Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 9 October 2022

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

1. Truss warns Tory MPs

Liz Truss will warn Tory MPs returning to Parliament this week to stop undermining her or face a “monstrous coalition” of Labour and the Scottish National Party. The party’s most senior volunteers have written an unprecedented open letter to The Telegraph warning MPs to “stop infighting, unite behind the PM and focus on delivering for this country and taking on the Labour Party”. Meanwhile, Truss is expected to succumb to pressure from her ministers to increase welfare benefits in line with inflation.

2. Burns ‘touched young man’s thigh’

Conor Burns was sacked from the government and suspended as a Conservative MP after he was seen touching a young man’s thigh in a hotel bar, according to a report. An eyewitness said the former trade minister was seen with the man in the early hours of Tuesday in the Hyatt Regency hotel bar in Birmingham, said the BBC. Writing on Twitter, Burns vowed to clear his name but former Spice Girl Mel B, who attended the Conservative party conference as a domestic violence campaigner, wrote in reply: “Really?? Your shocked about this complaint??? Let me remind you what you said me in lift …”

3. China faces PPE question marks

China began significantly restricting the export of PPE such as gowns and masks, months before notifying the world of the outbreak of Covid-19. PPE exports to the US fell by around 50% between August and September of 2019 and China also started to buy up global PPE stocks in Europe, Australia and the US around the same time. The news “raises new questions about the true timeline of the emergence” of Covid, said The Telegraph.

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4. Moscow steps up bridge security

Russia ramped up security on its only bridge to Crimea after a huge blast destroyed sections of it. Vladimir Putin has ordered his Federal Security Service to oversee the bridge, which is a “pivotal symbol of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014”, said the BBC. The “enormous significance” of the damage “will become clear in the coming hours and days – not least whether Moscow feels compelled to retaliate for the attack”, said The Observer.

5. Truss ‘wants to sideline Braverman’

Liz Truss wants to sideline home secretary Suella Braverman in order to loosen immigration rules, said The Independent. The PM, who wants to hand out more visas in pursuit of growth, is “facing open defiance” from Braverman, who insists tough curbs are needed. Meanwhile, business leaders who want more foreign workers to plug labour shortages have been urged to bypass the Home Office and lobby other departments instead in their efforts to build the case for relaxed rules. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said it was clear that Truss and Braverman were “at loggerheads”.

6. State TV hacked in Iran

Iran’s state-run TV was seemingly hacked yesterday, with a news bulletin interrupted by a protest against the country’s leader. The screen showed a photo of supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with a target superimposed on his face, alongside photos of Nika Shahkarami, Hadis Najafi, Mahsa Amini, and Sarina Esmailzadeh –young women who have died in Iran in the last month. There have been nationwide protests in Iran for weeks following the death of Amini after she was taken into custody by morality police for apparently not wearing her hijab properly.

7. Minister to act on flytipping

The Environment Secretary has promised to end flytipping’s “blight on our towns, cities and beautiful countryside” after new data revealed it has soared by 38% since 2010. More than a million fly-tipping incidents were recorded last year, more than 130 an hour on average, compared to 820,000 incidents in 2010, according to local council data analysed by Unchecked UK. Ministers have introduced plans that would mean households would no longer have to pay to get rid of DIY waste at their local tip.

8. Navy seizes crystal meth

The Royal Navy has seized its largest-ever batch of crystal meth during an operation in the Arabian Sea. HMS Montrose grabbed 870kg of crystal methamphetamine from a dhow after it was tracked by the frigate’s Wildcat helicopter. The drugs have a wholesale value of £15.5m according to the National Crime Agency. Crystal meth is a “strong and highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system,” says WebMD.

9. Serial killer dies in Scotland

The serial killer Peter Tobin has died in hospital, at the age of 76. Tobin was taken from HMP Edinburgh to hospital, thought to be the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and subsequently died. He was convicted of raping and murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, and hiding her body under the floor of a Glasgow church in 2006. He was also serving life terms at HMP Edinburgh for the murders of Vicky Hamilton, 15, and Dinah McNicol, 18. The murderer and rapist was said to have been in “total denial” about his offences.

10. More deaths in Israel and West Bank

Four Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and an Israeli soldier was shot in Jerusalem. The youngest of those killed was Adel Ibrahim Daoud, 14, who was shot on Friday near the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Meanwhile, said the Israel Defence Forces, an Israeli soldier died following a shooting at a military checkpoint in East Jerusalem on Saturday. “The solider was evacuated to a hospital for further medical treatment, where she was declared dead,” said the army.

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