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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 29 June 2023

1

Thames Water crisis

Thames Water’s bonds “tumbled” yesterday amid speculation that the government would be forced to step in and nationalise Britain’s biggest water company, said The Times. Ministers are holding emergency talks with Ofwat, the industry regulator, in case the “debt-laden company” fails to raise enough investment, said the paper, with “temporary nationalisation via a special administration regime” one option on the table. “Regardless of what happens”, added the BBC, “water supplies will continue as normal”.

2

Bailey blames Covid for inflation

Covid is to blame for the inflation crisis rather than Brexit, said governor of the Bank of England. In what The Telegraph described as a “veiled rebuke” to Mark Carney, his predecessor, Andrew Bailey said the pandemic is the key problem, as workers who left the jobs market during Covid do not appear to have returned, leaving a sustained hole in the economy. Earlier this month, Carney said that Brexit was an important factor behind the stubbornly high inflation in Britain.

Will interest rates come down again?

3

Unrest in France over police killing

At least 77 people have been arrested in France during a second night of unrest caused by the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old driver by police. The teenager was shot at point-blank range as he refused a traffic stop and drove away. He later crashed to a stop. French President Emmanuel Macron has called called the shooting of the teenager “unforgivable”, angering police unions. The incident has “reignited debate” about the treatment of people in “low-income suburbs, particularly ethnic minorities”, said Le Monde.

4

Lords amend migration bill

Peers amended the controversial Illegal Migration Bill yesterday ahead of this morning’s court ruling on the government’s Rwanda deportation policy. Peers were accused of “wrecking” the small boats bill by Home Office minister Lord Murray after voting to allow Channel migrants claiming asylum and modern slavery to remain in the UK. The Court of Appeal will deliver a long-awaited judgement this morning on the outcome of an appeal by pro-refugee campaigners against a High Court ruling that deemed the policy legal.

Stop the boats: will immigration define the next election?

5

Presumed remains found in Titan wreck

The US Coast Guard said that presumed human remains have been found within the wreckage of the Titan submersible. The presumed remains were found when pieces from the sub were unloaded in St John’s, Canada, on Wednesday. Medical professionals will “conduct a formal analysis of presumed human remains that have been carefully recovered within the wreckage at the site of the incident”, said the US Coast Guard. Five men died when the submersible suffered an implosion while attempting to view the wreck of the Titanic, officials believe.

What we know about the Titan sub’s likely implosion

6

‘Midlife MoTs’ set to launch

Middle-age people will be sent a blood test to do at home and asked to complete an online health questionnaire under a scheme to reduce heart disease and obesity. With some 15 million adults aged between 40 and 74 eligible, the “midlife MoTs” will see participants complete a DIY health assessment on their phone or laptop, answering questions about weight, height, diet, alcohol intake and exercise levels. “Technology is changing the nature of healthcare”, said Steve Barclay, the health secretary.

Obesity drugs: is new ‘skinny jab’ a game changer or a quick-fix fad?

7

Trump sues accuser

Donald Trump is suing E. Jean Carroll for defamation after a jury found he sexually abused the former magazine columnist and defamed her. In a counter claim, the former US president alleged that Carroll defamed him when she appeared on CNN the morning after the jury awarded her $5 million in damages. When asked about the verdict finding that though Trump abused her, he did not rape her as she alleged, Carroll replied, “Oh, yes he did.”

Donald Trump’s biggest legal woes

8

Madonna postpones tour

Madonna has been forced to postpone her upcoming world tour after being struck down with a serious bacterial infection that left her in intensive care. Her manager Guy Oseary said she developed the infection last weekend and spent several days in the ICU. He wrote on social media: “Her health is improving, however she is still under medical care”, adding “at this time we will need to pause all commitments”. The singer was set to start the 84-date “Celebrations” tour next month, before she was found unresponsive in her hotel room and rushed to a hospital in New York City over the weekend.

9

Package break prices surge

Prices for package holidays in “Mediterranean hotspots” have soared, reported the BBC. Crete in Greece is 25% more expensive than last year, while the average price of a week with full food and board in Majorca in Spain is up 21%, with prices for Tenerife up more than 22%, according to data from TravelSupermarket. However, demand is still “outstripping supply” said a spokesman, and therefore, “it is unlikely that prices will fall substantially for this summer”.

10

Perry collects knighthood

Grayson Perry has collected his knighthood while wearing a “burgundy taffeta” dress, inspired by the coronation of King Charles III. The British artist, writer and broadcaster “famed for his maverick dress sense”, according to the BBC, won the Turner Prize in 2003 for the piece “Claire’s Coming Out Dress” – a nod to his female alter-ego. Perry previously said that “they’re very cool at the Palace” when he announced his plans to collect the award wearing a dress. In 2014 he collected his CBE wearing what he said was a “mother of the bride” outfit.

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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 19 July 2023