Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 June 2022

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

1

Charles ‘calls Rwanda policy appalling’

The Prince of Wales has privately described the government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda as “appalling,” reported The Times. The royal is said to be particularly angry over the policy as he is due to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, this month. Meanwhile, a flight to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda next Tuesday has been allowed to go ahead by the High Court.

2

‘Remains’ found in Amazon hunt

Brazilian police searching for British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira have found possible human remains. Officers say experts will analyse the “organic material” found in a river near the town of Atalaia do Norte in the remote Amazon rainforest. The pair went missing while travelling by boat on a reporting trip on Sunday. Indigenous groups say both men have received threats for their work in the region, which has seen illegal fishing, logging, mining and drug trafficking.

3

Covid rising in England

There is early evidence of an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid in England and Northern Ireland, said the Office for National Statistics. The report suggested the small rise is likely to be driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron, which may be able to spread slightly more easily than “older” Omicron variants. The latest figures suggest around one in 65 people have Covid - up from about one in 70 the week before. The BBC said the ONS provides the most accurate picture of Covid infection since free testing came to an end.

4

AA tells motorists not to drive

The AA has told motorists to save money on petrol by not using their cars as the price of fuel rockets. “This is the worst week of pump pain so far for drivers,” said Edmund King, the AA president. “We would urge drivers at the moment to cut out shorter car journeys if they are able to do so, and walk or cycle to save money.” The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new record of 183.2p on Thursday, according to data firm Experian, an increase of 7.3p in just seven days.

5

Government to reject sugar tax

The government is expected to reject the suggestion to introduce a new salt and sugar tax in England when it announces its food strategy next week. The policy paper comes after Henry Dimbleby’s review recommended taxing salt and sugar used in processed foods, restaurants and catering.  Meanwhile, a leaked version of the white paper shows Boris Johnson’s new food strategy for England contains virtually no new measures to tackle the soaring cost of food, childhood hunger, obesity or the climate emergency, said The Guardian.

6

‘Fool’ Andrew in new debt battle

The Duke of York has been described as a “fool” after he became caught up in another £1.6m debt battle. The Telegraph said the “business debt” is owed to a Swiss couple who are understood to have placed a freezing order on his Verbier ski chalet. The Duke is said to be disputing the amount owed, but does not deny the unpaid debt. A French socialite who sold the chalet in 2014 to the Duke and Sarah, Duchess of York, but later sued them over an outstanding £6.7m debt – said: “He is an absolute fool and I just cannot understand how he goes about his life.”

7

Canada to print warning on cigarettes

Canada is set to become the first country in the world to rule that a warning must be printed on every cigarette. It already requires graphic photo warnings on tobacco products’ packaging, a policy that started an international trend when it was introduced two decades ago. However, said the minister of mental health and addictions, Carolyn Bennett, “these messages may have lost their novelty, and to an extent we worry that they may have lost their impact as well”. The current proposal for the message is: “Poison in every puff.”

8

Giuliani faces ethics charge

Rudy Giuliani has been charged with ethical misconduct over unsubstantiated claims he made about the 2020 presidential election being stolen while serving as an attorney for Donald Trump. Giuliani had already been suspended from practicing law by the New York bar as that office also investigates his election fraud efforts on behalf of Trump in court. He has been among Trump’s most fervent supporters. He is also facing a federal investigation, which his lawyer says is politically motivated.

9

Minister calls Birmingham ‘godawful’

A minister has apologised after describing Birmingham and Blackpool as “godawful”. Heather Wheeler referred to the two cities during a launch of the government’s new digital strategy, saying: “I was just at a conference in Blackpool or Birmingham or somewhere godawful.” Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said: “Heather Wheeler has put her utter contempt for voters on show.” Later, Wheeler tweeted: “I apologise for any offence caused.”

10

Bieber’s face is paralysed

Justin Bieber has announced that he is taking a break from performing because he is suffering from paralysis on one side of his face. In an Instagram video, the singer explained that he has Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which has left him unable to move half of his face and unable to take the stage. “As you can see this eye is not blinking,” he said. “I can’t smile on this side of my face... So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face.” Medical experts said Ramsay Hunt syndrome is when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near someone’s ears.

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