Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 May 2023

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

1. Jury finds Trump liable

A jury has found that Donald Trump is liable for sexually abusing a writer in the 1990s. The jurors also found Trump liable for defamation for calling the writer’s accusations “a hoax and a lie”. However, the former US president was found not liable for raping E Jean Carroll in the dressing room of a department store. Trump has described the verdict as a “disgrace” and a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”. The BBC said the ruling “may not make a dent in Trump’s base within the Republican Party”, but it “could have a lasting sting”.

Donald Trump’s biggest legal woes

2. Migration row returns

The Archbishop of Canterbury is set to lead the criticism of the Illegal Migration Bill when it is debated for the first time in the House of Lords today. Last year he described the policy to send migrants to Rwanda as “ungodly” and he is expected to question its morality again today. Meanwhile, Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, have told the House of Lords not to defy the “will of the British people” by blocking the government’s plans on immigration.

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Stop the boats: will immigration define the next election?

3. New NHS apprentice model

School leavers could join the NHS through apprenticeships as part of a plan to fix staff shortages, reported the Press Association. Up to 10% of doctors and one-third of nurses could be trained through this vocational path in the coming years under the NHS workforce plan. However, said Dr Latifa Patel, workforce lead for the British Medical Association: “We have little evidence on whether the apprentice model will work at scale, and whether employers will want to take the investment risk with no guarantee of a return.”

4. Pound to rise sharply

The pound is expected to rise sharply against the dollar after one of the City’s “most gloomy” analysts admitted it was “wrong” to underestimate Britain's economic prospects, said The Telegraph. As the currency is trading close to a one-year high against the dollar at $1.26, Citi has “torn up” a previous prediction that the pound would drop to parity with the dollar in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng’s controversial mini-Budget last September. Instead, it now expects sterling to rise towards $1.30 at the start of 2024.

Banking crisis: has the city weathered the financial storm?

5. Starmer won’t rule out Lib-Lab pact

Keir Starmer has refused to rule out a deal with the Liberal Democrats if Labour fails to win a majority at the next general election. The Labour leader said he wants to secure a Labour majority government “with a workable majority”, which he believes is achievable based on the party’s performance in the local elections. Asked if he would do a deal with the Lib Dems, he told the BBC this was a “hypothetical question”. The Spectator said the question of a pact will be a chance for the Tories to “exploit the tensions in Starmer’s party ranks”.

Party like it’s 1997: can Tories stop a Labour landslide?

6. Delays ‘caused diabetes deaths’

A charity has claimed that delayed health checks among people with diabetes may have contributed to 7,000 more deaths than usual in England last year. Diabetes UK said “fragmented access to services across the country” is having a huge impact and that many people are being left to “go it alone” with the condition. NHS England said returning routine care to pre-pandemic levels was a key priority, adding that local areas had been given £36m to help restore diabetes services.

7. Supermarkets now ‘public enemy’

Although supermarkets were “lauded for feeding the nation in a time of crisis during the pandemic”, they “now find themselves public enemy number one”, said The Telegraph. With prices on shelves rising at a rate not seen in decades, politicians, shoppers and farmers have accused major grocery chains of profiteering and “greedflation”. However, supermarkets have defended themselves by saying they are still facing huge cost increases, not just for food but wages and energy too.

Price of pasta doubles: what food is getting more expensive in UK?

8. UK to outlaw Wagner Group

Britain will officially proscribe the Wagner Group as a terrorist organisation, reported The Times. A government source told the paper that proscription of the group was “imminent” and likely to be enacted within weeks. It would become a criminal offence to belong to Wagner, attend its meetings, encourage support for it or carry its logo in public, “putting it on the same footing as groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaeda”, said the paper. The mercenary group has played a central role in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

What is the Wagner Group? The mercenaries offering ‘muscle to dictators’

9. Why women should design parks

Women should be involved in the design of the UK’s parks to tackle “unfair and unequal” safety fears, said academics. The new report found simple changes such as better lighting, lower hedges and “escape routes” could reduce the risks of harassment and assault that deter women from using parks. The work, commissioned by the mayor of West Yorkshire and carried out by Leeds University, concluded that “a new generation of female decision-makers” can “bring a more gender-balanced workforce to our design professions and shape our towns and cities for the better”.

10. Brit pleads guilty on hack

A British man has pleaded guilty in New York to a role in one of the biggest hacks in social media history. The hacking of Twitter in July 2020 affected over 130 accounts including those of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Joseph James O’Connor, 23, known as PlugwalkJoe, pleaded guilty to hacking charges carrying a total maximum sentence of over 70 years in prison. O’Connor was also involved in hacking two influencer’s TikTok accounts, through a “complex sim card swap”, said Sky News.

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