Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 September 2001

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

1

Masks could return in autumn

Adults in England will be told to wear face masks in indoor settings if Covid cases surge dramatically this autumn, reported The Telegraph. Although Boris Johnson is understood to be “adamant” that a nationwide lockdown will not be re-imposed in the coming months, masks could return if there are concerns the virus is spreading at an alarming rate. Ministers are devising a new plan for how to approach Covid surges that could occur this autumn and winter.

2

Biden calls for unity on 9/11 anniversary

US President Joe Biden has called for unity as his country prepares to remember the victims of the 11 September attacks. In a video released for the 20th anniversary, he paid tribute to the 2,977 people who lost their lives. “We learned that unity is the one thing that must never break,”he said. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said the terrorists behind the 11 September attacks in the US failed “to shake our belief in freedom and democracy”.

3

Starmer to back landlord tax

Sir Keir Starmer is expected to tell a conference that funds to pay for social care could have been raised through a landlord tax. Sir Keir, who will describe Boris Johnson’s national insurance rise as “unfair” and “poorly thought through,” has come under pressure to layout his own plan to fund social care. The Labour leader is expected to argue that “the money could have been raised by taxing the incomes of landlords, and those who buy and sell large quantities of financial assets, stocks shares”.

4

Prince Andrew served with legal papers

Lawyers for the woman who has accused Prince Andrew of sexual abuse claim they have successfully served the royal with legal papers. Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers say the paperwork was served on 27 August, when it was left with a police officer at Windsor’s Royal Lodge. Giuffre has launched a civil case against the prince in New York - and legal documents have to be “served” before the case can proceed. Prince Andrew denies all the claims made by Giuffre.

5

Tornado kills two on Italian island

Two people have been killed after a tornado tore through the Italian island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean. The whirlwind, which also injured nine, tore off roofs and turned over at least six cars. A hospital helicopter from nearby Lampedusa island was initially unable to reach the island to provide assistance because of scenes described by residents as “apocalyptic”.

6

GP shortage increases risk of mistakes

Family doctors are “finding it increasingly hard to guarantee safe care” for their patients because a shortage of medics means they are unable to cope with soaring demand, according to Britain’s leading GP. Prof Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The chances of making a mistake in a diagnosis or a mistake in a referral decision or a mistake in prescribing are all greater when you’re under stress.”

7

Ministers to water down planning reform

The government will scrap the biggest shake-up of planning laws for 70 years after a backlash from voters and Tory MPs in southern England, said The Times. It is believed that the reforms, designed to help the government hit a target of 300,000 new homes annually, will be moderated. Backbench Tories have blamed the initial plan for their party’s shock defeat by the Liberal Democrats at the Chesham & Amersham by-election.

8

Israel attacks Gaza after arrests

Israeli fighter jets have attacked Gaza in response to rocket fired towards Israel on Friday evening. The Israeli military claimed it had struck a Hamas position used for shooting, a storage facility next to a school and mosques, and a military facility that creates cement for tunnels. Sirens warning of rocket attacks had sounded in Israel after four prisoners who escaped from Israeli jails were captured.

9

Johnson ‘wants 10 years in power’

Colleagues said Boris Johnson wants to be prime minister for longer than Margaret Thatcher after he outlined his vision for a decade in power. Setting out his stall for the 2024 election for the first time, the prime minister said voters would be able to see his “great, great project” of levelling up making progress across Britain. “It’s going to take a while, it’s going to take 10 years,” he said.

10

‘Pingdemic’ staunches growth

Economic growth ground to a virtual halt in July due to the “pingdemic”, said the Daily Telegraph. Growth of just 0.1% left the economy 2.1% below its pre-pandemic peak as the Delta variant triggered a wave of absent workers and companies scrambled for raw materials amid global supply chain disruption. Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England warned MPs of “some levelling off of the recovery”.

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