Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 3 May 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
US ‘to overturn’ abortion rights
The US Supreme Court could be about to overturn the nationwide legal right to abortion, according to a leaked document. Justice Samuel Alito states in the document that the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision is “egregiously wrong”, reported Politico. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he is quoted as saying in the document, labelled as the “Opinion of the Court”. The New York Times said the leak is “unprecedented”, while CNN said that if confirmed, the Supreme Court could be about to make “the most consequential abortion decision in decades” which would “transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America”.
Moscow ‘to annex Ukraine regions’
Russia plans to “annex” Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The diplomat claimed that Moscow “plans to engineer referenda upon joining sometime in mid-May”. Boris Johnson is set to describe Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion as the country’s “finest hour” when he addresses its parliament later today, making him the first world leader to do so since the war began.
Poll predicts Tory wipeout
A poll has suggested that the Conservatives are set to lose nearly 550 seats in the local elections and see the party’s worst performance since Tony Blair led Labour in the 1990s. The predicted defeats could see the Tories lose control of flagship councils Wandsworth and Westminster, as well as Barnet, Southampton and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Labour would gain 16 councils in a 6% swing from the Conservatives, said The Telegraph.
Intruder breached Windsor security
An investigation is underway after an intruder posing as a priest allegedly spent the night eating and drinking with soldiers at a barracks close to Windsor Castle. Police were alerted to reports of an intruder at Victoria Barracks in Sheet Street, Windsor, at 9.20am on Wednesday while the Queen was at Sandringham. A source told The Sun: “This is just an extraordinary breach of security.” The incident comes months after an attempted break-in at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day.
Conduct training suggested for MPs
There have been calls for MPs to carry out compulsory conduct training following fresh revelations about sexism and harassment in Westminster. Chris Bryant, Labour MP for the Rhondda, told The Guardian that “it’s time we put in place regular training for all MPs in best practice as an employer and understanding the code of conduct and the rules of the House”. Commenting on the proposal for regular training, a Conservative MP told the paper that “it shouldn’t be needed and it really is”.
Post Office workers strike
Post Office workers at 114 branches are staging a one-day strike in a dispute over pay. Members of the Communication Workers Union are protesting over a pay freeze in 2021-22 and a proposed 2% rise in 2022-23. Union officials said the offer was “exceptionally poor”, especially as inflation has reached 9%. A Post Office spokesman said: “We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches are unaffected by this decision and will remain open throughout the day.”
McCann suspect claims alibi
The man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann has claimed that he was miles from the scene with a woman who can support his alibi. Christian Brueckner said he was having sex in his camper van with the woman at the time of McCann’s disappearance. He added that he drove the woman to Faro airport for a flight home the next day and they were stopped and photographed at a police roadblock. McCann’s parents say it is “essential” they find out what happened to their daughter, ahead of the 15th anniversary of her disappearance.
Channel crossings reach new high
More than 580 migrants in small boats reached the UK over Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday, taking the total this year past 7,000 – three times last year’s rate for the same period of time. These journeys followed 11 days of bad weather that had prevented anyone from crossing the Channel in a small boat, sparking claims that the government’s Rwanda plan was already deterring migrants. However, Pierre-Henri Dumont, the French MP for Calais, said criminals were encouraging migrants to attempt the crossing before the Rwanda measures took effect.
Moscow: Hitler had Jewish roots
The Russian foreign minister has claimed that Adolf Hitler had “Jewish origins”. During an interview on Italian TV, Sergey Lavrov was asked about Moscow’s allegation that Ukraine had a pro-Nazi government, despite President Zelenskyy’s Jewish heritage. “I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins,” he replied, adding: “For a long time now we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest antisemites are the Jews themselves.” In a memoir published in 1953, Hitler’s lawyer Hans Frank alleged that Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish but historians have disputed the claim.
Met Gala theme ‘tone deaf’
Hundreds of personalities from the worlds of music, film, fashion and sport appeared in lavish costumes at the Met Gala last night. The fundraiser – one of fashion’s biggest and starriest events – returned to its usual early May slot after the Covid crisis forced the cancellation of the 2020 event and delayed last year’s to the autumn. This year’s dress code for the Metropolitan Museum of Art bash was “gilded glamour”, evoking America’s 19th Century era of economic boom. The BBC said this theme “struck some as tone deaf” given the cost of living crisis.