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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 May 2023

1

William praises ‘Pa’

Prince William has paid tribute to his “Pa” King Charles, saying the late Queen Elizabeth II would be “a proud mother”. Speaking at Windsor Castle for last night’s Coronation concert, William said his grandmother was “up there, fondly keeping an eye on us”. The concert “proved sufficiently starry with a majestic background”, said The Telegraph, while The Guardian said it was “a cobbled-together bunch of B-listers” and The Times said it was “surprisingly moving”.

2

Poll finds backing for political King

King Charles should speak out on political issues, said 38% of Britons in a poll. The British public is “narrowly divided” over whether the King should be more vocal on political issues that he believes in, said the ipaper. Some 46% of adults said they felt he should remain politically neutral and keep his personal views to himself, but 38% would like the King to speak out publicly on the “burning issues that matter to him”, said the paper. As the Prince of Wales, Charles was “no stranger to voicing his opinions”, it added.

3

Lib Dems hint at Labour pact

The Liberal Democrats have not ruled out the prospect of a pact with Labour, reported The Times. The results of last week’s local polls suggest that Labour is on course to be the biggest party at the next election but may not win an outright majority. Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, ruled out a repeat of his party’s coalition with the Conservatives but, asked about the prospect of a coalition with Labour, said “that is a hypothetical question”, adding that: “The focus is on getting rid of Conservative MPs. I make no apology for that.”

4

Test for tired drivers

A blood test to measure whether a driver who has caused an accident was impaired by lack of sleep could be available within two years, paving the way for prosecutions. New evidence suggests that driving on less than five hours’ sleep is as dangerous as being over the legal drink-drive limit. Experts believe that fatigue-related crashes are likely to account for 25% of fatal and serious crashes in the UK. “There has to be a system to check whether someone has had enough sleep, because they could be putting other people’s lives at risk,” said one.

5

Deaths as boat capsizes in India

At least 22 people have died after a packed tourist boat capsized in India’s southern state of Kerala. Speaking to Reuters, Abdul Nazar, junior superintendent of police of Malappuram district, said that overcrowding caused the double-decker boat to capsize. Some have claimed that the boat was reportedly carrying about 50 people, or double its capacity, when it overturned on Sunday night. Most of the passengers did not have life jackets, said the Indian Express.

6

Call for waiting list tracking

The 7.2 million-strong waiting list for NHS scans and treatment means patients are developing cancers and enduring so much pain that they cannot climb stairs, said Britain’s top GP. Prof Kamila Hawthorne, the chair of the Royal College of GPs, said people are feeling “helpless and forgotten”. Hawthorne, who represents Britain’s 50,000 family doctors, called on the NHS to set up an Amazon-style tracking system that would allow patients to monitor when they would be seen. A tracking system would reassure patients who are “anxious, worried and frustrated”, she added.

7

Badenoch seeks Revolut meeting

The business secretary is seeking an urgent meeting with Revolut over fears the $33bn (£26bn) technology company may abandon the UK due to frustration with high taxes and red tape. Sources confirmed that Kemi Badenoch wanted to meet with Nikolay Storonsky, chief executive of Revolut, after he criticised Britain’s “extreme bureaucracy” last week. It is the latest company to criticise Britain’s trading environment in recent months, noted The Times. The Financial Conduct Authority plans to overhaul British market listing rules in the hope of attracting more overseas companies and investors to London.

8

Cheap flights ‘won’t return’

The era of ultra-cheap flights is over, said the head of Europe’s biggest tourism conglomerate. Sebastian Ebel, chief executive of the Tui group, said that because demand significantly outstrips supply, there will be no return to the days when airlines discounted plane tickets to less than €50 (£44) to fill seats. He said there were already parts of the Mediterranean, especially in Greece, where there were “virtually no beds left” for the summer. The cost of air travel has risen by well over a fifth over the past year, noted The Times.

9

Teen questioned over Bath death

Police are questioning a 15-year-old boy over the suspected murder in the centre of Bath of an 18-year-old man. Officers were called to the Southgate Street area of the Somerset city, in the early hours of Saturday. The victim was found critically injured and died at the scene. Although formal identification has not yet taken place, police told the Bath Echo that they believe the victim to be 18-year-old Ben Moncrieff, a local man.

10

Minister mocked over steamy scene

France’s finance minister is facing mockery for writing an erotic novel. Bruno Le Maire’s book, Fugue Americaine, “includes a scene with an unforgettable phrase about an anus”, said CNN. Expressing his exasperation over the reaction to the passage, he told a French broadcaster: “10 lines on 480 pages – you should read the book.” However, a previous tome from Le Maire described an “intimate scene with his wife in a Venetian bath”, noted CNN. “Spare us the derriere sex scenes and stick to politics,” said The Guardian.

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