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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 17 June 2023

1

Johnson ‘calls off’ allies

Boris Johnson has “called off” his allies who were threatening to vote against the finding that he deliberately misled parliament. The former PM asked his supporters not to oppose a motion in the on Monday endorsing the findings of the privileges committee.  He is “said to be focusing now on his life outside parliament, with a new column for the Daily Mail”, said The Guardian. In the first of the columns, he revealed that he took a £2,700-a-year slimming drug but had to give it up because it made him ill.

2

Carney blames inflation on Brexit

Mark Carney has blamed high inflation in Britain on Brexit. The former governor of the Bank of England was dubbed the “architect of Project Fear”, when he repeatedly warned that the economic consequences of Brexit were all negative, including higher prices, a weaker pound and slower growth. In an interview with The Telegraph he said: “There’s no joy in saying: well, ‘we told you so’ because people are having to live with that reality.” Sir Jacob Rees Mogg, the former business secretary, described Carney’s criticisms of Brexit as “obviously nonsense”.

3

Amis knighted on eve of death

Martin Amis became a knight the day before he died as officials “worked behind the scenes to rush through his honour” because he was terminally ill, reported The Telegraph. In a highly unusual move, the Cabinet Office conferred the knighthood early on May 18. The author died the following day from esophageal cancer. Ex-footballer Ian Wright has received an OBE and broadcasters Ken Bruce and Davina McCall have been made MBEs in the King’s first Birthday Honours list.

4

Pentagon Papers man dies

The whistleblower who exposed the extent of US involvement in the Vietnam War, has died, aged 92. Daniel Ellsberg, died at his home in Kensington, California, of pancreatic cancer. His 1971 Pentagon Papers leak led to him being dubbed “the most dangerous man in America”. After revealing the government’s lies about Vietnam, Ellsberg “spent six decades as an anti-nuclear activist, getting arrested as many as ninety times in civil-disobedience protests”, said the New Yorker.

5

First hose pipe ban criticised

Households in Kent and Sussex supplied by South East Water will face hosepipe bans due to record levels of demand. The supplier said its facilities are currently working at full output, with every water treatment work and water source available to the company producing treated water to keep up with demand. The Daily Mail said the “first hose ban is here already… and it’s not even summer until next week”. It added that South East Water was “quickly attacked” for its decision.

6

Putin confirms Belarus nukes

Vladimir Putin has confirmed that Russia has stationed a first batch of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. The Russian president told a forum they would only be used if Russia’s territory or state was threatened. The US government says there is no indication the Kremlin plans to use nuclear weapons to attack Ukraine. However, Putin warned this week that continued supplies of western weapons to Ukraine risked triggering a nuclear conflict with the United States.

7

Brits travel to overseas vets

Britons are taking their pets overseas for treatment to avoid crippling vet bills in the UK, reported The Times. Some procedures are up to three times more expensive in Britain than France, so owners can save thousands of pounds by travelling abroad. Insurers said that hip dysplasia in a dog in Britain costs an average of £5,000 compared to £1,200 in France. As private equity groups “consolidate their grip on Britain’s veterinary industry”, Turkish clinics offer “veterinary tourism” packages where owners are offered flights, transfers and luxury hotel stays while their pets undergo surgery.

8

Sunak delays BOGOF ban

The government has delayed plans to ban two-for-one junk food deals for another two years. Rishi Sunak said it would be unfair to restrict options when food prices remain high. The anti-obesity policy, which had already been delayed, has now been postponed until 2025 while a review takes place. The decision is expected to “disappoint health campaigners who have previously been critical about length of time it is taking to ban the deals”, said the BBC.

9

Decaf coffee trees closer

Researchers in Brazil have moved “one step closer” to growing decaffeinated coffee beans, said The Guardian. A coffee research institute has started a decisive stage in a two-decade project to develop arabica coffee varieties that are naturally decaffeinated. The resulting varieties could “find a market niche” in large consuming regions such as Europe and the US among consumers who would “prefer them to current decaffeinated brands that are the result of chemical or industrial processes”, said the paper.

10

Biden baffles with Queen comment

Joe Biden baffled an audience when he closed a speech with the phrase “God Save the Queen”. The US president was speaking at the National Safer Communities Summit in Connecticut, calling for tougher gun control laws, when he “uttered a phrase possibly not heard on American soil since about 1776”, said The Telegraph. The White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Olivia Dalton, later told reporters that the president was “commenting to someone in the crowd”.

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