Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 29 September 2021

The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am

1. Fuel crisis ‘to last another month’

Boris Johnson has attempted to reassure motorists, claiming the fuel situation was “improving” and people should be “confident” to go about their business, after days of queues and pump closures. However, the Daily Mail said the petrol crisis will last another month, even if panic-buying stops right away - and the PM conceded that supply chains will remain stretched until at least Christmas. Labour said the government had allowed the country to “crash from crisis to crisis”.

Petrol crisis: whistle-blower blamed for panic-buying ‘mayhem’

2. New ‘Brexit fishing war’

A new “Brexit fishing war” is on the cards, reported The Telegraph, after the government rejected three quarters of applications from small French boats to fish waters around Britain. Ministers announced that just 12 licences out of a total of 47 will be granted to French vessels under 12 metres applying to fish the UK’s inshore waters. Paris has threatened “retaliatory action” and fishing leaders called Britain’s move “a declaration of war on the water and on the land”.

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3. Starmer to reject Corbyn

Keir Starmer is expected to renounce the legacy of Jeremy Corbyn and accuse the government of being “lost in the woods” in his conference speech today. It will be the Labour leader’s first in-person address to a party conference, which he hopes will show Labour is “back in business”. The Times said the leader will insist that winning elections is more important than party unity. The Guardian said that the Labour conference has been marred by “unsavoury infighting”.

Labour Party Conference: does Starmer have a PR problem?

4. Study reveals long Covid toll

More than one-third of people infected with coronavirus will experience at least one symptom of long Covid, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Oxford studied more than 270,000 people recovering from Covid in the US and found 37% of patients had at least one long Covid symptom diagnosed three to six months after infection. The most commonplace symptoms were breathing issues, abdominal problems, fatigue, pain and anxiety or depression.

Long Covid: the people most at risk

5. North Korea announces hypersonic test

North Korea has announced that it successfully tested a new hypersonic missile called Hwasong-8. State media described the new missile a “strategic weapon”, which has been interpreted as meaning it has nuclear capabilities. Tuesday’s missile test came just before North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, said no one could deny his country’s right to self-defence and to test weapons.

6. Thunberg goads leaders on climate

Greta Thunberg has mocked world leaders - including Boris Johnson and Joe Biden - at a youth climate summit, saying the last 30 years of climate action had amounted to “blah, blah, blah”. The Swedish activist was speaking at the Youth4Climate forum, held as dozens of ministers prepare to gather in Milan for a final high-level meeting before the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in November.

What could be achieved at Cop26?

7. Study links police to murders

Women have been killed by at least 15 serving or former police officers in the UK since 2009, according to new data. The Femicide Census found that the majority of the women killed by former officers had been their partners. The murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan police officer, has seen a renewed focus on attacks on women involving the police.

Sarah Everard’s murder: a national reckoning?

8. Populism risk among ‘left behind’

Populism will be fuelled by a lack of social mobility in Britain’s “left behind” communities and risks becoming a national security crisis, according to a former White House adviser. Fiona Hill, who was born in County Durham and went on to serve under three presidents, said many people outside the big cities felt left out and had a sense that “the rest of the UK doesn’t belong to all of the people who are from there”.

9. Student ‘urinated on’ at university

The rugby club at Durham University is under investigation after claims that a first-year student was urinated on during an initiation. Last week, members of the club had been warned by a coach that they would be kicked out of the club if they bullied first-years, according to student newspaper The Tab. The incident - described as “violently condescending” by an onlooker - took place hours later.

10. Premiere for ‘genre-bending’ Bond

Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film has finally had its world premiere in London, 18 months later than planned after several Covid-related delays. No Time To Die, the actor’s fifth outing as 007, was launched at the Royal Albert Hall. Sky News described the film as “genre-bending,” while The Guardian said the movie was “weird and self-aware”. The Times praised Craig, saying he “delivers the best of 007 to end his service with a bang”.

No Time to Die reviews: ‘It’s better than good - it’s magnificent’

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