Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 24 May 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
West says Belarus ‘hijacked’ plane
World leaders have strongly condemned the arrest of a Belarusian dissident journalist after a fighter jet forced the Ryanair flight he was travelling on to land in the Belarus capital Minsk. Roman Protasevich, 26, was arrested after his flight from Athens was diverted from its scheduled destination of Vilnius in Lithuania on Sunday. EU leaders called the incident a “hijacking” and the US state department said it was “a shocking act”.
Johnson ‘to wed Carrie next year’
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds will “celebrate their wedding” next summer, according to The Sun this morning. The PM, 56, and his fiancee, 33, have reportedly sent save-the-date cards to family and friends for a ceremony and celebration on July 30 2022. The couple got engaged in late 2019 but have delayed plans because of Covid restrictions.
No charge in 98% of rape cases
Fewer than one in 60 rape cases recorded by the police during 2020 resulted in a suspect being charged, The Guardian reports. Out of 52,210 rapes noted by police in England and Wales in 2020, only 843 resulted in a charge or a summons – a rate of 1.6%. “This Conservative government is letting down survivors of sexual violence and allowing criminals to walk free,” said the Liberal Democrats.
Broadcasters told to probe Bashir
The BBC and ITV have been urged to investigate how Martin Bashir landed his other big interviews after the report into how he treated Diana, Princess of Wales. Former England manager Terry Venables says “dubious tactics” were used against him by Bashir. The family of Michael Jackson has already demanded an apology for his interview with Bashir and the ex-wife of the late footballer George Best claimed that Bashir had exploited him.
BLM activist shot in London
Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson is in a critical condition after a gunshot wound to her head in an incident in south London. In a statement on the Taking the Initiative party’s Facebook page, the organisation said that the incident happened in the early hours of Sunday and followed “numerous death threats”. The Metropolitan Police say there is no evidence that she was specifically targeted.
‘Cancer crisis’ to follow pandemic
Cancer Research UK says England is at risk of “replacing the Covid crisis with a cancer crisis”, after more than 300,000 people missed urgent checks during the pandemic. In the year tp March, 304,555 fewer patients were given an urgent referral to hospital by their GP because of suspected cancer. Treatment was delayed to allow hospitals to cope with Covid patients and to protect cancer patients from infection.
Cox’s sister selected for by-election
Jo Cox’s younger sister has been chosen by Labour to contest a by-election in Batley and Spen, the constituency in which the MP was murdered five years ago. Kim Leadbeater has described herself as “the candidate the Tories fear”. The personal trainer and campaigner was selected by more than 80% of Labour members. The by-election follows the resignation of Tracy Brabin, who was elected Mayor of West Yorkshire earlier this month.
Charles calls for farm co-operation
Prince Charles has called for small family farmers in the UK and Europe to come together in a cooperative movement using sustainable farming methods. The sector is facing a crisis with the loss of farm subsidies and new post-Brexit trade deals in the UK. There have also been significant reforms to the EU’s common agricultural policy. The Prince of Wales says farming is undergoing a “massive transition”.
Robinson joins pro-Israel rally
Tommy Robinson has been criticised by Jewish groups after he attended a pro-Israel march on Sunday. Video footage from the protest on social media showed the English Defence League founder Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, holding a placard stating “Free Gaza from Hamas”.
Euro winner denies cocaine use
The singer of the Italian band who won the Eurovision Song Contest has denied taking cocaine at the event. Speculation raged online after competition footage showed Maneskin's Damiano David leaning over a table. However, the singer said: “I don't use drugs. Please, guys. Don't say that really, no cocaine”. Eurovision said the singer would “take a voluntary drug test after arriving home”.