Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 8 Jul 2020

1. Sunak to announce ‘kickstart jobs scheme’ for young people

Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a £2bn “kickstart scheme” to create more jobs for young people. The cash will bankroll six-month work placements for 16-24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term joblessness. The chancellor is also expected to announce a temporary stamp duty holiday to stimulate the property market.

Who is Rishi Sunak and what sort of chancellor will he be?

2. FBI says China poses greatest threat to the US

The director of the FBI has warned that espionage and theft by Beijing pose the “greatest long-term threat” to the future of the US. “The stakes could not be higher,” Christopher Wray said. “China is engaged in a whole-of-state effort to become the world’s only superpower by any means necessary.” The BBC says Washington now sees Beijing as a “global leadership contender”.

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48 Group Club: why China is ‘grooming’ Britain’s business and political elite

3. Niece's book paints Trump as a dangerous narcissist

A revealing memoir written by Donald Trump’s niece claims that the US president is a “narcissist” who now threatens the life of every American. In her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, Mary Trump describes her uncle as a fraud and a bully. She says his character was shaped by his “high-functioning sociopath” father during childhood.

Who is Mary Trump? President’s niece set to publish ‘damning’ tell-all book

4. Retailers pull Boohoo products over workers’ conditions

Amazon, Next and Asos are withdrawing Boohoo clothing from sale after anger about workers’ pay and conditions at the company’s suppliers. It has been alleged that some factories in Leicester that sell clothes to Boohoo pay as little as £3.50 an hour and have failed to protect workers from coronavirus. A total on £1.5bn has been wiped off the company’s value in 48 hours.

5. Crime victims let down by police, says chief inspector

Victims of crime are receiving a “limited service” from the police, “if any service at all”, according to Her Majesty’s chief inspector of police. Sir Tom Winsor says victims are losing faith in the force, with many crime investigations constituting little more than a telephone conversation with the victim where only the skeleton facts were recorded without any further action.

6. Bolsonaro catches Covid-19 after dismissing it as ‘little flu’

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has tested positive for coronavirus after playing down the risks of what he has called the “little flu”. Bolsonaro, who took the test on Monday after developing symptoms, has opposed lockdowns and other preventative measures. Brazil has the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world, after the US.

Strangest Covid quotes from world leaders: from vodka cures to ‘miracles’

7. JK Rowling joins attack on ‘ostracism’ and ‘cancel culture’

JK Rowling is one of dozens of writers, academics and activists to sign an open letter denouncing so-called cancel culture. The signatories - including authors Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis - condemn “a vogue for public shaming and ostracism” and “a blinding moral certainty”. They add: “The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.”

8. Refusal to wear masks ‘should become a public taboo’

Failing to wear a mask in public during the coronavirus pandemic should become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving or not wearing a seatbelt, according to the president of the Royal Society. Studies have suggested that the UK is far behind other countries when it comes to wearing masks. For instance, research found that uptake of mask-wearing in the UK was around 25%, compared to 83% in Italy.

How much do face masks protect against coronavirus?

9. Johnny Depp divorced ‘after wife defecated in bed’

The actor Johnny Depp was accused at the High Court in London yesterday of having an alter ego called “the Monster”, which exploded into violence when he was angry, jealous or had taken drugs. The actor is suing The Sun for labelling him a “wife beater”. On day one of the much-awaited hearing, Depp claimed he decided to divorce Amber Heard after she defecated in their marital bed “as a prank”.

10. Deutsche Bank rapped for dealings with Jeffrey Epstein

Deutsche Bank has been handed a $150m (£120m) fine for failing to monitor its relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. New York state regulators said the bank had committed “significant compliance failures” in processing hundreds of transactions for the convicted sex offender, including payments to Russian models and $800,000 (£640,000) in “suspicious” cash withdrawals. Epstein died in a New York prison cell on 10 August as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

Inside the hunt for Ghislaine Maxwell - and what next for Prince Andrew?

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