Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 13 June 2022

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

1

US gun proposals welcomed

Campaigners in the US have welcomed a potential deal on gun safety reforms. David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida, said the proposals, which include tougher checks for buyers under the age of 21 and cracking down on illegal gun purchases, are “progress even if small”, while ex-lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, injured in a 2011 shooting in Arizona, said they were an “important step forward”. CNN noted that the plans enjoy the support of ten Republican senators, which would give them enough support to overcome the “Senate filibuster”.

2

CBI warns PM on protocol

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned Boris Johnson that his threat to override the Northern Ireland Protocol is forcing companies to think again about investing in Britain. Director general Tony Danker said: “We do see global firms shorting on the UK right now.” He spoke out as the government prepares to launch controversial new legislation that would give ministers power to scrap parts of the post-Brexit treaty for Northern Ireland.

3

Russia ‘using cluster munitions’

Amnesty International said Russia has killed hundreds of civilians in the north eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv using widely-banned cluster munitions. The organisation said it had found evidence of Russian forces repeatedly using 9N210/9N235 cluster bombs, as well as “scatterable” rockets that eject smaller mines that explode later at timed intervals. Meanwhile, a former British soldier has died fighting Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, his relatives have announced.

4

Unis to disclose foreign cash

Universities will be forced to disclose investment from “foreign actors” under plans being put forward by the government this week. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said the measures are intended “to ensure that UK values cannot be compromised”. The threshold for reporting will be £75,000. The Times said the change is proposed against a backdrop of universities accepting money from hostile nations such as China and Russia.

5

Maxwell to apply for UK transer

Ghislaine Maxwell will ask to serve her sex trafficking sentence in a British prison, The Telegraph reported. The former socialite, who will be sentenced later this month, faces up to 55 years in jail after being convicted of procuring young girls for the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. She plans to make a formal application to the US authorities to be transferred back to the UK for the majority of her jail term.

6

Phillips’s belongings found in Brazil

Police in Brazil have discovered personal items belonging to missing UK journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. The items include Phillips’s boots and a backpack with clothes in, as well as Pereira’s health ID card. The two men were in the Sao Rafael community and returning by boat to the nearby city of Atalaia do Norte, but they never arrived. Phillips’s wife and mother-in-law said they presume the two men are dead.

7

Food plan ‘not a strategy’

The man behind a major review of the UK’s food system has said the government’s vision for the industry is “not a strategy”. A leaked draft of the government’s new food policy ignored a number of recommendations from Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, including a salt and sugar tax, and government action on obesity. The Guardian said Dimbleby had been shown the final document, and had remarked that “there was nothing really there on health”.

8

Aussie paper denies outing actress

An Australian newspaper has denied outing actress Rebel Wilson as it faced intense criticism over its reporting of her new relationship with a woman. Last week, Wilson said she had found her “Disney princess” as she shared a selfie with her partner on Instagram. The following day, The Sydney Morning Herald revealed it had known about the relationship before it was public and had given Wilson two days to comment. As the paper faced criticism, its editor denied the paper had outed Wilson, saying it had “simply asked questions”.

9

Taxpayer covers Hancock bill

The government is taking its own transparency regulator to court at the taxpayers’ expense to try to prevent the release of emails between Matt Hancock and his adviser and lover Gina Coladangelo. Past cases brought by the Department for Health and Social Care against the Information Commissioner’s Office to block disclosure have cost up to £130,000, according to the OpenDemocracy website. Hancock resigned as health minister after leaked CCTV footage revealed him kissing and fondling Coladangelo in his office in London, in a breach of social-distancing guidance.

10

Blair to join royal order

Sir Tony Blair and the Duchess of Cornwall will today be installed as members of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s most prestigious royal order of chivalry. The former PM, who received his knighthood from the Queen last week, will now join this medieval royal order at an event at Windsor Castle. It is not yet confirmed if Her Majesty will be at the ceremony, but Prince Andrew is expected to attend.

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