Tuesday Briefing: Calls to enact the “Law of David” |


In the spotlight: Southend’s city status is a tribute

Hello and welcome to today’s briefing with me, Warren Murray.

Boris Johnson is facing calls to enact ‘David’s Law’ to crack down on abuse of public figures on social media and end online anonymity in the wake of Sir David Amess’ murder. MPs in the House of Commons paid tribute to the veteran of the Conservative backbench, shedding tears, sharing anecdotes and expressing their anger at his death.

Allies of Amess, who was stabbed to death on Friday, said he had expressed growing concern about threats and toxicity in public discourse. Activists have warned, however, that ending online anonymity could endanger whistleblowers and pro-democracy activists in authoritarian regimes.

Southend will become a town in honor of Amess, Boris Johnson confirmed, paying tribute to the Tory MP who had raised the issue almost every week during his 38 years as a backbench MP.

A house explodes in Ayr – Two adults and two children were rushed to hospital after an explosion at a house in Ayr that caused severe damage, with the blast heard for miles around. Residents were evacuated from part of the Kincaidston area. Police, fire and ambulance service – including an air ambulance – were at the scene in Gorse Park, a residential street in the town of West Scotland, after reports of an explosion Monday shortly after 7 p.m. People living several kilometers away heard the explosion. In a statement, police said four houses were hit. The neighbors were evacuated and a cordon was put in place.

Colin Powell dies at 84 – Tributes were paid to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State and four-star general, after his death at the age of 84 from Covid-19, which he contracted while in treatment for cancer.

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell dies aged 84 - video obituary
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell dies aged 84 – video obituary

Powell was a Vietnam veteran who, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oversaw Operation Desert Storm – the Gulf War’s invasion of Iraq in the 1990s – under President George Bush. During the next Bush presidency, he became the first black US secretary of state and lobbied for a swift military response to 9/11, including the second invasion of Iraq which ended up being intelligence-based. wrong.

Boiler plug – Ministers unveiled £ 5,000 grant plans to install home heat pumps and other low-carbon boiler replacements. Details are due to be presented today alongside the government’s net zero strategy, with a funding commitment to make heat pumps no more expensive than boilers to install or operate. Caroline Jones, of Greenpeace UK, said the new boilers should be phased out before 2035 and a fully funded national program should be in place to quickly insulate homes. And the importance of Cop26 has been elevated to the celestial level, with Professor Brian Cox claiming that humans may be the only intelligent beings in our galaxy. There were probably very few places in the universe “where atoms can think … Sense exists in our minds,” so the disappearance of life on Earth could destroy meaning.

The Covid is spreading in secondary schools – The government has warned of ‘difficult’ months after the UK’s reported number of Covid cases reached 49,156 on Monday, the highest reported since July 17 and a 16% increase in new cases over the course of from last week. There were 5,561 people admitted to hospital in the past week, up 6.9% from the previous week, and the number of deaths within 28 days of the positive test has reached 869 in the past seven days, up 11.4% from the previous week. The new cases mainly concern secondary school students, but also certain older age groups, in particular those whose children are in school. Hospitalizations and deaths are mainly due to infections in the older and more vulnerable groups. Also on the pandemic, more than a third of workers in the UK music industry lost their jobs last year – 69,000 in total – as theaters closed, festivals were cut and tours halted.

Sunken Sword Surfaces – A sword believed to have belonged to a crusader who sailed to the Holy Land nearly a millennium ago has been recovered from the Mediterranean seabed in a natural cove near the port city of Haifa. An amateur diver spotted the relic, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

Diver discovers ancient crusader sword in Israeli seabed - video
Diver discovers ancient crusader sword in Israeli seabed – video

Although encrusted with seashells, the blade, hilt and meter-long handle were still distinctive. The cove could have served as a shelter for sailors, said Koby Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archeology unit. The sword, which is believed to be around 900 years old, will be on display after being cleaned and restored.

Today in Focus Podcast: An Attack on Democracy

The shocking murder of Conservative MP David Amess has been described as an attack on British democracy. Gaby Hinsliff watches how politicians react.

Today in focus

An attack on democracy

Lunchtime Reading: Thawing the Ice Age

The archaeological findings shatter researchers long-held beliefs about how early humans organized their societies – and hint at possibilities for ours.

Homo naledi’s skull, as discovered in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa. Photograph: Xinhua / Alamy


Premier League clubs’ hostility to the takeover of Newcastle United was highlighted on Monday when they passed legislation to prevent Saudi owners from making lucrative sponsorship deals. Alexandre Lacazette scored with virtually the last kick of the game to snatch a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at home against Crystal Palace and deprive Patrick Vieira of a dream comeback. England will be forced to play behind closed doors at Wembley after the Football Association was punished for “lack of order and discipline” in and around the national stadium in the Euro 2020 final. Ireland’s Curtis Campher became just the third player in history to take four wickets in four balls in a Twenty20 international match to help his side advance to a seven-wicket World Cup against the Netherlands.

Eddie Jones has backed his captain, Owen Farrell, in testing against Tonga, Australia and South Africa next month, but several other pillars of his tenure are conspicuous by their absence from the squad. Christian Malcolm said there was a need for British athletics to ‘do it better’ after several of Britain’s top athletics stars confronted Sebastian Coe last month over the state of affairs at UKA . Unvaccinated tennis players and other athletes are unlikely to obtain visas to enter Australia, Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrew said, questioning Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open title defense and his candidacy for the Grand Slam record. And UK sports leaders have painted a grim picture of the future of sport in this country, warning that everything from grassroots performance to elite performances is at risk due to lack of funding and impact. of the pandemic.


Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey could jeopardize the economic recovery if he follows through on his strong indications and raises interest rates in the coming months, an economist has warned. Danny Blanchflower, a former member of the bank’s rate-setting committee, said: “If you do that, you’ve lost the intrigue. How can you do it when you’ve just cut universal credit, you’re talking about austerity, and we’ve ended the holidays? “

Drax was launched from an investment index of clean energy companies amid doubts over the sustainability of its wood-fired power plant in North Yorkshire. The FTSE100 looks flat this morning as the Pound is up overnight to $ 1.377 and € 1.182.

The papers

“Prime Minister faces ‘Law of David’ calls to end online abuse” – our main story Guardian edition printed this morning. The Express calls Southend “a city born of sorrow, love and respect” as its status is elevated in memory of its slain MP. “It’s time to end the hate online,” says the Metro. “The deputies vow to meet the public face to face” – the challenge and solidarity in the name of democracy are set out in the I.

Front page of The Guardian, October 19, 2021
The Guardian, October 19, 2021

“The suspect’s walk to the scene of the carnage” – the Daily mail reports on CCTV images. “Hateful diatribes of the religious always poison the minds on the Web”, says the Mirror, who investigated and found “rants” still accessible online by Anjem Choudary, who was jailed for incitement to support the Islamic State. “MI5 ‘should have more control over Prevent’” – this is the Times report on the deradicalization program.

The Telegraph a Amess also on the front, while his lead is “Deployment of the booster ‘too slow’”. And the Financial Time says “Traders are betting Bank of England will raise rates as early as next month”.

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