Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 April 2021

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

1

‘Fitting farewell’ for Philip

The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest following a funeral at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle yesterday. The Dean of Windsor paid tribute to Prince Philip’s “kindness, humour and humanity” during the service. The BBC reported that the Queen was “alone but for the gaze of the world” while the Mail On Sunday says “it was a fitting farewell, ma’am”. The Sunday Times says the royal family “mixed protocols with precaution”.

2

Salisbury duo linked to explosion

The two Russian men suspected of carrying out the Salisbury poisoning in 2018 are being linked to an explosion at an arms depot in the Czech Republic four years earlier. Czech police issued photos of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who they say were in the country at the time of the blast. The names match those used by the two men accused of poisoning Sergei Skripal.

3

US and China reach climate deal

Washington and Beijing say they are committed to working together and with other countries on tackling climate change. Following meetings between Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his US counterpart John Kerry in Shanghai last week, the two nations agreed on further specific actions to reduce emissions. Li Shuo, senior climate adviser for environmental group Greenpeace, described the development as “positive”.

4

Teen arrested with AK-47 in NY

An 18-year-old in the US is facing weapons charges after officers patrolling a Times Square subway station in New York found him with an AK-47 and a loaded magazine. The New York Police Department said Saadiq Teague, of Canal Winchester near Columbus, was arrested on Friday afternoon. He was sitting down while charging his phone at the subway station, and had the unloaded AK-47 in front of him.

5

Sleaze could lose Tories ‘red wall’

A senior Tory MP has warned that Boris Johnson could lose the “red wall” seats if he does not address the “shameful” lobbying crisis. Sir Bernard Jenkin said the current row over lobbying is “corrosive”. Writing in The Observer, Sir Bernard said “we have a system that has allowed the lines between public service and private gain to become blurred”.

6

Self-driving cars are ‘racist’

New self-driving cars may display racist and sexist behaviour, according to an official body. The Law Commission says the autonomous vehicles says may “struggle to recognise dark-skinned faces in the dark” because facial recognition software may be less accurate at detecting “non-white and non-male faces”. The Department for Transport claims the UK will be a leader of the driverless car revolution.

7

Study predicts ‘green list’ destinations

Only eight countries are expected to feature on the government’s green travel list when the ban on overseas holidays ends on May 17. According to industry modelling in the Sunday Telegraph, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, along with Israel, Iceland and the US, will be among the nations and territories on the safe list. The report contradicts the belief among some travel industry leaders that most of Europe will be on the green list. 

8

Ballet figure dies at 35

The ballet choreographer Liam Scarlett has died unexpectedly at the age of 35. The internationally renowned former dancer left the Royal Ballet last year amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour. The Royal Ballet terminated his contract following the claims. Yesterday, his family said: “At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy.”

9

Navalny could die ‘any minute’

The jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny risks cardiac arrest at “any minute” as his health has rapidly deteriorated, doctors warned on Saturday. Navalny has been on a hunger strike for 18 days, to demand proper treatment for acute back pain and leg numbness. A prominent critic of the Kremlin, he was jailed in February for embezzlement charges.

10

Ducts swabbed as fans return

Scientists swabbed the air ducts at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre after play in the World Snooker Championship to track any possible spread of Covid. The championship, which is part of the government’s science-led Events Research Programme, saw fans allowed into a sporting event in the UK for the first time in 2021. A total of 632 tickets were sold for Saturday’s three sessions at the Crucible.

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