Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 12 Oct 2020

1

Liverpool set to take brunt of new Covid restrictions

Merseyside is expected to face the tightest restrictions when new local lockdown rules for England are announced later. There is expected to be a new “three tier” system, which will classify regions as being at a “medium,” “high” or “very high” level of alert. Boris Johnson will host a televised press conference at 6pm with Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England.

2

Dr Fauci says Trump campaign ad twists his words

The top US government scientist says an edited clip of him used in a Trump campaign ad is misleading. The video shows Dr Anthony Fauci saying he “can't imagine that anybody could be doing more” to fight Covid-19, implying he is referring to the US president, but he was in fact talking about himself and other medical officials. “I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate,” said Fauci in a statement.

3

Study finds that Covid can survive 28 days on banknotes

Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel for 28 days, according to researchers. Previous studies found that the virus could survive for two to three days on bank notes and glass, and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel, but an Australian study found the “extremely robust” virus lasted for 28 days on smooth surfaces.

4

Assets worth €150bn moved to France ahead of Brexit

At least €150bn of assets have been moved from the City of London to France ahead of Brexit, according to the governor of the Banque de France. Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that, since September, the bank had authorised 21 investment firms, four credit institutions and seven third-country branches to “ensure continuity of activities in France”. Trade talks between London and the EU are entering a critical week.

5

Unions tell government to leverage influence over Amazon

Trade unions say the government should use the influence it has over Amazon due to £630m of state contracts to force the company to improve conditions for workers. Releasing a report exposing Amazon’s employment practices on the eve of Prime Day, the TUC said the annual gimmick pushes hardworking staff to their limit and beyond. “Amazon workers have played a key role during this pandemic,” it said. “But many are treated like disposable labour.”

6

Bin Laden's spokesman is heading back to the UK

The former London spokesman for Osama bin Laden is set to return to the UK after being released from jail in the US. Adel Abdel Bary, 60, was sentenced to 25 years’ jail in 2015, but consideration was given to the 16 years he had already served. He has been moved to a US immigration and customs enforcement detention facility, where he will remain until he is transferred to the UK.

7

One million new pupils sign up for free school meals

Food poverty campaigners say the number of UK children registering for free school meals has soared, with an estimated one million pupils signing up for the first time. Research by the Food Foundation thinktank, released as part of footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty, says the Covid-19 crisis has caused fresh problems for family incomes.

8

Shoppers power growth but slowdown could follow

The EY Item Club has warned that slower growth may be on the cards after the UK economy grew by as much as 17% in the three months to the end of September. Shoppers powered the rise following the lifting of lockdown but fresh lockdown measures, poor Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU and a spike in unemployment could lead to less rosy months ahead.

9

People of Gaza sift through rubbish for food

Gazans are searching through rubbish to find food as Palestinians battle unprecedented levels of poverty, says the UN. Philippe Lazzarini, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency chief, said that across Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and elsewhere, Palestinian refugees are facing increased suffering because of the Covid-19 pandemic and Israeli restrictions. “There is despair and hopelessness,” he said.

10

Arts venues set to hear whether they will be helped

Ministers claim that 1,300 arts organisations will be saved by a £250m bailout fund which it releases today. As it prepares to inform theatres, arts venues and museums whether they were successful in claiming grants of up to £1m, the government said that the £257 million pot would “save 1,385 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic”.

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