Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 October 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Police say MP’s murder was terrorism
The killing of Tory MP Sir David Amess is being treated as a terrorist incident by police. Sir David was stabbed several times at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex yesterday. A 25-year-old British man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. Police, who said they were not seeking anyone else over the death, believe there was potential link to Islamist extremism. Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”.
Labour spends more on law than campaigns
Labour is spending significantly more of its cash on fighting its legal battles than on political campaigning, reported The Guardian. After lawyers for the party opened a new front against former ex-Corbyn staffers, party sources said last year campaigning was Labour’s fourth-highest financial output, behind costs linked to legal cases. One senior source described the situation between the left and right of the party as “full-blown lawfare”.
Biden intervenes on abortion
Joe Biden’s administration has said it will ask the Supreme Court to block a restrictive Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion. The announcement came after a federal appeals court reinstated the divisive law. The law bans abortions beyond what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat is detected and gives any individual the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past the six-week point.
UK, EU and US in climate diplomacy
London, Washington and Brussels are embarking on a “frantic round of climate diplomacy” in a “last-ditch attempt” to bring key nations into a deal on greenhouse gas emissions before the Cop26 climate summit, reported The Guardian. The UK is meeting China, the EU will speak with India and Indonesia, and the US will meet Saudi Arabia and Mexico. UK diplomats are said to be “cautiously optimistic” agreements will be made.
Petrol prices reaching record high
Petrol at UK forecourts has reached its highest level since September 2012, at 140.22p on average per litre. The RAC said motorists are paying on average 22% more to fill up their petrol tanks than this time last year. Diesel prices are also soaring and are just 4p away from their April 2012 highs. The BBC said global oil prices, rather than supply chain disruption, are considered the main driver of higher prices at the pump.
Dozens die in mosque attack
A suicide attack at the largest Shia mosque in the Afghan city of Kandahar killed 32 people and injured at least 68 more. The terror group ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a statement released by the group’s media wing, Amaq. CNN noted that it is the second week running that an attack has targeted Friday prayers at a Shia mosque. A Taliban spokesperson said the perpetrators would be “brought to justice”.
Landowners may ban hunting
Leading landowners are considering whether to ban hunting after an official was found guilty of offering advice on how to carry out illegal fox hunts. A judge ruled that Mark Hankinson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, encouraged huntsmen to use legal trail hunting as “a sham and a fiction” for the unlawful chasing and killing of animals during two webinars. National Trust, Forestry England and United Utilities have suspended hunting licences on their land.
Patel may suspend visa requests
Priti Patel may block visa requests from countries that refuse to take back illegal migrants. The Home Secretary is assuming new powers through her Nationality and Borders Bill to heap pressure on countries to take back failed asylum seekers, illegal migrants and foreign criminals. She will be allowed to suspend all visa requests from countries that do not adhere to her requests on migrants, including applications to settle, work, study or visit.
Shoppers take day off work
Thousands are hitting UK high streets to begin Christmas shopping early amid fears of panic buying. The Times reported that many people took the day off work yesterday, “fearing that bicycles, gadgets or toys could sell out early this year”. Several leading toy retailers have advised parents to shop early. The London Toy Company, which imports Harry Potter merchandise, said it had already sold all of its stock.
Putin calls US reporter ‘pretty’
Vladimir Putin has come under fire after calling a US journalist “beautiful” and “pretty” and accusing her of not understanding his explanation about a stand-off with Europe over gas supplies. The Russian President became exasperated with CNBC’s Abu Dhabi-based anchor Hadley Gamble as she pressed him for answers about whether Russia was weaponising its stranglehold on natural gas supplies to Europe.