Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 Jan 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
UK closes travel corridors
The government has announced a dramatic tightening of the UK’s borders. All international arrivals will be forced to quarantine and prove they have had a negative coronavirus test. Industry groups say the UK’s aviation sector now “urgently” needs more government support if it is to survive another long period of travel curbs. The British Airline Pilots’ Association called the travel corridor closure “yet another huge blow”.
US minister quits with warning
The US health secretary, Alex Azar, has told Donald Trump that the attack on the Capitol threatens the administration’s legacy. In his resignation letter, Azar said the attacks on the Capitol were “an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power” which “threaten to tarnish these and other historic legacies of this administration”.
Warnings of 10cm of snow
Snow and ice warnings have been issued for much of Scotland and parts of England. The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for snow across East Anglia, while large parts of the UK, including Scotland, northern England, the East Midlands and the South East, are covered by yellow warnings. Parts of eastern England are expected to see up to 10cm of snow.
Lockerbie appeal dismissed
Judges have dismissed an appeal against the Lockerbie bomber’s conviction, ruling that incriminating evidence over luggage tags deemed inadmissible 20 years ago at his original trial would have made the case against him and his co-accused “substantially stronger”. The judgment is a blow to a long-running campaign to clear Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s name.
Chain to rename ‘Black Boy’ pubs
Greene King will rename four pubs with names “linked with racism,” reports the Daily Telegraph. Three pubs currently called The Black Boy, and one called Black’s Head, will be given new names. The chain’s 19th century founder Benjamin Greene received the equivalent of £500,000 in compensation for his West Indies plantations after the abolition of slavery.
Jabs for over-70s imminent
People aged 70 and over are expected to begin receiving coronavirus vaccinations as soon. With 90 per cent of the over-80s now vaccinated in some areas and 3.2 million doses administered in total, attention will turn to the next age categories to get the jab. Letters inviting the over-70s to book vaccinations will arrive on doormats early next week, meaning the first appointments would be possible within days.
Dutch government stands aside
The Dutch government has resigned after thousands of families were wrongly accused of child welfare fraud. Announcing the Cabinet’s resignation, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that responsibility for the scandal “ultimately rests with the incumbent Cabinet and nowhere else”. Around 10,000 families Netherlands were told to repay tens of thousands of euros of subsidies after being wrongly accused of child welfare fraud.
Abbas to hold Palestinian poll
The Palestinian president has announced the first parliamentary and presidential elections in 15 years. Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement comes amid criticism of the democratic legitimacy of Palestinian political institutions, including his presidency. The Palestinian Authority will hold legislative elections on 22 May, with a presidential vote due on on 31 July.
Boris protests whale killing
Boris Johnson says he will “take a stand” against “cruel” Japanese whale killing after a young minke whale was seen struggling for life for 19 days in a net off the coast of Taiji before being drowned by fishermen. “I look to Japan… to stand with me in the fight against the killing of these beautiful mammals and take steps to help preserve our precious marine life for future generations,” said the PM.
Rooney retires after 19 years
Wayne Rooney has retired as a player after Championship side Derby County appointed him as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract. The 35-year-old, who is England’s record goalscorer, made his professional debut for boyhood club Everton in August 2002 aged just 16. He went on to win the Premier League five times, the Champions League, the FA Cup and three League Cups with Manchester United.