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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 June 2023

1

Johnson-Sunak war

Boris Johnson and his allies have been told by senior Tories to “shut up and go away”, said The Guardian. As Johnson loyalists sought to sway the privileges committee’s decision in his favour, Tim Loughton, a Tory MP and former minister, said Johnson should “shut up and go away” and branded his allies a “mob”. The committee is due to finalise its report today on whether Johnson misled the Commons over partygate. Meanwhile, said The Telegraph, there are fears that Rishi Sunak will lose the three by-elections triggered by the row with Johnson.

Is Boris Johnson tearing the Conservative Party apart?

2

Ukraine claims three victories

Ukraine said that it has liberated three villages in the south-east of the country, after its long-anticipated counteroffensive got underway. Footage on social media showed Ukrainian troops celebrating in the neighbouring settlements of Blahodatne and Neskuchne in the Donetsk region. The government claimed that Makarivka was also taken. However, three civilians were killed and 10 others wounded after Moscow forces opened fire on a boat carrying flood evacuees to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Kherson.

Nova Kakhovka dam breach labelled ‘worst ecological disaster since Chernobyl’

3

Nicola Sturgeon released

Nicola Sturgeon has been released without charge pending further investigations. Scotland’s former first minister was arrested yesterday morning in connection with the ongoing investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances. Following her release in the afternoon, she released a statement saying: “I know beyond doubt that I am innocent of any wrongdoing”. Scottish Tories said Sturgeon should now be suspended from the party by First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf, reported the Daily Record.

A crisis week for the Scottish National Party

4

Fears of Trump violence

There is growing concern that Donald Trump’s response to his legal troubles could trigger political violence. “Belligerent and conspiracy-laden rhetoric” from high-profile Republican backers of the former president has “heightened fears”, said The Guardian. Writing on Twitter, Arizona congressman Andy Biggs said: “We have now reached a war phase. An eye for an eye.” The Times said that Trump’s federal indictment has “unleashed a wave of violent rhetoric from his supporters, creating a tinderbox atmosphere”.

Donald Trump indicted again: is latest threat of prison a game changer?

5

Nuclear arsenal on rise again

A thinktank has warned that the number of operational nuclear weapons held by major powers is on the rise as the world is “drifting into one of the most dangerous periods in human history”. There are now an estimated 12,512 warheads globally, of which 9,576 are in military stockpiles ready for potential use, up 86 on a year ago, said the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It is estimated that 60 of the new warheads were held by China.

6

British girl shot dead in France

An 11-year-old girl from a British family has been shot dead in France, following reports of a dispute between neighbours. According to local reports, the family were in their garden on Saturday evening when the shooting happened in the village of Saint-Herbot, near Quimper in Brittany. The girl’s parents were also injured. The suspect, a 71-year-old Dutch national, has been arrested along with his wife, according to prosecutors. The neighbours “had been arguing for many years over a plot of land adjoining the two properties”, a source told the Daily Mail.

7

Academic calls for AI emotions

Artificial intelligence should be instilled with human emotions such as empathy and compassion, according to an academic who was a senior Church of England official. Eve Poole, who is head of the Carnegie Trust that provides grants for the study of science at Scottish universities, said developers must “code more humanity into robots” to address concerns over the systems operating beyond our control. However, writing for The Telegraph, Roger Bootle, senior independent adviser to Capital Economics, said we should “ignore the doom-mongers” on AI.

AI job fears: how can we regulate the ‘rise of the robots’?

8

Arrest after deadly bus crash

At least 10 people have died and more than 20 others are in hospital after a wedding bus crashed in Australia. The passengers were returning from a wedding at a winery when their coach overturned on Wine County Drive near Greta in Hunter Valley, New South Wales. The driver of the bus, a 58-year-old man, has been arrested. Police sources told the Sydney Morning Herald that the man was driving erratically before the crash, but he was not thought to be intoxicated.

9

German violence against women poll

A third of young men in Germany believe it is acceptable to use violence against women, according to a new study commissioned by children’s charity Plan International Germany. A group of 1,000 men and 1,000 women aged 18-35 from across Germany were asked to give their views on masculinity for the study. Some 34% of the men admitted to being violent towards their female partner in the past, to “instil respect in them” and 33% said they thought it was acceptable if their “hand slipped” during an argument with their partner. The findings are “shocking”, said Karsten Kassner from Federal Forum Men, a German group that advocates for gender equality. “It’s problematic that a third of the surveyed men trivialize physical violence against women. This urgently needs to change,” he told the Funke newspaper group.

10

Torrential rain follows hot spell

Almost a month’s worth of rain is set to fall in 12 hours, said the Met Office. “Parts of Wales and England will see 30mm of rain in an hour; 60mm to 80mm in some spots,” said Dan Stroud, a Met Office meteorologist. “North parts of Northern Ireland, south-west Scotland and the Highlands could see 20mm to 30mm of rain in an hour during the thunderstorms, and 40mm to 50mm in some spots.” Temperatures are expected to cool from Tuesday onwards, with Thursday and Friday in the mid-to high 20s.

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