Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 March 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Russia accused of ‘Nazi logic’
Russia is applying the “logic of Nazi Germany” in its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, an MP and former minister has claimed. Inna Sovsun, a member of the pro-European Holos party, told Times Radio: “They’re taking Ukrainian citizens, sending them through what are called filtration camps and then relocating them to distant parts of Russia to work for free. This is the logic of Nazi Germany.” The head of the UN refugee agency has warned that 10 million people have so far fled their homes due to Russia’s “devastating” war.
Trump hints at 2024 run
Donald Trump has signalled to supporters that he will attempt a return to the White House in 2024. During a speech in Florida, the former president said: “With the support of everyone in this room, we will take back the House, we will take back the Senate and we will take back our country. And then most importantly in 2024, we are going to take back our beautiful White House.” A CNN poll last week found that half of registered Republicans want Trump to be the party’s candidate in 2024. Addressing the Florida rally on Saturday, he added: “I will be back and we will be better and stronger than ever before.”
Sunak to cut fuel duty
Rishi Sunak is planning to cut fuel duty by at least 5p in an effort to stem the cost-of-living crisis, it has emerged. It is also believed that the chancellor is considering “lifting tens of thousands of low earners out of paying national insurance” ahead of the April squeeze on household finances, The Times reported. Insisting he was “working night and day to do what I can to help”, he told Times Radio that fuel duty is “one of the biggest bills that people face”. He added: “Where we can make a difference, where I can make a difference, of course I will and that has been my track record and it will continue to be how I conduct myself in this job.”
US to declare Myanmar genocide
Joe Biden’s administration has formally determined that Myanmar’s military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will publicly announce the position at a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC today. The outbreak of violence in 2017 forced almost a million ethnic minority Rohingya to flee the country. The UN has previously recommended that senior military officials face genocide charges.
Row over Welsh smacking reform
Parents smacking their children will become illegal in Wales from today. First Minister Mark Drakeford said it was a “historic” day for children, however, critics have claimed the new law was pushed through “by those who think they know better than parents”. The Welsh Conservatives said the reform would criminalise parents trying to do their best and create a “Stasi culture” with people “shopping” their neighbours and making malicious allegations.
Efforts continue for Iranian captive
Morad Tahbaz, the British-Iranian-American citizen left behind when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were last week allowed to return to the UK, has been moved from prison to a hotel in Tehran. The Foreign Office said it would keep pushing for Tahbaz to be released. He stands accused of collecting classified information about Iran while performing animal conservation work with an organisation he co-founded.
Covid inquiry omits children
The Covid-19 inquiry has been accused of a “shocking oversight” after its terms of reference were published. The Telegraph said the draft aims of the inquiry include just one reference to education, while the words “child” or “children” are not used. Anne Longfield, chair of the Commission on Young Lives and former children’s commissioner for England, said: “It does completely feel that the people who were at the forefront of both making the sacrifices but also suffering because of the pandemic have just been airbrushed out of memory with it.”
Historic house price rise logged
The average house price in the UK has passed £350,000 for the first time ever, according to fresh data. Typical asking prices hit £354,564 in March, up 1.7% or £5,760 compared with February, property website Rightmove said. This pushed the annual rate of growth in asking prices to 10.4%. Analysts said the rise was influenced by a huge mismatch between supply and demand, with more than twice as many buyers as sellers.
Met to end McCann probe
The Metropolitan Police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is to close after 11 years, sources have claimed. A source connected to the Scotland Yard investigation told The Sun: “The team’s work is expected to be completed by autumn. There are currently no plans to take the inquiry any further.” The Telegraph added that there are fears there is insufficient evidence to charge Christian Brueckner, the convicted paedophile and rapist whom German police believe was involved in McCann’s disappearance in 2007.
Privacy plans for Queen trip
A “military-style operation” could see six-foot privacy screens, a helicopter and a football tunnel used to get the Queen to Prince Philip’s memorial service without her being seen in a wheelchair, according to reports. Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said of the event: “It is a headache for her staff as it would be difficult for anyone of her age who suffers mobility problems. It would be a painful process for her.”