Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 28 June 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
G7 condemns Russian attack
The leaders of the G7 group of economically advanced nations have condemned Russia’s attack on a shopping centre in Ukraine as “abominable”. Two air strikes in the city of Kremenchuk left at least 15 people dead and dozens injured. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that more than 1,000 civilians were inside the mall at the time of the strike. The governor of the Poltava region said there was no military target nearby that Russia could have been aiming at.
‘Red wall’ MPs in defection talks
Three Conservative MPs from “red wall” seats are in defection talks with Labour, reported The Telegraph. Sources said the three male MPs have slim majorities in northern seats that have historically voted Labour and believe they will lose their seats at the next election if they do not defect. The MPs are said to be frustrated with the “ideological direction” of the Conservative Party. Christian Wakeford, the MP for Bury South, crossed the floor in January.
Pay demand from doctors
Doctors have called for a pay rise of up to 30% over the next five years, in a move that increases the chances of strike action. Delegates at the British Medical Association’s annual conference voted to press ministers to agree to the increase to make up for real-term cuts to their salaries over the last 14 years. One speaker told delegates: “Vote for this motion and I’ll see you on the picket lines.”
Dozens found dead in Texas
At least 46 people who are believed to be migrants have been found dead in an abandoned lorry on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. Authorities were alerted when a worker in a nearby building heard a cry for help, according to the police. The worker found a trailer with its doors partially open and saw a number of dead people inside. The survivors were “hot to the touch” and suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion. San Antonio is a major transit route for people smugglers.
PM and Sunak delay tax cuts
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will resist pressure from Conservative MPs to announce tax cuts in a joint speech next month, said The Times. As pressure for the move grows, a source said: “This speech will not be about tax cuts. It’s about setting out a medium to long-term plan for dealing with the cost-of-living crisis.” Johnson is planning to give monthly press conferences on the cost of living as winter approaches.
Trump app plan blocked
Donald Trump’s ambition to take his social media app public has faced a fresh setback after a federal grand jury issued subpoenas to the firm trying to buy it. Trump Media and Technology Group, which operates the Truth Social app, was in the process of being bought by Digital World Acquisition Corp in a deal that would take it public. However, Digital World revealed that it and every member of its board received subpoenas from a grand jury in New York, which could delay the takeover.
Protocol bill passes latest hurdle
A bill to allow the UK to unilaterally rip up Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland passed the second reading stage in the House of Commons on Monday night. The bill passed by 295 votes to 221 despite attracting bitter criticism from a number of MPs on the Conservative benches as well as those of the opposition. The foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said the plan was “legal and necessary” but former PM Theresa May said the bill is illegal and threatens to spark a trade war with Europe.
Louisiana judge blocks abortion law
A judge in Louisiana has temporarily stopped the state from enforcing Republican-backed legislation banning abortion. The state passed a “trigger law” after the US Supreme Court ended the almost 50-year-old constitutional right to the procedure last week. Joe Biden is facing growing anger from his own party as Democrats seek to mount a response to last week’s ruling. The president has urged voters to vent their outrage at the ballot box at the midterm elections in November, said The Times.
UK must be ready to ‘fight and win’
Britain and its allies are facing their “1937 moment” following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and must do everything possible to avert another world war, the new head of the UK Army is set to say. In his first public speech as the Chief of the General Staff, Gen Sir Patrick Sanders will say that the UK must be ready to “fight and win” to ward off the threat from Russia. In a separate speech today, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, will call for increased investment in defence.
Court hearings to go online
The public will be able to watch murder trials from home as all courts and tribunals will be permitted to enable anyone to observe hearings remotely. A new law, which requires judges to promote “open and transparent” justice, will cover “any tribunal or body exercising the judicial power of the state” – from crown courts and magistrates sentencing criminals, to family courts and immigration tribunals. To watch a case, viewers will have to identify themselves by their full name and email address, and agree to “conduct themselves appropriately”.