Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 4 Nov 2020

1

Trump wins in Florida as election goes to the wire

Donald Trump has hung on to the crucial state of Florida, with most votes counted there, as results come in from across the US in a tight presidential election. The president is expected to hold 21 states and to outperform pollsters’ predictions. Joe Biden has told supporters in Delaware: “I believe we’re on track to win this election.” Trump has tweeted that “they are trying to steal the election”.

2

Democrats make gains in volatile Congressional election

As presidential votes are counted, Democrats and Republicans are also fighting for control of Congress. In the Senate, Democratic former governor John Hickenlooper has taken Colorado’s seat from the Republican incumbent Cory Gardner. However, the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump ally Lindsey Graham, both targeted by Democrats, have been re-elected.

3

Warning of third wave as MPs prepare to vote on lockdown

MPs will debate the government’s month-long lockdown proposals in England, amid growing unease among Conservatives about its economic and social impact. A number of Tory MPs are expected to vote against the nationwide lockdown and a former minister, Penny Mordaunt, has said the UK should be braced for a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and further lockdowns.

4

GPs on standby to start Covid vaccinations next month

The NHS is being told to prepare for a possible vaccine rollout as early as December. The GP trade magazine Pulse says family doctors are being put on standby to start vaccinating over-85s and frontline health workers from the beginning of next month. It says GPs will receive a “directed enhanced service” next week, setting out how they should deliver the service.

5

Huge iceberg on collision course with South Atlantic island

The world's biggest iceberg is on course to crash into the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia. The Antarctic ice giant, known as A68a, is a similar size to the South Atlantic island, and any collision would pose a serious threat to local penguins and seals: their foraging routes could be blocked, preventing them from feeding their young.

6

Icke banned from Twitter for Covid ‘misinformation’

Twitter has blocked the account of the conspiracy researcher David Icke. “The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating Twitter's rules regarding Covid misinformation,” a spokesman told the BBC. Icke has previously been banned by Facebook and YouTube. In a blog, the former BBC broadcaster said he was banned for a tweet he had made about plans to pilot city-wide coronavirus testing in Liverpool.

7

Whitty says deaths may not hit projected 4,000 daily level

Death rates are unlikely to hit the 4,000-a-day level projected at a press conference on Saturday, according to Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief scientific adviser. Giving evidence to the Science and Technology Select Committee, he said 1,000 deaths was a more “conservative” estimate, backed up by short-term projections. However, he added that 1,000 deaths a day would still put pressure on the NHS.

8

Stephen Lawrence police could face fresh criminal charges

Four former Scotland Yard officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation may face criminal charges, after a six-year investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. It found the senior officers may have committed the offence of misconduct in public office. A racist gang murdered Lawrence as he ran to catch a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks on 22 April 1993 in Eltham.

9

High court rejects application on Dominic Cummings row

The decision by police not to investigate Dominic Cummings’s journey from London to Durham during the first Covid-19 lockdown will not be challenged, after a ruling in the High Court. Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, said that any decision to investigate the Downing Street adviser must be made by the police and he did not have the power to interfere.

10

Diego Maradona recovering after successful brain surgery

The legendary footballer Diego Maradona has undergone successful brain surgery, according to his doctor. After the 60-year-old Argentinian was admitted to Ipensa clinic in Buenos Aires suffering from anaemia and dehydration, Leopoldo Luque, Maradona's personal physician, said he had “coped well with the surgery” and will now remain under observation.

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