Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 July 2022

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


Rivals compare Mordaunt to Corbyn

Rival Tory leadership candidates have “turned their fire” on Penny Mordaunt as she continues to gather momentum in an “increasingly acrimonious race,” said The Guardian. Liz Truss’s supporters called Mordaunt “utterly incompetent” and suggested that victory for her would be “akin to a Corbynite takeover of the Conservative Party”. Truss has won the support of Suella Braverman after the attorney general was knocked out of the running. Meanwhile, former Brexit Minister Lord Frost is encouraging one of the other contenders, Kemi Badenoch, to step down.


‘Thousands could die’ in heatwave

Emergency services are preparing for the prospect of temperatures of 40C (104F) early next week as a minister urged people to keep an eye on elderly neighbours in the “extreme heat”. The government’s emergency Cobra committee met yesterday and Kit Malthouse, the Cabinet Office minister, said that a “surge in demand” for the NHS was expected. The Daily Mirror predicted a “catastrophe” as climate change senior lecturer John Grant said “hundreds are going to die in the UK if not thousands”.


Queen’s exemptions revealed

Exemptions for the Queen have been written into more than 160 laws since 1967, granting her “sweeping immunity” from swathes of British law, reported The Guardian. The legislation means police are barred from entering royal residences without permission from the 96 year old monarch herself. The laws range from animal welfare to workers’ rights. Thomas Adams, an associate professor of law at Oxford University, said the “clear pattern,” of the exemptions relates to the “economic interests of the monarch”.


Nazi mass grave uncovered

Researchers have discovered a mass grave holding 17.5 tonnes of human ashes near a former Nazi concentration camp. Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance said that the grave was found near the Soldau concentration camp, about 90 miles north of Warsaw. The Telegraph said the “grim discovery” is further evidence of Nazis seeking to cover up their crimes in Poland, where three million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Researchers hope to carry out DNA analysis of the remains to find out more about the victims.


Rail dispute ‘will not vanish’

Drivers at 14 train operating companies are to strike for two days in August. The RMT has announced that members at Network Rail and 14 train operators will strike for two further days on 18 and 20 August in the row over jobs, pay and working conditions. The union had already announced a strike for 27 July, the day before the Commonwealth Games opens in Birmingham. General secretary Mick Lynch said ministers and rail bosses needed to accept that the “dispute will not simply vanish”.


Alcohol ‘benefits the overs 40s’

A major study has found that alcohol carries major health risks and no benefits for young people but some older adults may gain from drinking a small amount. The study, published in the Lancet, found that for people aged 15-39, alcohol posed risks, including injuries relating to drinking or car accidents, suicides or murders. However, for adults of 40 and older without any underlying health conditions, drinking a small amount of alcohol was linked to some health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


Ivana Trump dies at 73

Donald Trump has announced the death of Ivana Trump, his first wife and the mother of his three oldest children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric. She was 73. Writing on his Truth Social platform, the former president said he was “very saddened to inform all of those that loved her, of which there are many,” that his ex-wife had passed away at her home in New York. Raised in communist Czechoslovakia, Ivana divorced Trump in 1992 in the aftermath of his tabloid affair with Marla Maples.


New Omicron variant hits the UK

Experts say another highly contagious Omicron variant has arrived in the UK. The BA.2.75 variant, nicknamed Centaurus, was first detected in India in May. It is thought to spread at an even faster rate than its Omicron relatives BA.5 and BA.2 variants. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control designated it as a “variant under monitoring” on 7 July, meaning there is evidence that it could be more transmissible. The news comes as the World Health Organisation said Covid remains a global emergency, almost two and a half years after it was first declared.


Plastic surgeon ‘tried to knife colleague’

A court has heard that a plastic surgeon tried to kill a fellow doctor by stabbing him and setting fire to his home. Jonathan Peter Brooks, 58, dressed in camouflage and a head torch before cycling to the home of Graeme Perks, 65, armed with a crowbar, cans of petrol, matches and a knife, Nottingham crown court was told. Brooks allegedly wanted Perks “out of the way” as he was a witness in disciplinary proceedings against him. He denies attempted murder, three charges of arson with intent to endanger lives and possession of a knife in a public place.


Italian PM’s resignation denied

The prime minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, has tendered his resignation after populist coalition partner Five Star withdrew its support in a confidence vote. The former head of the European Central Bank, who has led a unity government since February 2021, said the pact of trust that had sustained the unity government had gone. However, Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, has rejected Draghi’s resignation. Instead, the president called on the prime minister to address parliament to avoid a snap election.


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