Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 April 2022

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

1

Zelensky sounds nuclear alarm

Volodymyr Zelensky said the world should be prepared for the possibility Russia will target Ukraine with a nuclear strike. The Ukrainian president’s words came after Russia formally warned the West of “unpredictable consequences” if the US and allies keep supplying weapons to Ukraine. However, a senior US administration official said Russia’s warning could be seen as a concession by Moscow that US and Nato military assistance to Ukraine was proving effective.

2

Rwanda plan ‘illegal’ says UN

The UN’s refugee agency said the government’s plan to send some asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda are a breach of international law. The UNHCR said attempting to “shift responsibility” for claims of refugee status was “unacceptable”. It also described the plan as “a symbolic gesture” that will be unworkable in practice. Government insiders said the expected flood of legal battles could leave it costing substantially more than the £30,000 per person.

3

Poll finds support for PM exit

A survey has found that around two thirds of Britons think Boris Johnson should resign if he is issued with more fines for Downing Street parties. After the PM paid a £50 penalty this week for breaking lockdown laws, a YouGov poll for The Times found that if he is fined again, 63% of the public think he should resign and 36% of those who voted Conservative at the 2019 election think Johnson should quit if he receives more penalties.

4

UK may fix speed limiters to cars

Speed limiters could be fitted to all new cars under minsterial plans to fall in line with an EU ruling. The government is expected to announce a consultation on a range of vehicle safety measures that reduce engine power or set off alarms if drivers exceed the speed limit. The Telegraph said the proposals are the latest sign of a “growing crackdown on speeding,” with police forces increasingly enforcing 60mph speed limits on long stretches of new smart motorways.

5

Palestinians injured in mosque attack

More than 150 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian youths stayed at Al-Aqsa Mosque overnight following calls by religious Jewish groups to enter the compound on Friday to perform a Passover sacrifice. Police claimed that after morning prayer, rioters threw stones toward the nearby Jewish prayer space of the Western Wall. In a rare move, Israeli officers entered Al-Aqsa Mosque itself after Palestinians threw stones at police forces from the entrance and barricaded themselves inside.

6

Councils warn of rebate scam

Locals councils have warned that scammers are cold-calling people asking for their bank details to receive the government's £150 energy rebate. The Local Government Association urged people to be alert to the scam and not give out personal information, adding that councils would never request bank details over the phone. Earlier this year, the Treasury announced the rebate for homes in council tax bands A to D to help people cope with escalating cost of living prices.

7

Twitter readies ‘poison pill’

Twitter’s board has adopted a “poison pill” to guard itself against a possible hostile takeover after billionaire Elon Musk made a $43bn (£33bn) offer to buy the platform. The board has deployed what is known as a “limited-duration shareholder rights plan,” which will prevent anyone from having more than a 15% stake in the company by allowing others to buy additional shares at a discount. Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, said he wants to release Twitter’s “extraordinary potential” to support free speech.

8

Harris earns more than Biden

Kamala Harris and her husband earned more than twice as much as Joe Biden and his wife did last year, according to income tax returns.  The vice-president and Doug Emhoff reported a federal adjusted gross income of about $1.7m in 2021, while Joe Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, filed an income of nearly $611,000. Donald Trump, Biden’s presidential predecessor whom he defeated in the 2020 election, never released his tax returns, noted The Guardian.

9

PM ‘airbrushed from election leaflets’

Boris Johnson has been apparently airbrushed from Conservative party campaign literature for next month’s local elections. Following the scandal over lockdown parties, the PM is not mentioned in the Welsh or Scottish Conservative manifestos or some campaign leaflets produced by local party associations. The Telegraph said the decision to exclude Johnson from campaign leaflets will “draw comparisons to the way some Labour politicians omitted Jeremy Corbyn from leaflets when he was the party’s leader”.

10

Unexpected deaths rock bodybuilders

The bodybuilder community is in shock after a US champion became the third to die in a matter of months. Cedric McMillan, 44, was running on a treadmill when he suddenly suffered a suspected heart attack. His unexpected death follows those of Shawn Rhoden, the 2018 Mr Olympia champion who suffered a heart attack last November, and George Peterson, who died from heart problems last October, believed to have been caused by steroids. The deaths have caused concern over the use of muscle-gaining anabolic steroids and weight-loss diuretics.

Recommended

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 May 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 22 May 2022

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 May 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 May 2022

SIDS, Tasers and Alabaman rights
Ambulances parked outside an NHS hospital in London.
Podcasts

SIDS, Tasers and Alabaman rights

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 May 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 May 2022

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home

Caroline Watt: where is Rebekah Vardy’s missing agent?
Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice
Profile

Caroline Watt: where is Rebekah Vardy’s missing agent?

The Week Footer Banner