Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 30 July 2022

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

1

Truss ‘heading for Downing Street’

Liz Truss is “heading for No 10” said The i after a survey revealed Rishi Sunak’s tax-cutting announcement failed to win over Tory voters. The poll, by BMG Research, showed that Sunak is 11 points behind among people who voted Conservative at the last election and 19 points behind those who voted to leave the EU. However, both Tory hopefuls are behind Keir Starmer in the poll. The Labour leader beats Truss by 37% to 32%, and Sunak by 37% to 31%. Meanwhile, former candidate Tom Tugendhat has backed Truss.

2

Biden to complete Trump wall

Joe Biden has agreed to complete Donald Trump’s border wall in one of the busiest spots for illegal immigration along the US border. Although the US president promised during the 2020 election campaign that there would “not be another foot of wall constructed” under his reign, the administration agreed this week to the completion of the controversial wall in an open area of southern Arizona. “Unlike many other policy decisions, the measures were not trumpeted by the White House,” said The Telegraph.

3

Ukraine hunts Russian ‘castrators’

Ukraine said it will hunt down the Russian troops who appeared to castrate a Ukrainian soldier with a box cutter. In footage shared on pro-Kremlin social media channels, a group of Russian soldiers held down a member of Ukraine’s armed forces, before using the knife to remove his clothes and mutilate him. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the “brutal war crime”, calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate. Russia has been accused of committing thousands of war crimes since the invasion of Ukraine.

4

First monkeypox deaths outside Africa

The first deaths from monkeypox outside of Africa have been reported. After a 41-year-old man in Brazil died, Spain announced its first death soon afterwards, which is also the first in Europe. Brazil’s health ministry said the victim there suffered from lymphoma and a weakened immune system, and “comorbidities aggravated his condition”. The head of the World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a “global health emergency”. However, infections are usually mild and the risk to the general population is low.

5

First hosepipe ban announced

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will face a hosepipe ban from next week. If any Southern Water customers use hosepipes to water gardens, wash cars or fill ponds and swimming pools they face a potential fine of up to £1,000. However, said the Daily Mail, the water company did not mention its own “leaky pipes” which have shed an average of 21m gallons of water a day. Meanwhile, Thames Water has warned that restrictions could be imposed unless rainfall improves in the coming weeks.

6

Disruption expected on road and rail

People travelling to football matches, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and a Lady Gaga concert are among those expected to be disrupted as a 24-hour strike by about 5,000 members of the Aslef union hits lines across England. Meanwhile, the AA is warning motorists there could be severe congestion on major routes between 11am and 3pm today - with the South of England set to be hit particularly hard. Drivers are being told to prepare for stop-start traffic.

7

Rees-Mogg’s WHF crackdown fails

More Home Office civil servants are working from home than before Jacob Rees-Mogg’s infamous post-Covid crackdown, new data has shown. Just half of desks in the Westminster headquarters of the Home Office were occupied in the last week of last month, compared with 61% in February, noted The Telegraph. Earlier this year, Rees-Mogg campaigned for civil servants to return to their offices after the pandemic, even threatening departments with eviction if they did not use the desk space available to them by bringing staff back to work.

8

Stabbing victim named

The nine-year-old girl stabbed to death in Lincolnshire has been named by police as Lilia Valutyte. The Lithuanian national was found dead in Fountain Lane in Boston on Thursday evening. Two people have been arrested as part of a murder investigation, following what police are calling an “isolated incident”. Boston is “shocked and saddened” by the death, said a BBC reporter on the scene.  Paul Skinner, leader of Boston Borough Council, said the town was “united in mourning”.

9

Anger over Hitler watch sale

Jewish leaders have complained after a watch believed to have belonged Adolf Hitler sold for $1.1m (£900,000) at an auction in the US. The Huber timepiece shows a swastika and has the initials AH engraved on it. Dozens of Jewish leaders signed an open letter describing the sale as “abhorrent”. However, the senior vice president of Alexander Historical Auctions, Mindy Greenstein, told Deutsche Welle: “Whether good or bad history, it must be preserved,” adding that “if you destroy history, there is no proof that it happened”.

10

Liverpool urged to drop sponsor

Liverpool Football Club is being encouraged to drop Standard Chartered as a shirt sponsor as the bank faces a backlash for endorsing China’s “brutal human rights abuses” in Hong Kong. The three vice-chairmen of Parliament’s all-party group for Hong Kong said the sponsorship is a “stain” on the club’s reputation because of the bank’s support for a controversial security law that effectively outlaws protest. In a letter, they called on Liverpool’s board to urgently “reconsider this business relationship and look elsewhere for sponsorship”.

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