Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 3 April 2021

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

1

Relaxed travel rules for jabbed

New government plans could mean no quarantine and minimal Covid testing for travellers who have had both jabs. Boris Johnson is expected to announce that, when foreign travel is opened up, restrictions will be based on a traffic light system under which countries are rated red, amber or green according to risk. The Daily Telegraph says that those who have been fully vaccinated could need fewer tests after visiting low-risk countries.

2

Officer dies after Capitol attack

Yesterday’s attack at the US Capitol complex in Washington DC has left one police officer dead and another in hospital with injuries. A car crashed into a security barrier and the driver lunged towards the officers with a knife. The officers opened fire and the suspect was shot dead. CNN says the incident “sent shockwaves through Washington” and “shattered the sense of relative calm” in the city.

3

NHS backlog is ‘frightening’

Patients could wait as much as two years for vital operations by the time of the next election due to a “frightening” backlog of care caused by the pandemic, the NHS’s former boss has warned. Sir David Nicholson said lengthening delays in treatment will become a major political problem for Boris Johnson. However, the current head of the NHS says Britain’s vaccination programme will be used as a “blueprint for the future” of the health service.

4

Historian slams race report

One of Britain’s leading scholars of slavery has accused the authors of the controversial race report commissioned by Downing Street of giving the impression they would prefer “history to be swept under the carpet”. Writing for The Guardian, broadcaster David Olusoga, professor of public history at Manchester University, says the report’s authors “stumble, ill-prepared and overconfident, into the arena of history”.

5

Cameron faces new loan claims

David Cameron lobbied a second Treasury minister for access to government Covid support loans for the finance firm Greensill. The Times reveals that the former PM contacted Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, at the same time as he was trying to get access to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor. At the time he was working as a senior adviser to the firm and was thought to have share options worth $60 million.

6

More jab blood clot deaths

Seven people have died from blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, says the medicines regulator. In total, 30 people out of 18 million vaccinated in the UK by 24 March suffered these clots. Although the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the benefits continue to outweigh any risk, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Canada are restricting use of the vaccine.

7

Officers hurt in Belfast riot

Petrol bombs, bricks and bottles have been hurled at police during rioting in Belfast. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said eight officers have been injured and seven people arrested during disorder in the Sandy Row area. Up to 100 people had gathered in the Shaftesbury Square area where a loyalist protest was due to take place. A local police commander called for calm after a “small local protest developed into an attack on police”.

8

Taiwan seeks crash arrest

Prosecutors in Taiwan are seeking the arrest of a construction site boss whose lorry is suspected of causing a train crash in which at least 50 people died. The train hit the lorry when it slid onto the tracks from the site, trapping hundreds in the wreckage for hours. Friday’s accident is the island’s worst railway disaster in decades. The train was packed with people travelling to celebrate Taiwan’s Tomb Sweeping holiday.

9

Woman dies after dog attack

A woman in her 80s has died after being attacked by two escaped dogs. Police in the West Midlands were alerted after the woman was found in a garden suffering from serious injuries in Rowley Regis on Friday. Police said the dogs did not belong to the woman, but managed to get into her garden before attacking her. The dogs have been seized and a local man has been detained.

10

Tory slams ‘buffoon’ Boris

A former Tory minister has described Boris Johnson as a “buffoon”. Writing in his memoir, Alan Duncan, who was Johnson’s deputy when he was foreign secretary, writes that Johnson is “disloyal” and “an international stain on our reputation”. He recalls that when Johnson asked: “Why don’t they take me seriously?” he replied: “Look in the ****ing mirror!”

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