Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 14 August 2021

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

1

Police face inquiry over Plymouth shooter

Questions are being raised over why the gunman who killed his mother and four other people, including a three-year-old girl, had his revoked firearms licence reinstated after he attended an anger management course. The watchdog will investigate Devon and Cornwall Police’s dealings with Jake Davison, 22, who expressed support for the “incel” movement and a keen interest in mass shootings before his attacks in Plymouth on Thursday.

2

July hottest month on record

July was the world’s hottest month ever recorded, according to a federal scientific and regulatory agency in the US. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 0.93C (1.68F) above the 20th Century average of 15.8C (60.4F) and the highest temperature since records began 142 years ago. Analysts insist this is due to the long-term impact of climate change.

3

Duke to be served court papers in person

Prince Andrew will be served court papers in person, a “difficult” feat that could take weeks, reports the Daily Telegraph.  “We will present him with a copy of the complaint in a formal way,” said David Boies, Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawyer. “Because he is a foreign citizen, we have to do this under the Hague Convention.” The Duke is accused of “rape in the first degree”, sexual battery and sexual abuse. He denies wrongdoing. 

4

PM says Afghan war was ‘worth it’

Boris Johnson says British soldiers killed in Afghanistan did not die “in vain”. As the Taliban seized a series of cities, the Prime Minister said the intervention had been had been “right” and “worth it”. He added: “To a very large extent the threat from Al-Qaeda on the streets of our capital, around the UK, around the whole of the West was greatly, greatly reduced.” The Taliban has seized control of more than two-thirds of the country.

5

Treasury ‘blocking green policies’

The Guardian reports that the Treasury is blocking green policies needed to put the UK on track to net zero emissions. Policies including home insulation and new infrastructure spending, have been scrapped, watered down or delayed, amid disagreements over short term costs. Jamie Peters, director of campaigning impact at Friends of the Earth, said: “The Treasury has been helping to fuel the climate emergency for far too long.”

6

US warning over 9/11 anniversary

The US Department of Homeland Security has warned that the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the re-imposition of Covid restrictions could spark violent attacks by extremists. The agency said the anniversary and approaching religious holidays “could serve as a catalyst for acts of targeted violence”. It pointed out that al Qaeda has released the first English-language edition of its Inspire magazine in four years to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks it orchestrated in 2001.

7

Jab conman jailed

A man who posed as an NHS worker to scam a 92-year-old woman into paying £140 for a fake Covid-19 vaccine has been jailed for three and a half years. David Chambers, 33, went to Kathleen Martin’s home in Surbiton, south-west London, wearing a fake lanyard and pretending to be an NHS employee. He pretended to vaccinate Martin by pressing a “dart-like implement” on to the back of her wrist. Chambers has a history of preying on elderly people in their homes.

8

Toddler shoots woman on Zoom call

A woman in Florida has died after being shot by her toddler while she was on a Zoom conference call.  Another person on the call dialled 911 when Shamaya Lynn fell backward after a child appeared in the background and participants on the call heard a noise. Police say an adult had left a loaded handgun in the apartment unsecured, and the toddler found it.

9

Help to Buy purchases soar

The number of people buying homes through Help to Buy is the highest it has ever been, according to government data. More than 55,000 households purchased a property with the support of the equity loan scheme in 2020-21 - an 8% rise compared with the previous year. Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, said: “We’re doing everything we can to make home-buying an affordable and realistic ambition.”

10

Banksy confirms new art is his

Banksy has confirmed he is responsible for pieces of street art which appeared in Suffolk and Norfolk. Speculation has been rife after the art that began appearing a week ago in East Anglia but the artist remained silent initially. However, he has now claimed responsibility for them on Instagram, where he shared a video showing him working on the pieces - called A Great British Spraycation.

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