Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 5 June 2021

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

1

Jab drive as infections soar

The number of people infected with Covid in the UK has risen by as much as two-thirds, says the Office for National Statistics. However, data also shows that hospital admissions and deaths are down slightly compared to last week. The Daily Telegraph says the vaccine rollout is to be accelerated in a bid to secure a route out of lockdown, with over-40s set to get their second jab within eight weeks of the first rather than 12.

2

G7 close to agreeing tax deal

The world’s leading economies are on the brink of announcing a historic deal to tax the tech giants, says Germany’s finance minister. Finance ministers from the G7 group of leading economies says the agreement could include a global minimum rate of corporation tax. Olaf Scholz said the deal would “change the world”. He added that a 15% tax rate would help pay back debts that have built up during the pandemic.

3

Masks ‘to remain after June 21’

Guidance to wear facemasks in enclosed public spaces will remain after June 21, senior government sources said yesterday. Such a ruling would receive public backing, according to a YouGov survey for The Times that found that people back a cautious approach to reopening. Nearly three quarters of those polled said it should remain mandatory for people to wear face coverings in shops and public transport while 55% support limits on sporting and entertainment venues.

4

Trump hints at White House return

Donald Trump responded to news of his two-year ban from Facebook by hinting he believes he will return to the White House. Following news of the ban, his statement read: “Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!” Earlier this week, it was reported that Trump believes he will be reinstated in the presidency by August.

5

UK trade deal a ‘major boost’

A trade deal struck with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein has been described by the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, as a “major boost”. The minister said the deal would be crucial in boosting an economic relationship already worth £21.6bn, while “supporting jobs and prosperity in all four nations at home”. Digital paperwork will cut down the time and costs of post-Brexit border bureaucracy.

6

Microsoft blocks Tiananmen image

Microsoft says human error is to blame after its search engine, Bing, blocked results for the phrase “tank man” – a reference to the iconic image of a lone protester facing down tanks during the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square. On the 32nd anniversary of the protests, users reported that no results were shown for the search query in countries including the US, Germany, Singapore, France and Switzerland.

7

Three-week bin collections rise

Bin collections from households just once every three weeks have risen 20-fold in the last five years, according to data from the Waste and Resources Action Programme. More than 1.4m households in 22 councils had their rubbish picked up once in three weeks in 2020, compared to 74,000 in 2015. Councils are blaming lack of funds and growing pressure to increase recycling.

8

Punter wins £111m in EuroMillions

A UK ticket holder won the jackpot of £111m in Friday’s EuroMillions draw. The lucky winner matched all five EuroMillions numbers as well as the two Lucky Star numbers. It is the fourth UK EuroMillions jackpot winner this year - two were won in April and another was landed on New Year’s Day. Andy Carter, senior winners’ adviser at The National Lottery, said: “Players are urged to check their tickets and give us a call if they think they are tonight's lucky jackpot winner.”

9

Putin claims US hypocrisy on Capitol

Vladimir Putin has accused the US of double standards for its treatment of the Capitol rioters. The Russian president said it was wrong for Washington to criticise crackdowns on anti-government protests overseas, while prosecuting Americans with “political demands”. He was particularly critical of the US condemnation of a crackdown on anti-government protests by his own regional ally, Belarus.

10

Author burns her own books

Jeanette Winterson has set fire to a pile of her newly republished books after saying she “hated the cosy little domestic blurbs” on them. The author posted a photo of the burning books on Twitter, writing that she “absolutely hated the cosy little domestic blurbs” on the new covers. She added that they reminded her of “wimmins fiction of the worst kind!” Since writing her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit at 23, she has published more than a dozen books.

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