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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 January 2023

1

Starmer would cut NHS red tape

Sir Keir Starmer has said the NHS must “reform” or “die”. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Labour leader argued the idea the health service is still the envy of the world is “plainly wrong” and said the situation for patients was “intolerable and dangerous”. He said he would slash “mind-boggling” NHS bureaucracy and outlined plans for reforms including turning GPs into direct NHS employees and allowing patients to bypass the family doctor to make self-referrals to specialists.

2

More Biden documents found

More classified documents have been found in Joe Biden’s family home in Delaware, the White House has said. The US president’s lawyer said he discovered the additional documents on Thursday and they were immediately handed to the Justice Department. The latest discovery has “dramatically shifted the trajectory of an administration at the same moment it has raised significant questions about its handling of a legally precarious matter”, said CNN. A special counsel is investigating Biden’s handling of the files.

3

Plane crashes at Nepal airport

A passenger plane with 72 people on board has crashed at Pokhara airport in central Nepal and 16 bodies have been recovered, according to authorities. The Yeti Airlines plane, which was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara, crashed during landing, catching fire. Images and videos posted on social media showed “plumes of smoke billowing from the crash site”, said the Kathmandu Post. Nepalese soldiers are involved in the rescue at the crash site near the tourist town’s airport.

4

Windsor peace talks proposed

Peace talks between Prince Harry and the Royal Family could be held under plans being discussed by those close to the King. The Sunday Times reported that insiders believe a reconciliation is “the only way forward” following the release of Harry’s memoir, Spare, and it must happen before the King’s coronation on 6 May, to prevent the occasion “becoming a circus”. Such a move would “take flexibility on all sides”, said a source, “but it can be done, it’s fixable”.

5

Call for minimum income

A right-wing think tank has called for the introduction of a “minimum income”. Bright Blue, backed by some senior Conservative MPs, said households need a minimum income to meet the cost of living because the welfare system is not providing enough support. The Department for Work and Pensions said it recognised the pressures of rising living costs but insisted it still “offers a vital safety net to millions of people”.

6

Huge demo in Israel

More than 80,000 people protested in Israel against plans by the new right-wing coalition government to overhaul the judiciary. The contentious reform, which would make it easier for parliament to overturn Supreme Court rulings, has been described as an attack on democratic rule. The protest in Tel Aviv came “after a week of growing tension and harsh rhetoric between the reform’s supporters and opposers”, said the Jerusalem Post.

7

Girl shot near London church

A seven-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries in a shooting close to a church in central London. Police responded yesterday afternoon to reports shots were fired from a moving vehicle, as a remembrance service took place at St Aloysius Church in Euston. Witnesses told Sky News how the shooting sent people running and screaming. It happened as a requiem mass for 20-year-old Sara Sanchez and her mother Fresia Calderon, who died within a month of one another in November, took place inside the church in Phoenix Road.

8

New missile strikes in Ukraine

Russia launched fresh missile attacks across Ukraine on Saturday, killing at least 14 people in a strike on an apartment block in Dnipro. A number of other cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa, were also hit. The strikes – Moscow’s largest wave of attacks on Ukraine in a fortnight – came as the country was observing the traditional New Year, noted Al Jazeera. In his nightly address, Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the West to supply more weapons to prevent further deaths from “Russian terror”.

9

Braverman confronted on immigration

Suella Braverman refused to apologise for her language after a Holocaust survivor told the home secretary her description of migrants as an “invasion” reminder her of the rhetoric the Nazis used to justify murdering her family. Braverman was confronted by Joan Salter, 83, during a meeting in her constituency in Hampshire. Braverman said that she “shared a huge amount of concern and sympathy” over the “challenge” of illegal immigration, but said “I won’t apologise for the language that I have used to demonstrate the scale of the problem.”

10

Sex isn’t just for the young

Sexual health experts have warned that an assumption that sex is only for the young means that doctors are dismissing concerns of people in their 50s and 60s. Older people worry that seeking help to keep their bedroom activities flourishing may lead to them being seen as “sex maniacs”, a sexual health conference in the Netherlands heard. “We have a ‘sexless’ older age stereotype where we are expected to sexually retire or sexually decline,” said Dr Sharron Hinchliff, of the University of Sheffield, a sexual health expert.

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