Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 14 Nov 2020
Johnson feared Cummings would ‘poison the well’
Boris Johnson told his most senior aides to leave Downing Street with immediate effect last night amid fears that they would “poison the well” if they were allowed to remain in their posts until the end of the year, as planned. Chief adviser Dominic Cummings and director of communications Lee Cain will work out their notices at home following tensions within No 10.
Did Donald Trump almost concede defeat last night?
Donald Trump appears to have come close to admitting that he lost the US presidential election. The Guardian says that during a press conference last night, the US president “appeared to catch himself making a slip of the tongue” as he discussed the possibility of a Biden administration imposing a national lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting “time will tell” which administration will be in power next.
BBC says it has found letter that will clear Martin Bashir
The BBC claims it has uncovered a handwritten note from Princess Diana that clears Martin Bashir of wrongdoing over his landmark 1995 interview with the royal. The corporation had previously said it had lost the document, which it insists will prove Bashir did not coerce Diana into giving the interview because “we have her word in writing for that”.
Joe Biden wins Georgia but Trump projected for North Carolina
Joe Biden has won the state of Georgia, the first Democratic candidate to do so since 1992. The win solidifies the US President-elect’s victory, giving him a total of 306 votes in the electoral college, the system the US uses to choose its president. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is projected to win North Carolina, reaching 232 votes.
NYT says Israeli agents killed al-Qaida chief in Tehran
Israeli agents in Iran killed al-Qaida's top lieutenant in August, according to the New York Times. Citing intelligence officials, the report claims that Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle in Tehran. He was suspected of involvement in the bombings of two US embassies in Africa and was regarded as a likely successor to Ayman al-Zawahri, believed to be al-Qaida’s current leader.
Measles infections soaring as vaccination levels fall
Measles infections soared to a global 23-year high in 2019 and millions more are at risk this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 870,000 people contracted measles last year and more than 207,000 died from the disease, according to the United States' Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organisation. Vaccination levels fell below the critical 95% required for community protection.
Scientists warn that return to tiered system won't stop Covid
Government scientists have warned that England will face a resurgence of coronavirus cases before Christmas if the country returns to the tiering restrictions when the current lockdown ends. However, figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday confirmed that the rate of increase in coronavirus infections has slowed across England.
Poll of Muslim Labour members reveals widespread distrust
More than half of Muslim members of the Labour party do not trust Keir Starmer to tackle Islamophobia, according to a new poll. The findings by the Labour Muslim Network match complaints aired earlier this year by members of the party’s own black and minority ethnic staff network that there is a perception of a “hierarchy of racism” within Labour.
Police apologise for Yorkshire Ripper comment
West Yorkshire police apologised yesterday for its officer’s remark that many of the Yorkshire Ripper’s victims were women of “loose morals”. John Robins, the force’s chief constable, said: “I apologise for the additional distress and anxiety caused to all relatives by the language, tone and terminology” of the statement. Peter Sutcliffe, one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, died in hospital early yesterday after suffering from Covid-19.
Anniversary edition of Children in Need raises more than £37m
An audience-free edition of Children in Need raised more than £37m last night. Pudsey Bear returned with a host of celebrities for the 40th anniversary of the BBC's annual fundraiser. Peter Crouch and Andy Murray went head-to-head in a game of Paddle Tennis, and an all-star cast covered Oasis's Stop Crying Your Heart Out. Earlier in the day, Joe Wicks completed his 24-hour workout challenge.