Top story: Down to business for Bercow successor
Hello, Warren Murray here to give you a leg-up into the present moment in news.
Lindsay Hoyle has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons as successor to John Bercow. The 62-year-old Labour MP for Chorley – the only candidate who refused to say how he voted in the 2016 EU referendum – became the 158th Speaker after beating six others in a secret ballot. The Lancastrian has promised to bring calm to a chamber that has seen divisive and bad-tempered debates over Brexit.
In keeping with tradition, fellow MPs Caroline Flint and Nigel Evans “dragged” Hoyle to the Speaker’s chair after the result was announced. Historically, the powerful job sometimes led to his predecessors’ deaths on the orders of the monarch of the day.
Hoyle will take up the role on Tuesday for a single day before parliament dissolves for a general election on 12 December. The Speaker traditionally severs all ties with their political party and stands in their seat unopposed. First, though, Hoyle is expected to be called upon to allow an urgent question about the government’s failure to publish before the election a report by the intelligence committee on alleged Russian interference in the UK, including in the 2016 referendum campaign, and how to safeguard against it. The government has claimed the report needs more time to be signed off – however the committee denies this, and it is understood the dossier has already been approved by the intelligence agencies under a process going as far back as March. Downing Street received a final draft nearly three weeks ago.
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‘Shock’ at smear plot against Biden – Testimony has been released by congressional investigators of two senior American diplomats who spoke about a White House plot to conjure political dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine. P Michael McKinley, a former ambassador, returned to service at the request of Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, but resigned in shock at efforts inside the department to manufacture dirt on Trump’s political opponent. “And if I can underscore, in 37 years in the foreign service and … working 10 years back in Washington, I had never seen that,” McKinley testified. Marie Yovanovitch, who was removed by the Trump administration from her post as ambassador to Ukraine, told investigators she felt “shocked” when she found out that Trump had said of her to Ukraine’s president: “She’s going to go through some things.” “I was very concerned,” said Yovanovitch. “I still am.” “Did you feel threatened?” she was asked. “Yes,” she replied. Seeking advice on how to staunch attacks from Trump’s emissary Rudy Giuliani, she was told to tweet something nice about the president.
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Drone pilots will need licence – Drone users in the UK must now sit an online test and pay a £9 annual fee or face a £1,000 fine. Drones weighing more than 250g – basically, all but the smallest toys – must be registered and marked with a unique licence number. The government announced the register in 2017 in response to growing concern over drone use, from smuggling drugs into prisons to disrupting airports. The plan predated the closure of Gatwick airport in December 2018 when a drone was repeatedly flown near the runway. Owners are obliged to identify and label all drones by 30 November and operators must pass a test about legal and safe usage before they can fly them. The Civil Aviation Authority estimates 130,000 people will have to pay and register by the end of the month. The CAA is launching an accompanying “drones reunited” site to track down owners of wayward drones and return them.
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Baghdadi family rounded up – Turkey claims to have captured the sister of killed Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and is interrogating her along with her husband and daughter-in-law, who were also detained. A senior Turkish official said Rasmiya Awad, 65, was seized on Monday during a raid near the Turkish-controlled northern Syrian town of Azaz. When captured she was accompanied by five children. “We hope to gather a trove of intelligence from Baghdadi’s sister on the inner workings of Isis,” the official said. Baghdadi blew himself up, along with two children, when cornered in a tunnel by US special forces in north-western Syria.
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Parents’ drinking marks children – More than a third of children in the UK are negatively affected by their parents’ alcohol use, research has suggested. Children surveyed – who were aged between 10 and 17 – reported negative experiences including being given less attention than usual, being put to bed earlier or later than the usual time, arguing with parents, and being at the receiving end of unpredictability. Children were more than twice as likely to report a negative outcome if their parents had negative motives for drinking, such as coping with depression or to escape other problems. Ian Hamilton, an expert in addiction and mental health from the University of York, said: “With cutbacks to mental health services, alcohol may be the only way that some people feel they can cope with their feelings and they may be oblivious to the impact it has on those around them.”
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Run it past me again – Any amount of running can reduce your risk of early death, according to researchers, who say their findings push back against previous suggestions that health benefits might be lessened for people who run a lot. In the latest study, significant benefits were seen even among those running once a week or less, less than 50 minutes a week, or at 6mph or less. There was no bigger reduction in the risk of early death at greater levels of running. According to the World Health Organization, about 3.2 million deaths each year are down to people not doing enough physical activity.
Today in Focus podcast: The case against big tobacco
In June 2018 the Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Boseley, wrote about child labour in the tobacco fields of Malawi. Human rights lawyer Martyn Day read her story and decided to sue British American Tobacco. They recently returned to Malawi to check on the progress of the case. And: Susie Cagle on the Californian wildfires.
Lunchtime read: ‘A lot of guys are narcissists’
Reunited via The Morning Show, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston are sharing a screen for the first time since Friends. They tell Hadley Freeman about disturbing cover-ups and their decades-long fight against sexual harassment.
England were left to reflect on a shoddy collapse as New Zealand claimed a 14-run victory in Nelson to go 2-1 up in the Twenty20 series with two to play. The international raiders were no match for homegrown stayer Vow And Declare, who flew the flag for Australia to win the $8m Melbourne Cup as Frankie Dettori’s Master of Reality was demoted from second to fourth place following a steward’s protest. The World Cup in Japan might have been a glimpse of a more fulfilling future for rugby union after a can-do spirit and a receptive host look to have opened new markets for the virtually landlocked sport of rugby union.
Everton have confirmed that an operation on André Gomes’s right ankle “went extremely well” after the Portugal international was injured during the draw against Tottenham on Sunday. Frank Lampard has indicated Chelsea will look to strengthen their squad in January if they win their appeal against a two-window transfer ban. Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on a record-equalling seventh F1 world title, saying “I don’t think there’s a lot that can stop me”. The Wada president, Sir Craig Reedie, says his organisation will “look at” athletes who trained under the banned coach Alberto Salazar. And Donald Trump’s rough welcome at the hands of Washington Nationals fans at last month’s World Series gained widespread attention, but the players themselves were rather more friendly during a visit to the White House.
Asian shares have approached their July peak amid signs the United States and China are inching closer to a trade truce. Optimism that the US economy is poised for solid, consumer-driven growth also lifted proceedings. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.1% after hitting a four-month high the previous day. China’s mainland shares were little changed while Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.34% to a one-year high after a market holiday on Monday. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 0.37% to a record high of 3,078.27 on Monday while the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq also clinched all-time highs. Sterling is worth $1.288 and €1.158 and the FTSE is trending higher by around 0.5% at time of writing.
The Mail carries a report of a potential alternative to the cervical smear test: “Is this the end of smear tests?” as does the Mirror: “The end of smear testing”.
Various election stories lead other papers including the Times: “Labour’s four-day week ‘to cost taxpayers £17bn’”, the Express: “PM tells Corbyn: ‘come clean’ on Brexit”, the Telegraph: “Post union ‘plotting to wreck election’”, and the Guardian: “PM accused of cover-up over report on Russian meddling in UK politics”, with news that a government report about the threat of Russian interference, completed in March 2019, will not be published before the election.
The i has a story of a woman whose Alzheimer’s symptoms were kept at bay for 30 years: “The woman who defied Alzheimer’s”. The Sun carries a warning for people not to play with fireworks: “Don’t try this at home” and the FT reports: “SoftBank to loosen grip of start-up founders after WeWork debacle”.
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