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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 17 May 2023

1

No-fault evictions to be banned

Landlords would be banned from evicting tenants with no justification as part of an overhaul of the private rental sector in England. The new legislation would abolish no-fault evictions and end bans on tenants claiming benefits. Writing for The Telegraph, Michael Gove, the Communities Secretary, argued that the change is aimed at countering only the “minority” of landlords who are poorly treating their tenants. However, said the paper, critics will see it as another attempt by the government to tie the hands of landlords.

What will happen to the UK rental market in 2023?

2

China denounces Truss ‘stunt’

Liz Truss’s trip to Taiwan this week is a “dangerous political stunt”, said the Chinese embassy in London. Truss is expected to use a speech in Taipei City today to challenge Rishi Sunak to deliver on his rhetoric during last summer’s Tory leadership contest, when he declared China “the biggest-long term threat to Britain”. The Chinese Embassy urged Truss to “correct her wrongdoing, stop making political shows with the Taiwan question and stop conniving at and supporting ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces”.

Does Rishi Sunak have a China problem?

3

Surge in people struggling with bills

The UK’s financial regulator has said that the number of people struggling to pay their bills and debts has risen by nearly 40%. Some 10.9 million adults were struggling in January – 3.1 million more people than in May 2022, said the Financial Conduct Authority. A survey by the group found 11% of adults missed a bill or loan payment in at least three of the previous six months. “We’ve told lenders that they should provide support tailored to your needs,” said Sheldon Mills, executive director of consumers and competition at the FCA.

How to save money on gas and electricity bills

4

Cleverly refuses to renegotiate

The foreign secretary has refused to renegotiate Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal with the EU in a “blow” to the DUP, said The Telegraph. Although Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has urged voters to back the DUP in Thursday’s council elections to force the PM back to the negotiating room, James Cleverly said the government had no intention of making any fundamental changes to the Windsor Framework deal on post-Brexit trading arrangements. The DUP has said its political and trading concerns must be met before it returns to government, noted The Irish News.

Windsor framework: has Rishi Sunak got Brexit done?

5

Two workers catch bird flu

Two poultry workers in England have tested positive for bird flu, the UK Health and Security Agency has announced. Both people were known to have recently worked on an infected poultry farm and have since tested negative. There are no signs of human-to-human transmission and the risk to the general population remains very low, the UKHSA added. Nevertheless, said a spokesperson, “we know that viruses evolve all the time and we remain vigilant for any evidence of changing risk to the population”.

H5N1: bird flu in mammals stoking fears of human ‘spill-over’

6

‘Cruel’ waits for ADHD diagnosis

Adult patients are waiting for up to four years to be assessed for ADHD through the NHS, according to a charity. In 2022, the longest a patient had been waiting to be seen was four years in Northern Ireland, three-and-a-half years in Wales, more than two years in England and more than a year in Scotland. “Knowing the damage to people’s lives and forcing people to wait for years is an abject cruelty,” said ADHD UK, with people “left in purgatory, wasting lives and sometimes losing lives, when they could instead, through an assessment, have understanding, support and be thriving”.

Why autism and ADHD are harder to spot in females

7

Bus fare cap extended again

The £2 cap on bus fares in England has been extended until the end of October. The current limit on fares has now been extended twice. It applies to more than 130 bus operators outside of London and will rise in November to £2.50 for 12 months, before prices are reviewed. The cap was originally introduced as a temporary measure to help people with the cost of living crisis, as well as encourage people back on buses after a drop in usage over the pandemic.

Bus fares across England to be capped at £2 from January

8

Weight gain linked to prostate risk

A study has found that young men who put on two stone before they turn 30 are significantly more likely to die of prostate cancer in later life. When researchers in Sweden followed 258,000 men throughout their adult lives, they found that weight gain increases the risk of developing prostate cancer, and of it being aggressive. “One must gain weight to become heavier, so preventing a steep increase in weight in young men is imperative for the prevention of prostate cancer,” said Dr Marisa da Silva, of the department of translational medicine at Lund University.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer and how can it be treated?

9

Labour ‘will be party of housebuilding’

Keir Starmer has pledged to relax planning restrictions and allow more homes to be built on the green belt. The Labour leader accused the Tories of destroying “the aspiration of home owning for a whole generation” and warned that housebuilding was on course to fall to the lowest level since the Second World War. Speaking to The Times, he promised to make Labour the party of housebuilding by handing local authorities and residents more power to build on green belt land to meet local housing need.

Rise of the Nimby party: the Tory house-building dilemma

10

Meghan wins advocacy gong

Meghan told women to become “the visionary of your own life” as she accepted an award in New York for her advocacy work. The Duchess of Sussex made an “eye-grabbing appearance” at the Ms Foundation event in Manhattan said The Times, receiving the 2023 Women of Vision Award for “her global advocacy to empower and advocate on behalf of women and girls”. Accepting the award, Meghan urged the audience to “make our vision for an equitable world reality”.

What has Meghan Markle done since moving to California?

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