Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 May 2021

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

1

Israel vows to continue fighting

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “continue to respond forcefully” to rocket attacks. After seven days of fighting at least 148 people have been killed in Gaza, including 41 children. Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children. Ten members of one family were killed by an Israeli air strike at a refugee camp west of Gaza City. An Israeli air strike has destroyed a high-rise building housing media organisations, including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.

2

PM under fire over travel ban timing

Boris Johnson is facing criticism for not banning travel from India sooner amid growing fears over the spread of the Covid variant first discovered there. India was reporting more than 100,000 cases a day by 5 April, but was not added to the red list until 23 April. Meanwhile, the British Medical Association has raised concerns about Monday’s relaxation of Covid rules.

3

Prince Andrew removed from charities

The Duke of York has been removed as patron of almost 50 organisations, reports the Sunday Telegraph. It is believed that at least one in four of the charities and organisations he was involved with have severed ties with the Duke due to his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Some, which involved working with children, said they felt it was “no longer appropriate” to continue their associations with him.

4

Hancock helped Tory land PPE deal

Matt Hancock helped a former Conservative minister secure a PPE deal worth £180m, according to government emails. Last May, Brooks Newmark joined forces with the owner of a dog food company who had set up a firm to broker PPE deals for international suppliers. The health secretary assisted Newmark, who resigned from government after sending sexually explicit photographs of himself to an undercover reporter he thought was a female party activist.

5

US criticises ‘atrocities’ in Tigray

The US has condemned Eritrea and Ethiopia for “atrocities” in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region, following reports that Eritrean soldiers were blocking critical humanitarian aid to starving and wounded civilians. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded Eritrea and Ethiopia “take all necessary steps to ensure that their forces in Tigray cease and desist this reprehensible conduct”.

6

Covid passports are ‘inevitable’ says boss

The chief executive of the world’s busiest airport for international passengers has said Covid passports are the only way to get the travel industry back to life. Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths told the BBC: “I don't think there is an alternative.” Despite fears about privacy and discrimination, Griffiths says he is a complete supporter of the documents, which he says are “inevitable”.

7

Courtiers slam ‘disgraceful’ Harry

Palace aides have called on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give up their titles following Prince Harry’s latest remarks about the Royal Family. Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, senior courtiers say they have a growing sense of “bewilderment and betrayal” over Harry’s “disgraceful” and “shocking” criticism of Prince Charles's parenting skills. The Duke had said he and his wife moved to California to break the cycle of “genetic pain”.

8

Miliband charity’s internships unpaid

David Miliband is under fire after it emerged that the charity he runs, for which he was paid more than £700,000, is offering unpaid internships at its headquarters in New York City. The former Labour MP, who is the CEO of the refugee charity International Rescue Committee, has previously been dubbed “million-dollar Miliband” after his pay packet rose to $911,796. Campaigners say unpaid internships shut less advantaged young people out of top careers.

9

One in 10 restaurants close

One-tenth of Britain’s restaurants have closed for good during the Covid pandemic, reports the BBC. The data in the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners also shows that mid-market “casual dining” venues have fallen by 19.4%. “The main challenge for restaurants, in comparison to pubs, is that the restaurants all tend to be leased premises - they all have landlords and rent to pay,” said a spokesman.

10

Tielemans wins FA Cup for Foxes

Leicester City won the FA Cup for the first time in their history after Youri Tielemans scored a classic goal to earn his side victory over Chelsea at Wembley. The Belgian unleashed a spectacular right-foot drive that flew beyond Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner from 25 yards in the 63rd minute. There were 21,000 fans in attendance – the biggest crowd since lockdown.

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