Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 13 June 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Restrictions ‘could last until next spring’
Ministers fear Britain has a six-week window to open up in the summer or risk keeping Covid-19 restrictions in place until the spring. After Boris Johnson gave his clearest hint yet he is planning to delay a full return to normality for another month, government advisers have told ministers they will face a ticking clock before it becomes too late to lift the remaining restrictions in September.
Netanyahu may leave office today
Israel’s parliament is expected to approve the formation of a new government today, bringing to an end 12 years of rule by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Naftali Bennett, a right-winger, is set to become the new prime minister in a power-sharing deal with centrist leader, Yair Lapid, who would take the top job after further two years. However, the BBC points out that the prospective government has a “razor-thin majority” of one seat.
Homelessness soars during pandemic
At least 130,000 households in England were made homeless during the first year of the Covid crisis. With the government’s ban on evictions now over, there are fears of a surge of evictions but The Observer reports that even while the ban was in place, households were being forced from their homes. “The ban didn’t stop tens of thousands from facing homelessness,” Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, told the paper.
Call for five-year lobbying ban
The anti-corruption watchdog is calling for ministers to be banned from lobbying for up to five years after leaving office and face possible fines if they break the rules. Lord Evans, chairman of the committee on standards in public life, will make the proposal in response to “sustained public scrutiny” of the rules governing current and former prime ministers and other office-holders. Evans will single out David Cameron for his lobbying on behalf of Greensill Capital.
Attenborough to address G7 heads
Sir David Attenborough says G7 leaders are facing the most important decisions in human history as they seek to tackle climate change. The broadcaster will address world leaders gathered in Cornwall as they discuss plans to cut carbon emissions. Ahead of the gathering, Sir David warned that humans could be “on the verge of destabilising the entire planet”. The group of seven are expected to pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030, relative to 2010 levels.
GB accuses BBC of sabotage
The BBC has been accused of an eleventh-hour “ambush” designed to “damage” today’s launch of the new television network, GB News. The corporation is alleged to have been pushing to block the right-wing channel from accessing footage of public events via a “pooling” system run by the country's three main broadcasters. This would leave the new channel unable to broadcast many major events where there is only space for one camera.
Bidder pays $28m for seat with Bezos
A bidder has paid $28m (£20m) for a place on Jeff Bezos’s first crewed spaceflight by the billionaire’s Blue Origin company. Following a bidding process that attracted interest from more than 140 countries, the winning bid was made at Saturday’s auction. The identity of the bidder will be made clear in the coming weeks. The other two crew members of the 20 July flight are the Amazon founder’s brother Mark and an unnamed space tourist.
Shelling hits Syrian hospital
At least 18 people have died in shelling of the rebel-held Syrian city of Afrin. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a doctor, three hospital staff, two women and two children died at al-Shifaa hospital, which is held by Turkish-backed rebels. It London-based group said the artillery fire originated from northern Aleppo province “where militia faithful to Iran and the [Syrian] regime are deployed, near the zones run by Kurdish forces”.
Iranian ‘navy ships’ head to Venezuela
Two ships from the Iranian Navy thought to be carrying a cargo of missiles are sailing across the Atlantic Ocean toward Venezuela, says the Sunday Telegraph. Satellite images suggest the larger of the two ships, the Makran, a forward supply vessel, is carrying small, fast attack boats on its deck. Security experts have warned that the supplies could be passed on to non-state actors, such as Colombian terrorists.
Eriksen ‘awake’ after pitch collapse
The Danish Football Association says midfielder Christian Eriksen is “awake” in hospital after collapsing in the Euro 2020 match against Finland. The game in Copenhagen was suspended before half time after the former Spurs star fell to the ground and was given emergency treatment on the field. The 29-year-old Inter Milan player’s condition has “stabilised”, according to tournament organisers Uefa. Last night he was reported to be awaiting further tests.