Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 25 July 2022

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

1

NHS crisis ‘puts patients at risk’

NHS and social care services face their worst workforce crisis in history because of chronic staff shortages, a cross-party committee of MPs has found. The report warned that patient safety is at severe risk with 12,000 hospital doctor posts and more than 50,000 nurse and midwife jobs unfilled in England alone. The MPs also criticised the “absence of a credible government strategy”. Reporting on the “bombshell” findings, The Mirror said exhausted NHS staff are quitting “in droves”.

2

Sunak and Truss asylum plans ‘cruel’

Both of the Tory leadership candidates have been accused of “cruelty and immorality” for promising more Rwanda-style deals to remove asylum seekers from the UK. Amnesty International said the “dreadful” pledges from Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss would come at “great human and financial cost”. The Guardian said that hostile briefings by the two camps intensified over the weekend as they prepared for a “crunch TV debate” hosted by the BBC this evening. The Times said Sunak’s allies regard the debate as a “critical moment in the contest” as he attempts to overhaul the foreign secretary’s lead.

3

Russia charges Ukrainian military

The head of Russia’s investigative committee has announced that Moscow has charged 92 members of the Ukrainian armed forces with crimes against humanity. Alexander Bastrykin told state media that more than 1,300 criminal investigations had been launched. Meanwhile, Ukraine has warned that a deal to export grain via the Black Sea will stall if there are further Russian airstrikes on key ports. The warning came after Saturday’s missile attack on a port in Odesa.

4

‘Radical’ energy rules for French shops

Shops in France will be ordered to close doors when using air conditioning and limit neon lighting in a bid to cut energy waste, the French government has announced. Shopkeepers will be fined hundreds of euros for breaking the rules under “radical plans to ration energy this winter”, said The Telegraph. With energy costs in Europe spiralling since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Paris has announced the “energy sobriety plan” to reduce dependence on Russia. Emmanuel Macron wants to cut energy consumption by 10% by 2024.

5

GOP looks beyond Trump

CNN said a growing number of Republicans are being encouraged to join the race to become the next presidential candidate, as some in the GOP get “increasingly anxious” about the idea of Donald Trump being their nominee again. Dan Crenshaw, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said that the party has a “lot of good options” and he hopes “they all jump in”, while Senate Minority Whip John Thune said there will be “other attractive” Republican candidates in 2024 besides Trump. Their words come after fresh revelations about Trump’s actions during the Capitol Hill riot.

6

Volcano erupts in Japan

A volcano located on the Japanese island of Kyushu erupted on Sunday, causing evacuations in the region. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the volcano erupted around 8.05pm local time, spewing ash and large rocks into the evening sky. Television footage showed orange flames flashing near the crater and dark smoke with ash billowing high above the mountaintop. “We will put the people’s lives first and do our utmost to assess the situation and respond to any emergency,” said deputy chief cabinet secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki.

7

Activists executed in Myanmar

Military authorities in Myanmar have executed four democracy activists accused of helping carry out terrorism. According to state media, the four were sentenced to death in January in a closed-doors trial, accused of helping militias to fight the army that seized power in a coup last year. Former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw, writer and activist Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw were accused of committing “terror acts”. UN experts described the executions as a “vile attempt at instilling fear” among the population.

8

Half of UK women don’t exercise

A survey has found that 47% of women in Britain have done no vigorous weekly exercise such as jogging, gym classes or playing netball in the past year. For men the figure was 34%. Two in five women said that they dropped the habit of exercising during the pandemic and were finding it difficult to restart. One in seven said they had “stopped exercising completely”. Eight thousand adults were questioned for the Healthier Nation Index.

9

Musk denies affair with Google co-founder’s wife

Elon Musk has denied that he had an affair with Nicole Shanahan, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The Wall Street Journal reported that the entrepreneur’s friendship with Brin had ended over the alleged affair. However, responding on Twitter, Musk said the report was “total bs”. He also wrote: “I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic.” The Telegraph said the episode was “the latest personal distraction for the world’s richest man”.

10

Bobbies on beat ‘reduce crime’

Fifteen minutes of police patrols can reduce violent crime by 70%, according to analysis by the Youth Endowment Fund. The study also found that proactive patrols in crime hotspots resulted in significant drops in wider crime, as well as fewer calls to emergency services. The Times said the findings underline the effectiveness of old-fashioned policing. Mark Rowley, who takes charge of the Metropolitan Police in the autumn, is an advocate of better neighbourhood policing.

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