Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 June 2022

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

1. New ‘partygate’ setback for PM

Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser Lord Geidt has quit a day after saying there was a “legitimate question” about whether the prime minister broke ministerial rules over lockdown parties. The resignation is another setback in Johnson’s attempts to move on from the public outcry over “partygate”. When he took up the role last year, Geidt, 60, described any resignation as a “last resort” that “sends a critical signal into the public domain”. The BBC’s political editor, Chris Mason, said it appears there are “more details Geidt is privy to about what has been going on than are currently known about more widely”.

A timeline of the Downing Street lockdown party allegations

2. Bank of England set to raise rates

Interest rates are expected to rise today for the fifth time in a row to 1.25%. As it tries to rein in inflation, the Bank of England is expected to increase rates by 0.25 percentage points from what was already a 13-year high. Yesterday, the US central bank announced its biggest interest rate rise in nearly 30 years, raising its key interest rate by three quarters of a percentage point to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. The FT described the Fed’s move as “aggressive”.

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Why inflation matters

3. Suspect ‘admits to killing Phillips’

Police in Brazil said a suspect has confessed to shooting missing British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. Detectives said the man, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, led investigators to a site where human remains were dug up. Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41, disappeared in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest on 5 June. Two suspects, brothers Amarildo and Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, have been arrested in connection with the case.

4. Food price rises could hit 15%

Food price rises in the UK could reach 15% this summer, according to a report. The grocery trade body IGD said that meat, cereals, dairy, fruit and vegetables are likely to be the worst hit as a perfect storm is formed by the war in Ukraine, production lockdowns in China and export bans on food stuffs such as palm oil from Indonesia and wheat from India. The report said Britain’s food industry is “uniquely exposed to current pressures due to a reliance on food imports and the impacts of EU exit”.

From fertiliser to famine: the global food shortage explained

5. Public ‘not divided on trans rights’

A new study has found that a majority of Britons agreed schools should talk to pupils about transgender issues. Think tank More in Common surveyed more than 5,000 people and found widespread acceptance that a trans woman is a woman and a trans man is a man, with 46% agreeing, 32% disagreeing, and 22% who didn’t know. The Guardian said the findings show the British public are “not bitterly polarised over trans equality”.

The trans debate: a fiercely-fought battleground

6. Congressman ‘gave tour’ to Capitol rioter

A US committee investigating the Capitol riot have shown a video of a Republican giving a tour to one of the attackers on the eve of the raid. Congressman Barry Loudermilk, the committee said, was seen with a group that included a person who was among those outside Congress on 6 January 2021. Democrats have asked whether some Republicans led any reconnaissance tours for visitors who later joined the riot. Individuals on the tour photographed areas “not typically of interest to tourists”, said the committee. The Georgia representative has called it a “smear campaign”.

Four possible consequences of the Capitol riot hearing

7. Apple tribunal could lead to payouts

Millions of Britons could be in line for a payout after a tribunal was told that Apple misled users over an upgrade that slowed iPhone batteries. Justin Gutmann, a campaigner, has issued a £768m claim alleging that Apple abused its market dominance by secretly impairing iPhones. Lawyers say that if successful, the claim would result in British consumers with models from the iPhone 6 to X being awarded up to £60 each on the grounds of substandard performance. Others would be eligible for hundreds of pounds each if they can prove that they replaced batteries or the device itself because of the issue.

8. Rwanda flights could be delayed further

The government has been told that flights to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda could be delayed for a year by the European Court of Human Rights. Senior lawyers believe that the court could use temporary injunctions to delay the operation of the controversial policy. “The Strasbourg court would be motivated to protect its process by a similar injunction preventing the flights until the case was resolved, which could take a year or more,” said a source.

Why is Britain still bound to the European Court of Human Rights?

9. Maxwell has ‘a desire to do good’

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers have pleaded for leniency at her sentencing for sex trafficking later this month, saying she has a “desire to do good in the world”. The legal team has called on New York judge Alison Nathan to reject the US government’s recommendation of a 20-year sentence, insisting that Maxwell is “not an heiress, villain, or vapid socialite”. Maxwell was found guilty of five out of the six charges in her trial, including sex trafficking a 14-year-old minor, and faces a possible 65-year sentence.

Ghislaine Maxwell: from high society to ‘hell-hole’ Brooklyn jail

10. Bill Gates mocks NFTs

Bill Gates has said that cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are “100% based on greater fool theory”. Speaking at a TechCrunch conference, the Microsoft co-founder said he’s “not long or short” on crypto and mocked Bored Apes NFTs, quipping that “expensive digital images of monkeys” will “improve the world immensely”. He added: “I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products.” CNN noted that his comments come as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are crashing.

What are NFTs and why are they selling for millions?

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