Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 27 June 2022

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

1

Watchdog to review Charles cash

The Charity Commission is to investigate whether Prince Charles’s acceptance of a suitcase containing €1m (£860,000) in cash broke rules. The Sunday Times reported that the Prince received three separate cash payments from a former PM of Qatar, totalling more than £2.5m. Clarence House said the donations were “passed immediately” to his charity. A Charity Commission spokesman said last night: “We will review the information to determine whether there is any role for the Commission in this matter.”

2

Barristers next to walk out

Barristers will walk out of courts across England and Wales today in protest about legal aid funding. During their strike, they will refuse to accept new cases and to carry out “return work” – the practice of stepping in and picking up hearings when colleagues are on cases which overrun. The justice secretary described the action as “regrettable”. The Criminal Bar Association said around 81.5% of its 2,000 members who voted in a ballot supported the action.

3

Zelenskyy plea as Kyiv is hit

Kyiv was struck by four Russian missile strikes yesterday for the first time in three weeks. The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said two residential buildings had been hit in an attempt to “intimidate Ukrainians” before the G7 meeting and a Nato summit in Madrid. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to call for a delivery of heavier armoury when he addresses the G7 group of wealthy nations later. He said yesterday that delaying arms deliveries was “an invitation to Russia to strike again and again”.

4

Gas explosion destroys house

A man suffered life-threatening injuries in a gas explosion that destroyed a house in Birmingham last night. Emergency services were called to the scene on Dulwich Road in the Kingstanding area of the city. Residents described how they clambered past flaming debris and rubble to pull an injured man alive from the ruins of a house in Birmingham. West Midlands Ambulance Service said the man suffered “very significant injuries” and is in a life-threatening condition in hospital. 

5

US companies to pay abortion expenses

Disney is among several large companies that have told staff they will cover employee travel expenses for abortions. After Friday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court, which allowed states to ban abortion, Disney said it had told employees it remained committed to giving them “comprehensive access” to affordable healthcare, including family planning and reproductive care, “no matter where they live”. Amazon, JP Morgan and Meta have taken similar moves. The BBC said the companies are likely to face a backlash from anti-abortion Republicans.

6

British Asians ‘failed by dementia care’

A new review has found that thousands of South Asian people with dementia are being failed by outdated health and care services designed for white British patients. According to the report, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society, people of South Asian heritage in the UK are more likely to develop the disease but less likely to get an early or “timely” diagnosis, less likely to access treatment and less likely to receive support when diagnosed, because of a “totally inadequate” system set up decades ago for a predominantly white population.

7

Shapps says strikes have no power

The transport secretary said rail strikes no longer have the power to paralyse the nation. Writing for The Telegraph, Grant Shapps said “the days when rail strikes could bring the country to a halt are gone” because so many people work from home. He also accused rail unions of defending “indefensible” working practices. Talks between rail companies and the RMT union are expected to resume today. If they fail, more strikes are likely in late July.

8

DWP to remove ‘Hancock cameras’

The Department for Work and Pensions will remove the Chinese cameras that recorded evidence of Matt Hancock’s affair. The Telegraph said the cameras are made by Chinese CCTV giant Hikvision, which is under increasing scrutiny in the UK over claims that it has assisted the Chinese government’s suppression of its Uyghur minority. The DWP said it “will not be using any security camera equipment manufactured in China” as part of an overhaul of its security systems.

9

Baby among dead at bullfight

At least four people have been killed and scores more injured after a stand collapsed at a bullfight in Colombia. Footage showed the three-storey wooden stand filled with spectators falling at a stadium in El Espinal. Emergency crews rushed to the scene to try to rescue people trapped beneath the wreckage. Among the dead were two women, a man and 18-month-old baby. A bull continued to roam the ring as people fled the wreckage, said the BBC.

10

Postmen to check on elderly

Postmen will call in on vulnerable people as part of their rounds during a pilot scheme in Northumberland which could be expanded nationally. “Because we go everywhere, every day, our great, trusted team sees things that others don’t,” Simon Thompson, the Royal Mail chief executive, told The Times. “At the moment, we do this quite informally but actually we could do this formally to provide a unique service to society and our customers”.

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