Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 April 2021

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

1

Chauvin guilty of Floyd murder

Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder for killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. There were huge cheers outside the court as the jury swiftly and unanimously convicted Chauvin of all the charges he faced: second and third-degree murder, and manslaughter. George’s brother Philonise said: “Today, we are able to breathe again.”

2

English clubs drop Super League

All six Premier League sides involved in the European Super League have withdrawn from the competition. Manchester City were the first club to officially pull out after Chelsea had hinted they would do so. The other four sides - Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham - have all now followed suit. However, the European Super League has vowed to “reshape the project” and said it will not go away.

3

Hospital risk plunges after jab

Just 32 vaccinated people have been hospitalised with Covid-19 in recent months, according to new data. The figure represents a miniscule fraction of the 74,000 people admitted to hospital with the virus during the same time period. The Daily Telegraph says its findings will “raise questions regarding the government’s caution about the return to normality”.

4

Poll predicts united Ireland

A poll has found that the majority of people on both sides of the Irish border believe Northern Ireland will have left the UK within 25 years. In Northern Ireland, 49% of people said if there was a border poll today they would vote to remain in the UK, with 43% backing a united Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, 51% said they would vote for a United Ireland, while 27% would vote for Northern Ireland to stay in the UK.

5

Police kill black teen in Ohio

Police in Ohio fatally shot a black 15-year-old girl on Tuesday afternoon, just moments before Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Officers were responding to an attempted stabbing call when they shot the girl at about 4.45pm, officials said. Officials are urging local residents to remain calm.

6

Downing Street scraps briefing plan

Boris Johnson has abandoned plans to launch new White House-style press conferences after splashing £2.6m on a venue to host them. The prime minister’s media chief Allegra Stratton, who had been due to front the briefings, will instead become the spokeswoman for the COP26 climate summit. Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner accused Boris Johnson of “running scared of scrutiny” and “wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on a pointless vanity project”.

7

Mercer leaves over troops row

Johnny Mercer says he was “forced” to resign as a defence minister over the treatment of veterans who served in Northern Ireland. The Daily Telegraph reports that Mercer was sacked by text message as he accused Boris Johnson of lacking the “moral strength and courage” to protect ex-soldiers from prosecution in Northern Ireland. Johnson said the government was “committed to doing more… including for those who have served in Northern Ireland”.

8

Companies join carbon forum

Several large finance firms have signed up to a forum on low-carbon investment convened by Mark Carney. Banks and financial institutions with more than $70 trillion assets have vowed to slash their greenhouse gas emissions and ensure their investments respect the science on the climate. The former governor of the Bank of England’s initiative has led 160 companies to set targets to cut the carbon content of their assets.

9

Netflix subscriber growth slows

Netflix says it has suffered a dramatic slowdown in subscribers in the first three months of 2021 as the pandemic boom wears off. The broadcaster added four million new subscribers in the first quarter, two million fewer than its original estimate and just half the number it added in the last three months of 2020. It blames a slowdown in production of new content because of lockdowns.

10

‘Low-key’ birthday for the Queen

The Queen will mark her 95th birthday today in a “private and low-key way”, reports the BBC. There will be no public celebrations as she continues to observe two weeks of mourning until Friday, two weeks after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Some of the Queen’s family are believed to be with her in Windsor, as well as about 20 staff.

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