Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 29 May 2023

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

1. Erdoğan wins Turkish election

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s long-standing president, has secured another five years in power after the national election. “The entire nation of 85 million won,” he told cheering crowds outside his palace. In most provinces, “streets were filled with jubilant supporters of the president”, as “cars honked horns and people waved Turkish flags and posters of Erdoğan”, said Daily Sabah. However, the BBC said that the president’s “call for unity sounded hollow” as he “ridiculed his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu - and took aim at a jailed Kurdish leader and pro-LGBT policies”.

2. Food giants reject cap plan

Supermarket chiefs have claimed that government proposals for them to voluntarily cap the price of food basics could prolong high food inflation. Bosses from the sector insisted that prices are high due to soaring costs for energy, labour and transport and therefore a cap “will not make a jot of difference to prices”. A voluntary agreement with major retailers would see price reductions on basic food items like bread and milk. The proposal, which was reported by The Telegraph, is said to be at the “drawing board stage”.

3. Met won’t attend mental health callouts

The Metropolitan police will no longer attend emergency calls related to mental health episodes, said the force’s commissioner. In a letter seen by The Guardian, Sir Mark Rowley says the move is necessary and urgent because officers are being diverted from their core role of fighting crime and patients who need medical experts are being failed when a police officer attends instead. The ban, which will come into force on 31 August, will only be waived for incidents where a threat to life is feared.

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4. Mothers warn of poor care

Nearly a quarter of mothers said that the maternity care they received left them or their baby in danger and almost a third were not given all of the medical care they needed at the birth. The Mumsnet survey for The Times “raises fresh questions about NHS maternity services in England” after “scandals that have highlighted serious safety concerns and cover-ups and bullying,” said the paper. Last month it reported that the NHS was spending more than twice as much on the cost of harm caused by maternity services as on maternity care itself.

5. UK cops to join migrant effort

British police will help countries in north Africa to identify and break up people-smuggling gangs in a bid to stop an expected surge of hundreds of thousands of migrants trying to leave the continent for Europe this summer. The Times said that the Italian government has forecast that 400,000 migrants will seek to enter Italy from north Africa this year — four times as many as arrived during 2022. “We’re taking the fight to the people-smuggling gangs upstream,” said Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister.

6. ‘Toxic’ This Morning returns

There are “no plans” to axe This Morning, ITV has said, as it faces more questions over Phillip Schofield’s affair with a younger male colleague. The show is set to hit TV screens at 10am today, with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary presenting. The former This Morning TV doctor, Ranj Singh, has criticised what he called the “toxic culture” at the show. He said that he had made a complaint but “things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative”.

7. Mum warns of flesh-eating risk

A mother said she hoped to raise awareness of a flesh-eating disease that nearly killed her. Six days after Charleigh Chatterton gave birth to her daughter Alessia in Colchester, she was rushed back to hospital. The 27-year-old from Essex, had a rash that was “as hot to touch as a boiled kettle” and severe flu symptoms. Doctors diagnosed necrotising fasciitis, an infection underneath the skin. “The doctors said my chances of survival were slim. I think I got diagnosed just in time,” she said.

8. Muggings going unsolved

More than 30,000 muggings went unsolved last year, the equivalent of 80 a day, according to research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats and carried out by the House of Commons Library. A total of 56,284 robberies of personal property were reported to the police in England and Wales last year. with 30,079 cases closed without a suspect being identified. Sarah Olney, the Lib Dem Treasury spokeswoman said the “shocking figures show muggings are being effectively decriminalised”.

9. Nun’s body hasn’t decayed

A nun is in line sainthood after her exhumed body showed no signs of decay, four years after it was buried. Pilgrims are “flocking” to Missouri to see the “impeccably well-preserved body” of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, said The Telegraph. She died at age 95 in May 2019. When her remains were recently exhumed, to be moved to the monastery chapel that was intended to be her final resting place, sisters found an intact body, the Catholic News Agency reported.

10. Cave questions music boycotts

Nick Cave has said that boycotting songs because of the actions of the artist “is not a very good way to go about things”. Speaking at the Hay festival, the Australian singer said that making art “prevents you from becoming the worst aspects of your character, and that’s why I very much think we need to be very, very careful about the music we don’t think people should listen to any more because of what the artist who has made that music may have been like”. Cave, who was criticised for attending the coronation of King Charles, said he is “conservative with a small c”.

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