Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 July 2022

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

1

‘Bloody’ leadership contest underway

A “bloody” leadership contest to succeed Boris Johnson in Downing Street is underway, said The Times. Tom Tugendhat has entered the fray, joining Attorney General Suella Braverman and Brexiteer Steve Baker who have shown interest. Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor and an early frontrunner, has already become the subject of hostile briefings by rivals and the Daily Mail said the PM’s ousting has unleashed “the hounds of hell”. Up to 11 candidates are expected to throw their hats into the ring.

2

Former Japan PM shot

Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, has collapsed after he was shot at an event in the city of Nara. He was rushed to hospital after he was hit twice, with the second shot hitting him in the back, causing him to fall to the ground. Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, reported that police have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder and retrieved a gun. Footage suggests Mr Abe was speaking to a small crowd in the street, when a loud bang was heard.

3

More women underpaid pensions

Government data shows that more people have been underpaid their state pension than previously thought. As many as 237,000 state pensioners were paid less than their entitlement, with a total of nearly £1.5bn underpaid, an increase of 105,000 more people than the Department for Work and Pensions  estimated a year ago. The BBC noted that the issue mainly affected women, including widows and divorcees who were not automatically paid a sum they were entitled to.

4

More executions in Singapore

There are fears of a “new wave” of hangings in Singapore after the execution of two men for drug trafficking. The men - a Singaporean and a Malaysian - had their capital sentences carried out at Changi Prison Complex, despite pleas for mercy from human rights campaigners. CNN said the Asian city state is “notorious” for its “strict drugs laws”. In April, there was an  international outcry when a man was executed despite  psychologists’ assessments that he was intellectually disabled with an IQ of 69.

5

Chauvin receives new sentence

Former US police officer Derek Chauvin will serve 245 months in federal prison for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. A US District Court judge sentenced Chauvin to 252 months, subtracting seven months for time served. Chauvin, who is already serving 22 and a half years for murder and manslaughter, briefly addressed George Floyd’s children in court, saying: “I wish them all the best in their life and that they’ll have excellent guidance in the rest of their life.”

6

UK prepares for heatwave

A heatwave is forecast for much of the UK at the weekend, with high temperatures set to last a week. On Friday, parts of the country are predicted to hit 28C (82.4F) and the mercury is expected to reach 30C on Monday. The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued a level 2 heat-health alert warning, which will be in place from Monday to Friday and covers the East of England, South East and London regions. The Independent said parts of the UK are forecast to be hotter than Los Angeles.

7

Maxwell appeals conviction and term

Ghislaine Maxwell has appealed against her child sex trafficking conviction and her 20-year prison term. During the socialite’s trial, her lawyers argued that she was being scapegoated for Jeffrey Epstein's crimes, calling her friendship with the financier the “biggest mistake of her life”. Court documents show Maxwell has paid $505 (£420) to appeal. The appeal process was expected and will probably last several months.

8

World responds to Johnson exit

The Kremlin has reacted with pleasure over Boris Johnson’s woes. President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he hoped “more professional people” who could “make decisions through dialogue” would take over in London. Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s former Brexit coordinator, said Johnson’s reign was ending in “disgrace, just like his friend Donald Trump”. Meanwhile, noted the BBC, US president Joe Biden praised the “special relationship” between the US and UK, avoiding any reference to Boris Johnson himself.

9

Tributes to ‘icon’ Caan

Tributes have been paid to James Caan, the US actor famed for his role as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, who has died aged 82. Francis Ford Coppola, who directed the gangster epic, told Deadline that Caan’s “films and the many great roles he played will never be forgotten” and Adam Sandler – who worked with Caan on Bulletproof – wrote on Twitter that he “loved him very much” and “always wanted to be like him”. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared with Caan in 1996’s Eraser, wrote that Caan was “an icon - a legend”.

10

Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from his Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal problem. The 36-year-old Spaniard received treatment during his quarter-final against Taylor Fritz on Wednesday but still manage to win in five sets. “I have tried a lot of times in my career to keep going but it is obvious the injury will get worse,” said the second seed. The development means Kyrgios goes straight through to the final, where he will play Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie.

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