Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 29 Oct 2020

1. France and Germany return to lockdown amid Covid surge

France and Germany have both reinstated forms of national lockdown, as Europe battles soaring levels of Covid-19 infections. From Friday, people in France will only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons, while Germany is imposing a one-month “soft” nationwide lockdown. The UK yesterday reported 310 new deaths and 24,701 new cases.

Where in Europe is heading for a second lockdown - and will the UK follow?

2. Police spend too long on domestic crimes, officer claims

Forces should be freed from handling domestic abuse and focus on policing emergencies, a senior officer has said. David Thompson, chief constable of West Midlands police, said that officers were “policing relationships”, adding that it was “debatable whether or not that’s actually something best discharged by the police”. Refuge, the women’s charity, said domestic abuse is a “serious life-threatening crime”.

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Why are domestic violence rates increasing?

3. Majority of Britons would blame Johnson if Brexit talks fail

Most Britons would blame Boris Johnson if Brexit talks fail to reach a deal, a new YouGov poll has found. Some 65% of the public believe the government has “generally failed” in negotiations and 57% say the UK side would be to blame for a no-deal. The survey “piles pressure on the government to negotiate an agreement” as talks move to Brussels, The Independent says.

What might no-deal look like for Britain?

4. Vaccine could be ready in UK by Christmas

A German-developed Covid vaccine could be ready to distribute in the UK before Christmas, according to The Times. Ministers have already bought enough doses for 20 million people and are anticipating that some will be available for use immediately if the drug is shown to be successful. The first doses of the jab, which is backed by Pfizer, are earmarked for the elderly and vulnerable.

England and Germany ‘neck-and-neck’ in coronavirus vaccine race

5. Nigel Farage praises Donald Trump at Arizona rally

President Donald Trump yesterday invited Nigel Farage on stage during an election campaign rally in Goodyear, Arizona. The US president introduced the Brexit Party founder as “one of the most powerful men in Europe”. Farage said of Trump: “This is the single most resilient and bravest person I have ever met in my life.” Joe Biden has opened a 14-point national lead over Trump with just six days to go.

US election 2020: Joe Biden wins the White House

6. Public inquiry into police who spied on grieving black families

A public inquiry into undercover policing is set to reveal details of how police repeatedly spied on black justice groups. A judge will hear evidence on undercover operations against campaigns such as the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign. The president of the National Black Police Association said the process will “have an impact on community confidence at a time when tensions are already heightened”.

Black Lives Matter protests: do UK police have a race problem?

7. British teens die in Greek parasailing accident

Two British teenagers have died after a parasailing accident on the Greek island of Rhodes. Two brothers, aged 15 and 13, and their female cousin, also aged 15, were being towed when a rope holding their parasailing parachute severed. The 13-year-old boy and the 15-year-old girl were killed, while the surviving boy is in a “serious condition with multiple injuries” in a Greek hospital.

8. Economic experts urge Sunak to extend furlough

Economists have urged Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough scheme as fears grow that soaring infection rates from Covid-19 will lead to a second lockdown and a double-dip recession. With the support scheme due to end on Saturday and unemployment expected to spike dramatically, forecasters at Capital Economics and Oxford Economics both warned that the chancellor’s rescue policies are inadequate.

Ending UK furlough scheme may cost ‘1.2m jobs’, think tank predicts

9. Police arrest 14-year-old girl on suspicion of murder

A 14-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a man in West Sussex. Emergency services discovered a 24-year-old man with serious injuries who later died at the scene at Russell Way in Three Bridges, Crawley. A 14-year-old girl was arrested in south London around on suspicion of murder, while a 21-year-old man from London was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

10. Revolut boss named UK's first tech start-up billionaire

The 36-year-old boss of banking business Revolut has been named as Britain’s first technology start-up billionaire. Nikolay Storonsky, who co-founded the business in 2014, has a net worth of £1.06bn based on his holding in the company. He has appeared in The Telegraph’s Tech Hot 100 ranking of the industry’s richest leaders, alongside Ben Francis, the 28-year-old chief executive of Gymshark.

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