Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 July 2022

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

1

Truss joins leadership race

Liz Truss has entered the race to replace Boris Johnson. Launching her campaign in The Telegraph, the foreign secretary pledged to start cutting taxes “from day one” and claimed that “colleagues know I mean what I say and only make promises I can keep”. Fellow hopeful Rishi Sunak has denied links to the former No. 10 adviser Dominic Cummings after Nadine Dorries claimed the aide had been working with Sunak for “quite a long time”. Meanwhile, Nadhim Zahawi has promised to publish his tax returns if he wins the leadership contest and becomes prime minister.

2

‘Uber files’ reveal corruption

Leaked documents have revealed that Uber “flouted laws, duped police, exploited violence against drivers and secretly lobbied governments during its aggressive global expansion”, The Guardian reported. The so-called “Uber files” outline the extensive help Uber enjoyed from leaders such as Emmanuel Macron and former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes. Leaked messages show that one executive joked they had become “pirates” and another conceding: “We’re just fucking illegal.” Uber insists its past behaviour “wasn’t in line with present values” and it is a “different company” today.

3

Record UK temperatures expected

The Met Office has warned that Britain could experience its hottest day on record this week. Temperatures are forecast to hit 33C on Tuesday, while parts of the south-east, including London, could reach 35C over the coming weekend. The Telegraph said there is currently a 30% chance of Britain experiencing its warmest day ever on Sunday, meaning temperatures would pass the current record of 38.7C, which was recorded in Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019. The Daily Mirror added that the UK’s temperature record could be “obliterated” with sweltering highs of 43C predicted.

4

Church: ‘no definition of woman’

The Church of England has stated that there is “no official definition” of a woman. In a written reply to a question submitted to General Synod, a senior bishop said that although the definition of the word woman was previously “thought to be self-evident” there was now a need for “additional care” on the question. The Telegraph said that “liberal wings” of the Church have welcomed the stance, but gender-critical campaigners insisted that “whether your starting point is biology or the Bible”, the answer to the question of what is a woman remains the same.

5

Women spiked at German chancellor’s party

At least nine women are believed to have been spiked with a date rape drug at the chancellor of Germany’s summer party. During last week’s gathering, which was hosted by Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrat party, the women fell ill after their food and drinks were spiked with so-called knockout drops, a slang phrase which covers various date rape substances, such as rohypnol and ketamine. Lars Klingbeil, the co-leader of the Social Democrats, said he was “furious that something like this could happen”. In February a restaurant in Bavaria served up champagne laced with ecstacy.

6

15 killed after Russian strike hits apartment block

At least 15 people were killed after a Russian strike hit an apartment block in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. The residential building in the town of Chasiv Yar was hit on Saturday evening as Moscow ramped up its assault on cities and towns in the east. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attacks were deliberate. “After such strikes, they will not be able to say they did not know something or did not understand something,” he said in a video address, vowing that “punishment is inevitable for every Russian murderer”.

7

Salt linked to early death

Adding salt to meals can cut years off your life, according to a new study. Researchers found that always adding salt to food slashes more than two years off life expectancy for men and one-and-a-half years for women. “To my knowledge, our study is the first to assess the relation between adding salt to foods and premature death,” said Prof Lu Qi of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, who led the research involving 500,000 middle-aged Britons.

8

Covid wave hits hospitals

The Guardian has found that hospitals are “battling staff absences, exhaustion, persistent backlogs and problems discharging patients” amid the latest wave of Covid. An estimated 2.71m people in the UK had Covid in the last week of June, an 18% rise on the week before. Hospitalisations are also up, with 11,316 people in hospital with Covid in the UK at the last count, up from 8,350. Meanwhile, a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) expert has accused the government of risking new variants by “shutting its eyes and letting Covid rip”.

9

Trump teases Biden over Saudis

Donald Trump has mocked Joe Biden for deciding to visit Saudi Arabia despite previously pledging to make it a pariah. The Republican said Biden’s visit on Friday would show that the US was becoming a “beggar” for energy. President Biden is also facing an outcry from some Democrats for choosing to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after releasing an intelligence assessment that found the prince had approved the capture or killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Some White House staff have even considered resigning over the change of approach.

10

Dairy boss warns of price surge

Britain is “on the edge” of dairy shortages as a severe lack of workers forces farmers to slash production, an industry giant has said. Arla Foods, the country’s biggest milk and butter maker, also predicted that dairy prices will surge even higher. Milk and butter prices have already soared by more than 10% in the last 12 months. Lurpak butter has reached £6 for a 500g tub and is now being security tagged in Asda to prevent theft.

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