Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 3 Jul 2020

1. Jeffrey Epstein’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell is charged

Ghislaine Maxwell has appeared via video in a US court after being arrested in relation to alleged sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury involving Jeffrey Epstein. The British socialite, who was arrested at a luxury hideaway in a small town in New Hampshire, appeared at the state’s federal courthouse. Meanwhile, US attorney Geoffrey Berman said Prince Andrew had “repeatedly declined our request” to schedule an interview for the investigation.

2. Coronavirus second wave ‘quite a possibility’ says UK chief

A second wave of coronavirus infections in the UK is “a possibility”, according to England’s deputy chief medical officer. Dr Jenny Harries said: “We all need to, as we go forward with the easing of lockdown measures, still... be really careful about how we interact with others, about social distancing, [and] about washing your hands.”

3. France and Spain among UK quarantine exemptions

People arriving in England from France, Spain, Germany and Italy will no longer need to quarantine from 10 July, the Department for Transport has announced. Most travellers to the UK currently have to self-isolate for two weeks but a full list of exempt countries posing “a reduced risk” from coronavirus will be published later today. The Foreign Office will also change its advice against all but essential travel to a number of countries.

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4. Major operation sees arrest of previously ‘untouchable’ kingpins

Police have arrested more than 700 suspects, seized £54m in cash and several tonnes of drugs in the UK’s “biggest and most significant” operation. Authorities said previously “untouchable” kingpins, who have enjoyed “flashy lifestyles” while evading justice for decades, were arrested. The Independent says the operation also revealed the identities of an unknown number of corrupt police officers and employees in different law enforcement agencies.

5. Pressure mounts on David Starkey over slavery comments

David Starkey is under fire for his remarks about slavery. The television historian and author told a show hosted by right-wing commentator Darren Grimes that slavery was not genocide because of the survival of “so many damn blacks”. Fitzwilliam College, where Starkey teaches, described his remarks as “indefensible”. The Mary Rose Trust said it had accepted his resignation.

6. Bosses predict that unemployment will soar to 3.5m within months

Unemployment is set to reach 3.5m this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll of business leaders by the Bank of England. The sudy found that financial officers were more pessimistic in June than they were a month ago. They predicted that 11% of the workforce will be out of a job before the end of this year.

7. Harry Potter fan sites distance themselves from J.K. Rowling

Leading Harry Potter fan sites have distanced themselves from author J.K. Rowling because of her beliefs on transgender issues. The websites, Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet, announced they would no longer provide links to the author’s personal website, use photos of her, or write about achievements that do not relate to her fictional worlds. A joint statement spoke of Rowling’s airing of “harmful and disproven beliefs”.

8. Johnson to warn public as England prepares for ‘Super Saturday’

Boris Johnson will tell the public to “act responsibly” when lockdown is eased in England tomorrow. Restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will be allowed to open their doors for the first time since March but the PM is set to warn “we are not out of the woods yet”. He will add: “Just as when we first locked down, we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together.”

9. Is British comedy facing its own ‘MeToo’ moment?

The British comedy scene is facing a MeToo scandal, reports The Times, after dozens of women revealed experiences of degrading treatment. Women have described being abused before shows and mocked with rape jokes, and claimed that offences by some leading acts have been hushed up by the comedy establishment. Tez Ilyas, a Channel 4 comedian, stepped down from an official role after admitting “using women” for his “personal gratification”.

10. Fire breaks out at Iranian nuclear complex

A building within the Iranian Natanz nuclear complex was damaged in a fire yesterday, semi-official news agency Tasnim said. Iran Atomic Energy Organization shared an image of the damaged building, which showed a roof charred by fire, broken doors and blown-out windows. An anonymous Iranian security official said that there was “no evidence” of sabotage.

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