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The Daily News In Brief

The Daily News in Brief

Today's
Main Stories

RUSSIA ‘SCALES BACK’ DONBAS OFFENSIVE

British military analysts have alleged Vladimir Putin’s troops are likely to have given up on a “large-scale encirclement” of Ukrainian units in areas of the eastern Donbas region, while believing one in three invading Russian troops have been lost in the conflict so far. Russian troops have been pushed back to the Russian border near the city of Kharkiv and appear to have abandoned trying to surround Ukrainian defences holding a pocket of territory between Donetsk and Izyum.

It is believed Russian troops will instead refocus on completing the seizure of the Luhansk region to the northeast, according to an assessment by US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War. Ukrainian officials claim to hold only around 10% of the Luhansk region, as most of it aligned with Moscow as a self-declared separatist republic eight years ago. However, Russian efforts to fully capture Luhansk and Donbas have been slow and curbed by Ukrainian resistance.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s has said it will permanently end its restaurant operations in Russia after 30 years. The fast-food giant said it made the decision because of the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the war in Ukraine. The chain first opened in Moscow in 1990 as the Soviet Union began opening its economy to western brands before its dissolution. The end of the partnership highlights the worsening diplomatic relations between Russia and the west.

NEW BRIEF

PM POISED FOR NI PROTOCOL CHANGE

A senior government source has said the prime minister is poised to introduce legislation allowing ministers to override parts of the Northern Ireland protocol. Boris Johnson visited Belfast yesterday to encourage Stormont to form a devolved administration, as the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) is refusing to enter the assembly because of the protocol. The election on 5th May returned a majority of parties who accept the protocol, including the new largest party Sinn Féin, but it has been opposed by unionist politicians.

The Northern Ireland protocol was designed to ensure free trade continued across the Irish land border, but the DUP argues it has eroded the foundations of Northern Irish devolution, undermining its position within the UK. Despite signing up to the deal himself, the prime minister wrote in the Belfast Telegraph saying the deal was out of date and did not reflect the reality of a post-Covid era, citing the war in Ukraine and a cost-of-living crisis. Johnson added he was open to dialogue but warned the UK would have to act if the EU did not change its position.

However, proposed legislation would have to go through parliament, which could take months. There are some fears that if the UK acted unilaterally, it could spark retaliation from European countries and ultimately a trade war, which is especially undesirable due to the cost-of-living crisis. In October, the EU put forward proposals to cut paperwork and checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, acknowledging the protocol caused difficulties for Northern Irish businesses. The UK rejected these plans last week, saying they would make things worse.

#QOTD QUOTEOFTHEDAY
Quote Marks Icon Quote Marks Icon
I was in a state wondering if I should report this to someone? If so, to whom? I knew it would cause a huge stir.

Judy Murray on revealing she was sexually assaulted by an education executive who put his hands down her trousers at an after-dinner panel for “a major educational establishment” around eight years ago. Murray said she was assaulted by a “very senior person from that organisation” who was clearly drunk.

The mother of tennis champions Andy and Jamie Murray said she had been “dismayed but not surprised” by the “offensively sexist” jokes that prompted a walkout at last week’s Scottish Football Writers’ Association gala dinner. She added there is an “unacceptable level of sexism and misogyny in sport”.

In Other News
NEW BRIEF

WAYNE ROONEY GIVES EVIDENCE IN COURT

Derby County football manager Wayne Rooney is to give evidence at his wife Coleen Rooney’s libel trial against Rebekah Vardy. The multi-million pound ‘Wagatha Christie’ case is entering its final days at the High Court in London amid a media circus. Rooney has sat next to wife throughout the trial, remaining silent until now.

Rooney has been called as a witness for his wife’s defence and is expected to be asked about an alleged exchange with his then-England teammate Jamie Vardy about his wife Rebekah’s dealings with the media. Coleen Rooney’s witness statement claims while her husband was captain of the England football team at Euro 2016, he warned Vardy his wife’s decision to write a column for the Sun “was causing a distraction to the touring party”. Rebekah Vardy denies this was the case.

NEW BRIEF

NEW OFGEM PLAN FOR PRICE CAP

British energy regulator Ofgem has confirmed it is planning to update the energy price cap four times per year from October in a bid to react more efficiently to volatile oil and gas markets. Yesterday, the watchdog published a consultation on proposals to introduce new reviews of the price cap in January and July, adding to existing changes in April and October.

The proposals were announced amid the ongoing energy crisis pushing up gas prices in the UK and across the world, driving up global inflationary pressure. The price increases were caused by a snap-back in global energy demand, despite the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, when Russia invaded Ukraine in February. As a result, UK energy prices rose by a record 54% in April to £1,971, with a further increase expected to reach as much as £2,600 in October.

NEW BRIEF

SEX CLAIMS AGAINST BOND DIRECTOR

Three actresses have accused No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga of being a sexual predator who left them in “fear”. Rachelle Vinberg alleged the James Bond director started pressuring her for a romantic relationship five years ago when she had just turned 18, despite being two decades her senior. Vinberg said after three years together, she was left suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Twin actresses Hannah and Cailin Loesch also claimed on Twitter that they became friends with Fukunaga in 2018 when they were 20 years old, which they decided to end when he wanted to initiate a sexual relationship. They added he turned up at their Pennsylvania home and questioned them about whether they were virgins and wanted a threesome in their hot tub. Fukunaga also allegedly groped Cailin on his bed during a private screening of No Time to Die at his New York penthouse.

POLICE INVESTIGATED NY KILLER AS PUPIL

Serial killer Payton Gendron, who was arrested for killing ten people in a racist shooting in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, was investigated by police while he was still in school, according to state governor Kathy Hochul. She said the 18-year-old composed a “bone-chilling” manifesto before driving 208 miles to a grocery store in a Black neighbourhood of Buffalo, armed and wearing thick body armour.

Gendron had been investigated as a student about “something he wrote”, with Hochul adding he was under surveillance “with medical authorities” while at school. Unnamed police sources claim Gendron threatened to carry out a shooting at his graduation in June. He was allegedly investigated by state police, who decided not to file charges and instead recommended a mental health evaluation and counselling.

1M NORTH KOREAN COVID CASES FEARED

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has slammed his own health officials and ordered the army to help distribute medicine, as more than a million people have now been struck by a “fever”. Around 50 people have died, although it is unclear how many of those suspected cases tested positive for Covid-19. North Korea only has limited testing capacity, so few cases are currently confirmed.

North Koreans are likely to be especially vulnerable to Covid-19 due to a lack of vaccines and a poor healthcare system. A nationwide lockdown is in place, while state media reported Kim led an emergency politburo meeting over the weekend, accusing officials of bungling the distribution of national medicine reserves. The country announced its first confirmed Covid cases last week, although experts believe the virus has likely been circulating for a while.

Have You Heard?

Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels has become the first professional in the UK men’s game to come out as gay while still playing for more than 30 years. The 17-year-old said he hoped his decision would allow him to be “free and confident” and “now is the right time to do it”. The football world reacted swiftly, with the Premier League tweeting "the footballing world is with you", while English Football League chief executive Trevor Birch said: “We hope that this moment helps take us forward to a time where LGBTQ+ representation at all levels of the men's professional game is the norm.”

Picture of the day

A rare super blood moon, Athens

Spectators gathered at the Temple of Poseidon near Athens, Greece, to watch the moon before a full eclipse, which created the rare sight of a super blood moon. Shortly after 3.30am GMT yesterday, the Earth’s orbit meant that for several minutes our planet was positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. This caused the Moon to fall completely into the Earth’s shadow, temporarily turning it into a dark red shade.