Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 July 2023


BBC scandal deepens

The family of a teenager allegedly paid £35,000 by a BBC star for sexually explicit photos is upset by the corporation’s response, said The Sun. The unnamed presenter, who has been suspended, made “two panicked calls” to the young person after the story broke, said the tabloid. The presenter allegedly rang last week asking: “What have you done?” He then allegedly asked the young person to speak to their mother and urged her to stop the investigation.


Will Biden raise cluster issue?

Joe Biden has arrived in the UK ahead of a Nato summit in Lithuania later this week. The US president’s trip “comes after several allies questioned his call to send cluster bombs to Ukraine”, noted the BBC. The UK is among those who expressed concern about the bombs, which are widely banned because of the danger they pose to civilians. Rishi Sunak “has a choice about how much to make” of the issue when the men meet, said The Guardian, but “it is likely to be limited” as he seeks to repair ties between the two nations.

Sunak-Biden talks: can Rishi revive the ‘special relationship’?


Stabbing at China kindergarten

Six people were killed and one injured in a stabbing in a kindergarten in China’s south-eastern Guangdong province. “The victims include one teacher, two parents and three students,” said a spokeswoman for the city government. Police have arrested a 25-year-old and called it a case of “intentional assault”. Violent crime is “relatively rare” in China, said the BBC, but the country has seen a “spate of knife attacks in recent years, including several in schools”.


Video ‘explodes’ Israeli claims

Footage has emerged of the shooting of a 16-year-old unarmed Palestinian boy, “exploding Israel’s claims that only combatants were killed” during the Jenin military operation, said The Times. The video shows the moment Abdulrahman Hasan Ahmad Hardan died as he stood in front of the al-Amal hospital, after responding to a call from the mosque in his village to donate blood. “The occupation killed him with cold blood,” said his mother, “he wasn’t carrying a gun or anything… he was a child”. The Israeli military has not commented.

Israel launches large-scale military operation in West Bank


Ofwat ‘asleep at the wheel’

Ofwat was “complacent” and “asleep at the wheel” over the Thames Water affair, claimed a Tory MP. Thames Water is fighting for survival and has until early next year to avoid temporary nationalisation. “Have Ofwat been asleep at the wheel or have they just not had the powers to inquire into some of the finance structures?” asked Sir Robert Goodwill, who chairs the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. The regulator told the BBC that “Thames Water need to develop a robust and credible plan to turn around the business.”

Why is Thames Water struggling to stay afloat?


France bans Bastille fireworks

France has banned the sale, possession and transport of fireworks in a bid to “quell unrest ahead of Bastille Day celebrations”, said the inews site. Ministers implemented a decree targeting “pyrotechnic articles” on 14 July – when the nation will commemorate the start of the French Revolution. Fireworks are usually a key part of Bastille Day celebrations but unofficial displays will be banned this year after days of unrest triggered by the police killing of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk in Nanterre.

How the world reported French riots over shooting of teenage boy


Stabbing at refugee hotel

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a double stabbing at a hotel used to house refugees from Afghanistan. According to reports, one man was knifed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Long Ditton near Surbiton, Surrey and another man was attacked at a BMW garage next door to it. “The man was on a mad one inside the hotel,” a source told the Evening Standard. “It’s a hotel full of Afghan refugees.” A Home Office spokesperson said it takes the ”welfare and safety” of those in its care ”incredibly seriously”.


Calls for stricter climate sentences

Police chiefs and cabinet ministers want judges to hand down tougher sentences for Just Stop Oil protesters. They want courts to stop considering protests in isolation and to factor in the reputational damage to Britain’s ability to host sporting events without disruption. Police chiefs cited the jailing in April of two Just Stop Oil protesters, pointing out that there had not been any Just Stop Oil protests on major roads since the pair were handed tough sentences.

Just Stop Oil: Do radical protests turn the public away from a cause? Here’s the evidence


Charity criticised for vagina term

A charity that advises medics to refer to a vagina as a “bonus hole” has been accused of dehumanising women. In guidance on its website, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust sets out the language it believes healthcare professionals should use when dealing with transgender men. “Bonus hole” and “front hole” are suggested as acceptable alternatives to vagina, a word which could “cause someone to feel hurt or distressed”, it states. Caroline Fiske, founder of Conservatives for Women, told Mail Online this was an example of the world being “bent” to a “never-ending list of irrational demands”.

The trans debate: a fiercely-fought battleground in the nation’s culture wars


Styles hit in the eye

Harry Styles was struck in the eye by an object thrown at the stage while he was performing in Vienna. Footage posted on social media showed the singer walking on the stage as an object hits him, leaving him “flinching in pain”, said CNN. This is the latest in “an ever-growing list of similar situations in recent weeks”, said the broadcaster, with Drake, Bebe Rexha, Kelsea Ballerini and Ava Max, also recently hit by objects while on stage. Adele recently quipped that she would “kill” anyone who tried to chuck something at her.



Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 July 2023


Tortoise Mr Pickles, 90, becomes a father for the first time


How to get the best deal on your travel money


How US involvement in Vietnam War influenced foreign policy decisions for 50 years