Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022 – The Week UK

All you need to know about everything that matters.
Three quarters of Conservative voters back Labour’s plan to freeze energy bills as ministers come under pressure to do more to address the cost of living crisis. Keir Starmer will announce a £29bn plan today to prevent energy bills rising for six months. The Times found that 75% of those who voted Tory in 2019 supported fixing the cap on energy bills even if it means more government borrowing, with just 12% opposing. Greg Hands, the energy minister, insisted the government was “working up further options for this winter”.
Britain’s heatwave will come to an end today as heavy thunderstorms are expected to bring flash floods and power cuts across the country. Met Office weather warnings for thunderstorms were issued for Northern Ireland and Scotland yesterday, with yellow warnings spreading to England and Wales today and tomorrow. The thunderstorms are likely to bring “significant rainfall,” said Sky News, but it may be “too much too soon” and cause sudden flooding.
Lawmakers in the US have demanded more information about the potential threat to national security posed by Donald Trump’s hoarding of classified documents. Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, asked the justice department and the director of national intelligence to provide them with “the classified documents that were seized in the search” and an “assessment of potential risks to national security as a result of their mishandling”, said a spokesperson for the Senate intelligence committee.
The higher education watchdog has told A-level pupils they should be prepared for “disappointment” when results are announced this week. The Office for Students said even the brightest pupils who normally “wouldn’t dream” of missing the terms of their university offer may struggle this year after exam boards were ordered to crack down on grade inflation. According to one analysis, around 40,000 young people are expected to miss out on their preferred places this year.
Salman Rushdie signed up to become a roving envoy for writers in mortal peril just moments before he was attacked at a public event in western New York on Friday. Ralph Henry Reese – co-founder of a Pittsburgh project that offers refuge to exiled writers known as the City of Asylum – told The Guardian that shortly before going on stage he and Rushdie had been planning to continue the discussion about the importance of offering asylum to endangered authors. “It was a tragic irony in so many ways,” Reese said.
Lawyers could have electronic chips implanted in their brain, a report from the Law Society suggests. Supporters of the move argue that corporate clients will press for the chips as an efficiency measure, which could result in City solicitors, who routinely charge £1,500 an hour, becoming “billable units of attention”. The Times said the “revolutionary step” may cut costs and reduce the number of solicitors needed to work on complex cases because one “super-lawyer” with an embedded chip might be able to scan years of precedents and acres of background material in a fraction of the time.
Indonesian labourers picking berries on a farm that supplies leading British supermarkets said they have been lumbered with debts of up to £5,000 by unlicensed foreign brokers to work in Britain for a single season. The farm supplies Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Brexit and the war in Ukraine have created severe labour shortages in the UK agricultural sector, noted The Guardian. Under UK employment law, it is illegal to charge workers fees for finding them jobs.
An Edinburgh Festival show by the comedian Jerry Sadowitz was cancelled for “extreme racism and misogyny”, venue bosses have explained. The Pleasance axed the second of the 61-year-old’s two nights at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre after receiving an “unprecedented” number of complaints from audience members and staff. An audience member claimed the comic got his penis out in front of a woman on the front row and used a racial slur to describe Rishi Sunak, said The Scottish Sun.
Dozens of people died after a fire broke out at a church in Egypt, with many perishing during a scramble to escape. Officials say the number of dead is at least 41, with dozens injured. At least 18 children, ranging in age from three to 16, are thought to be among the dead. Although Egypt’s Coptic community and churches have been a target of violence and attacks historically, church officials believe the fire was accidental, said CNN.
Manchester City have been criticised by a cancer charity after supporters were told they could not take sun cream to the Etihad Stadium. Prior to Saturday’s Premier League match against Bournemouth, where temperatures reached 31C, the club’s supporter services team told a fan on Twitter that “sun cream will not be permitted on entry into the stadium”. Melanoma UK, the country’s leading melanoma patient organisation, branded City’s policy “disappointing” and “very worrying”.
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