Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 November 2022

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

1. Government may soften Brexit

Jeremy Hunt believes the government’s aim of cutting net immigration will lead to even higher taxes and deeper spending cuts, reported the i. The chancellor has admitted that higher-than-expected migration is needed to drive economic growth and has also hinted that ministers could seek to backtrack on parts of Brexit by removing “the vast majority of trade barriers that exist between us and the EU”.

2. Cop27 spills into Saturday

Gridlocked climate talks will “head into overtime” said The Guardian as nations “tussle” over funding for developing countries and ambition on curbing global warming. Hopes were raised of a breakthrough at the UN climate summit COP27 following a promise from the developed world to foot more of the climate bill. Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, who chairs the negotiations, told delegates that the negotiations would run into Saturday.

3. Johnson speech prompts apology

The financier Mike Bloomberg was forced to apologise at an Asian business event in Singapore after complaints about a speech by Boris Johnson that criticised China. During an after-dinner talk, the former PM was said to have described China as a “coercive autocracy” in front of about 500 Asian businesspeople, investors and diplomats. Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York, clarified that Johnson’s words were “his thoughts and his thoughts alone” and added: “To those of you who were upset… you have my apologies.”

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4. ‘New tenor’ for Trump probe

An independent lawyer has been appointed to oversee the US justice department’s criminal investigations into Donald Trump. A former war crimes prosecutor, Jack Smith was named special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland in a news conference. The legal jeopardy Trump faces “took on a new tenor” with the appointment, said CNN. Smith will lead inquiries into how Trump handled classified documents and his alleged role in the Capitol riot.

5. Eton boys jeered state school girls

Eton College has apologised after claims that a group of girls visiting from a nearby state school were subjected to misogynistic language, racial slurs and jeering. The incidents occurred during a speech by Nigel Farage at the establishment last week. Eton boys reportedly booed the girls and cheered Farage’s “worst comments on migrants and Covid”. The college told the BBC it had apologised “unreservedly” for the “totally unacceptable” behaviour.

6. World Cup workers paid 35p an hour

Migrant workers working as security guards in the park that will host Qatar’s World Cup festivities are being paid as little as 35p an hour, according to reports. The guards claim they work 12-hour shifts and get just one day off a month. The tournament starts this weekend amid widespread international criticism of the host nation’s record on migrant workers and LGBTQ+ rights. The Guardian says the controversy could “kill” the brand of David Beckham, who is the face of the tournament.

7. Theranos founder jailed

The founder of Theranos has been sentenced to more than 11 years in a US federal prison for conning investors and endangering patients while peddling phony blood-testing technology. Elizabeth Holmes, 38, who was convicted by a Californian jury on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy in January, was jailed for 135 months. Once hailed as the “next Steve Jobs”, she was at one time believed to be the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, said the BBC.

8. Met chief wants sacking reform

The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has called for more power to sack underperforming officers. Revealing that 10% of officers are unable to do their jobs fully because of performance and health issues, Sir Mark Rowley said the force “can’t deal with a workforce where such a big proportion are not properly deployable”. However, managers were being deterred from taking action against those “doing a bad job” because of a six-stage process that took over a year, he said.

9. Thai police fire rubber bullets

Police in Thailand fired rubber bullets at crowds protesting against the Apec economic summit in Bangkok. Fighting broke out between police and hundreds of demonstrators near the summit, which is being attended by leaders from around the world. Footage on social media showed police advancing with shields as crowds threw projectiles, charged at police and tried to overturn a police car.

10. Kim Jong-un reveals daughter

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has appeared with his daughter in public for the first time, confirming long-rumoured reports of her existence. The girl joined him at an inspection of the country’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile launch on Friday. She is believed to be named Kim Chu-ae and is estimated to be aged between 12 and 13. Mr Kim is believed to have as many as three children: two girls and a boy.

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