Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 18 September 2022

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

1. Queen’s grandchildren guard coffin

The Queen’s eight grandchildren - including Princes William and Harry - held a vigil for their grandmother in Westminster Hall last night. Today marks the final full day of Her Majesty’s lying in state, with thousands of people still joining the queue to pay their respects. A pre-recorded tribute by the Queen Consort will be broadcast on the BBC shortly before 8pm, after which members of the public will be invited to observe a one-minute silence to remember the monarch.

2. Truss faces ‘baptism of fire’

Liz Truss is facing a “political and economic baptism of fire” in the coming days, said The Observer, with warnings of mass bankruptcies across the economy. As the period of national mourning ends after the Queen’s funeral, the transition back to normal politics will be “sudden and potentially bruising” for Truss, as top UK business groups warn of dire consequences if they continue to be left in limbo over the level of energy support in the medium term. The new business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, will make an announcement on support for business on Wednesday.

3. EU calls for war crimes tribunal

The European Union has called for an international tribunal for war crimes after new mass graves were found in Ukraine. Following the discovery of about 450 graves outside the formerly Russian-occupied city of Izium, with most of the exhumed bodies showing signs of torture, Jan Lipavský, foreign minister of the Czech Republic, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said: “In the 21st century, such attacks against the civilian population are unthinkable and abhorrent.” Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has begun receiving power from the national grid once again.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

4. Oil companies ‘admitted gaslighting’

Internal documents show oil companies attempted to distance themselves from agreed climate goals, admitted “gaslighting” the public over supposed efforts to go green, and even wished activists be infested by bedbugs, said The Observer. The documents, obtained from the oil giants ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and BP, were unveiled as part of a congressional hearing held in Washington DC. The documents are “the latest evidence that oil giants keep lying about their commitments to help solve the climate crisis and should never be trusted by policymakers”, said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity.

5. Appeals for calm in Leicester

Community leaders and police are calling for calm after disorder in parts of East Leicester. According to reports on social media, the spark was a protest march on Saturday afternoon. Footage online showed police, some with dogs, attempting to hold back two sets of crowds as objects including glass bottles are hurled. Some people were carrying sticks and batons, said Sky News. It is the latest in a series of disturbances to have broken out following an India and Pakistan cricket match on 28 August.

6. Evacuations as typhoon nears Japan

Nearly two million people have been urged to evacuate their homes in Japan as Typhoon Nanmadol is expected to make landfall on Kyushu island. A “special alert” is in force and train services and flights have been cancelled after warnings that winds could reach 250km/h (155mph) and some areas could experience 500mm (20 inches) of rainfall in just 24 hours. “Maximum caution is required,” said Ryuta Kurora, the head of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s forecast unit. “It’s a very dangerous typhoon.”

7. Truss adviser quizzed by FBI

Liz Truss’s top adviser has been interviewed by the FBI about an alleged criminal plot to bribe an American politician and influence a US election. Downing Street chief of staff, Mark Fullbrook, was involved in an alleged conspiracy to subvert the democracy of Puerto Rico, the US-administered Caribbean island. According to prosecutors, those responsible “struck a blow to the heart of our democracy” and “eroded the confidence of our citizens in their institutions of governance”. A spokesman for Fullbrook said he was “committed to and complies with all laws and regulations in any jurisdiction”.

8. Beijing ‘shares Russian weakness’

A report from the US National Defense University has found that China’s military leaders share a potential weakness that has hampered Moscow’s efforts in Ukraine and could undermine Beijing’s ability to wage a similar war. The report found that top officers across China’s five services - army, navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force - were unlikely to have operational experience in any branch other than the one they began their careers in. It said this “rigidity... could reduce China’s effectiveness in future conflicts”.

9. UN ‘concerned’ by Haiti unrest

There have been calls for calm in Haiti after days of violent anti-government protests. Angry protesters are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, after an end to government fuel subsidies caused petrol and diesel prices to soar. Inflation has risen to its highest level in ten years, 40% of the country is relying on food assistance to survive, and gang violence has brought chaos and bloodshed. UN Secretary General António Guterres said he is “deeply concerned” about the unrest.

10. Israeli strike kills five

An Israeli airstrike near Damascus airport killed five Syrian soldiers, according to reports. “The aggression led to the death of five soldiers and some material damage,” a military source told Syria’s official news agency, Sana. Since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against its northern neighbour, saying its air campaign is essential to stop arch-rival Iran gaining a stranglehold on its doorstep.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.