Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 January 2022

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

1

New party revelations rock PM

Boris Johnson has been warned by ministers that he is in the “last chance saloon” after Downing Street was forced to apologise to the Queen over allegations of lockdown parties. The Daily Mail said Boris Johnson and Downing Street staff held “wine-time Fridays” throughout the pandemic. Meanwhile, The Telegraph revealed that the woman who wrote Covid-19 rules was thrown a “boozy” leaving party during the Christmas lockdown. “Dozens” of officials attended the event, to mark the departure of Kate Josephs.

2

Plan B ‘to be scrapped’ as cases fall

Daily Covid cases dropped below 100,000 for the first time in weeks as infections fell for the ninth day in a row. Another 99,652 positive tests were logged in the last 24 hours according to government data, marking a 44% fall on the figure last week. Boris Johnson is rumoured to be planning to lift Plan B restrictions. However, a team at Warwick University has forecast a rebound in cases this summer which could lead to up to 10,000 daily admissions in an absolute worst-case scenario.

3

Djokovic held again ahead of hearing

Novak Djokovic has been detained in Australia after his visa was cancelled for a second time. The development comes ahead of a court hearing that will determine whether the unvaccinated tennis star can stay in the country. The Serbian faces deportation but his lawyers are appealing against what they called an “irrational” judgement, with the hearing set for Sunday. Djokovic is still scheduled to play the Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne.

4

Sudanese man dies in crossing

A manslaughter investigation is underway after a Sudanese man in his twenties died trying to cross the English Channel. He fell overboard in freezing conditions when a boat ran into trouble shortly after setting off from the coast south of Boulogne in the early hours of Friday morning. He was found unconscious by French rescue teams and taken to shore, where he was declared dead. British Red Cross described the death as “devastating”.

5

Baldwin hands in mobile phone

Alec Baldwin has surrendered his mobile phone to officials who are investigating the fatal shooting on his film set, his attorney has said. Investigators will examine text messages, emails, social network communications, browser activity, and other information stored on the device. The Hollywood star was rehearsing a scene in Rust and holding a prop gun when it went off, firing live rounds that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

6

Lord Sainsbury dies at 94

John Sainsbury, the former chairman of the supermarket chain, has died at the age of 94. “We are all deeply saddened to learn of the death of our life president, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover,” said the supermarket’s current chairman and chief executive, Martin Scicluna, adding that Lord Sainsbury was a shopkeeper “to his core and one of the great retailers of his time”. John Sainsbury had started working in the business in 1950, initially taking on a role in the grocery department.

7

US fugitive found in Glasgow hospital

An American fugitive believed to have faked his own death is facing extradition after being discovered in hospital in Scotland. Nicholas Rossi, 34, wanted by Interpol and facing a charge of rape in Utah in the US, was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow with Covid-19. He used the alias Arthur Knight. Police Scotland said he was detained under an international arrest warrant.

8

York MP tells Andrew to drop title

The Labour MP for York has called on Prince Andrew to surrender his “untenable” dukedom and avoid tarnishing the city’s reputation. Rachael Maskell, who has represented York Central since 2015, said it was “untenable for the Duke of York to cling on to his title another day longer” and insisted that “this association with York must end”. However, a former Tory councillor in the city said the public should follow the Queen’s example in adopting a tone of “noble silence” on the scandal.

9

Sinéad O’Connor in hospital

Sinéad O’Connor has been admitted to the hospital, a week after her 17-year-old son was found dead. The Irish singer said that she was heading to hospital to seek help after saying that she had planned to take her own life. “I’ve decided to follow my son. There is no point living without him. Everything I touch, I ruin. I only stayed for him. And now he’s gone,” she had written on Twitter. Shane O’Connor’s body was discovered on January 7, two days after he went missing.

10

North Korea fires ‘ballistic missiles’

North Korea has fired what is believed to be two short-range ballistic missiles -its third weapons launch this month. Officials in South Korea said the missiles were fired 11 minutes apart from an area in western North Pyongan province. Sky News said the move is an apparent reprisal against sanctions imposed by President Joe Biden’s administration for continuing test launches. The UK government has condemned the development.

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