Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 3 July 2022

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

1

Former whip faces new claims

Six fresh claims of inappropriate behaviour by former Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher have emerged. Pincher, who was suspended from the party for allegedly groping two men, faces new allegations in three newspapers, including cases where it is claimed he made unwanted advances to male MPs, including in a bar in parliament, and in his own parliamentary office. He has denied the latest allegations. Meanwhile, said the Sunday Telegraph, Boris Johnson has been accused of ignoring warnings about Pincher’s alleged sexual misconduct.

2

Watchdog to probe hospital pledge

A pledge made by the Conservatives at the last general election to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 will be reviewed by the government’s spending watchdog. Shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, who asked for an investigation into delays surrounding the programme, accused the Tories of “overpromising and underdelivering”. The Conservative’s manifesto stated that they would “build and fund 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years” but experts have said the target is unachievable.

3

Explosions in Russian border city

At least three people died in explosions in the Russian city of Belgorod, near the border with Ukraine, said regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 private houses were damaged, including five that were destroyed, said Gladkov, in messages posted on the Telegram messaging app. Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, there have been several reports of attacks on Belgorod and other regions bordering Ukraine. Moscow accuses Kyiv of carrying out the strikes.

4

Charles honoured peer after donations

Prince Charles honoured a controversial Conservative peer who spent £1.7 million “bailing out his failed eco-village” in a “string of secretive deals,” said The Sunday Times. The Prince of Wales presented Lord Brownlow with the award during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace after accepting millions of pounds in donations from him. Brownlow, a recruitment tycoon, was revealed last year to have paid £58,000 towards the cost of makeover of a Downing Street flat.

5

Men feel pressure of ‘picture perfect’ culture

A third of young British men told researchers they are trying to alter their appearance because of the “picture perfect culture” on social media. The survey of more than 2,000 people also found that it was affecting the mental health of one in 10 of them. A cosmetic surgeon told Sky News that some men are abusing steroids which can cause breast growth, meaning he is performing hundreds of breast reductions on men every year. Speaking of the pressure on men, psychologist Rob Willson from the Body Dysmorphic Foundation told Sky News that men are “a bit less used to it than women are”.

6

‘Pure hell’ at Kentucky shooting

Three police officers were shot dead in the US while attempting to serve a warrant on a man accused of domestic violence. The local sheriff said the officers had faced “pure hell” when they arrived at the man’s home, which is in a mountainous part of eastern Kentucky with a population of just 166, adding that the man was “a terrorist on a mission”. Police have taken a 49-year-old suspect into custody after the shooting.

7

‘Outrageous’ cover-up over Rwanda

The government has been accused of an “outrageous” cover-up after it refused to disclose the cost for its its plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The Home Office told The Independent that it needed a “safe space” to negotiate deals and releasing any numbers would “prejudice relations between the UK and Rwanda”. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said “taxpayers’ money is being spent on a scheme that is unworkable, unethical, extortionate and risks making trafficking worse,” adding that “the British people have a right to know what the total cost is going to be”.

8

Abu Akleh bullet sent to US

Forensic experts in the US will analyse the bullet that killed an Al Jazeera journalist in May. Veteran reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot despite being clearly identified as a member of the press while covering an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Colleagues who witnessed the incident and other eyewitnesses said she was killed by Israel Defence Forces fire, but the Israeli army has said she was caught in the crossfire of a battle with Palestinian gunmen. US experts will will carry out a ballistic examination on the bullet.

9

‘Disaster movie’ scenes at Heathrow

The government says accreditations for aviation workers are being processed in record time as passengers complained of “disaster movie” scenes at Heathrow Airport. The Department for Transport said security checks for aviation workers are now being processed in half the time they were in March. However, a passenger at Heathrow told The Observer that baggage reclaim “looked like a scene from a disaster movie,” adding that: “being brutally honest, it looks like a serious health and safety issue.”

10

Ricky Martin faces restraining order

A judge in Puerto Rico has issued a restraining order against the singer Ricky Martin. The order was signed after authorities visited the pop star’s home in the north coastal town of Dorado but failed to find him. Although it has not been officially revealed who who requested the restraining order, the newspaper El Vocero said the order states that Martin and the other party were in a relationship for seven months before they broke up recently. The petitioner claimed that Martin did not accept the separation and has been seen near the petitioner’s house.

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