Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 22 Nov 2020
PM to reveal road map for ‘normal life’ by Easter
Boris Johnson is set to outline a road map tomorrow to bring back “normal life” by Easter next year, according to a Downing Street source. Meanwhile, a tougher three-tiered system of local restrictions will come into force in England when the lockdown ends on 2 December. The PM is also expected to announce details of how families can see different households at Christmas.
Pennsylvania judge dismisses Trump lawsuit
A Pennsylvania judge has rejected a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to annul millions of mail-in votes in the key state. Judge Matthew Brann said the suit, which was mounted on allegations of irregularities, was “without merit,” opening the way for Pennsylvania to certify Joe Biden’s win. Nationally, Biden is projected to defeat President Trump 306 to 232 in the US electoral system.
Sunak warns borrowing cannot go on ‘indefinitely’
Rishi Sunak has hinted that taxes will have to begin rising next year, warning that the nation is experiencing “economic shock” and cannot keep borrowing money “indefinitely”. The chancellor said that “by the spring” he must begin “returning to sustainable public finances”. The Sunday Times says his words are “a shot at Boris Johnson, who has backed high spending and opposed tax rises”.
Israel attacks more targets in the Gaza Strip
Israel has bombed targets in Gaza in response to a rocket attack launched from the Palestinian territory. The Israeli military says it attacked two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, a military compound and “underground infrastructures”. A rocket was fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening, according to the army. Israel has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007.
Ministers ‘acted unlawfully’ with Covid appointments
Campaigners are making a legal bid for a judicial review into the appointment of Baroness Harding, a Tory peer, and into those of Kate Bingham to the post of head of the UK’s vaccine taskforce and Mike Coupe to the role of director of testing at NHS Test and Trace. They say Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock acted “unlawfully” when they appointed the key figures in the fight against Covid-19.
Archbishop warns ministers on foreign aid
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has advised the government against slashing billions from Britain’s overseas aid budget as part of this week’s spending review. He says ministers should stand by the world’s poorest in “tough times as well as the good”. Meanwhile, the Archbishop has announced that he will take a three-month sabbatical next year, studying in either Cambridge or the United States.
Preserved remains unearthed in ‘exceptional’ Pompei find
The remains of two men have been unearthed in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The almost perfectly preserved bodies are thought to be a wealthy man and his slave, believed to have died as they were fleeing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Massimo Osanna, the park’s director, said it was a “truly exceptional” find.
UK makes trade agreement with ‘friend’ Canada
A Canada-UK trade deal has been agreed in principle in a move that is expected to pave the way for negotiations on a tailor-made agreement between the two countries next year. The International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, says she secured the agreement with “friend and ally” Canada. The Department for International Trade said the deal avoids an estimated £42m of tariffs.
Husbands ‘thrilled’ if they earn more than wife
A study has found that husbands “feel a thrill” if a pay rise widens the gap between their earnings and those of their lower-paid wives, reports The Sunday Times. However, the researchers found that women do not experience an ego boost if the tables are turned. The stereotype of the male breadwinner may still be “bigger than we give credit for,” said Vanessa Gash, a sociologist who co-authored the study.
William and Kate speak up for the fathers
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge say fathers may need more support. During a talk with men who have been helped by charities, William said he worried some new fathers “just don't know what to do” and “don't know where to go” for support. Kate said: “Dads play such an important role it shouldn't be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice.”