Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 March 2021

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

1

Remains found in Sarah search

Human remains have been found in Kent in the search for missing Sarah Everard, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has announced. The 33-year-old was last seen a week ago in Clapham, South London, on her way home from a friend’s house. A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of kidnap and murder. Dick, who said police are yet to confirm the identity of the remains, told the public that “it is incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets”.

2

Brazil passes grim milestone

Brazil has exceeded 2,000 Covid-related deaths in a single day for the first time since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic one year ago today. Health chiefs say the transmission rate is being made worse by more contagious variants. There are fears that the South American nation is on the verge of becoming a “breeding ground” for new strains that could spread worldwide. Brazil has the second highest death toll in the world, behind only the US, with a total of 268,370 fatalities and over 11 million infections.

3

Meghan complained to ITV

The Duchess of Sussex contacted ITV personally to warn that Piers Morgan’s dismissive attitude towards her Oprah Winfrey interview could prove damaging to those suffering with mental health issues. The controversial presenter had told viewers he “didn’t believe a word” of what Markle told the US chat show host, including her claim that she had suicidal thoughts. ITV bosses asked Morgan to apologise on air, but he refused and has since resigned from Good Morning Britain.

4

Pill cam for cancer

Patients in the UK will soon be able to check if they have bowel cancer by swallowing a tiny capsule containing miniature cameras. Pictures transmitted from inside their body during the painless procedure will help doctors judge whether a person has the highly treatable cancer. The boss of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, said the procedure is an example of “sci-fi” medicine. Once the procedure is complete, patients will naturally excrete the capsule when they go to the toilet.

5

Labour slams vaccine video

Labour has attacked the government for using taxpayer’s money to produce a documentary about the vaccine rollout entitled “A Beacon of Hope”. Downing Street yesterday tweeted a trailer for the short film featuring clips of interviews with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam. Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock also appear in the short teaser. Labour strategists fear the documentary will help a “vaccine bounce” for the Conservatives ahead of May’s local elections.

6

Firms reveal Brexit woes

Almost three-quarters of British manufacturers are struggling to cope with delays in moving goods in and out of the EU due to Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, a trade survey has revealed. Two months after the UK left the EU, 74% of firms said they are facing delays with EU imports and exports due to mounting red tape, customs checks and disruption to global trade, research from the manufacturing trade group Make UK found. One boss said Brexit has “created a lot of extra bureaucracy that just wasn’t there before”, while another added: “Eventually we manage to get the goods over, but it just takes a lot longer. It’s not smooth like it was.”

7

Society of Editors boss quits

The executive director of the Society of Editors (SoE) has stepped down amid controversy over the group’s reaction to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s comments about racism in the media. Ian Murray said he was resigning so the group could “rebuild its reputation”, adding that “the SoE has been heavily criticised” for denying any suggestion of racism in the tabloid press. After Prince Harry said some British tabloids were “racist” and “bigoted”, the SoE released a statement saying the description was “not acceptable”.

8

Nazi guard ‘too old’ for trial

A court in Germany has declared a 96-year-old former Nazi camp guard unfit to stand trial. The court in Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia said there was a “high degree of probability” that the man, who was accused of complicity in the murder of several hundred people at Stutthof concentration camp, was guilty. However, “due to his physical condition”, the former camp guard known as Harry S “was no longer able to reasonably represent his interest in and outside of the trial”.

9

State school beats Eton on offers

A London state school has got more Oxbridge offers than Eton College for the first time ever. Fifty-five pupils at Brampton Manor Academy in Newham, East London, have been offered places to study at Oxford or Cambridge this autumn, while £42,500-a-year Eton secured just 48 offers, down from 99 five years ago. There has been a drive in recent years by the country’s elite universities to accept students from poorer and state school backgrounds.

10

Dog owners wear body cams

Dog walkers have taken to wearing body cameras while taking their pets out for exercise amid growing fears over thefts. There has been a rise in dog snatching as demand for different breeds of dogs skyrocketed during lockdown. Amanda Knight, who runs a website for dog owners, told The Telegraph that she has been receiving emails from worried owners “two or three times a week”. The average price for puppies more than doubled between March and September 2020, according to the Pets4Homes website, while Dogs Lost, a missing pets website, reported a 170% rise in stolen dogs.

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