Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 October 2022

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

1. Sunak ‘gambles’ on Braverman

Rishi Sunak vowed to fix the “mistakes” made by Liz Truss as he replaced more than a third of her Cabinet. The new PM has “gambled” by restoring Suella Braverman to the Home Office less than a week after she was forced to resign and risked “alienating backers” of his leadership rival Penny Mordaunt by “dashing her hopes of promotion”, said The Guardian. On his first full day as PM, Sunak will face opposition leader Keir Starmer in PMQs.

Suella Braverman: new home secretary and last surviving ‘Brexit Spartan’

2. Pound rallies with Sunak

Sterling reached its highest level since mid-September, as investors responded positively to the appointment of Sunak as prime minister. The currency rose by 1.9% to $1.149 on Tuesday and government borrowing costs fell back to where they were last month. However, experts said the pound’s rally was also due to the dollar’s weakness. Sunak is a “known quantity” to the UK’s financial sector, said Sky News, having been chancellor for two years under Boris Johnson and a former Goldman Sachs analyst and hedge fund partner before that.

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Rishinomics vs. Trussonomics: the fiscal matters of the Tory leadership race

3. Nuclear Putin ‘biggest threat’

The deepening rift between the US and China is a bigger threat to global stability than a potential US recession, said the boss of JP Morgan. Speaking at a conference in Saudi Arabia, Jamie Dimon said “the geopolitics around Russia and Ukraine, America and China, relationships of the western world” are “far more concerning than whether there’s a mild or slightly severe recession”. He added that nuclear threats from Vladimir Putin now pose a greater threat to the future than climate change.

‘Dirty bomb provocation’: what is Russia planning?

4. Pasta dish cost soars

The price of a bowl of tomato pasta has risen by nearly 60% since last September, according to analysis by the Financial Times. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the price of pasta jumped by an annual rate of 60% last month, cooking oil was up 65%, the cost of tomatoes increased by 19.3%, while cheese rose by 10.4%. Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that some of the price rises were “eye-watering” and they make “it enormously challenging to manage on the lowest incomes”.

When will the cost-of-living crisis be over?

5. Climate change ‘harms global health’

Climate change is having a severe impact on public health, a new study has found. The Lancet Countdown report says the planet’s continued reliance on fossil fuels “increases the risk of food insecurity, infectious disease and heat-related sickness”. The analysis reports an increase in heat deaths, hunger and infectious disease as the climate crisis intensifies. The report is a “call to arms”, said the BBC’s climate editor, Justin Rowlatt.

6. Charles mourns lack of vocational training

King Charles has criticised the lack of vocational education in schools, describing it as a “great tragedy”. During an appearance on a special edition of the BBC television show The Repair Shop, the monarch said: “Apprenticeships are vital but they just abandoned apprenticeships for some reason. It gives people intense satisfaction and reward.” Although the episode was filmed before the Queen’s death, when Charles was still Prince of Wales, as king his words “could raise eyebrows for straying into education policy and political comment”, said The Guardian.

How will King Charles III differ as a monarch?

7. Qatar ‘arrests’ Peter Tatchell

The authorities in Qatar have stopped a protest staged by LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s programme The World Tonight, Tatchell said he was “arrested and detained on the kerbside” in Doha on Tuesday following his one-man protest challenging the country’s treatment of LGBT people. The Qatari government said claims of an arrest were “completely false” but Tatchell said: “You can call it arrest or detention but we were not free to move.” Same-sex activity is illegal in Qatar, and can be punished with fines, seven years imprisonment, and in some cases, death.

8. Penguins added to endangered list

Emperor penguins have been added to the endangered species list. The US federal government ruled this week that the bird be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act as it faces what The Independent described as an “existential threat” from the climate crisis. “Climate change is having a profound impact on species around the world and addressing it is a priority for the Administration,” said the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “The listing of the emperor penguin serves as an alarm bell but also a call to action.”

9. Oil activists target think-tank

Activists from Just Stop Oil have targeted the offices of a climate change-sceptic think tank in London. Two protesters, who sprayed orange paint across the front of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster, said they were aiming for the headquarters of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “Politics is broken,” said a spokesperson. “It was broken here in Tufton Street by shady, opaquely funded lobbyists who now stalk the corridors of power thanks to Liz Truss.” Just Stop Oil wants ministers to stop issuing licences for the extraction of oil and gas.

Just Stop Oil and the art of protest

10. Pint could reach £7

The average price of a pint of beer could reach £7 in some cities, a brewer has warned. Alan Mahon, chief executive at Brewgooder, said the price of raw ingredients, such as wheat and barley, were rising faster than the rate of inflation, and energy prices are reaching “eye-watering levels”. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide costs 3,000 per cent more than it did this time last year. “I used to think ‘perfect storm’ was a cliché until we found ourselves slap bang in the middle of what the industry is facing right now,” said Mahon.

What is inflation and why does it matter?

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