Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 10 Nov 2020

1

UK clinics could distribute vaccine by Christmas

Britain could start distributing a coronavirus vaccine by Christmas, the deputy chief medical officer has claimed, after early findings showed one vaccine in development is 90% effective. Doctors’ leaders said Covid vaccination clinics could run for seven days a week, while the developers of the vaccine - Pfizer and BioNTech - plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month. 

2

Government vows to push on with Internal Market Bill

Boris Johnson has insisted that he will press ahead with legislation designed to override elements of the withdrawal agreement, despite being warned by US president-elect Joe Biden that it would put the Good Friday agreement at risk. Members of the House of Lords last night inflicted a defeat on the government, voting to remove measures that “disapply” parts of the Northern Ireland protocol signed in January.

3

US official resigns over Trump false fraud probe

The US Justice Department’s top election crimes prosecutor has resigned after Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors to examine allegations of voting irregularities before states certify results in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s spokesperson has said the legal battle to contest Joe Biden’s election victory is only just beginning, claiming: “This election is not over.”

4

Protests in Peru as congress ousts president

Peru’s congress has voted to oust President Martin Vizcarra from office. Peruvians banged pots and pans in the street last night to protest against the vote to impeach Vizcarra over corruption allegations. However, Vizcarra said he would not challenge the decision in the courts and would step down as head of state. It is the second attempt to oust the president in the last two months.

5

Biden urges US to wear masks ahead of ‘worst wave’

Joe Biden has appealed to Americans to wear a face mask, describing it as the best way to “turn this pandemic around”. The president-elect said the US faced a “very dark winter”, adding that the “worst wave yet” is still to hit the country. After naming a new Covid-19 task force, Biden added: “A mask is not a political statement but it is a good way to start pulling the country together.”

6

Markets surge on news of coronavirus vaccine

Stock markets have soared in response to news that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective. The FTSE 350 jumped 5% yesterday, in response to the news. And today, Japan's Nikkei 225 index opened more than 1.5% higher, to reach its highest level in almost 30 years, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng opened 1.8% higher. Indexes in Singapore, South Korea and Australia were also in positive territory.

7

Watchdog claims children forgetting how to use cutlery

Ofsted says that children hit by Covid-19 nursery and school closures are regressing in basic skills like using a knife and fork. Meanwhile, school leaders have reported a rise in older pupils self-harming. “The impact of school closures in the summer will be felt for some time to come - and not just in terms of education, but in all the ways they impact on the lives of young people,” said the watchdog.

8

‘Lockdown’ named the word of 2020

Lockdown has been named word of the year by Collins Dictionary. The noun is defined by Collins as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction and access to public spaces”. Collins has registered a 6,000% increase in the word’s usage: in 2019, there were 4,000 recorded instances of lockdown being used, but in 2020, this has already soared to more than a quarter of a million.

9

Is Princess Diana row a bigger scandal than Savile?

The BBC has said that it takes allegations that a reporter may have used forged documents to obtain an interview with Princess Diana “very seriously”. Last week, the broadcaster reopened an investigation into claims that Martin Bashir forged bank documents to convince Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, to set up the interview. The Daily Telegraph says the story could become a “bigger scandal than Savile”.

10

Financial ombudsman flooded with pandemic complaints

The financial ombudsman has received more than 10,000 complaints related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost 6,000 of the complaints were from borrowers between July and September about Covid-related problems with loans. “We continued to see an increase in complaints from people who borrowed money, who then felt the debt was unaffordable,” said a spokesman for the service.

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