Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 January 2022

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

1

UN condemns Yemen air strike

The United Nations has condemned an air strike on a Yemen detention centre that killed more than 70 people. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that the “escalation needs to stop”. Saudi-led coalition forces have been fighting Houthi rebels since 2015. The BBC noted that tens of thousands of civilians, including more than 10,000 children, have been killed or wounded as a direct result of the fighting.

2

PM calls back leadership team

Boris Johnson has reinstated his Tory leadership team to save his premiership, reported The Times. Amid growing belief that a confidence vote is inevitable, the PM has told the group of lieutenants who helped him to win the leadership contest in 2019 to record the position of every Tory MP, detailing those who are loyal, wavering or determined to oust him. Meanwhile, the Tory backbencher who accused No 10 of trying to “blackmail” MPs seeking to oust Johnson is to meet police to discuss his allegations.

3

US offers Putin talks with Biden

Washington has offered to hold a summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin as a last-ditch effort to stop a war over Ukraine. Moscow is continuing to build up its forces along the Ukraine border and has announced new naval exercises in the Black Sea. Meanwhile, a Ukrainian Lieutenant-General told The Times that “half a million” people in the country are “ready to tear apart Russians with their bare hands”.

4

Buddhist monk dies at 95

Thich Nhat Hanh, an influential Buddhist monk, has died at the age of 95. His teaching organisation, Plum Village, said the prolific author and peace activist, “passed away peacefully” at the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam on Saturday. Thich Nhat Hanh, is often referred to as the “father of mindfulness”. He spoke of the need to “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”.

5

Calls for tax rise to be scrapped

MPs and business leaders said a planned rise in national insurance this April must be stopped to help families survive a cost of living crisis. Senior Tory MPs said the 1.25 percentage point rise was “too much” and Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “National insurance hikes will lead to lower wages and make the cost of living crisis far worse.” Inflation has surged to 5.4%, its highest level since the early 1990s.

6

Minister seeks BBC injunction

The Attorney General is seeking an injunction against the BBC to prevent it identifying a spy working overseas, The Telegraph claimed. Although the BBC has insisted the news story is “overwhelmingly in the public interest”, the government will claim in court that the BBC report, should it be broadcast, would present “a risk to people’s lives”. The row concerns a highly sensitive case, understood to concern British intelligence activities overseas.

7

Schwarzenegger in car crash

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in a car accident in Los Angeles, his spokesman has announced. Police said the four-vehicle crash, which occurred on Friday afternoon, left one person with injuries. The actor can be seen on the periphery of images from the scene that show a large SUV on top of at least two vehicles at an intersection. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman said that the actor was uninjured and had spoken with emergency services.

8

Regulator may probe post delays

Royal Mail could face investigation after reports that some UK deliveries took up to a month to arrive. Ofcom, the body that regulates Royal Mail, said it is “concerned” with the situation, after service updates showed that at one point this week almost 80 postcodes across the country were experiencing long delays in receiving their post. Some customers reported that Christmas cards sent in mid-December have only recently been received.

9

Camilla could be ‘Queen’

The Duchess of Cornwall is enjoying a steady rise in public approval adding to hopes that she will one day be accepted as “Queen,” said The Telegraph. The Duchess’ approval has increased by six percentage points over the last 10 years.  At the time of her marriage to the Prince of Wales, the palace said she would be styled as “Princess Consort” when her husband was King. However, asked in 2010 whether she would become Queen, Charles replied: “That could be.”

10

Woman charged over mask threat

Police in the US said a woman has been charged after she claimed at a school board meeting she would show up with loaded guns if her children were required to wear masks at school. Amelia King, 42 of Virginia, was charged with making a threat while on school property. The school board said they would increase police presence at schools, reported CNN.

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