Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 15 Nov 2020
Arrests and a stabbing during pro-Trump protests
Twenty people have been arrested as supporters of Donald Trump clashed with counter protesters in Washington. According to the Washington Post, there was a stabbing when a fight broke out between two large groups. The Observer says Trump emerged from the White House to applause, cheers, waving and whistles from hundreds of supporters lining both sides of the street.
Tears and anger over ‘vicious’ Downing St briefings
Allegra Stratton, who has been appointed by Boris Johnson to lead his daily press operations, was left in tears after negative briefings by former No 10 official Lee Cain, who resigned last week. Meanwhile, Downing Street sources have condemned “vicious and cowardly” briefings about Carrie Symonds, the Prime Minister's fiancée, who is allegedly referred to by Cummings loyalists as “Princess nut nuts”.
UK ‘chumocracy’ as lobbyists advise health ministers
A “chumocracy” dominates the heart of government, says The Sunday Times, as it reports that an influential lobbyist advised health ministers and later sent information about the UK's Covid response to private clients. The paper says George Pascoe-Watson was hired by the Department of Health and discussed strategy “daily” with test-and-trace minister Lord Bethell for several months.
Rockets fired as Tigray fighting worsens
Rockets have been fired from the restive Tigray region of Ethiopia across the border at the capital of Eritrea, according to local media. The explosions occurred in Bahir Dar and Gondar late on Friday, with one of the rockets hitting the airport in Gondar and leaving it partially damaged, according to a spokesperson for Gondar central zone.
Fury as supermarkets enjoy £1.9bn tax breaks
Supermarkets are facing anger over the news they have rewarded shareholders with hundreds of millions of pounds in payouts while claiming a huge tax discount. The big four — Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons — and the discounters Aldi and Lidl, will collectively save £1.9bn due to the Treasury’s 12-month holiday on business rates, according to the advisory firm Altus.
Filing reveals possible names for Covid-19 vaccine
Trademark filings have offered hints of what the coronavirus vaccine's name could be. After analysing European and US trademark applications filed by BioNTech, the Germany-based company behind the vaccine, the Sunday Telegraph says that the most likely name is Covuity, but Rnaxcovi, Kovimerna, or Comirnaty are also contenders.
Labour calls for laws to stamp out anti-vaccine content
Labour says that emergency laws to “stamp out dangerous” anti-vaccine content online should be introduced as a matter or urgency. The party said a commitment by online platforms to remove content flagged by the government was not enough. A spokesman is calling for financial and criminal penalties for social media firms that do not remove alternative narratives about Covid vaccines.
Typhoon approaches Vietnam after killing 53 in Philippines
Typhoon Vamco is expected to make landfall in Vietman today, after leaving 53 dead in the Philippines. With gusts of up to 165 kph (103 mph), Vamco is forecast to hit a swathe of Vietnam's central coast from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai province. “This is a very strong typhoon,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as the provinces planned to evacuate 468,000 people.
Elon Musk reveals that he ‘most likely’ has Covid-19
Elon Musk says he “most likely” has a “moderate case” of Covid-19 but has been “getting wildly different results from different labs”. The entrepreneur, 49, tweeted that his symptoms were those of a “minor cold”. Earlier, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX said he had been tested four times, with two positive and two negative results.
Charles allies say The Crown is ‘trolling’ on Hollywood budget
Friends of Prince Charles have lashed out against the new Netflix drama The Crown, telling the Mail on Sunday that the series is “trolling on a Hollywood budget”. The sources claim that “fiction is presented as fact" in the drama, which it says promotes a “twisted version of events”. The fourth series covers Charles’ ill-fated marriage to Diana.