Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 Feb 2021

The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am

1

Military coup in Myanmar

Myanmar’s military has seized control of the country after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians. Military television said a state of emergency had been declared for one year and power transferred to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander in chief of the armed forces. The army has alleged there were irregularities in November’s election, which Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.

2

NHS staff ‘traumatised’

The NHS in England will take “months” to return to normal service after the Covid crisis is finally over, according to a senior hospital trust leader. Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said the health service’s workforce is “exhausted and traumatised” and “very large numbers” will go on long-term sick leave or leave their jobs.

3

Trump hires new legal team

Donald Trump has announced a new team of lawyers, including David Schoen, who met disgraced businessman and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to discuss representing him before his death. The former president’s legal strategy is said to be in “disarray”, says The New York Times, after he “abruptly parted ways” with the two lead lawyers working on his defence for his Senate impeachment trial.

4

Putin launches crackdown

Police detained more than 5,100 people in Russia yesterday in Vladimir Putin’s biggest ever crackdown. The arrests came as protests swept the country after the jailing of Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader. Officers used batons, tear gas and electric shock weapons against crowds in Moscow and St Petersburg. Navalny’s wife, Yulia, was among those seized and later released.

5

Jab offered to care homes

Every care home resident in England has been offered a Covid-19 vaccination, the NHS has confirmed. Health professionals said older people living in more than 10,000 care homes across England have either been vaccinated or offered the jab. Those forced to wait because of an outbreak of the virus will be treated as soon as possible. Meanwhile, on Saturday a record 598,389 first doses were given across the UK.

6

Captain Moore in hospital

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been admitted to hospital with Covid, his daughter has said. The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for the NHS last year, was taken to Bedford Hospital after requiring help with his breathing. He had been treated for pneumonia recently. A spokeswoman for the family said Moore had not yet received the Covid-19 vaccine due to the medication he was on for pneumonia.

7

Muslim Council elects female head

The Muslim Council of Britain has elected its first female leader. Zara Mohammed, a 29-year-old from Glasgow, said it was an “honour” to be appointed as the new secretary general after winning the most votes in a poll of affiliate groups of the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella organisation. She succeeds Harun Khan, who completed the maximum four-year term as the head of the MCB.

8

Warning on tax burden

Britain’s tax burden has hit highs last seen under Clement Attlee’s post-war government, reports the Daily Telegraph. Rishi Sunak, who is considering tax rises in next month’s Budget, has been urged by the Taxpayers’ Alliance to give “hard pressed families and businesses a respite from taxes”. The chancellor has spent an estimated £271bn battling Covid.

9

Kushner nominated for Nobel prize

Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize for his role in negotiating four normalisation deals between Israel and Arab nations. Kushner, who is Donald Trump’s son-in-law, helped negotiate deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. He was nominated by the US lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who defended Trump during his first impeachment trial.

10

Nurse chosen for sole festival place

Scandinavia’s biggest film festival will be hosted this year on an isolated island with just one attendee. Lisa Enroth, a Swedish nurse, was chosen from 12,000 applicants to be the 2021 Gothenburg film festival’s castaway who will spend the week on the remote island of Pater Noster. “The wind, the sea, the possibility of being part of a totally different kind of reality for a week - all this is really attractive,” she said.

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