Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 Feb 2021

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

1

Senate votes to proceed with trial

Donald Trump will face a second impeachment trial, after the US Senate rejected Republican arguments that it would be unconstitutional. Senators were asked to vote on whether the former president can be tried even though he is no longer in office. The move was approved by 56 votes to 44, with six Republican senators joining the Democrats. The Guardian says the impeachment trial is a “test of accountability before a global audience”.

2

Care home staff lacked PPE

MPs say care home staff went without personal protective equipment (PPE) early in the Covid-19 pandemic because the government prioritised the NHS. The Commons Public Accounts Committee said social care “was only taken seriously after the high mortality rate in care homes became apparent”. During the early months of the crisis, 25,000 patients were discharged to care homes from hospitals without being tested for Covid-19.

3

Arrests over celeb sim swaps

The National Crime Agency says it has arrested eight people as part of an investigation into the sim-swap hijacking of celebrities’ phones. The officers say athletes, musicians and their families had been targeted by the scam in which criminals gained access to victims’ phones or accounts. The hackers stole money, bitcoin and personal information. They also posted from their victims’ social media accounts.

4

Ministers prepare cladding support

The government is expected to announce up to £5bn in extra support for homeowners left in peril by the cladding crisis. However, The Times says ministers will offer loans rather than grants for smaller buildings, which campaigners say could lead to freeholders passing the costs on to leaseholders, who will face “financial ruin”. The development follows more than three years of uncertainty after the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster.

5

Woman critical after Myanmar ‘shooting’

A woman who was severely injured while protesting against Myanmar’s military coup remains in critical condition. Rights groups say the woman was shot in the head at a protest on Tuesday in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw, during which police tried to disperse protesters using water cannon, rubber bullets and live rounds. Tens of thousands have protested against a coup that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's democratically-elected government last week.

6

Charles vetted property laws

Prince Charles has used a secretive procedure to vet parliamentary acts that prevented residents on his estate from buying their own homes. The Guardian says the prince’s £1bn Duchy of Cornwall estate was subsequently given special exemptions that denied residents the legal right to buy their own homes. Under the ‘royal consent’ arrangement, the Queen and Prince of Wales are allowed to vet bills before they were passed by MPs.

7

Brexit ‘has been more than bumpy’

Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator has admitted that the implementation of the Brexit deal with the EU has been “more than bumpy” since the transition out of the single market and customs union. David Frost said London and Brussels had failed to achieve the “friendly cooperation between sovereign equals” they hoped for. He blamed disagreements over Covid vaccines and disruptions to trade with Northern Ireland.

8

Princess Eugenie gives birth

Buckingham Palace has announced that Princess Eugenie has given birth to her first child, a son who is 11th in line to the throne. The baby, who is the Queen’s ninth great-grandchild, was born on Tuesday morning at the Portland Hospital in central London, weighing 8lbs 1oz. The Daily Telegraph says the princess and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, will benefit from “a network of doulas and private hospital wings and top potty trainers”.

9

Middle-class teens more likely to steal

The children of well-educated parents are more likely to shoplift than those with mothers and fathers who went straight into work from school, a new study has found. Overall, 7% of surveyed teens admitted to stealing from a shop. The figure rose to 9% among those whose parents were educated to degree level or higher, with just 5% of those whose parents were less well educated admitted to shoplifting.

10

Europe’s oldest person survives Covid

A French nun who is the oldest living person in Europe has survived Covid-19. On 16 January, a month before her 117th birthday, Lucile Randon tested positive for coronavirus but didn’t develop any symptoms. The nun, who has taken the name of Sister Andre, said she “didn't even realise I had it”. She will celebrate her birthday - and recovery - on Thursday.

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