Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 October 2022

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

1. Kwarteng says Truss has ‘weeks left’

Kwasi Kwarteng believes that Liz Truss has bought herself just “a few weeks” by sacking him and u-turning on her budget because the “wagons are circling” against her. The BBC said the prime minister is facing a “backlash” from her own MPs, despite the steps she took yesterday. A former cabinet minister told The Guardian they thought it was “50/50 whether she will make it till Christmas”. However, said the Daily Express, Truss is “not for quitting”.

2. West planning for nuclear panic

Authorities in the West are quietly engaged in “prudent planning” to prevent chaos and panic in their home countries if Russia was to detonate a nuclear bomb in or near Ukraine. An insider told The Guardian that although a nuclear crisis is considered highly unlikely, officials are re-examining plans to provide emergency support and reassurance to populations fearful of nuclear escalation. Public information campaigns, such as the UK’s Protect and Survive, were a feature of the cold war.

3. Dozens die in Turkey mine blast

At least 28 people have died and dozens remain trapped underground after an explosion in a coal mine in Turkey. The explosion occured in the Black Sea town of Amasra in Bartin province. Rescuers worked through the night as the death toll rose, with video footage from the scene showing miners emerging “blackened and bleary-eyed”, said CNN. Around 110 people were in the mine at the time of the blast on Friday, almost half of them at over 300 metres deep.

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4. Dacre dropped from honours list

The former editor of the Daily Mail has not appeared in Boris Johnson’s political honours list. Paul Dacre had expected to be made a peer, but there were calls for this to be delayed or suspended after legal action begun by a series of prominent people over alleged intrusion into privacy by the Mail’s publisher. However, Johnson did create 13 new Conservative peers, among them Michael Hintze, a financier and businessman who has previously donated to the party.

5. Activists throw soup at art

Climate activists hurled soup at a masterpiece by Vincent Van Gogh in the National Gallery during a day of protests in London yesterday. Phoebe Plumber, 21, and Anna Holland, 20, were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and aggravated trespass after emptying two cans of tomato soup over Sunflowers, which is valued at more than £72m. Plummer said: “What is worth more, art or life? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?”

6. ‘Incredible’ Coltrane dies

Tributes have been paid to Robbie Coltrane, who has died aged 72. The actor played Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, and appeared in ITV detective drama Cracker and the James Bond movies Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe said “he was an incredible actor and a lovely man” and Stephen Fry, who appeared alongside Coltrane in Alfresco, tweeted: “Farewell, old fellow, you’ll be so dreadfully missed.” Coltrane’s agent confirmed that the actor died in hospital near Falkirk in Scotland.

7. Lineker complains of refugee ‘hell’

Gary Lineker said a refugee he hosted was put through “hell” by the Home Office. Revealing that he had taken in a 26-year-old man who had fled Turkey following a military coup, the football broadcaster said the refugee was treated “like s**t” while dealing with the UK’s asylum system. Lineker, one of the BBC's highest paid stars, previously offered his Surrey home to a refugee from Balochistan, and more recently to the man from Turkey.

8. Counting slabs ‘is not OCD’

Counting slabs while you walk, or insisting on the television volume being an even number, are not signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), said an expert. Prof Paul Salkovski, the director of the Oxford Centre for Psychological Health at the University of Oxford and a world leader in OCD, said it “tends to irritate the pants off people suffering from OCD” when behaviours that are not OCD are described as “a bit OCD”. Official data show that, in the year 2021 - 2022, there were more than 23,000 referrals to the NHS in England for OCD.

9. Man admits to queue assault

A man has admitted sexually assaulting a young woman by exposing himself and pushing into her from behind in the queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state. Adeshina Adio, 20, jumped into the River Thames to avoid arrest after assaulting the woman at Victoria Tower Gardens but he was detained by officers when he emerged from the water. He has eight previous convictions for 29 offences, including recent sexual offences, also breached a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

10. Murdoch considers merger

Rupert Murdoch is considering merging his best-known brands almost ten years after pushing through a split. The move would combine the 91-year-old’s Fox News and TMZ assets with News Corp’s newspaper and online news operations, including The Times and The Sun in the UK, the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the US, and The Australian. At market-close last night, News Corp had a market cap of $9.31bn and Fox Corp was $16.84bn. News Corp shares surged 5% and Fox rose about 1% in after-market trade.

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