Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 3 April 2023


Pro-Kremlin blogger dies

The killing of a Russian military blogger is being investigated as a “high-profile murder”, said authorities. Vladlen Tatarsky, a vocal supporter of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, died in an explosion at a St Petersburg cafe on Sunday evening. Within an hour of the bombing, leading Russian commentators were blaming Ukraine and threatening revenge. However, Kyiv blamed Russian internal feuding for the attack. “The spiders are eating each other in a jar,” said Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Why do Russians support the Ukraine war?


Dover ports controversy

Opposition MPs have accused Suella Braverman of being in “denial” and “on another planet” after she insisted Brexit was not to blame for the chaos at Dover. As thousands of people faced a second day stuck in queues at the port, the Home Secretary said “I don’t think that’s fair to say that this has been an adverse effect of Brexit.” Doug Bannister, the port’s chief executive, said it is “absolutely true” that queues at the port, first seen last summer, were the result of Britain leaving the European Union.

Brexit: what changed after the UK pulled out of the EU


Children’s waiting list worries

A top doctor has warned that thousands of children are facing “unacceptable” long waits for NHS treatment that could have a “lifelong” impact on their health. After it was revealed that nearly 15,000 paediatric operations were cancelled over the last year, Dr Camilla Kingdon, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the backlog risked “serious” and “devastating” physical and mental consequences for children. The Department of Health and Social Care said cutting waiting lists was one of the prime minister’s five priorities.


Arrest news boosts Trump

Donald Trump has raced into his largest-ever lead over Ron DeSantis for the Republican presidential nomination following his indictment, according to a poll. A survey by Yahoo News and YouGov, conducted after the announcement that Trump would face criminal charges, found Trump backed by 57% compared with 31% for DeSantis. This 26% lead was a jump from a poll conducted by the same groups less than two weeks ago, which gave him a lead of just 8%. The former president is expected to appear in court in Manhattan tomorrow.

Teflon Don: could Trump benefit from indictment?


Inflation fear as oil surges

Oil prices have spiked after several major oil exporters announced surprise cuts in production. The price of Brent Crude oil jumped by more than $5 a barrel, or 7%, to above $85 as trading began. The BBC said the move could “worsen the cost-of-living crisis” and raise the risk of recession. In another bad sign for the economy, the chairman of Tesco, the UK’s biggest retailer, said he cannot forecast when rises in food prices will peak.

Price of pasta doubles: what food is getting more expensive in UK?


Paris votes to ban e-scooters

The population of Paris has voted to ban rental electric scooters in their city. Almost 90% of votes cast on Sunday favoured a ban the battery-powered devices in a referendum called in response to a rising number of people being injured on and by e-scooters in the French capital. While turnout was just 8% of those eligible to vote, the result means the French capital, “once a pioneer in embracing e-scooter services”, will become the only major European capital to outlaw the devices, said Le Monde.

Pros and cons of e-scooters


PM to launch abuse task force

Rishi Sunak will claim that political correctness has fuelled the sexual exploitation of children, said The Times. Announcing a plan to stamp out “evil” grooming gangs, the prime minister will form a task force led by the National Crime Agency, with data analysis used to help the police to “identify the types of criminals who carry out these offences”. Grooming gangs will no longer be allowed to “evade justice because of cultural sensitivities”, a government spokesperson told The Telegraph.


Safety fears over siren test

Officials are concerned that the potential consequences of plans to test a mobile phone emergency siren have not been fully thought through. Discussions have been held with the transport sector and domestic violence charities about the trial, said The Daily Telegraph. A loud, 10-second blast will be sent to all mobiles on Sunday, 23 April and road safety campaigners have warned that the siren could distract drivers. Meanwhile, some domestic abuse victims have “lifeline” phones, which are devices kept secret from a partner, and these phones could be revealed by the siren.


Orpo wins Finnish nail-biter

Finnish conservative leader Petteri Orpo has won a tense three-way election race, defeating prime minister Sanna Marin’s centre left Social Democratic party. After the count swung in his favour, the leader of the National Coalition Party said: “We got the biggest mandate.” Orpo took 20.8% of the vote, ahead of the right-wing populist Finns Party on 20.1% and 19.9% for Marin. Finland “will take a step right” after the results, said the Helsinki Times.


Totoro wins big at Oliviers

Oscar nominee Paul Mescal and Killing Eve star Jodie Comer have triumphed at the Olivier Awards. Mescal took best actor for A Streetcar Named Desire and Comer won best actress for Prima Facie. My Neighbour Totoro, the stage production of Studio Ghibli’s animated movie, also saw huge success winning in six categories at the ceremony. Elsewhere, Standing at the Sky’s Edge won best new musical.



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