Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 November 2021

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

1

Terror arrests after taxi blast

Three men were arrested under the Terrorism Act after a man was killed in a car explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital yesterday. A taxi carrying one passenger pulled up just before 11am as a national two minutes’ silence for Remembrance Sunday was about to begin. A male passenger inside the vehicle was declared dead at the scene and is yet to be formally identified. The driver managed to escape before the flames spread and is in hospital in a stable condition.

2

Austria locks down the unvaccinated

Austria has put millions of unvaccinated people in lockdown as Europe becomes the epicentre of the pandemic. Anyone over the age of 12 who has not been double-jabbed is now only allowed to leave their homes for work, school, exercise and buying essential supplies. The measures will affect around two million of Austria’s 8.9m population. As cases rise in Europe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there were “storm clouds” of a new wave.

3

India and China criticised after Cop26

India and China will “have to explain themselves to poor nations” after watering down the Glasgow climate pact, said Alok Sharma. The Cop26 president said the two nations’ actions had left him “deeply frustrated”. China and India objected to a commitment to “phase out” coal, proposing the slightly weaker “phase down”. However, despite the criticism of the two nations, The Guardian said that India is “not the real villain”.

4

A&E delays cause rising deaths

People are dying in the back of ambulances because they are stuck outside hospitals unable to be offloaded to A&E, a study has revealed. The report by NHS ambulance service bosses in England also found that patients are dying soon after finally getting admitted to hospital after long delays, while others die in their homes because paramedics are trapped at A&E and unable to take emergency calls. Labour described the findings as “staggering”.

5

PM ‘could have handled’ Paterson better

Boris Johnson has accepted a degree of fault over the Owen Paterson affair, admitting that he “could have handled it better”. Asked at a Downing Street briefing what he would say to members of the public who felt he had “got it wrong”, the PM said: “Of course, you know, I think that things could certainly have been handled better, let me put it that way, by me.” His attempt to reform the standards system using a new Tory-majority select committee backfired.

6

Trump ‘selling Washington hotel’

The Trump Organization is selling its prized Washington hotel for $375m (£279m), according to reports in the US. Under the reported sale, the Trump International will be renamed the Waldorf Astoria and managed by the Hilton group. A US congressional probe has found the hotel lost more than $70m (£52m) during Donald Trump’s presidency, the Republican had “grossly exaggerated” the hotel’s profits.

7

Boosters rolled out to under-50s

The government is expected to announce that the Covid booster programme will be extended to under-50s in an attempt to increase the nation’s immunity over the winter. Professor Neil Ferguson, a scientific adviser to the government, told Radio 4’s Today programme that “modelling suggests that, yes, it could make quite a big difference to driving transmission down to low levels”. A total of 12.6m over-50s, equivalent to just over a third, have had booster jabs.

8

Gaddafi son to run for president

The son of former Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi has registered as a candidate in the nation’s first direct presidential election next month. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was once the heir apparent to his father, the late leader of Libya, but his support for a brutal crackdown on protesters 10 years ago damaged his image, said the BBC. However, Saif al-Islam has submitted his candidacy papers in the southern town of Sabha, the High National Elections Commission said in a statement.

9

Mountbatten diaries ‘could compromise Queen’s dignity’

The government is to tell the Information Commissioner that Lord Mountbatten’s diaries must remain censored in the national interest. The Cabinet Office fears that the “dignity” of the Queen could be compromised by the writings of Lord Mountbatten, who was the maternal uncle of Prince Philip and a second cousin of Her Majesty, as well as a mentor to the young Prince of Wales. The Telegraph said the concerns “appear to be shared by the Royal household”.

10

Herbs and spices can help your heart

Researchers have concluded that adding plenty of herbs and spices to your diet could benefit your heart. A study found that feeding people a diet with plenty of ingredients such as cinnamon, coriander, parsley, garlic, black pepper, thyme and turmeric for four weeks was followed by improved blood pressure readings. The change was seen in people who consumed about one and a half teaspoons of herbs and spices per day.

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