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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 April 2023

1

Labour plans more ‘attack ads’

Labour is will release more “provocative and aggressive” adverts attacking Rishi Sunak by blaming him personally for crashing the economy. The party is “doubling down” on its “controversial strategy”, said The Times, and plans adverts that will return to the issue of crime, accusing Sunak of “effectively decriminalising rape”. Sir Keir Starmer has backed last week’s controversial attack on Rishi Sunak’s record on crime, saying: “I stand by every word”. The ad had claimed the PM did not think adults convicted of sex assaults on children should go to prison.

2

Major study uncovers racism

Britain is not close to being a racially just society, according to the most comprehensive survey of race inequality in the UK for more than a quarter of a century. The study uncovered “strikingly high” levels of exposure to abuse across a wide range of ethnic minority groups, as well as a high prevalence of racial discrimination and inequality of outcomes in schools, the workplace, housing and dealings with the police. More than a third of people from ethnic and religious minorities have experienced racially motivated physical or verbal abuse.

3

Northern Ireland peace ‘fragile’

A minister has warned that Northern Ireland’s peace is fragile, claiming that dissident republicans want to drag it back to the “dark old days” of the Troubles. Writing for The Telegraph, Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, warned that peace on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement could not be taken for granted. Police chiefs have warned they had “strong” intelligence that dissident republicans are plotting to exploit violence during parades today to launch attacks on police.

4

Coronation ‘to mix ancient and modern’

The Times said the King’s journey to and from Westminster Abbey for the coronation will be a “symbolic marriage of the ancient and the modern”. Charles and Camilla will travel from Buckingham Palace in the “air-conditioned comfort of the most up-to-date coach at the royal family’s disposal” but return from the abbey in the Gold State Coach, “one of the most challenging modes of transport ever endured by a British sovereign”. Crowds can watch the procession along the Mall and Whitehall in London.

5

Surgery ‘faces #MeToo moment’

Doctors have backed female surgeons after they dubbed NHS operating theatres “boys’ clubs” rife with sexual harassment. After the allegations were published in The Times on Saturday, Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, called on surgeons to “speak up and challenge sexism”. Amid claims that a “#MeToo moment” for the NHS is imminent, he insisted that action was needed to stop “recurring behaviour”. The allegations ranged from “crude banter and bullying to assault”, said The Times.

6

Mossad ‘not involved in protests’

Mossad has denied involvement in Israel’s anti-government protests after leaked US intelligence seemingly suggested the spy agency opposed judicial reforms. The Telegraph said that among the “tranche of papers” are documents claiming Mossad supported major anti-government protests. However, the agency said the suggestion was “false and absurd” and the documents are “photoshopped fakes”. It added that its officials “have not and do not encourage Mossad employees to attend anti-government demonstrations, nor any other political demonstrations and events”.

7

Four dead in Alps avalanche

At least four people have died in an avalanche in the French Alps. The deadly avalanche occurred yesterday on the Armancette glacier, southwest of Mont Blanc, interior minister Gerald Darmanin said. It covered an area of one km by 500 metres (half a mile by 550 yards) at an altitude of 3,500 metres, he added. With two more people missing, emergency responders deployed a helicopter and mountain rescue dogs to the scene. The local authorities warned a further avalanche could not be ruled out, said Le Monde.

8

Twitter says BBC is ‘government funded’

The BBC has objected to being described as “government funded media” by Twitter. The main BBC account – which has 2.2 million followers – is currently branded as government funded but national broadcaster is funded by UK households through a license fee, supplemented by income from commercial operations. In a statement to CNN, the BBC said it is “speaking to Twitter to resolve this issue as soon as possible” and “the BBC is, and always has been, independent” and “funded by the British public through the licence fee”.

9

Vigilantes ‘protect cows like mothers’

There is a “surge” in Hindu vigilante groups in India violently targeting Muslims for eating beef, reported The Telegraph. The slaughter of cows is banned in 20 out of India’s 28 states and most of the states ruled by India’s Bharatiya Janata Party have established vigilante squads made up of government officials and private citizens to implement the ban. Davinder Singh, a cow protection activist from Haryana, a BJP-ruled state, said: “We will protect the cows like our daughters and mothers.”

10

Cheapest seaside location revealed

A beachfront town has been named the cheapest seaside location in the UK to buy a home. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, in Northumberland, has an average house price of £117,763. Hotels in the area charge as little as £25 a night, in comparison to Salcombe in Devon, which has been named as the country’s priciest coastal site, where some hotels charge nearly £500 pound per night. Locals in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea say that despite the low figures, the town is “underrated”.

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