Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 May 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
PM ‘to override parts of protocol’
A senior government source said Boris Johnson is planning to introduce legislation which will allow ministers in Westminster to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, reported the BBC. The PM is expected in Belfast today as efforts to break the political deadlock at Stormont intensify. Sinn Fein is now the largest party but the DUP has blocked the formation of a new devolved administration in protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Johnson “may be forced to choose between a government in Belfast or the treaty he agreed with the EU”, said Sky News.
Nordic countries confirm Nato bid
Sweden and Finland have confirmed they will apply for Nato membership. Setting aside decades of military non-alignment, the two countries’ governments will present their proposals to their respective parliaments today, reported The Guardian. They are expected to officially submit a joint membership application to the 30-member alliance as soon as the decisions are approved. The BBC said the “historic shift” comes as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Health union condemns Hunt
Healthcare staff have accused Jeremy Hunt of ignoring serious NHS staff shortages as health secretary and driving medics out of the profession. When promoting his new book, Hunt described doctors and nurses as being “run ragged by the intensity of work”. But health workers said Hunt – the longest-serving health secretary – failed to take sufficient action to boost recruitment while in the job between 2012 and 2018. “For years Jeremy Hunt and other ministers ignored the staffing crisis,” said Sara Gorton, the head of health at Unison, the UK’s largest health union.
Queen’s Jubilee celebrations begin
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations kicked off on Sunday with A Gallop Through History, a musical and theatrical performance which The Telegraph described as “a star-studded equestrian extravaganza”. The Queen received a standing ovation when she arrived at an arena close to Windsor Castle, walking to her seat in the royal box despite her ongoing mobility problems. Making her second public appearance in three days, the monarch was “all smiles”, said the Daily Mail.
Buffalo suspect said Sadiq Khan was ‘enemy’
Payton Gendron, the teenager suspected of opening fire at a Buffalo supermarket, told authorities he was targeting the black community, an official familiar with the investigation told CNN. In an online manifesto identifying himself as a white supremacist, Gendron named “high-profile enemies” who included Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Ten people were killed and three others wounded at a store in a predominantly black neighbourhood in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday.
Boy dies after ‘dog attack’
A three-year-old boy has died in a suspected dog attack in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Paramedics and officers were called at around lunchtime on Sunday after reports that a young boy had been injured in Carr Lane, in the town of Milnrow. Although he was taken by ambulance to hospital, the boy died of his wounds. “This is a tragic, devastating incident and our thoughts are with the family at this horrendous time,” said Greater Manchester Police in a statement.
Kids exercise less after pandemic
Exercise levels among children have failed to rebound to pre-Covid levels even after schools reopened, a study, reported by The Times, has found. Researchers tracked ten and 11-year-olds in the Bristol area from May to December last year, measuring their physical activity and that of their parents’ using accelerometers. They found the children were active for about 56 minutes a day, on average, each weekday. That was eight minutes less than before the pandemic. Children also spent 25 minutes longer being sedentary per day.
Police chiefs accuse Patel of ‘power grab’
An “extraordinary row” has seen police chiefs accuse Priti Patel of a “power grab”, reported The Guardian. Police leaders criticised an attempt by the government to redraft a written protocol that tries to define where the responsibility lies in policing, saying it would allow the home secretary to intervene in local law enforcement matters and silence chiefs who want to speak out on issues regarded as politically sensitive. Parts of the plan were labelled “profoundly dangerous” by one chief constable.
Melania hints at second run
Melania Trump has hinted that there is a chance she could live in the White House again, telling Fox News “Never say never” when asked. In the same interview, the former first lady discussed her “NFT projects” – a series of non-fungible tokens which she has designed and put up for sale on her personal website. “The first lot of items put up for sale earlier this year failed to reach its desired monetary threshold of $250,000 for an opening bid,” said CNN.
Dementia mistaken for getting old
Research by the Alzheimer’s Society found that tens of thousands of Brits miss out on a dementia diagnosis each year because they confuse key symptoms with getting old. The charity found that one in four people with dementia wait at least two years before getting a formal diagnosis, meaning they miss out on a crucial window when they could receive treatment to manage symptoms. The charity is launching a new awareness campaign called “It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill”, encouraging people to look out for symptoms and seek support.