Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 26 Sep 2020

1. Met investigates background of police killing suspect

The custody sergeant shot dead inside a police station yesterday was a former professional rugby player who was reaching retirement. Sergeant Matiu Ratana, 54, who was born in New Zealand, died in hospital after being shot as a handcuffed suspect was being checked in. The Metropolitan Police is investigating the background of the man suspected of the shooting in south London.

2. Trump ‘will nominate right-winger for Supreme Court’

Donald Trump is expected to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice. Barrett, described as “favourite of social conservatives” by the BBC, would replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday. Her appointment would mean conservative-leaning justices would enjoy a 6-3 majority on America's highest court for the foreseeable future.

3. WHO warns Covid death toll could double to two million

The global death toll from Covid-19 could hit two million before an effective vaccine is widely used, the World Health Organization has warned. Almost one million people have died so far but virus infections continue to rise, with 32 million cases confirmed globally. Across England, one in 500 people are believed to have had Covid-19 last week.

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4. EasyJet ‘hanging by a thread’ according to official

EasyJet is “hanging by a thread,” according to an airline union official. In a leaked recording, Martin Entwisle said the company was in a “really, really dire situation”. The airline denies that Entwisle's claims reflect what the company or its finance officer said during a meeting with him. Earlier this year, EasyJet placed around 80% of its pilots on the government's furlough scheme.

5. Union leader says face-to-face teaching should be paused

A leading union says that face-to-face teaching at universities should be halted until the government fixes test-and-trace failures and gets control over the spread of Covid-19. Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “There is an urgency about this that didn’t exist a month ago.” She spoke out as outbreaks hit 23 universities, forcing thousands of students into self-isolation.

6. Students among the 22 dead in Ukraine air crash

At least 22 people were killed and two others were seriously injured when a Ukrainian air force plane crashed near Kharkiv in the east of the country. Deputy interior minister Anton Gerashchenko described the incident as a “shock” and said that the cause of the crash was being investigated. The air force said most of the dead were students.

7. Trump: Biden will ‘take big shot of something’ for debate

Donald Trump says that Joe Biden could do well in the first presidential debate next week by taking a “big shot of something”. The US president told a rally in Florida that his opponent was the “lowest-energy individual I’ve ever seen” but predicted: “They’ll give him a big shot of something and he’ll go out there and he’ll have a lot of energy — he’ll be like Superman for about 15 minutes.”

8. Bollywood star pulled into investigation of drugs and suicide

A leading Bollywood star has been summoned for questioning by Indian police as part of an on-going investigation following the suspected suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Deepika Padukone is the highest-profile star to be embroiled in a probe into allegations of drug use in Bollywood. CNN says the saga has “transfixed the country and dominated headlines for months”.

9. UK shoppers lost £100m in vouchers during lockdown

A consumer group says that UK shoppers have lost a total of nearly £100m in unused vouchers during the coronavirus pandemic. A survey of 2,000 adults by Which suggested a quarter of people held a voucher that expired during lockdown. Although some retailers contacted customers and offered to extend the vouchers, a third of those with an expiring voucher did not get an extension and lost the money.

10. Andrew Neil leaves the BBC to join a ‘right-leaning’ news channel

Andrew Neil has quit the BBC to launch a new “right-leaning opinionated rolling news channel” says The Guardian. The veteran says that GB News will target the “vast number of British people who feel underserved and unheard” by existing television news channels. The channel’s co-founder Andrew Cole has previously said the BBC is a “disgrace”.

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