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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 September 2023

1

Khalife ‘laughed’ as he was caught

The prison escapee Daniel Khalife remains in police custody after being arrested on Saturday. The 21-year-old was apprehended by a plain-clothes officer who pulled him from a bicycle on a canal towpath in the Northolt area. The terror suspect reportedly laughed as he was apprehended following a four-day search. Rather than being returned to Wandsworth prison, Khalife may be moved to a higher-security location, said Sky News.

2

Morocco toll passes 2,000

The death toll from a powerful earthquake in Morocco has passed 2,000, with more than 1,400 people suffering serious injuries. Many Moroccans are “fearing aftershocks” and chose to stay outdoors for a second night, sleeping on the streets, said the BBC. The  earthquake, which struck on Friday, is believed to be the “deadliest and powerful quake in Morocco in decades”, said Morocco World News. King Mohammed VI has declared three days of national mourning and ordered shelter, food and other help for survivors.

3

Royals may face slavery demands

Caribbean nations will formally demand slavery reparations from the Royal family, said The Telegraph. National reparations groups in the Caribbean want to “bypass” the British Government and “pursue financial payments directly from British institutions with historical links to slavery”, said the paper, with Lloyds of London and the Church of England also in their sights “Formal letters” are being prepared to put the case for reparations to these institutions by the end of the year, it added.

4

Truss blames ‘left orthodoxy’

Liz Truss said her brief reign was wrecked by a “left-wing orthodoxy” that is in control of the West. Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Truss accused successive Conservative leaders of not doing enough to rid the state of “socialist” ideas embedded by Tony Blair. She said her radical tax-cutting agenda only failed because there “wasn’t enough support for Conservative ideas” within the establishment. She added that “taxes are too high and the government is too big” for Britain to thrive.

5

Commons spying arrests

The Met Police have arrested two men under the Official Secrets Act. According to The Sunday Times, one of the men, in his twenties, is a parliamentary researcher with links to several Tory MPs. He has been accused of spying for China. The case may be “one of the most damaging breaches of security at Westminster involving a hostile state”, said the paper. A senior Whitehall source said “this is a major escalation by China” and “we have never seen anything like this before”.

6

Questions over NatWest boss

The new chairman of NatWest boss worked for an oil firm that is under investigation in the “world’s biggest financial scandal”, said The Observer. Rick Haythornthwaite worked for PetroSaudi International (UK) Ltd, the oil group’s British arm, for eight years, earning £200,000 annually. Although there is “no suggestion of wrongdoing by Haythornthwaite”, the scandal “raises questions over his judgment in working for the oil firm”, said the paper, and “whether he responded appropriately when the allegations were first raised”.

7

Sunak hopes for India deal

Rishi Sunak said he is hopeful he will strike a trade deal between Britain and India because the two nations can “work through” the final negotiation hurdles. Sunak said that a “warm and productive” talk with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi showed there is “a desire on both of our parts to see a successful trade deal concluded”. He had struck a less optimistic tone before the meeting, when he had said such a trade deal was “not guaranteed”.

8

Tax question for Sugar

Lord Sugar tried to declare himself a non-UK resident for tax purposes in a move that would have allowed him to avoid a £186m payment to the taxman, claimed The Sunday Times. The Apprentice host intended to pay no UK tax on a £390m award he drew from his company in 2021-22, but he was required to pay the taxman the entire sum because, as a member of the House of Lords, he was automatically resident in the UK. His spokesman said: “All his income has been taxed on the basis of his UK residency, and is fully paid up.”

9

New 9/11 victims identified

Two more 9/11 victims have been identified just days before the 22nd memorial anniversary of the terror attacks. The man and woman are the 1,648th and 1,649th victims identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and were identified through advanced DNA testing of their remains. Meanwhile, said ABC News, the New York City Fire Department added 43 new names to its World Trade Center Memorial Wall, which commemorates emergency workers who have succumbed to post-9/11 illnesses.

10

Weather set to turn

The UK recorded the hottest day of the yesterday, with 32.7°C provisionally recorded at Heathrow Airport. This means Britain has baked in temperatures above 30°C for six consecutive days – a record for September. The heatwave will reach a “dramatic climax” today, with a yellow warning for thunderstorms in place across large parts of the UK, said Sky News. Much cooler conditions are expected as the new week begins tomorrow.

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