Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 March 2021

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

1

Vaccine rollout hits setback

People under the age of 50 may have to wait up to a month longer than planned for their Covid vaccination, NHS leaders have said. Health service chiefs have been ordered to stop booking first dose appointments for anyone under 50 for all of April after an unexpected shortage of doses was reported. A letter from NHS England said there would be a “significant reduction in weekly supply available from manufacturers beginning in the week commencing 29 March”.

2

UK halfway to carbon target

Britain is already halfway to its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, The Times reports. Greenhouse gases have fallen by 51% against the government’s baseline for measuring progress towards net zero, with carbon dioxide emissions falling by 13% last year to the lowest level in nearly 150 years. The biggest factor in the long-term decline is thought to be the closure of coal-fired power stations.

3

Misogyny to be hate crime

Misogyny is to be classed as a hate crime by police from this autumn. Ministers say that officers will be asked to record and identify violent crimes, including stalking and sexual offences, believed by the victim to have been motivated by “hostility based on their sex”. Eight in 10 women say they have been harassed in public, according to a recent UN Women UK poll. But 90% did not report the crime because they did not believe it would be pursued.

4

Care homes breached rights

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said that elderly people’s human rights may have been breached in more than 500 cases where “do not resuscitate” (DNR) decisions were made during the Covid pandemic. The care watchdog is calling for urgent improvements to care planning after it emerged that 508 DNR decisions made since March 2020 were not agreed with the person or their family. A CQC report found a significant increase in DNRs put in place in care homes at the beginning of the pandemic, from 16,876 to 26,555.

5

Covid-sceptic president dies

The president of Tanzania has died aged 61, the country’s vice-president has announced. John Magufuli died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam. He had not been seen in public for more than two weeks and rumours had been circulating that he had contracted Covid-19. Magufuli was one of Africa’s “most prominent coronavirus sceptics” and had recommended prayers and steam therapy for victims, the BBC reports.

6

Trump wealth hit by pandemic

Donald Trump’s net worth dropped by about $700m (£501m) to $2.3bn (£1.65bn) during his time as president. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index found that Trump’s office buildings, branded hotels and resorts lost revenue and fell in value while he was in the White House. Real estate, a sector hit hard by the pandemic, accounts for about three-quarters of Trump’s net worth. The former president is currently under a criminal investigation into his financial affairs and his family business.

7

Olympics chief quits over ‘pig’ comment

The creative chief of the Tokyo Olympic Games has resigned after calling a female comedian an “Olympig”. Hiroshi Sasaki had suggested that the entertainer Naomi Watanabe could appear at the opening ceremony wearing pig ears. The Tokyo Olympic’s president, Yoshiro Mori, was also forced to quit in February for making sexist remarks. He had suggested that women talk too much.

8

Patel may send migrants overseas

The home secretary is planning to change the law so that she can send asylum seekers to overseas processing centres, according to reports. The British overseas territories of Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and other islands off the British coast are all being considered as potential processing sites. Priti Patel, who has vowed to clamp down on migrants making the illegal journey across the Channel, hopes the move will deter people from trying to enter Britain.

9

Rutte claims Dutch election win

Mark Rutte has claimed victory in national elections in the Netherlands. Exit polls suggested that his VVD party has won 35 of the Dutch parliaments 150 seats, two more than in the previous election. “The voters of the Netherlands have given my party an overwhelming vote of confidence,” Rutte said. He has pledged to use a fourth term in office to rebuild the country after the coronavirus pandemic.

10

Apologies over football abuse

The Football Association, Premier League and top football clubs have issued official apologies after a landmark inquiry said that generations of young footballers suffered horrific sexual abuse. “Today is a dark day for the beautiful game,” said Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the FA. The “wholesale absence of child protection policies, ignorance and naivety” are to blame for the rampant abuse within the game, The Guardian says.

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