Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 10 Oct 2020

1

Johnson to announce new restrictions on Monday

Boris Johnson is to make a statement to MPs on Monday setting out details of new restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus in England. A letter from the prime minister’s chief strategic adviser to MPs in the north-west of England seen by the BBC states “it is very likely that certain local areas will face further restrictions”. However, experts have told the Daily Telegraph that stricter measures are “too hasty”.

2

Rashford and Berry on Queen's Birthday Honours list

Footballer Marcus Rashford and fitness coach Joe Wicks are among those recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, as both become MBEs. The chef Mary Berry and actress Maureen Lipman are made dames, while actor David Suchet and veteran entertainer Tommy Steele are both knighted. The list was postponed from June so that individuals who played crucial roles in the first months of the coronavirus crisis could be added.

3

Election debate cancelled after Trump refuses to take part

The Commission on Presidential Debates has cancelled the second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden after the president declined to take part in a virtual debate. However, Trump has announced his first in-person events since his Covid-19 diagnosis, including a speech at the White House later today and a campaign rally in Florida on Monday.

4

Barnier calls for flexibility as time runs out for deal

Time is running out for a Brexit deal as the European Union signals that Boris Johnson may need to be flexible on his deadline. The prime minister had said he wants an agreement secured by the European Council summit next week but Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has told member states that a deal is unlikely to be agreed in time.

5

Sunak announces new help for workers hit by lockdowns

Employees who work for companies forced to shut by law because of Covid-19 restrictions are to get two-thirds of their wages paid for by the government. The new scheme could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a month. The mayors of Greater Manchester, North Tyne, Sheffield and Liverpool said the move was only a “start” and more help was needed “to prevent genuine hardship, job losses and business failure this winter”.

6

Fuel tank explosion heard all across Beirut

A fuel tank has exploded inside a building in Beirut, killing four people and injuring several others. The cause of the blast in the western neighbourhood of Tariq al-Jadida last night is not known but the state-run national news agency said the fire erupted inside a bakery in the basement. Local residents said the explosion could be heard across the city.

7

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree a ceasire

Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh after two weeks of fighting that marked the worst outbreak of hostilities in the region in 25 years. Representatives of the two countries said the truce is intended to exchange prisoners and recover the dead. The latest fighting broke out on 27 September and left hundreds of people dead in the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict.

8

Hurricane Delta makes landfall in Louisiana

Hurricane Delta has hit the US state of Louisiana becoming the 10th named storm to make US landfall so far this year and breaking a record that has stood since 1916. Delta arrived in Creole, Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph (155 km/h). The state is still recovering from the damage caused by a previous hurricane in August.

9

Darren Grimes investigated by police over interview

Right-wing commentator Darren Grimes is being investigated by police over an interview with the historian David Starkey that he conducted. Grimes has been asked to attend a police station to be interviewed under caution after publishing a podcast in which Dr Starkey said slavery was not genocide because there are “so many damn blacks”. He is under suspicion of stirring up racial hatred.

10

Pelosi sounds warning on UK approval of Covid vaccine

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has criticised the UK’s vaccine testing safety regime, declaring that London’s approval of a vaccine would not automatically mean it was safe according to the US’s own procedures. The Guardian says Pelosi’s comments appear motivated by concern that hasty British approval of a vaccine might be embraced by Donald Trump for political gain, perhaps even before the election.

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