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The Daily News In Brief

The Daily News in Brief

Today's
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ZELENSKY MEETS G7 LEADERS AT SUMMIT

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the G7 summit in Germany via video-link yesterday. He asked for more weapons to be sent to Ukrainian troops and told global leaders he wanted the war to end by the end of the year “before winter sets in”. G7 leaders are expected to offer more military support as well as further sanctions against Russia, including plans by some to ban Russian imports of gold. Boris Johnson also called for action to get grain supplies out of Ukraine’s blockaded ports to support the country’s economy and alleviate growing fears of famine in Africa and the Middle East.

US government sources have also briefed that Washington plans to announce as soon as this week that it has purchased the Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile defence system Nasams to send to Ukraine. Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron have agreed to hold an Anglo-French summit to improve ties after pledging to help Ukraine mount a military “surge” against Russia. Their relationship had been tense but Johnson jokingly referred to it as “le bromance” and said he and Macron are “100% aligned”.

The pair held a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit on Sunday and despite the UK previously questioning France’s commitment to Ukraine, both agreed the outright defeat of Russia remained the best outcome. Meanwhile, Russia has reportedly defaulted on its debt for the first time since 1918. The Kremlin has rejected the claims, with spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying Russia had made bond payments due in May but it was “not our problem” the payment to international creditors was blocked by distributing bank Euroclear due to Western sanctions.

NEW BRIEF

BARRISTERS WALK OUT IN STRIKE OVER PAY

Barristers are striking across England and Wales in a dispute over pay and conditions. The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) said more than 1,000 cases will be impacted on each day of the strikes, while justice secretary Dominic Raab said strikes would “only delay justice for victims” with courts already facing a backlog of 58,271 cases. CBA deputy chair Kirsty Brimelow QC said the proposed 15% pay rise would not happen until the end of 2023.

Brimelow told BBC’s Today programme this would be too late to help and would not do enough to stem the flow of junior barristers leaving the bar. Raab urged barristers “to agree to the proposed 15% pay rise which would see a typical barrister earn around £7,000 more a year”. Speaking from the picket line outside Manchester crown court on Monday, Brimelow said the system had run on “good will” for a long time, including throughout the pandemic, with junior barristers working “ridiculous hours”.

The issue had been “caused by government, not by barristers”, according to Brimelow. HM Courts and Tribunal service said there was a backlog of 58,271 cases as of the end of April, while 567 criminal trials, including 60 sexual offence cases, were unable to go ahead last year as there were no barristers available to prosecute and defend them. The number of barristers and solicitors working in criminal justice has declined over the last decade, due to claims the rates paid to them when they take on cases funded by legal aid are not enough.

#QOTD QUOTEOFTHEDAY
Quote Marks Icon Quote Marks Icon
The price of freedom is worth paying.

Boris Johnson on the cost of helping to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression amid the ongoing war. The prime minister likened the conflict to defeating Nazi Germany in World War II, adding the war had been “very expensive” but delivered “long term stability”.

Speaking from the ongoing G7 summit in Germany, Johnson argued that letting Russia “get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country” would have “chilling” consequences and, in terms of the economic effects, “would mean long-term instability and anxiety across the world”. It comes as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky calls for more Western military support.

In Other News
NEW BRIEF

NHS TO ‘ELIMINATE WAITING LISTS’

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said the public health body is ready to “virtually eliminate” the list of patients who have waited more than two years for treatment, as they are given the option to be treated more quickly at hospitals elsewhere in the country. The number of people who have waited for two years or more to receive treatment has fallen from 22,500 in January to 6,700.

“As part of the biggest and most ambitious catch-up programme in NHS history, staff are now on track to virtually eliminate two-year waiters by the end of July,” said Pritchard. “Staff are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to treat patients quicker.” More than 400 patients on the waiting list have agreed to travel for treatment. The NHS has said it will cover travel and accommodation costs “where appropriate”.

NEW BRIEF

FAMILIES TO BE PAID TO AVOID BLACKOUTS

Millions of UK households could be paid to use less electricity at peak times this winter under new National Grid plans to reduce the risk of blackouts. The company responsible for keeping the lights on is working urgently to establish a scheme to pay consumers with smart meters to ration their usage voluntarily when supplies are scarce, believing it could be a cheaper and greener option than paying fossil fuel power plants to generate more electricity.

It comes as Russia has been restricting gas supplies to Europe, causing fears over security of supply. The National Grid scheme would reward households for shifting the time when they carry out energy-intensive activities such as cooking, using washing machines and charging electric vehicles. According to initial proposals, households could be paid as much as £6 per kilowatt-hour they avoid using at peak times. Typically, households pay 28.34p for each kilowatt-hour they use.

46 DEAD IN ABANDONED LORRY

At least 46 people have been found dead in an abandoned lorry on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, with 16 people, including four children, having also been taken to hospital. The survivors were "hot to the touch" and suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion, according to a fire official. San Antonio is a major transit route for people smugglers and is 150 miles from the US-Mexican border.

“They had families...and were likely trying to find a better life,” San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “It's nothing short of a horrific, human tragedy.” San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood told reporters emergency responders initially arrived at the scene at about 6pm local time yesterday after responding to reports of a dead body. He added the vehicle, which had been abandoned by its driver, had no working air conditioning and drinking water inside it.

STAND COLLAPSE AT COLOMBIA BULLFIGHT

At least four people have been killed and more than 300 injured after a stand collapsed during a bullfight at a stadium in El Espinal in central Colombia’s Tolima department. Footage showed the three-storey wooden stand with spectators falling and people fleeing the wreckage, while a bull continued to roam the ring. Tolima governor José Ricardo Orozco said the dead included two women, a man and a child.

The region’s health official said hospitals had treated 322 people, with four in intensive care. Outgoing Colombian president Ivan Duque said there would be an investigation, while president-elect Gustavo Petro said: “I ask mayors not to allow more events involving the death of people or animals,” adding it was not the first time a similar accident had happened. While Petro was mayor of Bogotá, he banned bullfights in the Colombian capital’s main bullring.

JAPAN URGES 37M TO SWITCH OFF LIGHTS

The Japanese government urged people in Tokyo and its surrounding area to use less electricity yesterday, warning supplies would be strained as the country faces a heatwave. The economy, trade and industry ministry said it expected demand to be severe yesterday afternoon, advising people to switch off unnecessary lights but to still use air conditioning to avoid heatstroke. For several weeks, officials have warned of a power crunch as temperatures rise.

Temperatures in central Tokyo rose above 35⁰c over the weekend, while the city of Iseaki saw a record 40.2⁰c – the highest ever June temperature recorded in Japan. Japan’s power supply has been put under pressure since an earthquake in the northeast of the country in March forced some nuclear power plants to suspend operations. Japan has also closed several aging fossil fuel plants in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

Have You Heard?

NASA has launched its first rocket from a commercial spaceport outside the US. A sub-orbital rocket blasted off yesterday from the newly constructed Arnhem Space Centre in the Northern Territory, Australia – the first launch in Australia in more than 25 years. Nasa said the launch will aid astrophysics studies that could only be researched in the southern hemisphere, hoping to study the impact of a star’s light on the habitability of nearby planets.

Picture of the day

Kendrick Lamar performs on the Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury

Kendrick Lamar performed Sunday’s headline act on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, wearing a diamond-encrusted crown of thorns. With blood dripping down his face, the rap icon repeatedly chanted with increasing intensity at the end of his set: “Godspeed for women's rights. They judge you, they judge Christ.” The remarks follow the recent repealing of federal abortion protections under Roe v Wade by the US supreme court.