, you are in a tyranny.”

5

Could a Covid vaccine be available in UK next month?

Coronavirus vaccination jabs could be offered by the NHS as early as next month, The Sun says. Leaked documents have revealed a plan for hundreds of NHS staff to be deployed to administer inoculations at five sites across the country. However, delays to the Oxford University vaccine trial in the US mean that it could potentially be forced to restart after regulators have explored its side-effects, The Times says.

6

September was world’s hottest on record

Climate experts have revealed that last month was the hottest September on record around the world. Scientists at the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said surface air temperatures were 0.05C warmer than the year before, while parts of Britain hit 30C in September for the first time in four years. The record temperature for the month is 35.6C, set in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, in 1906.

7

‘Isis Beatles’ suspects appear in US court

Two Islamic State (Isis) suspects have appeared in a US court charged with the killing of four American hostages. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, believed to belong to an Isis cell nicknamed “The Beatles”, are accused of involvement in kidnappings in Iraq and Syria. The men, who appeared in court via video link, have denied the charges.

8

World Bank warns that extreme poverty is rising

The World Bank has warned that extreme poverty is expected to rise this year for the first time in more than two decades. Defined as living on less than $1.90 (£1.50) a day, the pandemic is expected to push up to 115 million people into the category, as the crisis compounds conflict and climate change. The projected increase would be the first since 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.

9

Herd immunity would have saved more lives, study claims

Herd immunity could have saved more lives than lockdown, a study from Edinburgh University has suggested. Reanalysis of the Imperial College London modelling that led to the nationwide lockdown shows shutting schools and preventing younger people from mingling may have had the “counterintuitive effect” of killing more people, The Telegraph says.

10

Evacuations in Russia as munitions depot bursts into flames

Russia has evacuated more than 2,000 people from neighbouring villages after explosions at a munitions depot in the Ryazan region south-east of Moscow. The blaze was caused by a wildfire nearby and caused munitions to explode. Hundreds of firefighters were battling the fire into the evening as flames and huge clouds of smoke emerged from the depot, which is believed to house 75,000 tonnes of munitions.

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