Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 31 December 2022

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

1. Honours for May and Lionesses

The fashion designer Mary Quant, the Lionesses and the rock star Brian May are among those recognised in the first new year honours of King Charles’ reign. There is also a knighthood for artist Grayson Perry and a damehood for Olympic heptathlete Denise Lewis. The honours list includes “outspoken critics of government”, including the MPs Chris Bryant and Julian Lewis, said The Guardian. The Telegraph noted that Jason Knauf, a former royal aide who raised complaints of bullying against the Duchess of Sussex from staff, was recognised for his service to the Crown.

2. Tax returns ‘won’t harm’ Trump

Experts said that newly released tax returns for Donald Trump are unlikely to have a major political impact on his chances in another presidential run. The documents confirmed that Trump paid no federal taxes in 2020 and only $750 (£622) in 2016 and 2017, but they show that he paid close to $1m in 2018. They also reveal that he paid more in foreign taxes than in US federal income taxes in 2017, the first year of his presidency. Trump claimed the returns showed “how proudly successful I have been”.

3. Ministers U-turn on China curbs

Ministers have confirmed that passengers travelling to England from China will have to provide a negative Covid test before they board a flight. Several countries, including the US, France and India, have imposed testing, following Beijing’s decision to relax its zero-Covid policy. Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the government was taking a “balanced and precautionary approach”. However, writing for The Telegraph, Samuel Lovett, deputy editor of Global Health Security, said imposing travel restrictions against China is a “waste of time”.

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4. Sunak warning for 2023

The prime minister has warned the UK’s problems will not “go away” in 2023 after a “tough” 12 months. In his New Year message, Rishi Sunak promised the “very best of Britain” will be on display in the coming months and predicted King Charles’s coronation on 6 May would bring the country together. Meanwhile, in his own new year message, the Labour leader Keir Starmer said “for hope to flourish, Britain needs to change”.

5. North Korea puts region ‘on edge’

South Korea’s military claimed that North Korea has fired three short range ballistic missiles towards the sea to the east of the Korean peninsula. The claim of fresh launches comes five days after North Korea flew drones into South Korea’s airspace for the first time since 2017. It was the 37th day this year that North Korea has conducted a missile launch, according to CNN’s count. The broadcaster said that the “sheer frequency” of launches marks a “significant escalation that has put the Pacific region on edge”.

6. Tate to be held for 30 days in Romania

The controversial influencer Andrew Tate will be held in detention in Romania for 30 days, after a court agreed to a police request. The decision comes after he was arrested in Romania along with brother Tristan on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group. In a video of his arrest on Thursday, Tate could be heard saying “the matrix has attacked me” as he was ushered away by police officers. Authorities suspect the pair, along with two Romanian men, of running an “an organised crime group”.

7. Raab ‘undermined victims’ role’

The role of a victims’ champion in England and Wales has been “deceptively and deliberately” undermined by Dominic Raab, said the outgoing commissioner. Speaking to The Guardian in her first major interview since stepping down from the role in September, Dame Vera Baird accused justice secretary Raab of seeking a “puppet on a string” while he undermined the rights of victims with his proposed bill of rights. She said his proposed bill would “absolutely shatter” any positive impact of the victims’ bill.

8. Police used euphemism for paedophiles

Police Scotland are under fire for using the term “minor-attracted people” (MAP) to describe paedophiles in a major report. Opponents said the term, used in an annual assessment of the force’s performance, is an attempt to rebrand the offence as a harmless sexual preference. Kenny McAskill, Scotland’s former justice secretary, said using alternative terms for paedophiles simply “masks the reality and their danger”.

9. FTSE ‘ekes out a gain’

The FTSE 100 was the world’s best performing major stock index during 2022. As “tumbling” global stock markets suffered their worst year since 2008 in a “near 20% plunge”, London’s blue-chip index “eked out a 0.9% gain” over the twelve months, said The Telegraph. The index was boosted by a falling pound, which helps companies that earn money abroad and then convert it into British currency. Strong performances from BP, Shell and BAE Systems also helped.

10. Ronaldo joins Saudi club

Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in a three-year deal. The 37-year-old will reportedly receive the biggest football salary in history at more than £177m per year. Hailing the deal, the Portuguese captain said he is “eager to experience a new football league in a different country”. However, said the Daily Star, the move to an a league seen as uncompetitive confirms that Ronaldo’s rival, Lionel Messi, is the undisputed ‘GOAT’ – the greatest of all time.

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