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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 5 July 2023

1

UK climate pledge in doubt

The government is preparing to drop the UK’s flagship £11.6bn climate and nature funding pledge, claimed The Guardian. A leaked briefing note to ministers stated that “our commitment to double our international climate finance to £11.6bn was made in 2019, when we were still at 0.7 [% of GDP spent on international aid] and pre-Covid”. It added that the cost of aid being sent to Ukraine made it a “huge challenge” to keep the pledge. Former minister Zac Goldsmith, who quit last week over what he called Sunak’s “apathy” on climate, said the decision would “shred” the UK’s international reputation. The Foreign Office denied the claim saying the government remained committed to the pledge. 

2

Israel withdraws from Jenin

The Israeli military is withdrawing from the Palestinian city of Jenin after carrying out their biggest military operation in the West Bank for 20 years. Palestinian leaders called the operation a “new war crime” after at least eight Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded. Elsewhere, a Palestinian man rammed his pick-up truck into pedestrians on a busy street in Tel Aviv, before stabbing one person and chasing others with a knife. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip also fired five rockets towards Israel in the early hours of Wednesday.

Israel launches large-scale military operation in West Bank

3

Home Office to reform police

At least 2,000 police officers face losing their jobs as the Home Office plans to “tackle the scourge of rogue police”, said The Times. The government will make dismissing failing or disgraced officers easier after Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said the system was “bizarre and over-regulated”. The plan will mean that officers who fail to maintain their vetting status will face automatic dismissal. Currently, they can continue to work. Police forces are trying to regain public trust after a series of scandals.

How did Met Police officer David Carrick get away with it for so long?

4

Von der Leyen tipped for Nato

Joe Biden is “pushing” for Ursula von der Leyen to be named as the next Nato secretary general, claimed The Telegraph. After the White House rejected Ben Wallace for the role, the president of the European Commission is believed to be the United States’ preferred candidate. Biden and von der Leyen have built “a strong bond” in recent years, said a source. After Nato leaders failed to agree a candidate, they have agreed a one-year extension for Jens Stoltenberg, who has been secretary general since October 2014, to lead the alliance until autumn 2024.

Was Ben Wallace snubbed for top Nato job?

5

Ticket offices on the way out

Train station ticket offices will be “almost entirely scrapped”, said The Telegraph, as rail firms “push ahead with modernisation plans”. Rail operating companies will start publishing details of the offices they intend to close today, with just under 1,000 to be “put forward for the chop”. Staff will be on concourses to sell tickets, offer travel advice and help people with accessibility but rail unions are opposed to the closures and have warned of further strikes.

6

World’s hottest day recorded

Meteorologists said the world experienced its hottest day on record on Monday. The average global temperature reached 17.01C (62.62F), according to the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction, surpassing the previous record of 16.92C (62.46F) from August 2016. “This is not a milestone we should be celebrating,” said Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Britain’s Imperial College London, but “a death sentence for people and ecosystems”.

The climate change tipping points getting ever closer

7

New blow for Captain Tom charity

The Captain Tom Foundation said it has stopped accepting donations after it emerged his daughter will have to tear down an unapproved home spa. Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband had used the Captain Tom Foundation name on the first plans for the building. Trustees of the charity set up in memory of Captain Tom said they had “no knowledge” that his daughter used its name to seek planning permission before building a pool next to her home. The news comes amid an on-going Charity Commission investigation into its finances.

8

Sex classes should engage boys

MPs said that sex education classes should engage boys in order to address “a scourge” of sexual harassment and violence in schools. An inquiry by the Women and Equalities Committee heard relationships, sex and health education was “less applicable” to boys than to girls. It also heard that easy access to pornography had “completely changed the culture in the playground”. The committee called for lessons to be made compulsory in sixth forms and colleges. The government said it is developing further guidance for schools.

Sex education: a new moral panic?

9

Vorderman criticised by MP’s wife

Carol Vorderman is “inciting people to hate all Tories” said the wife of a Conservative minister. Felicity Cornelius-Mercer, whose husband Johnny Mercer is responsible for veterans’ affairs, described the broadcaster as a “celebrity attack dog”. Vorderman has repeatedly spoken out against the government and has referred to Tory MPs as “disgraceful”. Speaking on a podcast, Cornelius-Mercer said: “She just drives me up the f—ing wall.” She described Vorderman as a “celebrity attack dog” who “know nothing about politics” and encourages “blanket hate”.

10

Cocaine found in White House

A white substance that triggered an evacuation at the White House on Sunday night has tested positive for cocaine. The US Secret Service said the substance was found in a work area of the West Wing at the secure building during a routine inspection. The West Wing is attached to the executive mansion where President Joe Biden lives. It houses the Oval Office, the cabinet room and press area, and offices and workspace for the president’s staff. A spokesman said authorities are looking into how the substance got into the White House.

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