Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 25 June 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Clinics close after abortion ruling
Clinics have begun closing in some US states after a Supreme Court ruling removed women’s constitutional right to abortion. The BBC said that around half of states are expected to introduce new restrictions or bans after the court overturned its 50-year-old Roe v Wade decision, with 13 outlawing abortion instantly. Joe Biden described the ruling as a “tragic error” and the Republicans celebrating it as “wrong, extreme and out of touch”. CNN said “the day that remade America” was “decades in the making”.
Senior Tories tell PM to go
Tory grandees have called for Boris Johnson to be replaced following two by-election defeats. Two former party leaders — Lord Hague of Richmond and Lord Howard of Lympne — said cabinet ministers should put pressure on Johnson to resign. Hague told Times Radio there is a “tremendous loss of faith among party activists as well as voters”. Howard told the BBC that “the party and more importantly the country would be better off under new leadership”. Meanwhile, Tory rebels hope to change party rules so Johnson can face a new challenge.
‘Well-aimed’ Israeli bullet killed reporter
The United Nations has concluded that the shot that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh last month was fired by Israeli forces. The Palestinian-American journalist, who was wearing a vest and helmet marked “press”, was killed while covering an Israeli army operation in Jenin, in the West Bank. Ruling that she was shot by “seemingly well-aimed” Israeli fire, the UN said: “It is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation.”
Sub-variants powering Covid surge
The continuing rise in Covid infections across Britain has been blamed on two faster-spreading Omicron sub-variants. About 1.7 million people are estimated to have been infected in the week ending on June 18, a 23% increase from a week earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics. The rise followed a 43% jump the previous week. The number of people in hospital has also risen in most parts of Britain: the latest seven-day average for hospital admissions for people with Covid is at 842, up from 542.
Oslo shootings ahead of Pride
Two people were killed and 14 wounded in a shooting at a nightclub in Norway’s capital Oslo. People were shot at a number of sites near the London Pub, a popular gay bar and nightclub in the city centre. “I saw a man arrive with a bag, he picked up a gun and started shooting,” an NRK journalist said in the broadcaster’s report. Police said that the suspect was arrested in a nearby street a few minutes later. Oslo is set to hold its annual Pride parade later on Saturday.
Deaths as migrants storm Spain
Eighteen people have died after a huge crowd of African migrants attempted to cross from Morocco into Spain’s enclave of Melilla. About 2,000 migrants approached Melilla at dawn on Friday and more than 500 managed to enter a border control area after cutting a fence with shears. Reports say some of those who died had fallen from the top of a border fence. A Moroccan human rights watchdog said the incursion came a day after Moroccan security personnel had tried to clear nearby camps as part of an “intense crackdown”.
Patel tipped for Tory chairmanship
Priti Patel will become the Conservative party’s next chairman after the shock resignation of Oliver Dowden, say allies of Boris Johnson. The Home Secretary is seen by the whips’ office as the ideal replacement for Dowden due to her strong links with the party’s grassroots and strong reputation as a campaigner. However, her friends told The Telegraph that such a move is “never going to happen”. Dowden quit yesterday morning in the wake of the party’s by-election defeats.
Oxford Street risking ‘extinction’
Oxford Street is in danger of becoming a “dinosaur district destined for extinction”, said the boss of Marks & Spencer. Stuart Machin said that the capital’s iconic shopping street is on “its knees” after being taken over by a “growing proliferation of tacky candy stores”. He added that the pandemic has “brought a street that was once the jewel of UK shopping to its knees”. Machin attacked Michael Gove’s decision to block demolition of his flagship store after the minister seized control of the planning application amid concerns about its environmental impact.
Rowling pranked by Russians
JK Rowling said she “loves the idea” of writing the Harry Potter death curse on missiles bound for Russian troops during a Zoom call with pranksters who pretended to be Volodymyr Zelensky. Vovan and Lexus, Russians who have previously pranked Boris Johnson and Elton John, fooled Rowling during a 12-minute call that has been posted online. A spokesperson for the author said the prank was “distasteful” and the video had been edited.
Wimbledon star harassed 30 times
A former Wimbledon finalist said she was sexually harassed “at least 30 times” in the women’s locker room during her career by a WTA staff member. Speaking to The Independent, Andrea Jaeger, who turned professional at just 14 years old and peaked at No 2 in the world rankings, also alleged that she was unknowingly served alcohol at a post-tournament party when she was 16 before a different WTA employee drove her home and attempted to kiss her. Jaeger, who retired in 1985, used the prize money from her career to start a charity which supports children who’ve endured abuse.