Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 24 July 2022

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

1. Monkeypox risk ‘high’ in Europe

Monkeypox has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, the highest alert that it can issue. Amid a worldwide upsurge in cases, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference that the risk is “moderate”, except in Europe where it is “high”. More than 16,000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries, and there have been five deaths so far. Sky News said the declaration “is designed to trigger an international response to the outbreak, which could unlock funding and vaccine sharing”.

2. Dover queues ‘new normal’

Traffic into the Port of Dover is returning to normal following days of long queues for travellers bound for France. The port said on Twitter that, as at 2.15am on Sunday, the system brought in temporarily to handle traffic had ended, and that freight traffic was now able to travel straight to the site. However, Lord Ricketts, a former ambassador to France, said that long summer queues at the border could become the “new normal” after Brexit, adding that the delays were an inevitable outcome of Britain leaving the European Union.

3. Ukraine grain deal in doubt

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Russia of “barbarism” after missiles hit the port of Odesa. The strike calls into question a deal signed just hours earlier to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports and ease global food shortages caused by the conflict. Kyiv has said preparations are still underway to resume the grain exports despite the apparent breach, but Zelensky warned that the attack “proves only one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it”.

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4. Emergency blackout plans discussed

Families could be asked to turn down their thermostats and switch off their lights under emergency plans to avoid winter blackouts. With concern growing over shortages in the coming months, the Sunday Telegraph said that contingency plans for a gas or electricity supply shortage include public appeals to use less energy. Germany, Austria and France have already appealed to the public to cut their energy use by taking shorter showers, switching off lights and turning down thermostats. EU countries have been asked to cut their gas usage by 15% from August.

5. Tory hopefuls make migration pledges

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have both promised tougher controls on migration into the UK as they campaign to become next Tory leader and prime minister. Writing for the Sunday Telegraph, Sunak said he would tighten the definition of who qualifies for asylum and introduce a cap on refugee numbers. Meanwhile, Truss told the Mail on Sunday she would broaden the Rwanda asylum plan and increase the number of Border Force staff. Analysts said migrants could become a key issue in the leadership race.

6. Arizona boos Trump endorsement

Donald Trump was booed when he announced a congressional endorsement at a rally in Arizona. The crowd turned when the former US president mentioned Eli Crane, who is running in the Republican congressional primaries. Announcing the “highly respected man, just endorsed by me today, future congressman for the 2nd District, Eli Crane,” Trump was met with booing. The former president “looked somewhat taken aback by the reaction and awkwardly smiled,” said The Independent, before he said: “But you like me, right?” Crane, who has no close ties to the area, has been described as a “carpetbagger,” said Insider.

7. China executes man who set ex on fire

A man in China has been executed after he was convicted of killing his ex-wife by setting her on fire while she was livestreaming. Tang Lu set fire to the 30-year-old woman, known online as Lamu, while she was broadcasting on Douyin - a short video platform similar to TikTok. He appeared behind her, poured gasoline over her and set her on fire. She died two weeks later. CNN said the case prompted “horror and outrage across the country”.

8. PM warned on peerage list

Boris Johnson’s plans for a major list of peerages could erode “public confidence in our parliamentary system,” said the Lord Speaker. Senior Whitehall sources told The Sunday Times that the House of Lords Appointment Commission, the body responsible for vetting peerages, was holding up Johnson’s plans. During her three years as PM, Theresa May, appointed 43 peers but Johnson, over a similar period in office, has already ennobled 86, bringing the number of members sitting in the Lords to more than 800.

9. Chains ‘sell fake sourdough bread’

Supermarkets have been accused of selling “fake” sourdough bread, reported the Sunday Telegraph. A spokesman for the Real Bread campaign said: “I believe that shoppers are being lied to by the baking industry and I find it appalling that so many are led to believe mass-produced loaves are ‘freshly baked’, ‘sourdough’ or in any way ‘artisanal’.” The government will launch a consultation to review the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and explore the marketing of so-called “wholegrain” breads, many of which do not have a stipulated minimum level of unrefined grains.

10. Moss ‘can spot a wrong ‘un’

Kate Moss said a photoshoot as a teenager helped to “sharpen [her] instincts”, leaving her able to “tell a wrong ‘un a mile away”. The supermodel was just 15 when she was working with a male photographer who asked her to take her top and bra off during a photoshoot for a bra catalogue. “I could feel there was something wrong so I got my stuff and I ran away,” she told the BBC’s Desert Island Discs. The 48-year-old said she has told her daughter, Lila Moss, who is also a model, that “you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do”.

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