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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 7 June 2023

1

Fears grow over dam breach

The United Nations has warned that the destruction of a major dam in Ukraine will have “grave and far-reaching consequences for thousands of people”. Thousands have fled heavily-flooded towns and villages, and there are fears water levels could rise further. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of blowing up the dam. Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrij Melnyk called the Nova Kakhovka incident “the worst environmental disaster in Europe since Chernobyl”.

Ukraine counter-offensive: do attacks inside Russia jeopardise West’s support?

2

Harry criticises government

The Duke of Sussex “breached royal convention” that the royal family doesn’t interfere with politics during a “memorable day of evidence at the High Court”, said the Times. Prince Harry said: “Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our government — both of which I believe are at rock bottom.” He added that “democracy fails” when the “press fails to scrutinise and hold the government accountable and instead chooses to get into bed with them”. He appeared in court for his privacy case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror.

Prince Harry’s privacy case against Associated Newspapers

3

Ministers want health volunteers

The government hopes to recruit a “new volunteer army” for social care to “ferry medical equipment and drugs to people’s homes in a bid to free up congested hospital wards”, said The Guardian. Members of the public will be able to sign up on an app for roles such as “check in and chat”, involving telephone support for people struggling with loneliness. There will also be a “pick up and deliver” role, helping to move medicines or small items of medical equipment to people’s homes so they can be discharged from hospital.

4

Sue Gray green light

A panel is expected to rule that Sue Gray should be allowed to work for Keir Starmer before the next general election. The Times believes that government advisers have rejected calls for Gray to be banned from becoming the Labour leader’s chief of staff for more than a year as they prepare to publish a final decision. Instead, forecasts the paper, the committee will recommend she takes six months of gardening leave. “What a surprise: the ultimate Whitehall insider looks set to be cleared by Whitehall,” said The Spectator.

Shades of Gray: what does appointment say about Starmer?

5

9/11 group criticises golf deal

The Saudi-backed takeover of golf has been criticised by a group representing families of 9/11 victims as a “betrayal”. The surprise agreement will see the sport’s PGA Tour and DP World Tour merge with the Saudi-backed breakaway series LIV Golf. The 9/11 Families United said the PGA team has become “paid Saudi shills”, taking “billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation so that Americans and the world will forget how the Kingdom spent their billions of dollars before 9/11 to fund terrorism”. The Saudi government has always denied playing any role in the 9/11 attacks.

6

Sunak calls for US tie-ups

Rishi Sunak will ask Joe Biden to open up the US to UK businesses during his White House visit this week. The Prime Minister is expected to say the two countries should boost their trade ties to make them as strong as the military ties they have enjoyed for decades under the “special relationship”. The Telegraph added that it is expected to be announced today that US firms have committed more than £14 billion of new investment in the UK, including £583 million of investment in projects including World Fuel Services and Meld’s green hydrogen facility in Hull.

Sunak-Biden talks: can Rishi revive the ‘special relationship’?

7

Shootings at US graduation

Seven people were shot and two were killed in a shooting at a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia. The shooting took place outside the Atria Theater, “causing hundreds of attendees to flee in panic, weep and clutch their children”, said The Guardian. The victims who killed were an 18-year-old man who was part of the graduating class and his 36-year-old father. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney called the shooting a “selfish, senseless act”, noted ABC News.

8

Woman to sue Andrew Tate

A woman who claims Andrew Tate raped her is planning to sue him. She says the notoriously misogynistic social media influencer told her he “owned” her and threatened to kill her. The 30-year-old woman said “we were having sex and he put his hands round my throat and strangled me until I lost consciousness”. She claims that in continuing to have sex with her while she was unconscious, Tate raped her, said Sky News. Tate said he “vehemently denies” the allegations against him.

Andrew Tate: the ‘king of toxic masculinity’ accused of human trafficking and rape

9

Arctic climate milestone brought forward

The Arctic could suffer its first ice-free summer as soon as the 2030s, said a team of scientists from Canada, Germany and South Korea. Previously, the region was not expected to be entirely ice-free in summer until about 2050, but that milestone has now been brought forward. It would have “serious ramifications for people and wildlife”, said The Times, including “speeding up climate change, harming polar bears and opening up a faster shipping route over the North Pole”. It would also bring “more extreme weather” to the UK and the rest of northern Europe.

Under the melting ice: the race for the Arctic’s riches

10

Yoga ‘reduces risk of cancer relapse’

Yoga could reduce the risk of relapses among cancer patients, said scientists. A team of US researchers told the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago that taking two yoga classes a week for a month significantly cut inflammation and therefore “clinicians should consider prescribing yoga for survivors experiencing inflammation, which may lead to [. . .] increased risk of progression, recurrence and second cancer”. The research, at the University of Rochester, New York state, involved more than 500 patients, mainly women who had recovered from breast cancer.

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