Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 11 Nov 2020

1

GP services will be slashed to roll out Covid vaccine

Services offered by family doctors will be cut back deep into next year so GP surgeries can immunise millions of people against coronavirus at new seven-day-a-week clinics, NHS England has said. Health leaders warned that doctors will not be able to offer their full range of care for patients from next month. The Times says that a million people a week could be vaccinated against coronavirus under NHS plans.

2

Concern as Trump replaces four Pentagon chiefs

Donald Trump has carried out sweeping changes at the Pentagon, provoking concern about how the transfer of power to US president-elect Joe Biden will be handled. Four senior civilian officials have either been fired or resigned since Monday, to be replaced by Trump loyalists, including a controversial figure who promoted outlandish conspiracy theories and called former president Barack Obama a terrorist.

3

Evacuation plan to get students home for Christmas

The BBC says universities are planning an “evacuation-style operation” to get students home safely in time for Christmas. Students will be allocated travel slots during the week of 3 December, following the expiry of the national lockdown. Dr Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russell Group of research universities, said: “A mandatory cut-off date for in-person teaching to deliver a ‘student travel window' does create practical challenges for universities.”

4

Biden says Trump’s refusal to concede is embarrassing

Answering questions for the first time since he was declared the winner of the presidential election, Joe Biden has said Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election is “an embarrassment”. The president’s denial would “not help his legacy”, his successor added. Biden has been holding phone calls with foreign leaders, including Boris Johnson.

5

Johnson make key Vote Leave ally chief of staff

Boris Johnson is set to appoint Lee Cain, currently his director of communications, as chief of staff in a shake-up of his Downing Street operation. The Times says the prime minister’s decision to promote Lee Cain will “entrench the influence of No. 10’s Vote Leave faction” in an “apparent riposte to those urging him to reset his premiership”. Cain is a former journalist for The Sun and The Mirror.

6

Stephen Lawrence parents slam ‘hypocritical’ promises

The parents of Stephen Lawrence, the London teenaged murdered by a racist gang in 1993, say they are losing confidence in the ability of a public inquiry to unearth the truth about an undercover police operation which spied on them. Doreen Lawrence said she was “exhausted” by a series of “hollow and downright hypocritical” promises made by police during her family’s long quest for justice.

7

Children’s books ‘under-represent black characters’

Children’s books are eight times as likely to feature animal main characters than black and other ethnic minority people, a new study has found. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education says that 5% of children’s books published last year had an ethnic minority main character, compared to 4% in 2018 and just 1% in 2017. However, a spokesperson said: “We need to make sure that the incremental increase doesn’t make us complacent.”

8

Drug pushers ‘grooming children in care homes’

Criminals are working in children’s homes to recruit children as drug runners, according to the Daily Mirror, which says it was contacted by whistleblowers. A subsequent investigation uncovered claims that care home staff are grooming children to sell drugs. Experts have warned that drug dealers and other criminals are targeting children in care throughout the UK.

9

Prince Charles to make historic German appearance

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will attend a remembrance ceremony in Germany, the first members of the Royal Family to take part in the event. This year’s theme for the country’s annual National Day of Mourning is “the German-British friendship”. It will be the couple’s first joint official overseas visit since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

10

Court rejects Britney’s plea to be freed from father’s control

A court has rejected an attempt by the singer Britney Spears to have her father removed as guardian of her estate. Jamie Spears, who has been his daughter’s legal conservator for 12 years, says he has acted due to concerns about her mental state. However, the pop star says she is “afraid” of her father, and vowed that she would not perform so long as he remained in the role.

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