Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 14 July 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Dozens killed in South Africa
At least 72 people have been killed in South Africa after former president Jacob Zuma was jailed. Protests erupted last week as Zuma turned himself in to authorities to serve a 15-month jail term for contempt of court. Among those killed were ten who died in a stampede in the township of Soweto, says police ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba.
‘Confusion’ over masks for 19 July
Masks must be worn on London’s transport network despite restrictions easing on 19 July, the city’s mayor has ruled. Sadiq Khan said the measure will “reassure” passengers. National laws requiring face coverings in shops and public transport will be dropped on Monday but Boris Johnson has said people will be encouraged to wear them in crowded, enclosed spaces. The Times says there is now considerable “confusion” about the issue.
Tory calls for ‘knee’ rethink
Conservatives urgently need to change their attitudes towards people taking the knee, one of the party’s MPs has said. As anger grows over the racial abuse of England footballers, Steve Baker, a former minister and hardline Brexiteer, said: “I fear we are in danger of misrepresenting our own heart for those who suffer injustice.” England footballer Tyrone Mings accused Priti Patel of “stoking the fire” at the beginning of the tournament when she described taking the knee as “gesture politics”.
Deny loss, Giuliani told Trump
Rudy Giuliani, who was Donald Trump’s lawyer, drunkenly urged the president to “just say we won” on election night last November, a new book claims. As key states started to slip away, the former mayor of New York kept telling Trump to simply claim he was winning. His chief of staff reportedly responded: “We can’t do that. We can’t.” However, Trump followed Giuliani’s advice.
May criticises aid cut vote
Conservative MPs have voted to cut billions of pounds from the foreign aid budget, seeing off a small rebellion from within their own party. Downing Street will go ahead with a £4bn reduction in aid spending, from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income. Former prime minister Theresa May said the UK had broken its promise to the world’s poor and campaigners say Boris Johnson has put tens of thousands of lives at risk in some of the world’s poorest nations.
First death in Cuba protests
The authorities in Cuba say that a man was killed during unrest on the island. State media reports that Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, 36, died in a suburb of the capital Havana on Monday. Onlookers say security forces targeted demonstrators who attacked a government facility. High prices and food shortages have triggered the biggest demonstrations in decades.
Ministers tell public to keep flying
The government has said Britons will be able to carry on flying despite its plan to reduce transport emissions to virtually zero by 2050. Although ministers insist new technology will allow domestic flights to be emissions-free by 2040, environmentalists say the government is putting far too much faith in innovation. Labour said: “This plan has been a long time coming, but it was barely worth the wait."
Influencer attacks ‘angry women’
An Instagram star has told MPs that social media influencers face attacks online from women whose “sole mission is to ruin our lives”. Em Sheldon said there was a “very dark side” to the social media and that influencers will be driven to suicide. “People hate influencers,” she said. “They are so angry at us making money... These are grown women with actually very good jobs and seemingly very good lives who are doing this.”
Key worker families in poverty
More than one million children from households of key workers are living in poverty, according to the TUC. The organisation’s research found that one in five children of key workers in England, Scotland and Wales were living below the official breadline - rising to almost one in three in the north-east. “They put themselves in harm’s way to keep the country going through the pandemic,” said Frances O’Grady, the general secretary. “Now, we must be there for them too.”
Maguire’s dad hurt in Wembley invasion
England footballer Harry Maguire says his father was left with suspected broken ribs by fans who stormed Wembley before the Euro 2020 final. Alan Maguire found himself pinned to the floor after a mob burst in through a disabled entrance and stampeded past those standing in their way. “It was scary,” said Harry, “and I don’t want anyone to experience that at a football match.