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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 April 2023

1

Bills rise for millions

Rises in a host of essential bills have kicked in today, putting more pressure on families. Millions of households will pay more for gas and electricity, despite the Energy Price Guarantee remaining at its current level, said The Mirror. Council tax, water bills, and some mobile costs have risen, as food prices continue to soar. “Those in need of assistance can contact the organisations they may owe money to,” said Sky News, as “they might help by reducing payments or giving people more time to pay”.

2

Trump ‘won’t be put in cuffs’

Donald Trump’s lawyer said the former president will not be put in handcuffs for his New York arraignment next week. Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, Joe Tacopina said: “I’m sure they’ll try to get every ounce of publicity from this thing. The president will not be put in handcuffs. I’m sure they’ll try to make sure they get some joy out of this by parading him.” The former president is expected to fly from Florida on his private jet and hand himself in with federal agents on-hand to protect him.

3

Biden ‘won’t attend Coronation’

Joe Biden will not attend the King’s Coronation next month, reported The Telegraph. There is no historical protocol for a US president to attend royal coronations and Washington is keen to counter any perception of a snub. It plans to show support for the King by sending high-profile representatives, with one suggestion under consideration being that Jill Biden, the first lady, could attend. Sources close to Biden insisted last night that his relationship with the King was “strong”.

4

Starmer accuses Tories on waters

Keir Starmer has accused the government of “turning Britain’s waterways into an open sewer”. The Labour leader spoke out after data showed raw discharges were sent into English rivers 825 times a day last year. This is a 19% decrease from the previous year – but John Leyland, the Environment Agency’s executive director said this was “down to dry weather, not water company action”. Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has faced calls to resign over the amount of sewage water companies have discharged into UK waterways.

5

Arab shot in Jerusalem

Israeli police say that a man detained near al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem was shot dead after he grabbed an officer’s gun and fired it. They claimed the incident in Jerusalem’s Old City began when officers stopped the man for questioning outside the mosque compound. They identified the man as a 26-year-old resident of Hura, an Arab village in southern Israel. Video circulating on social media showed clashes between the security forces and local Palestinian residents in the Old City area, said the Jerusalem Post.

6

Booster jabs for most vulnerable

Millions of people in England will be offered a Covid booster jab next week as data showed infections have climbed to their highest level this year. From Monday, care home residents will receive the spring Covid-19 booster vaccine, with millions more people invited to book an appointment from Wednesday. “If you are over 75 or you have a weakened immune system, please come forward as soon as possible to book a Covid vaccine this spring, so you can enjoy summer with peace of mind,” said NHS director of vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell.

7

Andrew Tate under house arrest

A judge in Romania has ruled that social media influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan are to be moved from custody to house arrest with immediate effect. The ruling by the Court of Appeal in Bucharest replaces the latest period of custody, which was to end on 29 April. The controversial Tate and his brother were released from a detention facility in Bucharest just before midnight local time. He posted a video of himself walking around a room while smoking, with the caption suggesting he found “absolute clarity of mind” in prison.

8

Wimbledon lifts ban on Russia

Wimbledon has lifted a ban on Russian and Belarusian players from its tournament this year, after players agreed to sign neutral declarations. The contract means the players and staff will agree that they are not representing the Russian or Belarusian states, they will confirm that they are not receiving funding from their states or companies controlled by the state, and they will not express support for the invasion or their home governments. Last year, players from Russia and Belarus were banned from the tennis fortnight in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

9

Musk tweet ‘broke law’

Elon Musk violated federal labour law by tweeting that employees of Tesla would lose stock options if they joined a union, a US appeals court has ruled. The 5th US circuit court of appeals upheld a decision by the US National Labor Relations Board that said the 2018 tweet amounted to an unlawful threat that could discourage unionising. It ordered Musk to delete it. Musk’s “prolific” use of Twitter has landed him in legal trouble before, noted ABC. In February, Tesla defeated a lawsuit over a Musk tweet from 2018 saying funding was secured to take the company private.

10

Pistorius denied parole

Oscar Pistorius was denied parole because he has yet to complete his minimum sentence. The disgraced South African Paralympic shot his partner Reeva Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door of his house in 2013, but he denied that he killed her in a fit of anger and said he had mistaken her for an intruder. He was originally sentenced to 13 years and five months imprisonment. The parole hearing at Atteridgeville prison, a “low-security facility in rolling fields just outside the city of Pretoria”, should “never have happened”, said the BBC.

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