Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 20 Jul 2020

1. Doctors plead with public to prevent ‘devastating’ second wave

Doctors are urging the public to help prevent a second wave of coronavirus that could “devastate” the NHS. Amid confusion over government messaging, Prof Carrie MacEwen, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said the profession felt “totally reliant on the public understanding that this has certainly not disappeared and could come back and cause even more suffering for the population.”

2. Trump refuses to commit to accepting election outcome

Donald Trump has refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the White House election. “I have to see,” said the president during an interview with Fox News. “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.” Asked about opinion polls that give Joe Biden the lead, Trump said: “I’m not losing, because those are fake polls.”

3. UK urges EU to allow Brits abroad to stay after Brexit

The UK is urging EU countries to ensure Britons living abroad can stay after Brexit. The move comes as the government launches a multimillion pound publicity campaign to reach the one million British citizens living in the EU to ensure they know what to do if they wish to remain in their host countries after Brexit.

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4. Benefits claims among young rocket during pandemic

More than one in six young people are claiming out-of-work benefits in some parts of the UK as the number of people aged 18-24 claiming Universal Credit or Jobseeker's Allowance doubled. Prof Guy Michaels, from the London School of Economics, said: “Each recession is different but there is a worry that this isn't going to go anywhere quickly.”

5. UK expected to suspend extradition treaty with Hong Kong

The UK is expected to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, following similar moves by the US, Canada and Australia in response to Beijing’s imposition of a strict new national security law. Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, has denied reports that Beijing is carrying out a programme of sterilisation of Uighur women in the western Xinjiang region.

6. Government study forecast 200,000 deaths due to lockdown

An official government study predicted that more than 200,000 people could die from the impact of lockdown and protecting the NHS. Experts from the Department of Health, the Office of National Statistics, the government’s Actuary Department and the Home Office forecast that up to 25,000 could die from delays to treatment in first six months of the pandemic and a further 185,000 in the medium to long term.

7. Anti-mask activists gather to protest in Hyde Park

Anti-mask activists have protested in London against the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets. Demonstrators in Hyde Park carried signs that read “no masks” and “I will not be masked, tested, tracked”. The protest was set up by the group Keep Britain Free, which was founded by businessman and entrepreneur Simon Dolan.

8. Starmer says government putting parents in ‘impossible position’

Labour says ministers are putting parents in an “impossible position” by urging a return to offices but failing to provide childcare. Keir Starmer said: “Parents got a back-to-work notice on Friday just as the summer holidays began. But they got no support for structured activities, no summer catch-up schemes, and no support for a childcare sector on its knees.”

9. United Arab Emirates launches first mission to Mars

The UAE has launched a historic first mission to Mars. The Hope probe launched on an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima spaceport in Japan and is now on a 500-million-km journey to study the planet's weather and climate. Its expected arrival in February 2021 would coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s formation.

10. Privacy group says test and trace breaks data laws

Campaigners say England’s test and trace programme has broken a data protection law. The Department of Health admits the initiative to trace contacts of people infected with coronavirus was launched without carrying out an assessment of its impact on privacy. “A crucial element in the fight against the pandemic is mutual trust between the public and the government,” said a campaigner.

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