Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 12 Jul 2020

1. Sunak plans post-Brexit and post-Covid ‘revolution’

Rishi Sunak is planning tax cuts to save the economy, claims the Sunday Telegraph. Levies and red tape will be waved in towns and cities across the country next year, as the government plans a “post-Brexit and post-coronavirus economic revolution”. The chancellor will introduce tax cuts and an shake-up of planning laws in up to 10 new “freeports”.

2. Relatives of coronavirus victims march on Downing Street

Grieving relatives of coronavirus victims have marched on Downing Street and told Boris Johnson: “You can’t keep running from us.” More than 150,000 people have backed a petition by the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group calling for an immediate inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic. The families accuse the prime minister and Matt Hancock of ignoring them.

3. Donald Trump wears a mask in public for the first time

Donald Trump has worn a mask in public for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The US president – who has previously insisted that he would not wear a mask - was visiting the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington. “I've never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” he said as he left the White House.

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4. WHO under fire for not visiting Wuhan laboratory

The World Health Organisation inquiry will not visit the Wuhan laboratory that researches coronavirus. The WHO has caused uproar among scientists by indicating that its mission would examine only “the zoonotic source” of the outbreak, an implicit acceptance of Beijing’s theory that the virus jumped naturally from animals to humans in a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.

5. Keir Starmer boosted by results of opinion poll

A poll has found that half of UK voters say they have formed a more favourable view of the Labour party since Keir Starmer became its leader in April. Some 52% of voters now say they could imagine Starmer inside No 10. Two weeks ago, another study found more people cited Starmer as their preferred choice as prime minister (37%) than Boris Johnson (35%).

6. Friends say Ghislaine Maxwell ‘is no Cruella de Vil’

Ghislaine Maxwell says that her portrayal as a “cartoon caricature of a villain” is false. Friends say that the socialite - due in court next week to be formally charged with procuring girls as young as 14 for Jeffrey Epstein – “is no Cruella de Vil”. The friends have told the Mail on Sunday that Maxwell is not the person who introduced billionaire Epstein to Prince Andrew.

7. Covid-19: Bradford among areas of concern

Bradford, Sheffield and Kirklees are among the 20 areas in England most at risk of a coronavirus resurgence. According to a classified document leaked to The Observer, the areas among those to have been identified as needing “enhanced support”. Blackburn, Folkestone and Hythe, and Bolton are also on the list. Officials have ordered the army to deploy extra mobile testing units.

8. Patel says fear of race accusations protect sweatshops

Priti Patel claims that “cultural sensitivities” have stopped police from dealing illegal sweatshops in Britain’s fast-fashion industry. The home secretary believes that police and other government agencies have turned a blind eye to exploitation in Leicester’s textile warehouses and factories out of fear of being accused of racism. The Sunday Times found that workers in a Leicester factory were being paid as little as £3.50 an hour.

9. Madeleine McCann police search three disused wells

Portuguese police and firefighters have searched disused wells in their search for the body of missing Madeleine McCann. The operation involved more than a dozen investigators using specialist climbing gear, including harnesses and ropes. An eye-witness said: “They were around a big well and the firefighters had ropes and other equipment. Later I was told by someone I know that they cleared out a lot of waste from the wells.”

10. Tributes paid to football legend Jack Charlton

Tributes have been paid to Jack Charlton, who died on Friday at the age of 85. Former England striker Gary Lineker said Charlton was “a World Cup winner with England, manager of probably the best ever Ireland side and a wonderfully infectious personality to boot”. Mick McCarthy said the passing of former Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton “will be felt in Ireland more than anywhere else”.

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