Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 9 July 2022

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

1

Badenoch and Sunak join Tory race

Kemi Badenoch, the former equalities minister, has become the latest Conservative MP to enter the race to become the next party leader and PM. Writing for The Times, she said she wanted a limited government and to “tell the truth”. Earlier, Rishi Sunak had thrown his hat into the ring, becoming the highest profile candidate to date. Meanwhile, sources have told The Telegraph, Nadine Dorries is considering running in an effort to “keep Boris Johnson’s flame alive”.

2

Energy bills could exceed £3,300

Energy bills could reach more than £3,300 a year this winter, according to a research firm. Cornwall Insight said the energy price cap is set rise to £3,244 a year in October, when it is next adjusted. The default tariff cap is expected to be raised again in January, to £3,363 a year. The cap, which is set quarterly by Ofgem, is currently at an unprecedented £1,971 a year. The Guardian noted that the latest forecasts do not include the impact of the government’s support packages, including a £400 discount for every household in the country in October.

3

Musk pulls out of Twitter deal

Elon Musk has pulled out of an agreement to take over Twitter for $44bn (£36.5bn), claiming the social media company breached terms of an agreement and “appears to have made false and misleading representations”. Shares in the company fell by 7% following the entrepreneur’s announcement. CNN said the “next chapter” in the “whirlwind process” is likely to be a court battle as Twitter attempts to force Musk to close the sale. The original merger agreement includes a $1bn (£830m) break-up fee.

4

Abe suspect ‘held a grudge’

The man suspected of the assassination of Japan’s ex-PM Shinzo Abe held a grudge against a “specific organisation,” said police. The alleged gunman, named as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, believed Abe was part of the group. However, officers have not named the organisation. Abe died in hospital on Friday morning after being shot while speaking at a political campaign event. The Japan Times said the nation’s “longest-serving prime minister wasn’t just any other leader” but “a towering figure whose death has completely changed the nation’s political landscape”.

5

Warning for children in heat wave

Parents and teachers are being advised to limit their children’s sun exposure as a heat-health alert continues across parts of the UK. Temperatures are expected to hit 31C by the beginning of next week, and will rise again towards next weekend.  The UKHSA has warned schools and parents to avoid letting children undertake “vigorous physical activity” when temperatures exceed 30C. Sheffield Children's hospital said children should wear light coloured clothing that covers as much of their skin as possible.

6

Heard calls for Depp retrial

Amber Heard’s lawyers have called for a re-trial of her defamation case with Johnny Depp. In new legal filings, the actress’s legal team said that one of the people originally summoned to serve as a juror in the trial had not appeared and had been replaced by someone else. They argued that their client had the right “to rely on basic protection... that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty” and that her “due process was therefore compromised”.

7

Heinz wins Tesco standoff

Heinz has defeated Tesco in the “baked beans price row,” said The Telegraph. There had been a standoff between the two companies over pricing which had seen supplies paused by the US owner of Heinz when Tesco refused to pay more for its products. The leading chain has backed down and agreed to pay more to keep its shelves stocked with baked beans and ketchup. In a joint statement, the companies said: “Tesco and Heinz are pleased to have reached an agreement that will see the full range of Heinz products return to Tesco shelves and online.”

8

Minister ‘raised finger at public’

Images have emerged of a new education minister apparently making an obscene gesture towards members of the public while entering Downing Street. Andrea Jenkyns appeared to raise her middle finger as she walked through the black gates shortly before Boris Johnson announced he was stepping down and before her appointment as minister. Jenkyns, a Johnson loyalist, was heard shouting “he who laughs last, laughs the loudest” and “wait and see” as onlookers jeered her outside Downing Street.

9

‘Undercount’ as Covid soars

One in 25 people in England had Covid at the end of June, according to official figures. Covid cases have risen almost 20% in a week and a leading stastitician, Dr David Spiegelhalter, said there was a “huge undercount” as testing was not taking place to the extent it had been earlier in the pandemic. Health officials are urging anyone who is eligible but has not yet had a vaccine or booster in the past six months to come forward for one.

10

Hummus is in danger

A global chickpea shortage is “endangering supplies of hummus,” said The Guardian. A perfect storm of difficult weather conditions and the invasion of Ukraine means supplies of chickpeas could drop as much as 20% this year, according to the Global Pulse Confederation. Chickpeas are an essential source of protein in India and the Middle East, where families are already struggling to cover soaring costs of food imports such as wheat.

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