Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 April 2022

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

1

Zelenskyy: Russia committing genocide

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian forces of committing genocide, describing the invasion as an attempted “elimination of the whole nation and the people”. Speaking to CBS, the Ukrainian president said: “Indeed, this is genocide. We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities.” Earlier, he described Moscow’s forces as “murderers”, “torturers” and “rapists” after hundreds of bodies of Ukrainian civilians were discovered in the towns surrounding Kyiv.

2

MP admitted to psychiatric unit

A Conservative MP facing claims of sexual harassment has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital after a parliamentary investigation was launched into his conduct. David Warburton’s wife, Harriet, said he was suffering from severe shock and stress after The Sunday Times revealed that three women had complained about unwanted sexual advances. It also reported allegations that he had used cocaine and failed to declare a £100,000 loan from a Russian businessman that he has since repaid.

3

Carrie Lam to step aside

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has announced she will not seek a second term in office. “I will complete my five year term as chief executive on the 30th of June this year, and I will also call an end to my 42 years of public service,” Lam said at a news conference. As chief executive, she oversaw a “turbulent period” that ushered in increased Chinese influence in city-state, the BBC reported. Her number two, John Lee, is likely to join the race to succeed her.

4

Orban set for landslide win

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has won a fourth term in a landslide victory. Orbán’s nationalist Fidesz party had 53.1% of votes with 98% of the count complete. The opposition alliance was trailing on 35%. During his victory speech, Orbán criticised the EU and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, describing them as “opponents”. Orbán has insisted that Hungary remain neutral amid the conflict in Ukraine, maintaining its close economic ties with Moscow.

5

Met issue new party fines

Scotland Yard has issued more fines to individuals who attended an event inside No. 10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. Boris Johnson did not attend the gathering on 16 April 2021, which was a leaving party for former director of communications James Slack. According to The Telegraph, the former director of ethics in the cabinet office, Helen MacNamara, has also been fined in connection with a leaving party in June 2020.

6

Sri Lankan ministers quit

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has resigned after protests over the government’s response to the worst economic crisis in decades. All 26 ministers submitted letters of resignation after demonstrators demanded Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa step down. The south Asian nation is facing severe shortages of food, fuel and other essentials, as well as record inflation and widespread power cuts.

7

Six dead in US shooting

At least six people have been killed and 12 injured in a shooting in Sacramento, California. Officers responding to shots in the early hours of Sunday morning found a large group gathered, as well as gunshot victims. “Officers began life-saving measures”, however, “six victims were pronounced deceased at the scene”, the police said in a statement. No suspect is yet in custody in connection with the shootings.

8

BBC sorry for boat race swearing

The BBC has been forced to apologise after swearing could be heard during its coverage of the latest boating showdown between Oxford and Cambridge. While Cambridge was racing to victory in the women’s competition, the camera cut to cox Jasper Parish as he was shouting: “Let’s f****** go!” A BBC spokesperson said: “We apologise for any offence caused.” 

9

Duke deletes Instagram post

Prince Andrew “left aides blindsided” with a post about his Falklands War experience shared on his ex-wife’s Instagram page. The Duke of York, who flew missions as a helicopter pilot during the conflict, described how he returned from the Falklands “a changed man” in a 700-word statement shared by Sarah, Duchess of York, on Saturday. The post, which was later deleted, was signed off as “written by HRH The Duke of York”. Buckingham Palace announced in January that he would no longer be styled as His Royal Highness.

10

Stamp prices increasing

The price of a first-class stamp has risen by 10p to 95p, with second-class stamps also increasing by 2p to 68p. Royal Mail said the rises were necessary to ensure the business remained “sustainable” and “relevant” as it is forced to deliver to a growing number of addresses. Royal Mail’s annual profits quadrupled to £726m in the year to 28 March, up from £180m a year earlier.

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