Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 9 June 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
UK growth to be ‘worst in G20 apart from Russia’
Economic growth in the UK will be the worst in the G20 apart from Russia, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has forecast. The Paris-based organisation said the effects of high inflation and a further round of tax increases will be the main factors in the UK’s expected weak economic activity. Laurence Boone, chief economist of the OECD, said the UK was unique because it was simultaneously facing high inflation, rising interest rates and increasing taxes.
PM will ‘blow himself up’
Tory rebels believe that Boris Johnson will “blow himself up” with further scandals over the summer so that the rules protecting him from another confidence vote can be changed to force him from office. After the PM narrowly survived a ballot on his premiership, he will try to reset his leadership today by promising to boost home ownership and pledging action to cut household costs. In a speech in Lancashire, Johnson is expected to say he wants to extend the right to buy to people who rent from housing associations.
Petrol to pass ‘£100 milestone’
The price of petrol made its biggest daily jump in 17 years yesterday with a rise of more than 2p a litre. The RAC said the average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol could exceed £100 by the end of the day. Some forecourts are already selling petrol above £2 a litre, including a BP garage on the A1 near Sunderland that was charging 202.9p. Average diesel prices are also at a record high, reaching 186.6p on Tuesday, up 1.4p from Monday.
Berlin attacker ‘mentally ill’
A teacher was killed and 14 schoolchildren were hurt after a car hit a crowd on a busy street in Berlin. A 29-year-old man, believed to be the driver, was detained, said German police. Iris Spranger, Berlin’s interior affairs minister, said: “The latest evidence suggests this is a case of a mentally ill person running amok.” The group was on a school trip to Berlin from the state of Hesse. A second teacher was seriously hurt.
Microplastics found in Antarctic snow
Researchers have found microplastics in freshly fallen Antarctic snow for the first time. The scientists from New Zealand collected samples from 19 sites in Antarctica and each contained tiny plastic fragments. “The most likely source of these airborne microplastics is local scientific research stations,” wrote one of the researchers in the journal, Cryosphere. “However, modelling shows their origin could have been up to 6,000km (3,700 miles) away.” Microplastics may be increasing the impact of global warming, said the BBC.
Trump to testify at probe
Donald Trump will testify under oath next month in New York attorney general Letitia James’s investigation into his business practices, according to a new court filing. The former US president had fought to dismiss the investigation, describing it as a “witch hunt”. However, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump and son Donald Trump Jr, he has now agreed to testify.
Gambling losses ‘skewed to poorest’
More than 420,000 British gamblers lose at least £2,000 a year and losses on the most addictive products are “strongly skewed” towards deprived areas, according to a new report. The Guardian said the report from the National Centre for Social Research and the University of Liverpool raises “concern” at the low level of intervention by gambling companies to prevent harm. Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who leads a cross-party group of MPs examining the sector, said: “The industry is lining its pockets with money from those who can least afford it.”
Weinstein faces London charges
Harvey Weinstein will face two charges of indecent assault allegedly committed against a woman in London in 1996, prosecutors have announced. The Metropolitan Police said the two alleged offences took place between 31 July and 31 August 1996 and that the alleged victim is a woman, now in her 50s. Weinstein is currently serving a prison sentence in New York, after being found guilty of two of five felonies in February 2020. He is serving 23 years behind bars. It is not yet clear how Weinstein would be extradited to stand trial in a UK criminal court.
New Covid jab ‘five times stronger’
Moderna’s new Covid-19 vaccine is five times better at boosting antibodies than its original jab, results have suggested. The pharmaceutical firm said early clinical trials showed that the next-generation jab produced 9,500 units of antibody in vaccinated individuals compared to a maximum of 1,800 units with an original booster jab. The company’s chief medical officer said that the new vaccine could boost a person’s antibodies to such high levels that a booster may only be needed annually.
TikTok executive ‘does not believe in maternity leave’
A TikTok executive has been replaced after saying he did not believe that companies should offer maternity leave. A leaked email has suggested that Joshua Ma, who leads a Europe division at ByteDance, the company that owns the social media platform, will “take some time off”. The revelation comes after an investigation by the Financial Times uncovered a “toxic” company culture. The newspaper found that staff were frequently expected to work more than 12 hours a day, starting early with calls to China and ending late when livestreams were most successful.