Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 July 2022

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

1

Pincher scandal damaging PM

Boris Johnson is under pressure to reveal what he knew about allegations of inappropriate behaviour concerning Chris Pincher when he was appointed deputy chief whip. Tory rebels told The Times that Johnson’s handling of the episode has bolstered their efforts to oust him. Meanwhile, a survey for the i news site found that a third of people not planning to vote Tory at the next election cited Johnson as the reason, while 45% of all Britons said Johnson being leader makes the party less appealing.

2

Denmark shooting could be terrorism

A gunman killed three people and wounded others, three of them critically, at one of Denmark’s biggest shopping malls. A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged following the incident at the Field’s shopping centre in Copenhagen, which is one of the largest in Scandinavia. Police said the motive was unclear and they could not rule out an “act of terrorism”. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the country had been hit by a “cruel attack”.

3

Single-parent families face surge in poverty

Half of all children in lone-parent families now live in relative poverty, according to analysis by The Guardian. Relative poverty, defined as having an income of less than 60% of the national median, rose for single parents by nine percentage points between 2013-14 and 2019-20 to reach 49%, where as the rate for two-parent families rose by only two percentage points to reach 25%. The paper said “a decade of austerity-driven cuts to benefits has left single parents among the most exposed to soaring inflation”.

4

NHS in for a ‘bumpy ride’

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is expected to continue rising, raising concern about the NHS’s ability to treat other illnesses. Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, warned that the present wave of infections had not yet peaked and asked people to behave in a “precautionary way”. Saffron Cordery, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts, said hospital bosses are “in for a bumpy ride over the coming months” as Covid infections are expected to coincide with seasonal flu pressures later this year.

5

Six die in Alpine avalanche

At least six people hiking on an Alpine trail in north eastern Italy were killed yesterday when a huge chunk of glacier broke loose. An avalanche of ice, snow and rock struck a group hiking in the Dolomites, killing six of them and injuring eight others, according to the authorities. Walter Milan, a rescue service spokesperson, told Italian state TV that the area has been experiencing unusually high temperatures up to 10C. “That’s extreme heat,” he said. “Clearly it’s something abnormal.”

6

Abbott makes unfounded PM claim

Diane Abbott made an unsupported claim that Boris Johnson is “rumoured to like assaulting women”. Appearing on BBC Radio 4, the Labour MP discussed the case of former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, who reportedly groped two men in a London club. She said a man sexually assaulting a woman might have been treated differently from Pincher allegedly groping two men, “because Boris Johnson has been rumoured to be the one who likes assaulting women”. The Broadcasting House episode was taken down and the claim was edited out.

7

Ten-year-old rape victim denied abortion in Ohio

A ten-year-old rape victim in Ohio, who was six weeks pregnant, was ineligible for an abortion in her own state and forced to travel to Indiana for the procedure. Three days after the state of Ohio changed its laws after the overturning of Roe vs. Wade to outlaw terminations, the child who had fallen pregnant through the rape, attended a hospital in the state and had to be sent to the neighbouring state for the abortion.

8

Met under-recording crimes

The Metropolitan Police has been significantly under-recording crimes including rape, stalking and violence, The Times reported. Scotland Yard recorded 77 rapes per 100,000 people in the 12 months to March, nearly half the 131 in the West Midlands and also far lower than the 113 and 116 in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire respectively. The Times said the news “raises concerns about the potential manipulation of statistics”, but remarked that it is possible other forces are inflating their figures, rather than the Met under-recording.

9

North Korea criticises US pact

North Korea has described a military agreement between the US, South Korea and Japan as part of a Washington plot to create a military alliance like Nato in the region. Speaking on state media, North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesperson said “the real purpose of the US spreading the rumour about a ‘threat from North Korea’ is to provide an excuse for attaining military supremacy over the Asia-Pacific region”. US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have agreed to explore further means to reinforce “extended deterrence” against North Korea.

10

Players fined after fiery Wimbledon match

Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas have both been fined for their conduct during an ill-tempered match at Wimbledon. Tsitsipas was given a $10,000 (£8,250) fine for unsportsmanlike conduct and Kyrgios must pay $4,000 (£3,300) for an audible obscenity. Tsitsipas received warnings for hitting a ball into the Court One crowd and Kyrgios appealed repeatedly to the umpire for his opponent to be defaulted for his first offence. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie has become only the fifth British man to reach a Wimbledon quarter-final in the Open era.

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