Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 30 June 2021

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

1

‘Jaw-dropping’ fall in life expectancy

A public health expert has found that the Covid death rate in Greater Manchester was 25% higher than the average for England during the year to March, leading to “jaw-dropping” falls in life expectancy. The study, led by Michael Marmot, also said life expectancy across north-west England declined more during 2020 than in England overall. Responding to the findings, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “The pandemic has brutally exposed just how unequal England actually is.”

2

England to face Ukraine next

England will travel to Rome for the Euro 2020 quarter final against Ukraine on Saturday after Gareth Southgate’s men beat Germany 2-0 in front of 41,973 fans at Wembley. Goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane sealed victory last night. Southgate said the game against Ukraine was a “dangerous moment”, adding: “We’ll have that warmth of success and the feeling around the country that we’ve only got to turn up to win the thing - and we know it’s going to be an immense challenge from here on.”

3

Raab’s number available online

The private mobile number of the foreign secretary has been available online for at least 11 years. Dominic Raab’s number was discovered by a member of the public using a Google search and remained online after he became foreign secretary and first secretary of state in 2019. The Guardian says the discovery “raises questions for the security services” after the prime minister’s number was also revealed to be accessible online in April.

4

Deaths mount in Canada heatwave

Dozens of people have died in Canada during a heatwave that has smashed temperature records. Authorities in Vancouver have responded to more than 130 sudden deaths since Friday. Canada yesterday recorded its highest ever temperature for a third straight day - 49.5C (121F) in Lytton, British Columbia. A member of the public said it had been “almost impossible” to go outside, telling The Globe & Mail: “It’s been intolerable.”

5

Outcry after Israeli demolition

Israeli forces have demolished a building in East Jerusalem in what locals fear could be the start of a series of building removals. Accompanied by Israeli police, bulldozers arrived in Al Bustan yesterday morning and took about two hours to bring down the building that housed a butcher’s shop. Israeli authorities say the shop was constructed without the necessary permissions, however, locals insist they have attempted to get building permits but are always refused.

6

Isolation data reveals inequalities

Children from the most deprived areas of the country are being hit hardest by school self-isolation, The Telegraph reports. Students in more disadvantaged areas are almost twice as likely as their peers in wealthier areas to be forced to self-isolate. Data from the Department for Education on Tuesday revealed that 385,500 pupils were off school as a result of Covid – up from 249,500 the previous week and a record high since classrooms reopened in March.

7

Flying car completes flight

A prototype flying car has completed a 35-minute flight in Slovakia. The hybrid car-aircraft is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on petrol-pump fuel. Its creator said it could fly about 600 miles, at a height of 8,200ft. The unit’s narrow wings fold down along the sides of the car when not in use, with Hyundai’s Europe chief claiming that flying cars will be a reality in cities around the globe by the end of this decade.

8

Whitty ‘needs police protection’

Calls are increasing for Chris Whitty to get police protection after he was harassed four times in recent months. Over the weekend, the chief medical officer was targeted in a Westminster park a day after demonstrators gathered outside what they thought was his home and shouted “murderer”. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has backed calls for Whitty to be offered police protection saying politicians, not their advisers, “should face the public”.

9

Northern Ireland split on protocol

A new survey has found that voters in Northern Ireland are evenly split over the need for Brexit checks on goods coming in from Great Britain. Asked whether Northern Ireland needs “particular arrangements” to manage Brexit because of the land border with Ireland, 67% of respondents agreed. However, asked if the protocol was appropriate for Northern Ireland, 47% agreed and 47% disagreed.

10

Lack of sleep linked to early deaths

A new study has found that people who do little exercise and sleep poorly are 57% more likely to die prematurely compared to those who exercise a lot and sleep better as a result. Bad sleepers also had a 67% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 45% higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer. The study was carried out by the University College London and the University of Sydney.

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