Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 31 July 2022

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

1. Charles accepted £1m from Bin Ladens

Prince Charles accepted a £1m payment from the family of Osama bin Laden, reported The Sunday Times. The Prince of Wales secured the money from Bakr bin Laden, the patriarch of the Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq - half-brothers of the founder of al-Qaeda who masterminded the September 11 attacks. Charles reportedly accepted the money despite objections of advisers, with one household staff member “shouted down”. A Clarence House spokeswoman said: “The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation.”

2. Brits ‘may have to queue for water’

Infrastructure advisers have told the government that a national hosepipe ban should be implemented as a priority along with compulsory water metering across the UK by the end of the decade. The National Infrastructure Committee said failure to act now would leave Britain facing a future of queues for emergency bottled water “from the back of lorries”. Meanwhile, said The Telegraph, households could face fines and jail time for clogging up sewers, as Thames Water cracks down on customers pouring oil down the sink.

3. Voters want snap election

A majority of voters believe a general election should be called immediately after the Tory leadership election, a survey for The Independent reveals. The poll found that 56% support the proposal that whoever wins the leadership contest “should call a general election immediately”. Around 160,000 members of the Conservative Party – equivalent to 0.34% of the voting public – will begin casting their ballots next week to elect the next Tory leader and Britain’s next prime minister.

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4. Lionesses on brink of history

England’s Lionesses could make history when they take on Germany in the European Championship final at Wembley this afternoon. A win would be both the first major trophy for the England women’s team and the first football honour for the nation since the men’s 1966 World Cup. Sky News said the English are “underdogs” because Germany have won the title eight times, as well as 21 of the 27 meetings between the two sides. However, England coach Sarina Wiegman said: “We don’t fear anyone.”

5. China rocket debris crashes to Earth

Debris from a Chinese rocket has crashed to Earth over the Indian and Pacific oceans, said officials from Washington and Beijing. China’s space agency said most remains of the Long March 5 burnt in the atmosphere, identifying the Sulu Sea in the Pacific as the re-entry location. The uncontrolled return of rocket’s core stage has raised questions about responsibility for space junk. “All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices,” said Nasa administrator Bill Nelson.

6. Zelenskyy calls for Donetsk evacuation

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced a mandatory evacuation of people in the Donetsk region, amid fierce fighting with Russia. In his nightly address, Ukraine’s president said hundreds of thousands of people still in combat zones in the larger Donbas region also needed to leave. “The more people leave Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill,” the Ukrainian leader said. “We will use all available opportunities to save as many lives as possible and to limit Russian terror as much as possible.”

7. Sunak and Truss make new pledges

Rishi Sunak has announced that he would introduce a £10 fine for missed GP and hospital appointments as part of a “transformative” shake-up of the NHS. The Tory hopeful told The Telegraph it was “not right” that patients were failing to turn up for consultations, scans and check-ups, “taking those slots away from people who need [them]”. Meanwhile, Liz Truss has vowed that there would be no second referendum on Scottish independence under her reign, as she vowed to strengthen and defend the Union.

8. Arrest after murder shocks Italy

An Italian man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a Nigerian street seller, whose beating in broad daylight has caused national outrage. Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was killed in the centre of Civitanova Marche on Friday afternoon. Footage of the attack - which has been widely circulated on Italian news websites and social media - has caused shock. A 32-year-old man, from Salerno in the Campania region, has been arrested on charges of murder and allegedly stealing Ogorchukwu’s mobile phone.

9. Biden positive again after ‘rebound’

Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 again, in what has been described as a “rebound” infection by his doctor. The US president contracted the virus on 21 July, when he was revealed to be experiencing mild symptoms, but he tested negative for the virus four times between Tuesday and Friday last week. Following the new positive test, the 79-year-old said he was not experiencing symptoms but would isolate “for the safety of everyone around me”. A White House official said contact tracing efforts were underway.

10. ‘Jaw-dropping’ Andrew pic would ‘embarrass royals’

Prince Andrew was photographed “laughing his head off” while denying allegations of raping an underage girl during the notorious Newsnight interview because he “thought it had gone very well,” reported The Sun. A source said the unreleased image of the Duke of York’s Buckingham Palace interview, snapped by a BBC photographer, would further “embarrass” the royal family if became public. The image, which has been described as “jaw-dropping,” could appear in a book about the interview written by former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister.

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