Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 August 2021

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

1

Terror warning at Kabul airport

The UK, US and Australia have warned that there is a high threat of a terrorist attack at Kabul airport and have advised their citizens not to travel there. Those already outside the airport have been advised to leave the area immediately. The Guardian described this as a “distressing call” for people with “practically no other means of escape from Afghanistan” who are “attempting to save their lives and those of loved ones”. More than 82,000 people have so far been airlifted from Kabul.

2

NHS ‘to vaccinate 12-year-olds’

The NHS plans to start vaccinating 12-year-olds from the first week of the new school term, according to The Telegraph. Health bosses have said children would not need parental consent under the schools’ jabs programme. However, the Department of Health insisted last night that a decision to roll out jabs has not been taken. Experts are divided on whether to vaccinate children, with jabs currently being offered to those aged 16 and 17.

3

Man ‘injects food with syringe’

Shoppers have been advised to throw away any food bought in three west London supermarkets last night after a man was arrested on suspicion of injecting items using syringes. Branches of Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose on Fulham Palace Road were the three affected sites. Hammersmith and Fulham Council said the affected items are thought to be processed meat and microwavable goods.

4

Europe has hottest year on record

Europe experienced its hottest year on record last year, with the average temperature almost 2C higher than the period from 1981 to 2010. France, Spain, Belgium and Ukraine were among the countries reporting their highest annual average temperatures. The UK recorded its third hottest year on record. Gabi Hegerl, professor of climate system science at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The amount by which the previous record has been exceeded should worry us all.”

5

Navalny compares jail to labour camp

Alexei Navalny has compared the prison he is being held in to a Chinese labour camp, claiming he is forced to watch eight hours of state television a day. The jailed Kremlin critic is being held in a maximum security prison colony in Pokrov, 62 miles east of Moscow. He told The New York Times that he has not been assaulted by any fellow prisoners, adding that he had “fun” making snacks with them.

6

Harry and Meghan ‘considered naming royal’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle considered naming the royal they claimed made a racist remark before the birth of their son Archie, reported the Daily Mail. An updated edition of a book about the couple says they weighed up “sharing this detail” in their TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, however, Meghan told the broadcaster that revealing the individual’s identity would be “very damaging to them”. The couple have insisted that the book, Finding Freedom, was unauthorised. But the authors, Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, are seen as being close to the couple.

7

Police ‘Taser black people for longer’

A police watchdog has found that black people are more likely to be Tasered for longer. The study by the Independent Office for Police Conduct found that 60% of black people who were subject to Taser discharges endured them for more than five seconds, compared with 29% of white people. Lucy D’Orsi, the chief constable of British Transport Police, said the findings were selective and out of date.

8

Malaria vaccine ‘could save millions’

A game-changing malaria jab developed in the UK is expected to save the lives of millions of children in Africa. The vaccine, developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, was found to reduce the rate of severe malaria by 70% in a study involving nearly 6,000 children aged between five and 17 months in Burkina Faso and Mali. More than 150,000 children under five die of malaria each year in the continent’s worst-hit regions.

9

Murder suspect found with injuries

A man wanted by police in connection with a double murder in London has been found on a canal barge with “life-threatening” injuries. Officers said they are “confident” that the man was 49-year-old Lee Peacock, who is wanted for the killings committed on 19 August. The man had sustained serious injuries, which were believed to be self-inflicted. Sharon Pickles, 45, and Clinton Ashmore, 59, were discovered fatally stabbed in Westminster last week.

10

LED lights damaging moth population

LED streetlights are decimating moth numbers in England, a study has found. Researchers found that “eco-friendly” LED streetlights produce worse light pollution for insects than the traditional sodium bulbs they are replacing. The abundance of moth caterpillars by rural roads was 52% lower under LED lights and 41% lower under sodium lights when compared with nearby unlit areas. Moths are vital pollinators and provide essential food for birds and animals.

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