Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 24 April 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Dominic Cummings attacks Johnson
Dominic Cummings has attacked his former boss Boris Johnson, questioning his “competence and integrity”. The prime minister’s former top adviser claimed Johnson once had a “possibly illegal” plan for donors to pay for renovations of the Downing Street flat. Cummings also denied leaking text messages sent between Johnson and businessman Sir James Dyson. The BBC describes it as an “explosive intervention”.
Hospitals buckling in India
India’s healthcare system is collapsing amid a record surge in Covid-19 cases. On Friday, the nation reported 332,730 new cases of Covid, setting a world record for a second day running. Deaths were numbered at 2,263 in 24 hours. A consultant at the Sir Ganga Ram hospital in Delhi, told the BBC there had been a “huge surge” in patients, leaving no space in the emergency room. Hospitals have launched desperate appeals for oxygen as the crisis worsens.
Biden to visit UK in June
Joe Biden will make his first overseas trip as president to the UK, attending the G7 summit in Cornwall in June. However, The Guardian points out that this “relies in part on luck” because the UK is hosting the G7 in Biden’s first year in office. Biden and his foreign policy team have been sceptical about Boris Johnson who they see as being closely allied with Donald Trump.
Source predicts end of masks
The vaccine is doing “heavy lifting” and allowing the country to return “towards normal” without masks, senior government scientists have said. Asked whether masks would still be needed after restrictions were lifted, a source said that face coverings may be needed on transport in the autumn and winter, but only if people did not self-isolate when they were feeling sick.
Teenager murdered in London
A 14-year-old boy has been stabbed to death in east London. Police officers were called to Barking Road in Newham yesterday afternoon. The teenager was confirmed dead at the scene and officers are trying to trace and inform his family. A crime scene cordon is in place and there will be an increased police presence in the area. No arrests have been made but police are treating the case as murder.
Caitlyn Jenner to run for office
Caitlyn Jenner has announced that she plans to run to replace California governor Gavin Newsom in the expected election later this year. “I'm in! California is worth fighting for,” tweeted the former Olympian and reality TV star. CNN says the longtime Republican’s bid is one of the most high profile campaigns by a transgender person in the country.
UK close to Australia deal
The UK and Australia have announced that they have agreed “the vast majority” of a free trade deal. Following talks in London the two nations announced that they expect to “now enter a sprint to agree the outstanding details with the aim of reaching agreement in principle”. The BBC says it is estimated a deal could add £500m ($694m) to UK GDP over the long-term.
Giggs charged with domestic violence
The former footballer Ryan Giggs has been charged with domestic violence offences after police were called to his home last year. The Welshman is accused of causing actual bodily harm to a woman in her 30s and common assault of a woman in her 20s last November. He is also charged with coercive or controlling behaviour. The Football Association of Wales says assistant manager Robert Page will take charge of Wales at this summer’s European Championships.
‘Frail’ Maxwell in court
Ghislaine Maxwell has appeared in court on new charges of sex-trafficking. The Times says that, looking “frail and thin, her hair greying at the crown and her ankles in shackles,” the British socialite pleaded not guilty to the new counts. Maxwell, the daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell, is accused of helping convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse girls.
Great white shark headed for UK
Scientists say a great white shark could reach UK waters as it becomes only the second in history to be tracked crossing the Atlantic. The female shark Nukumi has taken an unorthodox route towards Europe from America, across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The Daily Telegraph says it is believed the “50-year-old matriarch” took such an unusual route because she is pregnant.