Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 23 September 2021

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

1

PM says it’s ‘time to grow up’ on climate

Boris Johnson has told the United Nations that a climate summit of world leaders in 40 days’ time will be the “turning point for humanity”. The prime minister called on his fellow leaders to commit to major changes to curb further warming, saying “it’s time for humanity to grow up”. However, past quotes emerged yesterday in which Johnson supported the stance of climate change denier Piers Corbyn, who has claimed leading climate scientists are “wrong” about global warming.

2

Two more energy firms collapse

Nearly 1.5m customers have been affected by the collapse of energy firms due to soaring gas prices. Avro Energy and Green ceased trading yesterday and their customers face being switched to a new, potentially more expensive, provider. Experts have told The Times that gas prices were likely to remain at “exceptionally high levels this winter” and stay at “elevated” levels next summer. Neil Lawrence, director of retail at Ofgem, said its “number one priority is to protect customers”.

3

Covid could mutate into common cold

Covid is unlikely to mutate into a variant that can evade vaccines because there “aren’t very many places for the virus to go”, according to the creator of the Oxford jab. Speaking yesterday on a Royal Society of Medicine webinar, Dame Sarah Gilbert said “we normally see that viruses become less virulent as they circulate more easily”. Speaking of other coronaviruses that are causes of the common cold, Gilbert said: “Eventually Sars-CoV-2 will become one of those.”

4

Starmer sets out shift from Corbynism

Keir Starmer has emphasised the values of hard work, contributing to society and partnership with the private sector, in a 14,000 word document. The Guardian forecast that readers are likely to see The Road Ahead pamphlet, published by the Fabian Society, as “marking a shift away from the Corbyn era’s radical spending promises, such as the large-scale nationalisations of the railways, water, Royal Mail and broadband providers”.

5

Civilians flee in Myanmar

Thousands of people have fled a town in Myanmar after days of fighting between anti-junta dissidents and the military. Reports suggest that soldiers bombed civilian homes during the fighting. Residents began to flee after soldiers “began to randomly shoot out the windows” of houses in the town, according to a local. Myanmar has been in chaos since Aung San Suu Kyi’s government was ousted by the military in February, prompting a nationwide uprising.

6

AI to be used to battle brain cancer

Scientists have used artificial intelligence to create a new drug regime for children with a deadly form of brain cancer. Cancer Discovery reported the breakthrough, which The Guardian said is set to usher in an “exciting” new era where AI can be harnessed to invent and develop new treatments for all types of cancer. “The use of AI promises to have a transformative effect on drug discovery,” said Prof Kristian Helin of The Institute of Cancer Research

7

Trump to sue niece

Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit in New York state court against his niece Mary Trump, as well as several New York Times journalists, for the disclosure of his tax information that was published in a series of articles. The former president’s lawsuit alleges that Mary Trump’s disclosure of the tax information to the Times amounted to an illegal breach of contract because the disclosure allegedly violated a 2001 settlement agreement among the Trump family.

8

PM tells Macron to ‘get a grip’

Boris Johnson has urged Emmanuel Macron, the French president to “get a grip” over his reaction to the Aukus pact. The Prime Minister deployed franglais as he told the French to “prenez un grip and donnez-moi un break” over the row – approximately translated as “get a grip and give me a break”. Johnson and Joe Biden are understood to have discussed their surprise at the fury from Paris when they met for talks at the White House.

9

Vigil for murdered teacher

A candlelight vigil is to be held in memory of school teacher Sabina Nessa who was found murdered in a south London park. The 28-year-old’s body was found hidden under a pile of leaves by a dog walker in Cator Park near Greenwich on Saturday. It is thought she was attacked at about 8.30pm on Friday but was not discovered until 5.30pm the following day near the One Space community centre.

10

Fed to scale back bonds

The Federal Reserve has signalled it will soon begin tapering back its bond-buying efforts, in a move The Telegraph says will signal “the beginning of the end for a period of massive monetary support designed to shield the US economy from the pandemic”. Chairman Jerome Powell said bond purchases could begin being scaled back “as soon as the next meeting”, which will take place in November.

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