Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 July 2022

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

1. Tory hopefuls clash over tax

The Tory leadership race “exploded into acrimony and recrimination” as the candidates clashed over economic policy in the first TV debate, said The Guardian. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss attacked tax rises introduced under Rishi Sunak but the former chancellor condemned what he called a wider “unfunded spree of borrowing and more debt” among his rivals. The Telegraph said the debate “felt like a funeral at times” while The Times said the leadership candidates were “outpranced” by “Channel 4 peacock” Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who hosted the discussion.

2. Fears of mass deaths in heat wave

A national emergency has been declared after a red extreme heat warning was issued for the first time, with temperatures are expected to reach hit 40C (104F) on Monday and Tuesday. The UK Health Security Agency increased its heat health warning from level three to level four - a “national emergency”. Government officials fear that the “unprecedented” temperatures could have similar consequences to the heat wave in France in 2003, which led to thousands of deaths mainly in the elderly, noted The Times.

3. Police officer punched black child

A policeman who punched a handcuffed black child in the face has been sacked. Met officer PC Steven Martin also verbally abused the 15-year-old despite him not resisting as he tried to arrest him, on suspicion of involvement in a knifepoint robbery. Charges against the boy were later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. The Guardian said Martin is “the latest in a stream of officers” charged, convicted or sacked from the Met, “whose reputation has been damaged by a flurry of scandals”.

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4. Autumn booster campaign widened

Everyone aged 50 and over will be offered a Covid booster vaccine this autumn. Although it was originally planned that healthy people aged 50-65 would not be jabbed in the next rollout, the campaign has been expanded as current variants are spreading rapidly. Care home residents and staff and front-line health and care workers will also be offered a jab, along with people aged between five and 49 who are in clinical risk groups, including pregnant women, and household contacts of people with immunosuppression.

5. Mexican drug boss arrested

A Mexican drugs lord who is on the US most wanted list has been arrested in the western Sinaloa state, said the Mexican military. Rafael Caro Quintero, who is accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering a US drug enforcement agent in 1985, was held in the town of Choix. The military said Quintero was found in bushes by a specially-trained dog called Max. CNN said he is considered by Mexican authorities to be the founder of the Guadalajara cartel. However, he has previously insisted that attempts to arrest him were “misplaced vengeance” and “conveniently rewriting history”.

6. Biden confronts Saudis over Khashoggi

Joe Biden told Saudi’s crown prince that he was personally responsible for the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi and threatened a much bigger response if there is a similar incident in the future. The Times said that “weeks of speculation as to how he would greet the prince” ended when Biden arrived at the al-Salam Palace and the two men shared a fist bump. After the meeting, Biden said that “with respect to the murder of Khashoggi, I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think about it now”.

7. Queues at Britain’s ‘cheapest fuel station’

Drivers are queuing for hours to save 25p a litre at the “cheapest petrol station” in the country, reported The Telegraph. The Trago Mills Filling Station, in Newton Abbot, Devon, has cut its petrol prices to 164.9p a litre – almost 25p cheaper than the national average of 189.5p. A spokesman for the RAC said: “These are the cheapest fuel prices we’ve seen and are much more in line with what drivers should be being charged given the sharp falls in the wholesale prices of petrol and diesel.”

8. More questions over Captain Tom funds

The publisher of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s autobiography, said to have been written in “support” of a foundation set up in the name of the veteran fundraiser, has refused to confirm whether it has paid any money to the charity from sales of the book. The £20 book became a Sunday Times No 1 bestseller in 2020 but Penguin Random House would not reveal whether it had paid any funds to the charity from sales, citing “confidential details”. Last month, the Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into the Captain Tom Foundation.

9. Trump death was accidental

Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of Donald Trump, died of “blunt impact injuries” to the torso, New York City’s medical examiner’s office has concluded. It added that the death of the 73-year-old on Thursday was accidental. The New York Police Department had said there did not “appear to be any criminality” related to her passing. Paying tribute to his ex-wife, the former US president said “she was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life”.

10. Queen ‘relieved Meghan didn’t attend funeral’

The Queen said “thank goodness Meghan is not coming” when she learned that the Duchess of Sussex was not attending the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, according to a new biography. In his book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, entitled “Revenge”, Tom Bower claimed that Her Majesty made her feelings known in a “clear voice” at Windsor Castle before her husband’s funeral. The book, which is being serialised in The Times, promises to use “expert sourcing and interview from insiders who have never spoken before” to “unpick the tangled web surrounding the Sussexes and their relationship with the Royal Family”.

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