Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 13 Jun 2020

1. Britain on course for historic recession after record collapse

Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April as the country was set on course for the worst recession in more than three centuries. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed no area of the economy was left unharmed during the first full month of coronavirus lockdown. The Bank of England thinks that GDP could contract by 25% in the second quarter and unemployment more than double.

2. Nurse dropped from briefing for refusing to back Cummings

England’s chief nurse was dropped from a Downing Street briefing because she refused to back Dominic Cummings, according to The Guardian. During a trial run for the briefing, Ruth May was asked about the controversy over the special adviser driving his family from London to Durham during lockdown. When she failed to support the prime minister’s chief adviser, she is understood to have been dropped from the press conference.

3. Donald Trump reschedules rally from slavery holiday

Donald Trump is rescheduling a rally that was to be held on June 19 out of “respect” for Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US. There had been an outcry over the president’s decision to hold his campaign rally on the holiday. Trump said he rescheduled after “many of my African American friends and supporters reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date”.

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4. Two-metre rule set to be scrapped to boost business

The two-metre social distancing rule can be abandoned by businesses if they establish other safety measures, government scientists have told ministers. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has suggested regular breaks, and sitting workers side by side, so staff can work within one metre of one another. The Office for National Statistics says infection in the community has dropped to just 0.06 per cent.

5. Police set out restrictions ahead of weekend of protests

Police have imposed restrictions on several groups ahead of demonstrations in London this weekend. A number of protests are scheduled in the capital today and tomorrow, including a Black Lives Matter demonstration, and police have ruled that the events must end at 5pm. “We are asking you not to come to London, and let your voices be heard in other ways,” Met Commander Bas Javid said.

6. MPs slam ‘national disgrace’ of BA's treatment of workers

MPs say British Airways’ treatment of staff during the coronavirus crisis is a “national disgrace”. After the airline cut thousands of jobs and downgraded terms and conditions, a report from a Transport Select Committee accused BA of a “calculated attempt to take advantage” of the pandemic. The airline insists it is doing all it can to keep “the maximum number of jobs”.

7. Fawlty Towers episode to be reinstated after outcry

An episode of the 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers will be reinstated on a BBC-owned streaming service after it was removed it because it contained “racial slurs”. The episode includes a scene in which Major Gowen, a guest at the hotel, uses racist language during an anecdote about the West Indies cricket team. John Cleese told The Age newspaper: “The major was an old fossil left over from decades before.”

8. McCann parents ask for evidence that Madeleine is dead

Madeleine McCann’s parents are asking German police to reveal the evidence that led to them declaring their daughter is dead. Although detectives say they are convinced she is dead and insist they know how she was killed they also say they have no idea where her body is. The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell say the family still have hope she's alive.

9. Man arrested after a rabbi is attacked in north London

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the stabbing of a rabbi north London. The victim, named as Rabbi Alter Yaakov Schlesinger, was attacked in the street shortly before 11am on Friday. Members of the public wrestled a man in his 40s to the floor on Stoke Newington High Street, keeping him pinned down until police officers arrived.

10. Johnson to visit a high street to encourage spending

Boris Johnson will make a symbolic visit to a high street next week in a bid to lead Britons back to the shops and revive the country’s economy. As non-essential stores open from Monday, the prime minister hopes his visit will reassure shoppers that it is safe to get out of the house and spend. A recent study found that only 36 per cent of people in England feel safe outside their home.

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