Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 April 2022

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

1

PM to delay inquiry vote

Boris Johnson is planning to delay a decision over an investigation into whether he misled MPs about lockdown parties, it has emerged. MPs were set to vote today on a Labour plan for a Commons committee to investigate Johnson’s past comments about Whitehall gatherings. But amid concern from Tory whips over a large number of Conservative abstentions, the government tabled an amendment promising MPs another vote on the issue at the end of the police investigation and following the release of Sue Gray’s report.

2

World faces hunger ‘catastrophe’

The president of the World Bank has warned of a “human catastrophe” of hunger linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. David Malpass told the BBC that record rises in food prices were pushing hundreds of millions of people into poverty. The World Bank estimated there could be a “huge” 37% increase in food prices, which is “magnified for the poor”. Malpass said: “It’s affecting food of all different kinds – oils, grains – and then it gets into other crops, corn crops, because they go up when wheat goes up.”

3

Putin tests ‘Satan II’ nuke

Vladimir Putin has claimed that he tested a new nuclear missile known as “Satan II”, describing it as a “present to Nato”. The 200-tonne intercontinental ballistic missile carries a dozen warheads and could be used to strike enemies around the world. The Russian president also said on Russian television that the “truly unique” weapon was “capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence”. Ian Williams, a fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank, told the Telegraph: “This is probably the most destructive single weapon on earth.”

4

Trump walks out on Morgan

Donald Trump appears to have walked out of an interview with Piers Morgan after he was questioned about losing the 2020 election. A trailer showed the former US president calling Morgan “dishonest” and “a fool”. When Morgan told him that the 2020 election was “free and fair” and that “you lost”, Trump responded: “Only a fool would think that.” Morgan then asked Trump if he thinks he is a fool, to which he replied: “I do now, yeah.” Trump then appeared to walk out of the interview, telling the crew to “turn the camera off”.

5

Three dead at retirement complex

Three people have been found dead in a “targeted attack” at a home in a retirement complex in Buckinghamshire, detectives have said. Thames Valley Police said officers were called to reports of a disturbance at a property in Spring Gardens, Bourne End, on Tuesday evening. They found the bodies of a man and a woman in their sixties and a man in his fifties. Police said: “We are dealing with a very complex inquiry, which appears a targeted attack.”

6

Private cancer treatment rocketing

The number of cancer patients paying for private chemotherapy has reached a record high. As NHS backlogs rise, new data showed that the monthly number of privately funded sessions of chemotherapy reached a high of 13,200 last year, up from around 10,000 in February 2019. Cancer expert Professor Pat Price told The Telegraph the findings were “shocking”. Latest figures show more than 6.2m people on NHS waiting lists, with fears the list could soon top 11m.

7

Netflix shares plummet

Shares in Netflix have plummeted after it reported that it lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade. After the streaming company announced it had lost 200,000 subscribers, its shares fell 35%, wiping out $50bn (£38.2bn) in market cap. The company said it expects to lose another two million subscribers in the current quarter. “Netflix’s world has been turned upside down,” said CNN.

8

Commissioner calls for smacking ban

The children’s commissioner has called for a ban on smacking in England. Speaking to Times Radio, Dame Rachel de Souza said that she was “supportive” of extending the law that already exists in Scotland and Wales. “I absolutely abhor, and I’m against violence of any kind against children,” she said. “Because children are more vulnerable than adults, I think we do need to ensure that their rights are supported.” More than 60 nations around the world have legislated against the physical punishment of children.

9

Woman catches Covid twice in 20 days

A healthcare worker has caught Covid twice within 20 days in the shortest-known gap between reported infections. Tests showed the 31-year-old woman was infected with two different variants; Delta in late December and Omicron in January. Dr Gemma Recio said the case highlighted that Omicron can “evade the previous immunity acquired either from a natural infection with other variants or from vaccines”. Scientists told the BBC that everyone will likely catch Covid twice, and probably many more times throughout their life.

10

Queen marks birthday at Sandringham

The Queen will celebrate her 96th birthday at Sandringham today. She travelled by helicopter to her Norfolk estate, where she will be joined by family and friends. The BBC said the monarch is expected to stay in a cottage on the estate particularly favoured by her late husband, Prince Philip. A new photograph has been released to mark the birthday. It shows the Queen with two ponies, reflecting her lifelong interest in horses.

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