Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 August 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Killings contradict Taliban claims
Evidence of Taliban killings, detentions and brutality is emerging across Afghanistan, “ominously contradicting” the militant group’s promise not to take revenge against its opponents, reported The Guardian. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has acknowledged the mass evacuation from Afghanistan is “not without risk of loss” of life. American soldiers are currently leading the evacuation effort out of Afghanistan with tens of thousands of people still waiting to be rescued.
Schools ‘should teach respect for women’
Teachers should give lessons on respect for women and healthy relationships to help counteract the rise of the “incel” movement, ministers believe. The Guardian says a new curriculum, to be fully introduced this year when state schools reopen, offers teachers “wide flexibility” to explore topics such as beneficial relationships as well as darker issues such as coercive control and hatred of women.
GPs ‘ignoring NHS guidance’
Family doctors are ignoring orders to allow patients face-to-face appointments despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, The Telegraph has claimed. In May, NHS guidance promised patients the right to see a GP in person, with doctors told to respect their preferences. However, just 56% of patients were given a face-to-face appointment in June, official figures for England show – the same as the previous month.
Stamp duty break ‘didn’t fuel boom’
A new report has found that the current house prices boom was not caused by the stamp duty holiday. The Resolution Foundation says prices will keep rising because of other factors, such as low interest rates. Therefore, argues the think tank, the tax holiday was “wasteful” and caused HMRC lost out on about £4.4bn of taxes in England and Northern Ireland.
Plymouth gunman escaped charge last year
The Plymouth gunman was neither charged nor cautioned after he carried out a vicious assault in a city park last year, it has emerged. The police watchdog investigated why Jake Davison was put on a rehabilitation scheme and had his weapon returned. Last week, Davison, 22, shot dead five people including his mother, Maxine, 51, after a row at their home in Keyham.
Apple delays staff return until 2022
Apple has delayed its return to the office until next year after a surge in Covid cases in the US. The software giant, that had previously been encouraging workers to return, has now said that a compulsory return to Apple Park and other offices will not happen until January at the earliest. This will mean staff will have spent almost two years working from home.
Abuse upsets hospitality staff
Hospitality staff have said angry customers have left them at “breaking point”. The sector is facing staff shortages as Covid restrictions mean more people are holidaying in the UK. Some staff said they have been threatened with violence when restaurants were full or food delayed. Jo Causon, of The Institute of Customer Service, said customers must “take responsibility for not letting frustration boil over into hostility or abuse”.
Weather warning for UK
Weather forecasters have warned that almost all of England and most of Wales and Northern Ireland are likely to be hit by thunderstorms and heavy rain on Saturday. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for heavy showers and thunder, which could cause widespread flooding, power cuts and travel disruption. The warning, which lasts from midday until 10pm on Saturday, follows unsettled summer weather across the UK throughout August.
Football warns against conspiracy theories
Rival football managers have joined forces to publicly call for more of their players to get vaccinated against Covid. There are growing concerns that the pandemic could cause further disruption to the professional game and that conspiracy theories could be influencing young footballers. Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce said “there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there”.
Trigger warning for Romeo and Juliet
Audiences at a production of Romeo and Juliet have been given warnings about suicide, fake blood and stage fighting. The suicide of the titular “star-crossed lovers” has been deemed a mental health issue in the page-long warning. Theatregoers are also warned about “moments of violence” in the Shakespearean tragedy and directed to the Samaritans if they have been “affected by any of the issues”.