Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 27 Nov 2020
Trump says he’ll go if electoral college crowns Biden
Donald Trump has signalled that he will leave the White House if Joe Biden is formally confirmed as the next US president by the electoral college - as he is legally obliged to do. The Republican told the media it would be “hard” to concede and he repeated unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Biden leads Trump by 306 votes to 232 under the electoral college system, with most vote tallies now certified by states. Biden also leads the popular vote by more than six million.
Conservatives lash out at ‘authoritarian’ tier system
Boris Johnson is facing dissent from his own MPs over the “unfair” new tier system, which condemned more than 34 million people to tighter restrictions than before the national lockdown. Following the announcement of who will be in which tier when lockdown ends next week, the Conservative backbench Covid Recovery Group said the plan was “authoritarianism at work”.
South Korean leader of sexual blackmail ring sentenced
The head of an online sexual blackmail ring that targeted minors and young women has been sentenced to 40 years in jail in South Korea. Cho Joo-bin, 25, hosted online rooms on the Telegram messaging app, where users paid to see young girls perform sexual acts under duress. At least 74 victims, including 16 minors, were coerced into uploading explicit images onto the group chats.
French minister suspends police over beating of black man
Four police officers have been suspended after a video emerged of them beating a black man they had stopped for failing to wear a mask in Paris. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he personally ordered the suspensions after “unspeakable” and “extremely shocking” security camera footage was published online. The victim says he was racially abused during the five-minute beating.
NHS chief hails ‘gamechanger’ blood test for cancer
The NHS is to trial a blood test that could identify more than 50 forms of cancer years before diagnosis. It could detect early signs of cancers that are hard to spot, such as ovarian and pancreatic cancer, boosting survival rates. Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, says the test is a potential “gamechanger”.
Hunts suspended as police probe undercover footage
The National Trust and Forestry England have suspended all hunting with hounds on their land after police launched an investigation into leaked footage from a hunting group’s online discussions. Anti-hunt activists obtained footage of private Zoom seminars held by the Hunting Office, the executive body for more than 170 hunting packs, in which hunters allegedly discussed how to create a smokescreen for illegal gatherings.
Outcry as ‘virginity tests’ are offered at UK clinics
Women are being offered “virginity tests”, which involve a vaginal examination to check if the hymen is intact, at British medical clinics, reports the BBC. The controversial tests are considered a violation of human rights by the World Health Organization and United Nations. Opponents say the tests cannot prove whether someone is a virgin and amount to a form of abuse.
Hancock’s deal with neighbour ‘a disgrace’
Labour’s deputy leader has described as Matt Hancock as “a disgrace” after it was revealed that a former neighbour of the health secretary is supplying millions of vials for NHS Covid-19 tests, despite having no experience of producing medical supplies. Alex Bourne, who used to run a pub close to Hancock’s home in Thurlow, Suffolk, got the job after contacting Hancock over WhatsApp.
Violence breaks out as Maradona lies in state
There were violent clashes before Diego Maradona's funeral in Argentina yesterday, when tens of thousands of people turned up to pay their respects to the football legend as his body lay in state in the capital of Buenos Aires. After some mourners were unable to view the casket, they threw bottles, bricks and metal fencing at riot police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. He was later buried at a private ceremony.
‘Clean skin’ former Treasury man named as No. 10 chief
Boris Johnson has appointed a former Treasury official, who served as principal private secretary to George Osborne, as his new chief of staff. The Times says the prime minister believes that Dan Rosenfield will help him to assert his grip over Downing Street and Whitehall and “make the machine work for him”. The former banker is considered as a “clean skin not beholden to any faction”, the paper adds.