Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 5 October 2022

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

1. Cabinet in ‘open warfare’

Liz Truss’s cabinet is in “open warfare” after “another chaotic day at the Conservative party conference,” said The Guardian. Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, accused fellow Tory MPs of a coup against the PM. But Kemi Badenoch, the trade secretary, said talk of a coup was “inflammatory”. Former transport secretary Grant Shapps suggested Truss had roughly 10 days to turn things around, while The Times reported that a word cloud of words used by the public to describe Truss showed that “incompetent” was the most commonly chosen adjective, followed by “useless”, “untrustworthy” and “dangerous”.

Should benefits rise with inflation?

2. Austerity ‘killed 330,000’

More than 330,000 excess deaths between 2012 and 2019 in the UK can be blamed on spending cuts to public services and a reduction in benefits introduced by Tory governments, according to an academic study. Mortality trends, which had been improving, deteriorated after austerity policies introduced in 2010, when tens of billions of pounds began to be cut from public spending, found the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The news comes as Liz Truss “hinted at a fresh round of major public spending cuts”, reported The Guardian.

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Do Tory tax cuts herald return of austerity?

3. King ‘should attend COP27’

King Charles should attend the upcoming climate change conference COP27, said Alok Sharma, president of last year’s summit. Sharma, a member of Liz Truss’ cabinet, was responding to claims that the PM had “ordered” the King not to attend. Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I would certainly like to see His Majesty attend and that is a message I am getting from countries around the world. Of course, he is head of state in the United Kingdom but he is also head of state in other countries, some of which are very much on the front line of climate change.”

Will Charles be the world’s first climate monarch?

4. Police to visit every burglary

Police chiefs have agreed to send an officer to every burgled home, reported the Daily Mail. The agreement, which has been signed by all 43 chief constables in England and Wales, means more cases should now reach court, claimed Martin Hewitt of the National Police Chiefs’ Council. “Wherever you live in England and Wales you can be confident the police will attend if you experience the invasion of a home burglary,” he said. Earlier this week, it emerged that an average of 774 burglaries go unsolved every day.

‘Basic errors’ and low charge rates: understanding the crisis in British policing

5. Covid can damage brain cells

Scientists at King’s College London have found that severe Covid infections can cause harm to nerve cells in the brain, which results in memory problems and confusion, and also the risk of long-term health issues. According to The Guardian, researchers found that immune reactions in severe cases increased the death rate of neurons and had a “profound” impact on regeneration in the hippocampus region of the brain, which focuses on learning and memory. They had analysed blood from 36 Covid patients admitted to hospital during the first wave of the pandemic.

Long Covid in children: what does the data show?

6. Kwarteng says funeral added to pressure

The chancellor has blamed the “high pressure” of the Queen’s funeral for the chaotic reaction to his mini-budget. “You have got to remember the context,” Kwarteng told GB News. “What was extraordinary about that month was that we had a new government and also we had the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, so we had a nation in mourning and then literally four days I think after the funeral, we had the mini-budget.” He said it was a “high-speed, high-pressure environment”.

Mini-budget 2022: Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘growth plan’ in seven bullet points

7. Jolie accuses Pitt of attack

Angelina Jolie has accused her ex-husband Brad Pitt of drunkenly attacking her and their children during a private plane flight. In a lawsuit, Jolie said Pitt grabbed her by the head and attacked two of their children on the 2016 trip. She claimed Pitt also verbally abused and poured alcohol on his family during the flight from France to Los Angeles. But a representative for Pitt told CNN the latest allegations were “completely untrue.” Jolie and Pitt are battling over her sale of her stake in their joint French winery, Chateau Miraval.

8. Musk Twitter deal back on the cards

Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $44bn, in the latest twist in the entrepreneur’s on again off again purchase saga. After making the offer yesterday, Musk tweeted: “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” He has previously stated that he would make Twitter more free-speech orientated and would reinstate Donald Trump’s account. “The ball will now be in Twitter’s court to determine how to respond to Musk’s proposal,” said CNN, adding that Twitter’s board is “expected agree to move forward with closing the deal”.

Elon Musk and Twitter: a bad case of cold feet

9. Meghan Markle criticises movie ‘caricatures’

Meghan Markle has criticised movies such as Austin Powers and Kill Bill for their “caricatures” of Asian women. In the first episode of her podcast released since the Queen’s death, the Duchess of Sussex said: “Movies like Austin Powers and Kill Bill, they presented these caricatures of women of Asian descent as . . . oversexualised or aggressive. And it’s not just those two . . . there are so many more.” She added that “this toxic stereotyping” of women of Asian descent “doesn’t just end once the credits roll”.

Will Prince Harry’s ‘tell-all’ memoirs still go ahead?

10. Vardy handed large court bill

Rebekah Vardy will have to pay up to £1.5m to Coleen Rooney in legal fees in the latest development in the “Wagatha Christie” libel trial. The high court has ruled that Vardy must pay 90% of Rooney’s court costs, a larger proportion than in many equivalent cases. Explaining the decision, Mrs Justice Steyn noted that Vardy deliberately destroyed WhatsApp messages and other evidence relevant to the trial. An initial payment of £800,000 must be made by 15 November, the court documents stated.

The Wagatha Christie libel case: a timeline

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