Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 March 2021

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

1

Trump hints at 2024 run

Donald Trump has suggested that he might run for office again in 2024 but says he has no plans to launch a new political party. In his first speech since Joe Biden became president, Trump said US policy had gone from “America first to America last”. CNN said Trump’s “self-regarding wander through old political fights emphasised his obsession with revenge”.

2

Brazil variant patient hunted

Health officials are trying to trace one of six UK patients infected with a Covid variant first found in Brazil. The mutation, first seen in the city of Manaus, is believed to spread more rapidly than the previous dominant strain and to be more capable of evading existing vaccines. However, NHS England’s Prof Stephen Powis said vaccines could be “rapidly adapted”.

3

Meteor blazes over Britain

A large meteor flashed across western parts of the UK shortly before 10pm last night. Visible for about seven seconds, the meteor was captured on doorbell and security cameras in Manchester, Cardiff, Honiton, Bath, Midsomer Norton and Milton Keynes. The UK Meteor Network said it had received hundreds of reports.

4

Harry ‘worried history is repeating’

Prince Harry has suggested that the fate of his mother weighed heavily on his decision to step back from the royal family. In a clip from a forthcoming TV special with Oprah Winfrey, he said: “My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” apparently referring to Diana, Princess of Wales, who died aged 36 in a Paris car crash while being pursued by press photographers.

5

Protesters killed in Myanmar

Police reportedly killed at least 18 people when they opened fire on people protesting against military rule in Myanmar over the weekend. Dozens more were wounded and more than 1,000 people were arrested. Thousands have taken to the streets since the military coup earlier this month, in which the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

6

Police stations shut

More than half of Britain’s police stations have closed in the past decade, the Daily Mail reports. At least 667 stations with front counters allowing the public to talk to officers have been shut down since 2010 due to government cost-cutting measures, with more following suit during the Covid-19 crisis. Critics of the cuts say “justice is in retreat”, the Daily Mail reports.

7

Israeli spyware firm facing questions

An Israeli spyware company is under fresh scrutiny by the US Department of Justice months after technology giants said the firm was “powerful and dangerous” and should be held liable to the country’s anti-hacking laws. A US government legal team has reportedly approached WhatsApp with technical questions about the alleged targeting of 1,400 of its users by NSO Group’s government clients in 2019.

8

Crown and Nomadland star at Globes

The Crown has won several awards at this year’s Golden Globes, including best drama series. Nomadland and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm were the big winners in the film section of Sunday night’s virtual ceremony. When Sacha Baron Cohen accepted his award for Borat, he joked: “Wait, Donald Trump is contesting the result.”

9

Life sentences for people smugglers

Priti Patel plans to impose life sentences on people smugglers as she cracks down on Channel crossings, The Times reports. Eighty-seven migrants crossed the Channel on Saturday, pushing this year’s total to 531 - 40% higher than at the same time last year. A further 51 attempts to cross the Channel on the same day were intercepted by French authorities.

10

Ishiguro says young authors scared

Young authors may censor themselves because they worry they will be “trolled” or “cancelled”, according to Nobel-winning writer Sir Kazuo Ishiguro. He told the BBC that a “climate of fear” was stifling writers who fear an “anonymous lynch mob will turn up online and make their lives a misery”. He added: “I very much fear for the younger generation of writers.”

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