Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 29 Jul 2020

1. Government review backs Rashford on school meals

Footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend free schools meals to more of Britain’s poorest children has been backed by a government review. According to the National Food Strategy, another 1.5 million pupils should be entitled to free school meals. The review, led by Leon restaurant founder Henry Dimbleby, says free school meals should be extended to every child from a household claiming Universal Credit.

2. Johnson fears second wave as Covid-19 cases ‘bubble up’

Boris Johnson fears a second wave of coronavirus could start within a fortnight, according to reports. The prime minister is “extremely concerned” by outbreaks “bubbling up” both at home and abroad, a government source told the Daily Mail. Johnson says Europe is beginning to suffer a second wave of the pandemic and ministers are prepared “to take such action where it is necessary”.

3. ‘Call first’ A&E system to be launched by the end of the year

Patients will be required to “call first” and book into A&E via NHS 111 by the end of the year, say NHS bosses. The new emergency care standard is designed to replace the four-hour waiting time target. It will see an increase in the number of call handlers at the 111 service. The reform was described as a “profound change” by Lord Prior of Brampton, chairman of NHS England.

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4. Amazon ‘goes nuclear’ with UK grocery delivery service

Supermarkets are at war with Amazon after it took the “nuclear” option of launching free grocery deliveries, reports The Times. The online giant is adding its Amazon Fresh service to its British website so that Prime customers can have shopping delivered free on orders over £40. James Bailey, the boss of Waitrose, said: “It feels like the nuclear button has been pressed because [Amazon] have nuclear capacity behind them.”

5. Twitter restricts Donald Trump Jr after Covid-19 claims

Twitter restricted Donald Trump Jr.’s account after he tweeted a video featuring a doctor making false claims about coronavirus cures. The video featured a group of doctors making dubious statements related to coronavirus, including that masks are unnecessary. Andy Surabian, Trump Jr.'s spokesperson, said Twitter’s move was “further proof that Big Tech is intent on killing free expression online”.

6. New test can detect Alzheimer’s years before deterioration

Scientists say a blood test capable of spotting for Alzheimer’s years before memory loss and confusion occur is on the horizon. Researchers discovered that tiny fragments of a protein which appears in the brain of people with dementia appears in the blood early in the illness. The discovery may allow doctors to diagnose the condition when it is still possible to halt or reverse deterioration in the brain.

7. President who dismissed Covid-19 contracts the virus

The president of Belarus says he has contracted coronavirus but recovered without suffering any symptoms. Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly dismissed the threat posed by Covid-19, describing it as a “psychosis”. He has also refused to shut down his country. Revealing he had contracted it, he said “you are seeing a person who managed to power through coronavirus standing on his feet”.

8. Madeleine McCann police search German allotment

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are searching an allotment in Hanover. Prosecutors in Germany say the search was related to the investigation into Christian B, a sex offender in prison in Germany, who is the main suspect in the 2007 disappearance of McCann. Christian B is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine was last seen while on holiday in the Algarve in Portugal.

9. Great white shark kills woman in front of her daughter

A great white shark killed a swimmer in front of her daughter just 20 yards from shore in Maine. In the first fatal attack in the state’s history, Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, from New York City, seemed to abruptly dip under the water, according to an eye-witness. Her daughter then swam frantically to land and screamed for help, he said.

10. Banksy paintings fetch £2.2m for Palestinian hospital

Three paintings by Banksy making a political statement on the global migrant crisis, sold for £2.2m at an auction in London. The works were offered by Banksy to raise money for a hospital in Bethlehem. Traditionally framed, the paintings appear to be Romantic-era seascapes but feature lifebuoys and orange life jackets washed on to the shore.

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