Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 31 Oct 2020


Boris Johnson may impose national lockdown next week

Boris Johnson is considering new national lockdown restrictions from next week amid concerns that hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed. In the face of alarming new data, the prime minister is expected to hold a press conference on Monday to announce the new measures, under which everything could be closed except essential shops and “educational settings”. The lockdown could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1.


Dozens killed as Greece and Turkey hit by earthquake

At least 26 people were killed in Turkey and two in Greece when a powerful earthquake shook the Aegean yesterday. The earthquake, which had a magnitude up to 7.0, was felt in Athens and Istanbul, and caused a mini-tsunami on the Greek island of Samos, where a teenage boy and girl were killed. Turkey and Greece both sit on fault lines and earthquakes are common.


Renters struggle with housing costs during pandemic

One in eight private renters are unable to meet their housing costs in full, according to a new report. The Resolution Foundation said private and social renters are facing the sharp end of redundancies and are more likely to have fallen behind with their housing costs than mortgagers. The landlords’ lobby group said renters in England needed interest-free government loans, similar to schemes in Wales and Scotland.


US sees record Covid numbers for second successive day

The US has suffered record-high daily Covid numbers, with spikes in dozens of states, days before the presidential election. There were at least 94,000 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, the second day in a row the country has broken its daily new case record after reporting more than 91,000 infections on Thursday. More than nine million total cases have been reported in the US.


Corbyn loyalists considered quitting parliamentary party

Labour MPs loyal to Jeremy Corbyn have discussed quitting the party amid fears that Keir Starmer could lead a “mass purge” of the left. Ian Lavery MP said there are fears that Corbyn’s suspension was a “war cry” that could force some MPs to leave. Senior figures close to Starmer and Corbyn have held informal talks in an effort to allow the former leader to return to Labour.


Up to 100,000 protest new abortion laws in Poland

Thousands of people in Poland have protested against a near-total ban on abortion in the largest show of defiance against new laws. Up to 100,000 took part in the march in the centre of Warsaw, despite coronavirus restrictions. There have been nine days of protests against a ruling by Poland's constitutional court earlier this month that abortion in cases of severe foetal abnormalities are unconstitutional.


Pheasant shoots restricted in victory for Chris Packham

Shoots face restrictions on releasing pheasants and partridges near wildlife sites following a legal challenge by a campaign group headed by Chris Packham. The broadcaster had accused the shoots of breaching the law by failing to assess the impact on wildlife of releasing more than 50 million non-native game birds each year. Packham received death threats last year after a similar legal challenge.


Chomsky says Donald Trump is worse than Adolf Hitler

Noam Chomsky says Donald Trump’s denial of climate change represents a worse threat to humanity than Adolf Hitler. Speaking to The Independent, the activist said: “Adolf Hitler was pretty hideous – [but] he wasn't trying to destroy organised human society on earth.” He also described Trump as a “malignant cancer” and  “someone who moves to destroy anything that doesn't improve his electoral chances”.


Tributes pour in for World Cup winner Nobby Stiles

Tributes have been paid to the World Cup-winning England midfielder Nobby Stiles, who has died aged 78 after a long illness. “Hugely sad to hear Nobby has passed away," said Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 1966 final. Former England striker Gary Lineker said he was “saddened to hear that Nobby Stiles has passed away”. Stiles had been suffering from prostate cancer and advanced dementia.


Allegations of electoral fraud as Tanzania's president is re-elected

Tanzania's president has won re-election with a landslide victory in hotly disputed poll. The electoral authorities say John Magufuli took 84% of the vote, while his rival, Tundu Lissu, received 13%. However, Lissu has said his party's agents were prevented from entering polling stations during Wednesday's election. The head of the National Electoral Commission said allegations of fake ballot papers were unsubstantiated.


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