Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 October 2022

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

1. Pound sinks as Bank pulls out

The pound fell dramatically against the dollar after the Bank of England warned that it would not extend its £65bn emergency intervention in financial markets beyond this week. Sterling “skidded” by more than a cent against the dollar to below $1.10 after the announcement from the Bank’s governor, said The Guardian. The developments came after the International Monetary Fund increased pressure on Liz Truss to u-turn on unfunded tax cuts, saying a shift in policy would “change the trajectory” of interest rates.

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s supply-side reforms

2. India trade deal at risk

The UK’s trade deal with India is on the “verge of collapse”, said The Times, after ministers in India were angered by comments from Suella Braverman criticising migrants from their country. Speaking about the deal to The Spectator last week, the home secretary said: “I do have some reservations. Look at migration in this country — the largest group of people who overstay are Indian migrants.” Indian government sources said Liz Truss should publicly “disassociate” herself from Braverman’s words if she wanted a trade deal.

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Liz Truss’s controversial plans for UK immigration

3. 9% chance of nuclear war

Superforecasters from the world renowned Swift Centre say the risk of a Russian nuclear attack is small but very real, according to the i news site. Asked whether a nuclear weapon will be detonated in Europe as an act of hostility before the 30 April, 2023, the median average answer from the superforecasters was 9%. One of them gave a likelihood of 20%. The Swift Centre is a group of respected forecasters who are asked to make predictions about future events. A series of setbacks in recent times has resulted in mounting speculation that Vladimir Putin will use a nuclear missile.

Does Syria offer warnings for Russia’s Ukraine escalation?

4. Nasa hails asteroid success

Nasa said its recent attempt to deflect the path of an asteroid was successful. Scientists at the American space agency have now confirmed the orbit of a 160m-wide (520ft) space rock, known as Dimorphos, was altered when the Dart probe struck it head on last month. “This mission shows that Nasa is trying to be ready for whatever the Universe throws at us,” said agency administrator Bill Nelson. However, a colleague warned: “We should not be too eager to say one test on one asteroid tells us exactly how every other asteroid would behave in a similar situation”.

‘New era of humankind’: Nasa crashes spacecraft into asteroid

5. McCann suspect charged with sex crimes

The suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been charged with five sex crimes in Portugal, including two assaults on young children. Prosecutors issued five charges against Christian Brückner, 45. Brückner is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Germany for raping an elderly American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005. He is also being investigated for the murder of McCann, who disappeared from an apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in 2007. McCann’s body has never been found.

Christian Brückner: the suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

6. Truss plans profits cap

Liz Truss plans to cap the profits made by electricity companies in a move aimed at saving taxpayers billions and staving off calls for a windfall tax. At the moment, explained the i news site, the wholesale cost of electricity is pegged to the price of gas, the most expensive form of power, reaping “vast profits” for companies which produce wind, solar or nuclear energy. Under Truss’s plans, the wholesale cost of renewable electricity would be cut by as much as 80% by early 2023, to somewhere near the level before global gas prices started to rise sharply a year ago.

Why the government opposes a windfall tax on oil and gas profits

7. Coronation ‘to look towards future’

The coronation of King Charles III will take place Saturday 6 May 2023, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. The ceremony, which will be held at London's Westminster Abbey, will see the monarch crowned alongside his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort. The King will be anointed with holy oil, receive the orb, coronation ring and sceptre, then be crowned with the majestic St Edward’s crown and blessed during the ceremony. Buckingham Palace said “the coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry”.

King Charles coronation: when will the new monarch be officially crowned?

8. Bulger mum pleads with Truss

James Bulger’s mother has asked Liz Truss to block a bid for freedom by her son’s killer. Days before Jon Venables, 40, faces a parole hearing, Denise Fergus wrote to the prime minister saying: “He still poses a serious danger to families.” Venables has a parole hearing looming and could released if it is felt he is rehabilitated. “We need the prime minister or her new justice secretary to step in immediately to make sure my son’s killer stays firmly behind bars where he belongs,” Fergus told The Mirror. “We are calling on them to, please, intervene now.”

FEB 2018: James Bulger murder, 25 years on

9. ‘Model student’ killed by ketamine

A “model” student was killed by a combination of ketamine and alcohol just hours after she began her new life at university, an inquest has heard. Jeni Larmour, 18, was an accomplished student and classical singer who was about to embark on a degree in planning and architecture at university when she consumed a fatal concoction of the anaesthetic drug ketamine and alcohol on the first night in her student flat on campus at Newcastle University. Ketamine is a class B drug which is hallucinogenic, and can give a “dream-like detached state to those who use it”, said The Telegraph.

10. Angela Lansbury died at 96

Dame Angela Lansbury, the star of Murder, She Wrote, has died aged 96. “The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles,” her family said yesterday. Born in London in 1925, she won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances, was nominated for three Oscars, and in 2013 she received an honorary Academy Award for her lifetime achievement in film. Many tributes mentioned her work to raise awareness and money for Aids in the 1980s and 90s, noted the BBC.

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