Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 May 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Anti-protest laws to be unveiled
The government will push through police powers to prevent disruptive yet peaceful protests as one of 38 new bills in today’s Queen’s speech, reported The Guardian. The address will announce new offences to stop protesters from “locking on” to infrastructure, extend stop and search powers, and make it illegal to obstruct transport projects. Prince Charles will deliver the address to Parliament, as the Queen pulled out on Monday due to her ongoing mobility problems.
Labour ‘can clear Starmer’
Labour says it has “documentary evidence” that staff continued working after eating a takeaway at an event being investigated as a potential lockdown breach. The party said it will present police with a dossier of evidence to prove that the gathering in April last year was permitted under rules that allowed work events. The Guardian said Starmer has taken the “gamble of his career” by saying he will resign if police issue him with a fixed-penalty notice for what happened on 30 April last year.
UK consumer spending drops
The cost of living crisis has seen consumers “put the brakes” on their shopping habits, new data from BRC-KPMG shows. Separate figures from Barclaycard showed credit card spending on retail and eating out slowed last month as people tightened their belts, reported the London Evening Standard. On a like-for-like basis, retail sales in the UK dropped by 1.7% as shoppers reduced their spending on big-ticket items. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said the rising cost of living had “crushed consumer confidence”.
Fourth jab can boost defences
A fourth Covid jab can boost the body’s immune defences beyond the level achieved after a third dose, a new study suggested. The UK is currently offering a second booster to people aged 75 or over, those living in care homes for older people and the immunosuppressed. An expert suggested last week that, if the current circumstances continue, healthy people yet to reach middle age might never be offered another Covid jab.
Sri Lanka PM quits
Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has resigned following weeks of demonstrations against his government. The authorities deployed thousands of troops and police to enforce a curfew after five people were killed as protests over the country’s economic crisis intensified. Sri Lanka has faced civil unrest for months, amid anger over the government’s mishandling of the nation’s worst economic crisis since declaring independence from Britain in 1948. The government has approached the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.
Car crashes into PM’s garden
A car crashed into the front garden of Boris Johnson’s London townhouse. Police were called to the PM’s Camberwell property in the early hours of Monday morning, where they found a Vauxhall Astra that had ploughed through the front wall, damaging a hedge and a tree. The Met said no offences had been identified, but neighbours said the property had been “targeted by protesters” in recent weeks and several cars had stopped outside “playing Russian music” loudly with their windows down.
Covid soars in New Zealand
New Zealand has registered more than one million cases of Covid-19, after spending the first 18 months of the pandemic largely free of the virus, reported The Guardian. The milestone reflects a significant turnaround in New Zealand’s pandemic story, with more than 98% of the country’s Covid cases occurring in 2022. Although the figures mean at least 20% of the population has now been infected, modellers said the true number of infections is likely to be three times higher.
Fleeing guard shoots herself
A female prison guard who fled with a murder suspect has died after shooting herself as the pair were caught, police say. Vicky White, 58, died in hospital after being arrested in Indiana following a police chase. The BBC said the pair, who had vanished from a prison in Lauderdale County on 29 April, were believed to have been romantically involved. The duo’s capture brought to a close an 11-day manhunt that gained widespread national attention, said CNN.
Nick Cave loses second son
Nick Cave’s son has been found dead seven years after the singer’s other son fell to his death from a cliff in Brighton. Jethro Lazenby, Cave’s eldest son, died in Australia after being released from prison for assaulting his mother, Beau Lazenby. “With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away,” the Where The Wild Roses Grow singer told fans on Monday. In July 2015, one of Cave’s other sons, Arthur, died after he fell from the peak of Ovingdean Gap in East Sussex.
Alan Sugar rows with PwC
A row has erupted between Alan Sugar and PwC after The Apprentice star called staff at the accounting firm “lazy”, reported The Telegraph. Sugar criticised a new policy allowing PwC employees to take Friday afternoons off all summer, saying that “the lazy gits make me sick” and “all this work from home BS is a total joke”. In a series of posts on the social media website LinkedIn, staff at PwC branded Sugar’s comments “out of touch” and “childish”.