Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 13 Jul 2020

1. Workers to self-isolate after 73 cases found at farm

Around 200 workers have been told to self-isolate after 73 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed at a farm in Herefordshire. “Targeted action” is being taken against more than 100 local outbreaks of coronavirus every week, says Matt Hancock. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the health secretary said increased testing meant officials could now be “targeted” in their response.

2. Coronavirus immunity may be lost within months

Covid-19 survivors may lose their immunity to the virus within months, according to new research. Scientists who analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust found that while 60% of people had a “potent” antibody response at the height of their battle with the virus, only 17% retained it three months later.

3. First federal execution in the US for 17 years due today

The first federal execution in the US for more than 17 years is set to go ahead in Indiana today. The execution of Daniel Lewis Lee was blocked by a federal judge after relatives of the victims sought a delay, saying they feared attending in person could expose them to coronavirus. However, the appeal court ruled that no federal statute or regulation gave the victims the right to attend the execution.

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4. Exit polls show slim lead for Poland’s Andrzej Duda

Poland’s incumbent president holds a slim lead after Sunday’s presidential election, according to three exit polls. A final exit poll on Monday suggested that Andrzej Duda took 51% of the vote. Duda had fought against the socially liberal Warsaw mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski. The BBC says the vote has been widely seen as a battle for the country’s future as well as its strained relations with the European Union.

5. Bollywood hit by coronavirus as stars hospitalised

The film industry in India has been hit by Covid-19 after several of Bollywood’s biggest stars were sent to hospital after testing positive for the virus. Amitabh Bachchan was in a “stable” condition in the isolation unit at Nanavati Hospital, and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan also entered hospital. Bachchan has made more than 180 films in a career spanning five decades.

6. Government to warn Brits about post-Brexit travel costs

The government is launching an information campaign with guidance about passports, travel insurance, mobile phone charges and travelling with pets after Brexit. The campaign - The UK’s new start: let’s get going - is aimed at raising awareness of higher costs, with travel insurance premiums expected to rise as eligibility for free healthcare in EU countries ends. The public will be told to check for mobile phone roaming charges in the EU.

7. Iran report says human error led to Ukrainian jet being downed

An official report has concluded that Iranian soldiers shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet because they forgot to calibrate their radar systems and mistakenly identified the aircraft as a threat. The Civil Aviation Organisation in Tehran said that the “human error” led to the accidental attack on the airliner in January, killing all 176 passengers and crew.

8. Councils to cut costs after losing income from investments

Local councils in England are set to shed thousands of jobs and cut services due to lost income from multibillion-pound holdings in office blocks, retail parks, airports and cinemas during the coronavirus pandemic. Local authorities had made an investment spree over the past four years as part of an effort to find alternative incomes and protect local services after deep austerity cuts by Conservative governments.

9. John Lewis expected to reject Sunak’s bonus payment

John Lewis is expected to reject a bonus funded by the taxpayer that could be worth £14 million. Its decision, which follows in the footsteps of Primark, could put pressure on other big employers to follow suit. Last week, Rishi Sunak said that the state would give companies £1,000 for every worker they brought back from furlough, provided they work for at least three months.

10. Questions over Dominic Cummings' payment to AI firm

A private firm owned and run by Dominic Cummings paid more than £250,000 to the artificial intelligence firm that worked on the Vote Leave campaign. The Downing Street adviser has refused to explain the reason for the payments to Faculty. Last week it was revealed that the Cabinet Office awarded an £840,000 contract to a company owned by a friend of Cummings.

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