Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 November 2021

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

1

China and US announce climate pact

China and the US have agreed to boost climate co-operation over the next decade. In an “unexpected” announcement at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, the BBC said the world’s two biggest CO2 emitters agreed that both sides will “recall their firm commitment to work together” to achieve the 1.5C temperature goal set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Despite the nations’ being “global rivals on a number of issues”, the broadcaster added that Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual meeting as early as next week.

2

Lives at risk from ambulance delays

Paramedics have warned that lives are at risk because patients are facing unacceptably long waits for a 999 response. “Numerous investigations” are underway into deaths linked to delays, the BBC said, as average waits for emergency callouts for problems such as heart attacks are taking more than twice as long as they should. Health bosses say calls to the ambulance service are up by around a quarter on the numbers seen before the pandemic, with cuts to social care making it harder to discharge patients.

3

Cox earned £6M from second job

Tory MP Geoffrey Cox has earned at least £6m from his second job since he entered parliament, analysis by The Guardian has revealed. Records also show that the former Conservative attorney general skipped 12 recent votes on days when he was doing paid legal work. As sleaze allegations mount against Tory MPs, Boris Johnson has insisted that the UK is “not remotely a corrupt country”. But BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg warned there is “no easy exit” from the growing scandal.

4

Furlough fraud from new ‘companies’

Hundreds of companies set up after the government’s furlough scheme was announced claimed up to £26.6m from the taxpayer, according to The Times. Data shows that 7,000 companies registered to five London addresses made claims using the furlough scheme between December 2020 and June 2021. David Clarke, chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel, said: “If we don’t sort this and more emergency cash has to go out, it will be like Robin Hood stealing millions from honest taxpayers and giving it to a rich gang of thieves.”

5

Kenyan family to sue MoD

The family of a young Kenyan woman allegedly murdered by a British soldier almost a decade ago is to sue the Ministry of Defence. The Sunday Times reported last month that a British soldier had confessed to killing Agnes Wanjiru, as well as showing comrades where he had dumped her body in a septic tank behind a hotel. The Guardian reported that Wanjiru’s family have instructed the law firm Leigh Day to challenge the Ministry of Defence over what it says is a “failure to investigate her alleged murder”.

6

Graduates face stiff jobs competition

Competition for graduate jobs has reached a record high with more than 90 applications for every position, according to the Institute of Student Employers. Last year’s graduates left university in the toughest jobs market since the last recession, as a backlog of unemployed graduates intensified the scramble for jobs. A spokesperson said: “This highlights the genuine struggle for young people to find work during the pandemic.”

7

Meghan misled court over biography

The Duchess of Sussex has apologised for misleading a court over information given by her aides to the authors of an unauthorised biography of her and Prince Harry. Meghan Markle denied intentionally misleading the High Court after an appeal heard her former spokesperson provided information to the authors of Finding Freedom. A spokesperson for the Sussexes previously said the couple “did not contribute” to the book, but the couple’s former communications secretary said it was “discussed on a routine basis”.

8

Yemen reporter dies in car bombing

A pregnant Yemeni journalist has been killed in a car explosion, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalek has said. The reporter, Rasha Abdullah al-Harazi, was in a car with her journalist husband, Mahmoud Ameen al-Atmy, when the incident took place. An explosive device had been attached to the car while the pair were driving near the Abyan seashore, the country’s state-run news agency reported. The Yemen Journalist Syndicate described it as a targeted attack.

9

Judge criticises dog owners and cyclists

A judge has claimed that dog owners and cyclists have a “sense of entitlement” while ruling that a banker can challenge an award of up to £50,000 after her pet allegedly knocked a publisher off his bicycle causing him brain damage. Granting the application to appeal against the damages ruling made last year, judge Alan Saggerson said: “We all know that cyclists… have a sense of absolute entitlement to do whatever they want to do and we all know that dog owners also have a similar sense of entitlement.”

10

Gay footballer ‘to come out next year’

A Premier League footballer is “very likely” to announce he is gay next year, according to Justin Fashanu’s niece. Amal Fashanu, whose uncle was Britain’s first and only openly gay male professional footballer, told Sky News that she is offering support to two players and wants to avoid a “sensationalist story”. She added that “the more comfortable they feel, it gives me hope they will be closer to coming out”. Josh Cavallo, a 21-year-old footballer who plays in Australia’s A League, came out publicly last month.

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