News

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 February 2023

1

Top school head found dead

The head of Epsom College has been found dead along with her husband and seven-year-old daughter in a property on the school’s grounds. Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven, were discovered in the early hours of Sunday morning. There was a “hushed silence” at the school this morning as “a community of residents, students and teachers try to make sense out of a situation that can have none”, said the BBC’s Sean Dilley, reporting from the scene.

2

Over 150 dead in earthquake

At least 76 people have been killed in Turkey and 110 more in Syria after a powerful earthquake hit a wide area in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border. The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep. Turkey sits on top of major fault lines and is “frequently shaken by earthquakes”, noted Hurriyet Daily News. More than 18,000 were killed in powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Turkey in 1999.

3

Truss return divides Tory MPs

Allies of the prime minister have warned that further interventions from Liz Truss will cost the Tories the next election. Truss blamed “a very powerful economic establishment” as she broke her silence with a 4,000-word article for The Sunday Telegraph this weekend. However supporters of Rishi Sunak have criticised her comeback, with one telling The Times: “The more we hear from her the harder it becomes to win the election.” But Jake Berry, who served as Conservative party chairman under Truss, defended her right to champion her agenda. He told the BBC: “We are having an active debate about the future tax policy in this country.”

Rishi Sunak’s 100 days as PM: can he turn things around?

4

Beyoncé makes history

Beyoncé won a record-breaking 32nd Grammy Award at this year’s ceremony in Los Angeles. The soul singer made history as she won best dance/electronic album for her euphoric dance opus, Renaissance, leapfrogging Hungarian-British conductor George Solti, whose record of 31 Grammys had stood for more than 20 years. Harry Styles won the prize for best album, collecting the top prize for his third collection Harry’s House, in the face of strong competition from artists including Adele, Lizzo and Beyoncé herself. Beyoncé’s feat follows some backlash over her lucrative decision to perform in Dubai last month.

5

Return rail tickets to be scrapped

Return tickets will be scrapped as the government plans sweeping reforms of Britain’s railways, said The Telegraph. Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, is expected to announce the rollout of “single-leg pricing”, in which two-way tickets, which offer a discounted rate, will be replaced by “single-leg pricing” under which the price of two singles would be the same as a return fare. The idea has been trialled by London North Eastern Railways since 2020. The new effort to drive change comes as “the government faces criticisms for its failure to resolve months of strikes on the railways that have affected commuters and leisure travellers alike”, said The Guardian.

Winter strikes: can a resolution be found?

6

Putin ‘won’t kill Zelenskyy’

Vladimir Putin promised he would not kill Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to a former Israeli prime minister. Speaking on a podcast, Naftali Bennett said he received assurance from the Russian president last March that Zelenskyy’s life was not at risk. “I asked: ‘Are you planning to kill Zelenskyy?’ He said: ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ I then said to him: ‘I have to understand that you’re giving me your word that you won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ He said: ‘I’m not going to kill Zelenskyy.’” Bennett was “one of the few Western leaders to meet Putin during the war in a snap trip to Moscow in March,” said The Independent.

7

Week of walkouts to hit NHS

The NHS is “bracing for its biggest strike yet” as ambulance workers and nurses walk out together in England for the first time, said the BBC. The impact is expected to be greater than on previous strike days because more hospital trusts are involved. Physiotherapists will strike on Thursday, with ambulance staff walking out again on Friday. The deadlock over pay is putting patients in danger and risks hardening the position of unions, 10 chief nurses warned in a joint statement to The Guardian.

Which public sector workers are striking – and when?

8

Protest at Glitter bail hostel

Police were called to a disturbance at the Hampshire bail hostel where sex offender Gary Glitter is staying after his release from prison. A crowd of people are understood to have gathered outside the property after the disgraced 79-year-old former pop star was released from prison the day before, having served half his 16-year sentence for sexually abusing three schoolgirls. According to Sky News, an angry crowd “demanded he be removed from their neighbourhood, with one man attempting to scale a fence”.

9

‘Vile’ Bulley theories condemned

Detectives searching for Nicola Bulley have condemned social media speculation as family friends hit out at “vile” theories being posted online. The search for the 45-year-old mother-of-two entered its second week with police continuing to explore the theory that Bulley fell into the river while walking her dog in the Lancashire village of St Michael’s on Wyre. In a statement, the force said speculation on social media is “totally unacceptable” and a friend of the family said it was “vile” and “hurtful”.

What happened to Nicola Bulley?

10

Harry called to testify against Meghan

Prince Harry has been called upon to give evidence in the defamation case brought by Samantha Markle against his wife, Meghan. Markle, the Duchess of Sussex’s estranged half-sister, has formally requested that the Harry give a videoed deposition, under oath. She has also asked the Duchess of Sussex to make 38 admissions in the case, including a declaration that Queen Elizabeth II was not racist. Markle is seeking $75,000 (£62,000) in damages over claims made by the Sussex’s in their 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey and elsewhere, which she claimed subjected her to “humiliation”.

Mar 21: The most explosive claims from Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview

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