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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 5 April 2023

1

Trump rails against charges

Donald Trump has told supporters that his indictment was “an insult to our country” after he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony criminal charges during a court hearing in New York. “Simmering with anger and defiance”, the former US president “returned to the safe space of Mar-a-Lago” seeking to “turn his status as an accused criminal into a political war cry”, said The Guardian. The “defiant” former president said the US is “going to hell”, said Sky News. Trump is accused of falsifying business records to protect his 2016 election run. He denies any wrongdoing. 

Teflon Don: could Trump benefit from indictment?

2

Rare tick virus hits UK

A rare virus carried by ticks has been found in the UK and health officials are advising the public to avoid bites from the tiny bugs. Although the risk of tick-borne encephalitis is very low, with only one person confirmed to have been infected in England so far, the tick species that carries the virus is widespread in the UK. Encephalitis is an uncommon but serious condition in which the brain becomes swollen. The very young and very old people are most at risk.

OCT 19: Tick-borne encephalitis virus: what are the symptoms?

3

‘Consort’ dropped from Camilla title

Buckingham Palace has dropped Camilla’s “Consort” title from Coronation invitations, meaning she will now be known as the Queen. Sources close to Camilla told The Sun it “made sense” to use Queen Consort for the past seven months to distinguish her from Queen Elizabeth II but argued that now is the time for change. After her “turbulent journey”, the “title of Queen is a fitting reward for her years of loyalty and devotion” wrote Richard Kay in the Daily Mail.

Camilla: Queen Consort at last

4

Clashes at Israeli holy site

Israeli police clashed with worshippers in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound early this morning. Dozens of worshippers, who spend all the night in Ramadan praying, were injured in a raid on the mosque, according to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. Confrontations of this nature at the contested holy compound, the third holiest shrine in Islam that is also the most sacred site in Judaism, have “sparked deadly cross-border wars between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers in the past”, noted The Guardian.

Israel’s security minister’s ‘provocative’ visit to Al-Aqsa mosque

5

Millions pay more tax than PM

Up to 25% of taxpayers could be paying a higher effective tax rate than Rishi Sunak, said The Times. Nurses and teachers are among millions of British taxpayers whose salaries are taxed at a higher rate than the prime minister’s investment income. The research, in support of Stop the Squeeze, a campaign calling for higher wealth taxes, also found that more than half of those who live in the same constituency as 10 Downing Street are likely to be paying a higher effective tax rate than Sunak.

6

Companies fearful of ChatGPT

Use of ChatGPT has been limited by Amazon and other companies after workers pasted confidential data into the AI chatbot. Internet security company Cyberhaven said that the proportion of workers pasting internal data to ChatGPT more than doubled in less than a month from 3.1% to 6.5%. “Alarm is growing” among corporations at the “dramatic growth” in use of the chatbot and the commercial and security implications of potentially sensitive information routinely “escaping” to external databanks, said the i news site.

Experts call for AI pause over risk to humanity

7

Tory minister banned from driving

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has been handed a six-month driving ban for speeding. The Conservative MP for Newark, Nottinghamshire, was also fined £1,639 after admitting driving at 68mph in a temporary 40mph zone on 5 August 2020, the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre said. Saying he “accepted the court’s decision”, Jenrick said: “I was driving below the national speed limit on an empty motorway, with no road works in sight. I now understand that a variable speed limit had been applied, which I didn’t see.”

8

More teachers reject pay offer

A head teachers’ union has voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s pay offer. The third union to reject the offer, the National Association of Head Teachers may now ballot members again over strike action. The government said further strike action would be “extremely disappointing” but Paul Whiteman, the union’s general secretary, told Schools Week that “our members do not recognise the government’s calculations on the affordability of the offer”.

9

Murdoch ‘calls off engagement’

Rupert Murdoch has called off his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith just months before they were due to get married. The 92-year-old media boss announced the engagement only a fortnight ago, when he said that the 66-year-old radio host would be his fifth and “last” wife. According to Vanity Fair, Murdoch had become “increasingly uncomfortable” with his fiancee’s outspoken evangelical views. Other reports stated that the couple came to a “mutual decision” after Smith said she was struggling to cope with being in the public eye.

The many wives of Rupert Murdoch

10

Clinton says Brexit complicates peace deal

Bill Clinton has said it is a “miracle” the Good Friday Agreement survived Brexit. The former US president told RTE that Brexit was “aimed right at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement, even if not intentionally”. Turning to the current impasse, he also urged the unionist community to engage, according to the Belfast Telegraph. He said: “I think we should say, look there’s something to work with here. The party that’s getting the most votes now [Sinn Féin] doesn’t want to jam you, they want to work with you to resolve these things.”

Is it time for a new Good Friday Agreement?

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