Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 14 November 2021

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

1

Climate deal ‘kicks can down the road’

A new climate change deal has been agreed at the COP26 summit in Glasgow. The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first ever agreement to explicitly plan to reduce coal, the worst fossil fuel for greenhouse gases. It also calls for more urgent emission cuts and pledges more funding for developing countries to help them adapt to climate impacts. However, noted, the BBC, the pledges don't go far enough to limit temperature rise to 1.5C. A campaigner said: “Rich nations have kicked the can down the road.”

2

Rees-Mogg dragged into sleaze row

Jacob Rees-Mogg may have breached parliamentary rules by not declaring £6m in personal loans from his Cayman Islands-linked company, reported the Mail on Sunday. The Leader of the Commons borrowed up to £2.94m a year in “director’s loans” from his UK-based Saliston Ltd between 2018 and 2020. Parliamentary rules require MPs to be “open and frank in any relevant interest”. As the Conservatives face a controversy over MPs’ outside interests, Rees-Mogg is the first Cabinet Minister to be dragged into the row.

3

Ratcliff ends Nazanin hunger strike

The husband of British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has ended his hunger strike after 21 days. Richard Ratcliffe, who has been protesting outside the Foreign Office, demanding the government does more to secure his wife’s release from Iran, said he had promised her he would end the protest because their child “needs two parents”. The Foreign Office says it is doing all it can to help Britons held in Iran but Boris Johnson has been accused of “betrayal” and “carelessness” in his handling of the case.

4

Maxwell describes rats in prison

Ghislaine Maxwell has spoken from behind bars for the first time, claiming she has been plagued by rats and “creepy” guards. “I used to go to the loo with an open sewer drain and a friendly rat would regularly visit,” she told the Mail on Sunday. She added that she had stopped taking showers because “creepy guards stand close and stare at me the whole time”. The former socialite will appear in court later this month in New York, accused of procuring underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.

5

Queen to attend Remembrance event

The Queen will attend the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph today. The 95-year-old monarch has taken time away from her duties after spending a night in hospital in October. The National Service of Remembrance in Whitehall was closed to the public last year, with limited numbers of veterans and military personnel taking part. However, noted the BBC, this year will see a return to normal, with hundreds of servicemen and women marching and lining up around the Cenotaph.

6

Deaths in Ecuador jail massacre

At least 68 prisoners have been killed and dozens were injured in a jail in the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador after bloodletting between rival gangs, the attorney general’s office has announced. Videos on social media seemingly posted by inmates showed victims being beaten and burned alive in a prison courtyard. The latest massacre occurred in the Litoral penitentiary, the same institution where at least 119 inmates lost their lives a little more than a month before in the country’s deadliest ever prison riot.

7

Lover’s diary describes desperate Johnson

Boris Johnson overruled the advice of staff to promote the business interests of his former lover Jennifer Arcuri and win her affections, reported The Observer. Handwritten excerpts from Arcuri’s diary portrays the then London mayor as desperate to help her promote her fledgling business as he pursued a sexual relationship with the then 27-year-old. One entry recalls how Johnson told her: “How can I be the thrust – the throttle – your mere footstep as you make your career? Tell me: how I can help you?”

8

Deaths at protests in Sudan

Five demonstrators were killed in pro-democracy protests in Sudan yesterday. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said four protesters died of gunshot wounds, and a fifth from choking on tear gas. Police denied using live wounds, saying they had only used “minimum force” as tens of thousands took to the streets for mass anti-coup protests in cities and towns across the country. Coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was named as head of the ruling council on Thursday.

9

Truss takes aim at Putin

Liz Truss has told Moscow it must end the “shameful manufactured migrant crisis” being stoked at Europe’s eastern borders. Writing for The Telegraph, the foreign secretary said Vladimir Putin had a “clear responsibility” to end Belarus’s attempt to use “desperate migrants as pawns” to destabilise the region. UK officials believe that migrants seeking entry into Europe are expected to travel through France in order to try to cross the Channel to reach Britain.

10

‘Hostile call’ for BBC LGBT staff

The BBC’s head of news has told LGBT employees that they must get used to hearing views they disagreed with as the corporation faced accusations from its own staff that it was “institutionally transphobic”. During an “often-hostile” Zoom call with the BBC’s Pride network, Fran Unsworth reportedly told LGBT staff: “You’ll hear things you don’t personally like and see things you don’t like — that’s what the BBC is, and you have to get used to that.” The Sunday Times said she added: “These are the stories we tell. We can’t walk away from the conversation.”

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