Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 25 September 2021

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

1

Visa scheme to ease fuel crisis

Ministers are planning a visa scheme to make it easier for foreign lorry drivers to come to the UK. Any changes to immigration rules will be temporary, with a cap on the number of workers allowed to enter the UK. The BBC said it is estimated that the UK is short of about 100,000 HGV drivers - with existing shortages being exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit. A number of petrol stations have closed due to a lack of tanker drivers.

2

Chemo ‘stopped for advanced patients’

Some NHS cancer patients have had their chemotherapy stopped because there are not enough medics to deliver it. Patients with advanced forms of the disease are being denied the treatment so the limited resources can be directed towards those with a chance of survival. The Telegraph said the rationing could deprive patients with incurable cancer of extra weeks and months with their loved ones.

3

Rayner says Labour would boost unions

Labour would seek to drive up wages by empowering trade unions to negotiate minimum rates of pay, Angela Rayner is expected to announce today. Labour’s deputy leader will reveal plans for fair pay agreements aimed at strengthening workers’ bargaining powers, particularly in sectors hit by low pay and insecure contracts. Meanwhile, in an interview with The Times, she said: “I’m never content. I never look at things and think, ‘Wow, look at what you’ve achieved.’ I think, ‘What haven’t you done?’”

4

Canadians released after China deal

Two Canadians have been released from Chinese detention and are on their way home to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced. Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were accused of espionage in 2018, shortly after Canadian police arrested a top Huawei tech executive on a US warrant. That executive, Meng Wanzhou, left Canada on Friday after a deal with US prosecutors. The two Michaels, as they became known, have always maintained their innocence.

5

Papers served to Prince Andrew

US officials have confirmed that the Duke of York has received court papers relating to a sexual assault lawsuit. The complainant, Virginia Giuffre, is seeking damages after alleging Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her. Although his legal team have previously denied that they were served the papers, it has now been confirmed the paperwork was delivered on 21 September. The duke has until 29 October to provide a response. He vehemently denies Giuffre’s allegations.

6

Nessa suspect could be at large

Hundreds of people joined a vigil for teacher Sabina Nessa, who was killed as she walked to a pub in south-east London. The 28-year-old’s body was discovered in Cator Park in Kidbrooke by a member of the public last Saturday. Detectives fear the prime suspect for the murder of is still at large. Two men arrested in connection with the alleged murder have been released pending further investigation.

7

Musk and Grimes split up

Elon Musk and Grimes have parted ways after three years together, according to reports. Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, told Page Six that he and the Canadian singer are “semi-separate” but “but still love each other”. The 50-year-old added that they will continue to co-parent their one-year-old son, X Æ A-Xii Musk. The couple started dating in May 2018 and welcomed their first son two years later.

8

GB News ‘would have killed Neil’

Andrew Neil has admitted that he came close to having a breakdown while at GB News. The 72-year-old broadcaster resigned last week from his role as the rightwing network’s lead presenter and chairman. Speaking to the Daily Mail about walking away from his £4m contract, the former BBC anchorman said: “It was a big decision but I frankly couldn’t care if it was £40m. This would have killed me if I’d carried on.”

9

Paralympian jailed for climate protest

A former Paralympic athlete who superglued himself to the roof of a British Airways jet has been jailed for 12 months. Judge Gregory Perrins said Extinction Rebellion activist James Brown, 56, who has been registered blind since birth, “cynically used” his disability and put his “own life at risk” when he carried out the protest at London City Airport in October 2019. The judge also warned that protesters who disrupted people's lives would “face serious consequences”.

10

Indian gangster shot dead in court

One of India’s most notorious gangsters has been shot dead in a courtroom after members of a rival gang disguised themselves in lawyers’ garb and opened fire. The shooting took place as Jitendra Maan, alias Gogi, previously one of India’s most wanted men, entered the Delhi court to face murder and extortion charges. Police returned fire, according to officials, killing two gunmen. The functionality of metal detectors at the court is now under investigation.

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