Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 Jan 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Police will fine rule breakers
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has warned lockdown rule breakers they are “increasingly likely” to be fined by officers. Writing in The Times, Dick says it is “preposterous” that anyone could be unaware of the need to follow lockdown rules, adding that those caught breaking restrictions “will find officers moving much more quickly to enforcement action”. Official data shows that 529 people died within 28 days of a positive test yesterday.
Trump faces second impeachment
Donald Trump is facing a second impeachment after Democrats in the House of Representatives formally charged him with “incitement of insurrection” over the Capitol Hill riot. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump “represents an imminent threat to our constitution, our country and the American people, and he must be removed from office immediately”. Her party say a vote on the article will go ahead on Wednesday unless Vice-President Mike Pence invokes constitutional powers to remove Trump from office.
Sunak predicts ‘Big Bang 2.0’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has predicted a “Big Bang 2.0” for the City of London after lockdown ends. Sunak said workers will return to offices after restrictions are lifted because they are “social animals” and need interaction. Speaking to City A.M., he added that he does not believe the “history books have now been written on cities”, despite months of people working from home.
Brexit sees sandwich confiscation
Dutch television has broadcast footage of customs officers confiscating ham sandwiches from drivers arriving by ferry from the UK. Officials are shown explaining to drivers at the Hook of Holland ferry port that since Brexit, “you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe”. The bemused travellers are shown laughing off the loss of their lunch as a border guard adds: “Welcome to the Brexit, sir, I’m sorry.”
Whole-life term for Reading attacker
A man who murdered three men in a Reading park has been sentenced to die in prison after a judge imposed a rare whole-life tariff. Khairi Saadallah, 26, showed no emotion as the judgement was handed down by Justice Sweeney for the “swift, ruthless and brutal” stabbings last June. Sweeney said he had “no doubt that this is a rare and exceptional case in which just punishment requires you must be kept in prison for the rest of your life”. Saadallah shouted “Allahu akhbar” before carrying out the deadly attack.
NHS to vaccinate over-50s by April
The head of the NHS in England has said that the health service aims to vaccinate all of the country’s over-50s against Covid by April. Simon Stevens said the jab will be given to everyone over 70 by 15 February, with the focus then switching to vaccinating 50- to 70-year-olds within two-and-a-half months. Ministers said yesterday that almost 2.3 million people have so far been vaccinated against the coronavirus, as seven new mass vaccination centres opened their doors.
FBI warns of violent protests
A leaked FBI memo has warned that armed protests could be held across the US in the days before Joe Biden is sworn in as president, amid reports that armed groups are planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and in Washington D.C. The president-elect insisted he was not afraid to take the oath of office, while the bureau said in a statement that it “is supporting our state, local and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve”.
‘Blacklist’ areas receiving no post
Royal Mail has published a “blacklist” of areas that no longer receive regular post because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tens of thousands of people are only getting “limited” deliveries because so many postal staff are ill or self-isolating. Residents in some areas, including parts of London and the Southeast, said they have not received post for over a month.
Cuba back on US terror list
The White House has put Cuba back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism just days before Donald Trump leaves office, with the country’s backing of Venezuela blamed for the decision. Havana described the move as “political opportunism”, after President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on 20 January, said he wanted to improve US-Cuban relations while on the campaign trail. Like his former boss Barack Obama, Biden said he is looking to improve ties between the long-term enemies. However, Trump's decision is “likely to hinder a quick repair of relations”, the BBC says.
Man storms animal shelter
Melbourne police are searching for an armed man who stormed an animal shelter and threatened staff. The man, reportedly dressed in “tactical-style camouflage clothing” including a mask and helmet, marched a staff member into the shelter at gunpoint, tied her hands with cable ties and demanded to know “where the cats were” before leaving without taking anything. He remains on the run.