Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 31 October 2022

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

1. Lula narrowly wins in Brazil

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has won the Brazilian election by a narrow margin. After a bitter and polarising campaign, the left-wing Lula won 50.9% of the votes, enough to beat the far-right incumbent President Bolsonaro. After his victory was announced, he said: “They tried to bury me alive, and I’m here!” His win marks the first time since Brazil's 1985 return to democracy that the sitting president has failed to win reelection.

Brazilian presidential election: what’s the secret to Lula’s enduring popularity?

2. Pressure grows on Braverman

The home secretary is under pressure to respond to worsening conditions at a migrant processing centre in Kent. Suella Braverman faces demands from Labour and a senior Tory MP to address the Commons over the situation at the site in Manston. After visiting the centre, Sir Roger Gale MP raised concerns over reports that Braverman decided against moving more migrants to nearby hotels. Meanwhile, a man was found dead after incendiary devices were thrown at a Home Office migrant centre in Dover.

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Suella Braverman: ‘queen of the right’ and home secretary again

3. More rough sleepers in capital

The number of rough sleepers in London has risen by 24% in the past year. There were 5,712 people on the capital’s streets between April and September, according to the analysis from City Hall. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is urging the government to institute an immediate freeze on private rents, lifting the benefits cap and delivering the promised reforms to housing laws, including ending “no fault” evictions. “We continue to see a revolving door of people ending up homeless as a result of this escalating cost of living crisis,” he said.

4. Sunak may yet attend Cop27

Rishi Sunak could attend Cop27 next week despite previously announcing that he would not travel to the summit, sources have told the Financial Times. The Prime Minister said last week he would stay in Britain to focus on “domestic challenges” ahead of next month’s Autumn Statement. However according to the source, Sunak could travel to Egypt after all, adding: “Going depends on progress.” Joe Biden, US president, and the French leader Emmanuel Macron are among those who will attend.

Cop27 and Africa’s climate financing problems

5. Dozens die in India bridge collapse

At least 132 people have died after a suspension bridge collapsed in India’s western state of Gujarat. The incident took place Sunday evening at around 6:30pm local time, in the town of Morbi. A local official said most of those who had died were women, children or elderly. There was overcrowding on the bridge, which had recently been re-opened, as people celebrated the Diwali festival. Some 200 people are estimated to have been on the bridge when it collapsed into the river below after a cable at one end appeared to snap.

6. ‘Wild west’ security in government

Intelligence experts and former officials have warned that ministers are creating “wild west” conditions by the increased use of personal email and phones to conduct confidential business. Dave Penman, the head of the FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, said there was a “wild west” culture within government after the row over the use of a personal email account by the home secretary and news that Liz Truss’s mobile is alleged to have been hacked by overseas agents.

7. South Korea to investigate crush

The prime minister of South Korea has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into the Halloween disaster, saying the country would do its best to make “institutional changes” so such a tragedy was not repeated. Some 154 people - mostly teenagers and young adults - died as crowds formed in a popular nightlife district of Seoul on Saturday evening. It was the first Halloween since the country lifted Coivd restrictions and huge crowds were expected.

8. HS2 firms could walk away

There are fears companies bidding for work on HS2 may walk away from the project, after Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove confirmed it could face further cutbacks. Asked by Times Radio whether HS2 could see potential cuts, Gove said capital investment for the project could be slashed as he warned of “painful” decisions for the government. The cabinet minister said: “I am sure everything will be reviewed.” He added that: “When we face the particularly economic problems that we have at the moment, I’m sure that some capital spending will be cut.”

NOV 2021: What the HS2 U-turn means for the levelling-up agenda

9. Tory cheered by antivaxers

A Tory MP was cheered by antivaxers as he questioned the safety of Covid vaccinations during a Commons debate. Sir Christopher Chope, the MP for Christchurch, claimed that the vaccines were “not perfectly safe” and that there was a question about “whether they are effective”. The MPs were discussing a petition promoted by Beverley Turner, the former presenter of This Morning, and Richard Fairbrass, the lead singer of Right Said Fred, who said that Covid jabs were a “scam”.

JAN 2022: Anti-vax and vaccine hesitant: what is the impact of those refusing to get jabbed?

10. Childcare crisis in NHS

NHS staff are having to choose between rent and childcare “as their pay fails to meet the rising cost of living and steep nursery fees”, reported The Independent. In response to the crisis, hospitals are attempting to provide support for struggling parents, including offering more flexible hours and “any-hours” schemes, in a bid to retain staff who would otherwise be forced to quit or reduce their shifts. Meanwhile, the charity Pregnant Then Screwed has organised marches to protest about childcare costs in the UK.

Childcare in Britain: a subject finally ‘worthy of political debate’

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