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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 7 May 2023

1

‘Marvellous’ coronation celebrated

King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned yesterday, with large crowds in London and elsewhere across the country celebrating the historic moment. The Sun and The Sunday Times described the day as a “crowning glory” and the Sunday Express said Charles was “happy and glorious”. The Sunday Telegraph said “millions around the world were treated to a marvellous day of pomp and pageantry” while the Daily Star pays tribute to “King Chas III”.

2

Police criticised over arrests

Human rights groups and MPs have criticised the Metropolitan Police after 52 people were arrested in London on the day of the Coronation. Graham Smith, the head of the anti-monarchy group Republic, spent 16 hours in custody and said there was “no longer a right to peaceful protest in the UK”. Westminster city council said it was “deeply concerned” by reports that volunteers who work on its women’s safety campaign, Night Stars, were arrested overnight on Friday. Scotland Yard said it had acted “in a proportionate manner”.

3

AI ‘more urgent than climate change’

Artificial intelligence could pose a “more urgent” threat to humanity than climate change, according to a former Google computer scientist. Known as the “Godfather of AI”, Geoffrey Hinton resigned from Google so he could “speak freely” about the risks posed by increasingly intelligent machines. The professor said: “I wouldn’t like to devalue climate change. I wouldn’t like to say, ‘you shouldn’t worry about climate change’. That’s a huge risk too. But I think this might end up being more urgent.”

4

Mass shooting in Texas

A gunman has shot and killed eight people shopping at a mall near Dallas in Texas. Hundreds of people were evacuated from the mall in the city of Allen, as a man fired indiscriminately at passers-by. Police said they shot the gunman dead. Witnesses told CNN that they saw the gunman who was dressed all in black, and was wearing tactical gear. There have been at least 198 mass shootings in the US so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

5

Labour ‘wins back Brexit voters’

Labour is making “dramatic progress” in “winning back pro-Brexit voters across the country”, according to analysis published in The Observer. While the Tories were down 2.5 points in the most pro-remain wards, their vote was down even more – by 5.5 points – in the most pro-leave wards, as the “coalition of support for the Tories built by Boris Johnson collapses”, said the paper. Labour strategists believe they can take back seats across the “red wall” and are on course to win the next general election.

6

Russian writer hurt in bombing

A pro-war Russian blogger, Zakhar Prilepin, was wounded in a car bombing that killed his driver yesterday. The attack took place in the Nizhny Novgorod region, about 400km (250 miles) east of Moscow. Russia’s foreign ministry accused Ukraine, while a senior Ukrainian official accused Russia of staging the attack. Meanwhile, there were blasts in Russia-annexed Crimea this morning, according to reports. Russian social media reported air defence systems were repelling attacks.

7

Wildfires in Canadian province

A Canadian province has declared a state of emergency after wildfires spread, driving nearly 25,000 people from their homes. With more than 100 wildfires in Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith described the situation as “unprecedented”. He said a hot, dry spring had created “so much kindling”. Some buildings have been destroyed, including 20 homes, a police station and a store in Fox Lake in northern Alberta, said the National Post.

8

Gove’s plans dubbed ‘communist’

Airbnb said it will fight Michael Gove’s holiday let crackdown, as the Housing Secretary is branded a “communist” for his plans. Gove has suggested forcing second homeowners to seek planning permission before renting out their properties as holiday lets but the tech company wants him to water down his proposals, warning of “unintended consequences”. Tory donor Crispin Odey said the minister’s second home interventions are “communist”. Gove said the spread of holiday homes was turning coastal towns into an “almost permanent Airbnb setting”.

9

Three stabbings in London

Three people were stabbed to death in separate incidents in London over a period of less than eight hours. The Met police said murder investigations are underway after the deaths of an 18-year-old and a man in his late 20s, and detectives are still hunting for the killers of a 16-year-old who was ambushed as he left school and stabbed to death. The capital has been “exceptionally busy” with King Charles’s coronation, said The Observer.

10

Berlusconi ‘ready to return’

Italy’s former PM Silvio Berlusconi has said he’s ready to return to work after a month in hospital. The 86-year-old, who is suffering from leukaemia, was rushed into intensive care with a related lung infection. With his condition stabilising, he issued a video message. “I never stopped, not even in the past few weeks,” he said in the message, dressed in a suit. Berlusconi was elected to Italy’s upper house, the Senate, last year but has “repeatedly required hospital treatment and is rarely seen in public”, said the BBC.

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