Tuesday Briefing: Fears of Further Atrocities in Ukraine Grow |
Headline-grabber: Putin is ‘brutal’, says Biden
Hello everybody. I’m Martin Farrer and these are today’s best stories.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address the United Nations Security Council later today amid growing international outcry over the apparent slaughter of civilians by retreating Russian forces around kyiv. Joe Biden has accelerated the international response to the shocking scenes reported from Bucha by calling for the prosecution of Vladimir Putin for war crimes. “This guy is brutal and what is happening in Bucha is outrageous,” the US president said of his Russian counterpart. Zelenskiy, who visited Bucha yesterday, said other towns such as Borodyanka could reveal a higher death toll, and added that Ukraine was preparing for “even more brutal” operations by Russian forces in the east and south of the country. The Kremlin went back to type and claimed that photographs and videos of the carnage in Bucha and other towns had been faked by the West. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said yesterday the West should not lift sanctions on Russia until all its troops leave Ukraine and Putin is able to step up again such an attack.
Despite global condemnation of Putin, bringing the Russian president to justice will be far from straightforward. And evidence of Russian brutality is also a test for the West, as it is likely to increase pressure on Germany, especially to reduce fuel imports from the East even faster. You can follow all the latest developments on this on our live blog and keep up to date with what we know so far on Day 41 of the invasion.
Party problem – Senior officials are braced for criticism in Sue Gray’s report on lockdown parties in Downing Street after the former government’s ethics chief apologized for attending a party in breach of gathering rules of Covid. The apology comes following a leak naming her as one of those fined by police for Covid breaches. Helen MacNamara, who left government last February to work at the Premier League, apologized for her ‘misjudgement’ when attending a going away party in June 2020. Boris Johnson did not attend the party , but there remains speculation as to whether he will. being fined for lockdown parties at No 10. There is also dismay in Whitehall over how to handle the fallout if senior officials are involved as organizers of rallies when the full report is out finally published
Countdown to Market – Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is pushing ahead with plans to privatize Channel 4, despite opposition from staff and media figures such as Sir David Attenborough. The government hopes to raise around £1billion from the sale, making it one of the biggest privatizations since Royal Mail went public a decade ago. Ministers have suggested they could spend the profits to boost creative training and independent production companies, essentially funding their upgrading scheme. Here’s what you need to know about the plans and the 40-year countdown to privatization.
Landslide tragedy – A Briton and his son have died after five members of the same family were caught in a landslide during a mountain walk on holiday in Australia. His wife and 14-year-old son will undergo surgery today after suffering serious injuries in Monday’s incident in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter was treated for shock. Police said conditions in the mountains were “extremely unstable” after weeks of rain in the area.
‘Now or never’ – The world can still hope to stave off the worst ravages of climate breakdown, but only by rushing “now or never” to a low-carbon economy and society, scientists have said. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, greenhouse gas emissions are set to peak by 2025 and could be nearly halved in that decade to give the world a fighting chance to limit climate change. future warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The panel’s harsh language makes it clear that it’s all over for fossil fuels if governments are to succeed, although Part Three of its review of climate science indicates that immediate action is needed.
‘Always in the belly’ – A huge planet roughly nine times the mass of Jupiter has been observed at a remarkably early stage of formation in a discovery that challenges current understanding of how planets are made. The Hawaiian astronomers who detected the planet – AB Aurigae b – described it as “still in the womb” because it is at such an early stage of life. It is 508 light years from Earth.
Today Podcast in the spotlight
Sirin Kale reports on surrogate mothers trapped in Ukraine – and parents struggling to bring their babies home safely.
Lunchtime Reading: Has the World Left Soaps Behind?
With the axing this month of long-running soap operas Holby City and Neighbors, Stuart Jeffries wonders if this really is the beginning of the end for the genre that could once grip a nation with stories about Dirty Den or the Grants of Brookside Close. The mourning over the death yesterday at the age of 95 of June Brown, who played Dot Cotton in EastEnders, recalls the role played by such characters in national life.
Mikel Arteta has regretted the consequences of his Arsenal side’s ‘unacceptable’ performance at Crystal Palace and admitted he hadn’t planned anything like the 3-0 defeat which raises serious question marks over their four best hopes. A defiant Pep Guardiola has joked about ‘overthinking’ the Champions League knockout stage in the past with ‘dumb tactics’, but the Manchester City manager insists he won’t change his approach. Virgil van Dijk has said Liverpool are determined to deliver an “unforgettable” season and their pursuit of an unprecedented treble should not be taken for granted.
American Bryson DeChambeau, who has not recovered from hand and hip injuries, is enjoying a lower profile in the build-up to this year’s Masters in Augusta. Gambling and betting companies will be banned from using ads featuring high-profile footballers and other sports figures, as well as reality TV and social media stars, under new rules designed to protect those under 18 and other vulnerable groups. And from an impressive Chelsea defense to a Mancunian scrap for third place, here are the main talking points from the weekend’s Women‘s Super League action.
A group of around 100 Tory rebels have forced Boris Johnson to scrap plans to build more onshore wind farms in favor of big investment in nuclear power as well as more offshore wind power to solve the problems energy from Britain. Despite cabinet support from Kwasi Kwarteng and Michael Gove, the Prime Minister will present his new approach at a policy launch this week amid opposition from ministers including Grant Shapps, who has called onshore turbines ‘polluting’ . FTSE100 futures are trading lightly today, and the pound is at $1.311 and €1.194.
the Mirror The title splash is in Russian, but it’s helpfully repeated in English below it: ‘You need to know,’ he says, calling it a ‘message to the Russian people’ as the outcry over Bucha’s killings continues to rage. the one of many pages. . the Times says “Britain calls for tougher sanctions against Russia”, while the Express leads on Zelenskiy’s visit to the scene: “The horrors of war shock the hero of Ukraine”. the I says “Blood Money: Europe Divided Over Putin’s War Funding” and the Scottish a “Biden: ‘Putin should be tried for war crimes’”.
the Guardian also features the President of Ukraine on the front, but the main story is ‘It’s now or never’ if the world is to avoid climate catastrophe – IPCC”. the Telegraph a Telegraph “Channel 4 set to be private”, but the Yorkshire Post warns of the idea: “Selling Channel 4 ‘will cost jobs in the North'”. the Mail leads with Equality Commission ruling on trans issues – ‘Huge boost for women’s rights’ – the Sun goes hand in hand with “June Lit Up Albert Square” and the Disk a “Holiday Flight Chaos”.
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