Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 May 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
PM sends navy to Jersey
A Royal Navy vessel has been sent to patrol waters around Jersey amid reports of a potential blockade by French boats over post-Brexit fishing rights. In response, a fleet of French fishing boats is heading for the area. Earlier this week, France hinted that it may cut off electricity to the island and French fishermen threatened to blockade the main port of St Helier to prevent supplies from being delivered. No. 10 said a second navy vessel is being sent to “monitor the situation”.
Labour fears tough election
Polls opened this morning for the biggest set of elections outside a general election in almost half a century. Millions of voters will elect thousands of representatives - including councillors, police commissioners, mayors and one MP - in what the BBC describes as an “election extravaganza”. Amid fears that Labour is set for a damning by-election defeat in Hartlepool, Keir Starmer has said he will “carry the can” if the party fares badly.
Veterans plan condemned
Several parties in Northern Ireland have slammed Westminster’s plan to ban prosecutions of British army veterans for alleged crimes during the Troubles. Sinn Féin, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, the Alliance party and Labour said the UK government is betraying victims of violence. Reports last night suggested that the government plans to move away from prosecutions for unresolved cases and adopt a new “truth and reconciliation” model.
New jab stops variants
Moderna has said the first vaccine “tweaked” to combat Covid variants that emerged in South Africa and Brazil has successfully neutralised both mutations in laboratory trials. The US company said the boosters against the two variants will be feasible and could be rolled out this year. Top pharmaceutical firms have been racing to produce adapted versions of their vaccines in the face of rising infections across the globe and the emergence of more transmissible variants.
Cops ‘colluded’ over footballer death
A court has heard that a police officer accused of murdering a black former Premier League footballer “colluded” with a colleague to lie about kicking him in the head. PC Benjamin Monk has pleaded not guilty to the murder and manslaughter of Dalian Atkinson, while PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith has pleaded not guilty to assaulting the former Aston Villa player. The two officers were in a relationship at the time of the alleged events. The trial continues.
India blames mutant for spike
Authorities in India have said a “double mutant variant” of coronavirus may be “linked” to the brutal second wave that has swept the country. Samples containing the B.1.617 variant have been found in several states with high case numbers. India reported a record 412,000 cases in the space of 24 hours yesterday, with a further 3,980 deaths. The nation’s top scientific adviser also warned a third wave is inevitable due to an inability to stem rising infections.
William and Kate join YouTube
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have become vloggers, launching their own YouTube channel with a promo video showing them at work and play. In their debut post, Prince William jokingly points to the camera and people behind it, telling his wife: “Be careful what you say now because these guys are filming everything.” The Queen launched her own channel on the platform in 2007 to promote the monarchy.
Kardashian denies stolen statue link
Kim Kardashian West has been named in court filings that claim she was involved in importing an ancient Roman statue that was stolen from Italy. The legal documents filed in California say the US government has sought the forfeiture of a “looted, smuggled and illegally exported” antique that it believes was being delivered to the reality star. A spokesperson for Kardashian West said she “never purchased this piece”.
Broadway tickets back on sale
Tickets for Broadway shows will go back on sale this week. With shows restarting on 14 September, theatres be allowed to fill 100% of capacity, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. “Broadway is a major part of our state’s identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again,” he wrote on Twitter. Thousands of people lost work when Broadway theatres closed in March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
Treadmills recalled in US
Peloton has recalled 125,000 treadmills in the US after the machines were linked to the death of a child and at least 70 other incidents. A three-year-old boy was killed in March, while another became trapped head first under a moving treadmill. Under a deal between the company and federal safety regulators, customers who purchased the Tread or the $4,300 (£3,090) Tread+ will receive a full refund.