Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 September 2022

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

1. Three-mile queue to see Queen

Thousands of mourners queued through the night to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, as she lies in state in Westminster Hall. There are lengthy queues of almost three miles along the River Thames as people wait to view the coffin. “In a country famous for perfecting the orderly queue, those lining up for a few seconds alongside the Queen’s coffin proved no exception,” said The Guardian. Those who arrived to view the coffin included “youngsters, oldies, the stiff-backed, the half-bent, a few in coat and tie but many more in casual dark garb,” wrote Quentin Letts for The Times.

Queen’s lying in state: what you need to know

2. Truss to abandon energy bill

Boris Johnson’s energy bill is set to be paused or scrapped altogether as Liz Truss focuses on capping customers’ bills and reforming the UK’s electricity market, reported The i paper. According to multiple sources, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, has told officials that he planned effectively to put on hold the bill, which is currently going through the House of Lords. The legislation, part of Johnson’s last Queen’s Speech, would have overhauled everything from carbon dioxide transport to carbon capture and civil nuclear power production.

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How bad will the energy crisis get and what is being done?

3. WHO says end of Covid ‘in sight’

The World Health Organization has declared that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is “in sight”. The weekly global deaths figure on 5 September 2022 was 11,118, according to the WHO’s website, the lowest level since March 2020, when the UK entered its first national lockdown. Publishing policy briefs that outline key actions that all governments must take, director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption and more uncertainty.”

Will there be an end date for the coronavirus pandemic?

4. Kwarteng may scrap banker bonus cap

The new chancellor might scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses as a symbol of his new “Big Bang 2.0” approach to City regulations after Brexit. People close to Kwasi Kwarteng said that he wanted to scrap the cap, which limits annual payouts to twice a banker’s salary, that was introduced by EU legislation in 2014, reported the FT. When the idea was suggested in the summer, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, described it as “pay rises for bankers, pay cuts for district nurses”.

Kwasi Kwarteng: the free-market radical chancellor

5. Zelenskyy in car accident

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been involved in a car accident. In a short statement, his spokesman said a passenger car collided with the presidential vehicle and his escort in the capital Kyiv. “The president was examined by a doctor, no serious injuries were found,” said Sergii Nykyforov. Meanwhile, officials in a southern city have urged residents to evacuate, saying a Russian missile hit on a major reservoir dam is causing flooding. Up to 22 streets in two districts of Kryvyi Rih are at risk, city head Oleksandr Vilkul warned.

How will the Ukraine war end?

6. Swedish PM to stand down

Sweden’s PM says she will stand aside after her government was narrowly defeated in Sunday’s election. With 99% of the votes counted, Magdalena Andersson’s centre-left coalition looks set to lose to a bloc of right-wing parties, 176 seats to 173. Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson is now expected to form a government, with a bloc that includes the Sweden Democrats, a far-right party. “Now the work begins to make Sweden good again,” the Sweden Democrats leader, Jimmie Åkesson, wrote on Facebook.

Far-right nationalists shake up Swedish election

7. Dangers of doctor burnout revealed

Doctors suffering from burnout are twice as likely to be involved in incidents where patients’ safety is compromised, a major study has found. The report, published in the British Medical Journal, also found that burnt-out medics are much more likely to consider quitting, regret choosing medicine as their career, be dissatisfied with their job and receive low satisfaction scores from patients. A team of British and Greek researchers analysed 170 previous observational studies based on the views and experience of 239,246 doctors in countries across the globe.

Everything you need to know about the crisis in general practice

8. Smoking damage can be passed down

A new study suggests that lung damage caused by smoking can be passed on genetically to children and grandchildren. Scientists examined rates of asthma in 1,700 children in Tasmania and compared that to whether their fathers or grandfathers smoked. Those children whose grandparents smoked were 59% more likely to have non-allergic asthma by the age of seven. Professor Shyamali Dharmage, a lead researcher, said: “We think it may be to do with epigenetic changes.”

The pros and cons of a total smoking ban

9. Melania challenged Trump on Covid

Melania Trump, was “rattled by the coronavirus” and “convinced” that her husband was “screwing up," according to a forthcoming book. The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, says that the First Lady told the president: “You’re blowing this, This is serious. It’s going to be really bad, and you need to take it more seriously than you’re taking it.” The book also claims that the former president’s top general feared he would authorise a strike on Iran as his presidency ended and that a billionaire friend convinced him to try buying Greenland.

12 things you didn’t know about Melania Trump

10. R. Kelly convicted at second trial

R. Kelly has been found guilty of child sexual abuse in his second federal trial. The 55-year-old was convicted on three of four counts of production of child pornography and three of five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. He was acquitted on one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to receive child pornography as well as two counts of receiving child pornography. Last year, the disgraced singer was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering in New York. He was later sentenced to 30 years in jail.

How R. Kelly used fame and power to abuse victims for decades

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