Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 June 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Warning of ‘substantial third wave’
Boris Johnson has said it is clear that Covid infections are rising and hospitalisations increasing as he continues to assess whether the 21 June unlocking can go ahead. Meanwhile, new modelling for the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has highlighted the risk of a “substantial third wave” that could rival the second wave in January. The modelling comes after Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said vaccinations do appear to have broken the link between cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
Hancock ‘warned over care homes’
Matt Hancock was repeatedly warned of the risk of not testing people discharged from hospitals into care homes, The Guardian reports. Care England, which represents the largest private care chains, said it raised “the lack of testing in hospitals and in the care sector” several times. The Care Provider Alliance also emailed Hancock directly saying: “All people discharged from hospital to social care settings... MUST be tested before discharge.”
Biden gives Putin warning
Joe Biden has marked his visit to the UK with a warning to Russia that it faces “robust and meaningful” consequences if it engages in “harmful activities”. The US president arrived in the UK yesterday ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall. The Times reports that Biden also ordered US officials to issue Boris Johnson with an “extraordinary diplomatic rebuke” for endangering the Northern Ireland peace process during ongoing issues with post-Brexit trade.
Ofsted reveals school harassment
Ofsted has claimed that sexual harassment has become “normalised” among school-age children. The schools watchdog said that students often do not see the point of reporting abuse and many teachers underestimate the scale of these problems. It found that boys are sharing nude photos “like collection cards”, while girls talked about boys being very persistent when asking for sexualised images. In April, the government asked Ofsted to look at safeguarding policies in schools and colleges.
Tories ‘lost £16.7bn in tax revenue’
The UK lost £16.7bn in tax revenues over nine years of slow growth under Conservative governments, Labour has claimed. The Guardian suggests that the figures are part of an effort by Labour, under the new shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, to construct a narrative about “a decade of Tory misspending”. A Labour spokesperson said: “They cut our public services to the bone and said that would grow our economy, but our NHS, our schools and our police forces were left exposed when we entered the pandemic.”
Child labour rising dramatically
Child labour rates have risen for the first time in two decades, according to Unicef. The UN children’s agency said the number of young people involved in child labour stood at 160m at the start of 2020, an increase of 8.4m over four years. The figure represents a significant reversal of a downward trend that had seen child labour numbers shrink by 94m between 2000 and 2016. Unicef added that the pandemic threatens to push millions more people into child labour.
Argentinian president in ‘jungles’ storm
Argentina’s president has sparked an outcry after saying Brazilians “came from the jungle”. In an effort to emphasise his country’s ties with Europe, Alberto Fernández said: “The Mexicans came from the Indians, the Brazilians came from the jungle, but we Argentines came from the ships. And they were ships that came from Europe.” He apologised for the comments after Eduardo Bolsonaro, a congressman and the Brazilian president’s son, described them as “racist”. During the Atlantic slave trade era, Brazil imported more enslaved Africans than any other country.
DNAR orders on mentally ill patients
Patients with mental illnesses and learning disabilities were given “do not resuscitate” [DNAR] orders during the Covid pandemic, The Telegraph reports. A group of charities said that they were aware of multiple cases where DNAR decisions were “inappropriately” made, with one organisation saying they saw 20 in one month. The paper adds that in one case, the order appears to have led to a patient’s death. Official data shows that almost six out of every 10 people who died with coronavirus in England last year were disabled.
Second Lady Liberty on way to US
France is sending a second Statue of Liberty to the US, CNN reports. The new bronze figure, nicknamed the “little sister”, is one-sixteenth the size of the world-famous statue that stands on Liberty Island. It will be erected on Ellis Island, just across the Upper Bay from Lady Liberty, from 1 to 5 July. The statue, which is over 450 kilograms in weight and just shy of 10 feet tall, was first made in 2009.
Laughing gas ‘helps depression’
A small clinical trial has found that laughing gas could be used to treat severe forms of depression. The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, saw people whose depression had not been eased by other drugs report improvements after monthly, hour-long sessions spent inhaling nitrous oxide. Symptoms improved significantly in 11 out of the 20 trial participants, while eight had a period of remission, meaning that they were no longer classed as clinically depressed.