Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 April 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Russian warship sinks
A key Russian warship that was damaged by an explosion has sunk, Moscow’s defence ministry has said. There are conflicting accounts of how Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, met its fate. Ukraine says its missiles hit the warship but Moscow has not reported any attack, claiming the vessel sank after a fire as it was being towed to port amid “stormy seas”.
Rwanda plan is ‘inhumane’
The government’s plan to send unauthorised asylum seekers to Rwanda has been denounced as inhumane, expensive and deadly, said The Guardian. Under the plan, people seeking asylum in the UK will be sent to Rwanda for processing as part of a new agreement negotiated by Priti Patel. The Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi called the scheme “ineffective, costly and inhumane”. The British Red Cross said it is “profoundly concerned” about the plans to “send traumatised people halfway round the world”.
Harry and Meghan visit Queen
Prince Harry and Meghan have flown to the UK to visit the Queen in Windsor. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who were on their way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, had not been in the UK together since they quit as senior working royals more than two years ago. It is understood Harry and Meghan were at Windsor Castle on Thursday. The BBC said the unpublicised visit “had a touch of Hollywood drama”.
Tories call on PM to go
Three Tory MPs have called for Boris Johnson to quit over lockdown parties, reported The Times. Karen Bradley, the former Northern Ireland and culture secretary, said: “I have been clear that those that make the rules must not break them, whether intentionally or otherwise.” Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border, said he would not “defend the indefensible”. Tobias Ellwood, the Tory chairman of the Commons defence committee, said Johnson should “agree to hold his own vote of confidence”.
Musk ‘wants to save civilisation’
Elon Musk has said he is “not sure” his takeover bid for social media firm Twitter will be successful. The Tesla boss has revealed that he had offered to buy the company for $54.20 a share, or more than $40bn (£30.6bn). Speaking at TED2022 Conference in Vancouver, he said: “This is not about the economics. The civilisational risk is decreased the more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform.”
Tory steps down over Nazi photo
A London Conservative Association chair has stepped down after admitting said he “could not rule out” that he was once pictured in Nazi military uniform. After the photograph, said to show Colin Davis from a number of decades ago, emerged, he told Jewish News he had “no recollection” of the occasion “at all”. The Enfield Southgate Conservative Association said Davis was “no longer a member of the Conservative Party”, nor a local election candidate.
Ambulance waiting times reach high
NHS data shows that most stroke and heart attack victims are forced to wait more than an hour for an ambulance. The average waiting time for emergency 999 ambulance calls in England hit a record high of 61 minutes last month, a breach of the 18-minute limit for ambulance trusts to respond to such incidents. Meanwhile, ambulance waits for urgent but not emergency calls — such as labour or non-severe burns — are an average of three and a half hours, which is another record.
C4 is ‘toxic’ and ‘rotten’
Ten ethnic minority former employees have accused Channel 4 of having a “toxic” culture after a woman signed a secret settlement following a racial discrimination complaint. The deal prevented the woman from commenting on a grievance about the management regime. A former insider told The Times: “Channel 4 is a really weird place. On the face of it, it’s cool, liberal, left-wing and hip and happening, but at its core, it’s f****ing rotten.”
New Lebedev claim hits PM
Boris Johnson secretly requested for Evgeny Lebedev and a Kremlin-linked Russian dignitary to bypass security checks when he met them as London mayor in 2015. An email released under freedom of information laws showed that Johnson’s office describes the two men as “VIPs” and adds: “The mayor has asked specifically that they are not asked to go through the airport-style security.” The PM’s friendship with Lebedev has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, noted The Guardian.
Jesus ‘died of dislocated shoulder’
A doctor-turned-priest has claimed that Jesus Christ died of fatal bleeding caused by a dislocated shoulder from carrying the cross. The Rev. Prof Patrick Pullicino, a former consultant neurologist at East Kent Universities Hospitals NHS Trust, said the Shroud of Turin depicts a man with a dislocated shoulder, adding that its position was particularly significant because it was pulled so far out of its socket that the right hand stretches 10cm lower than the left.