News Daily: Hospital deaths report due and US quits UN council

  • Published

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

'Harrowing' wait for answers

Image source, BBC/PA

Hundreds of families hope a report published later will finally provide answers about the deaths of their loved ones. The inquiry has investigated the suspicious deaths of dozens of patients at scandal-hit Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire.

In 2013, a report concluded that a "remarkably high" number of painkilling injections were prescribed to elderly patients by doctors, and some lives were "almost certainly" shortened. Some of the patients were recovering from falls, some were being treated for bed-sores, but they were then given sedatives and never recovered.

Among them was Elsie Devine, 88, whose granddaughter said the long wait for the truth had been "harrowing". Gillian McKenzie - whose mother Gladys Richards died at the hospital in 1998 - said she hoped the new report would ultimately generate "enough pressure" for criminal proceedings to commence.

US quits 'cesspool' council

The US has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, branding it a "hypocritical and self-serving" body and a "cesspool of political bias". The council reviews the human rights records of all UN members and investigates violations in countries like Syria and North Korea.

The council has faced criticism in the past for allowing countries with questionable records to be members and the BBC's Nada Tawfik, in New York, says the move is likely to unsettle those who look to the US to protect and promote human rights around the world. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the decision was "regrettable".

The decision comes as Donald Trump continues to defend his policy of splitting up families entering the US illegally, despite a growing chorus of condemnation. Child trauma experts are warning it could cause serious psychological harm. Here's a reminder of what's being done and why.

Commons set for another showdown

The row over how much of a say MPs should get on the final Brexit deal rumbles on. On Monday, the House of Lords again defeated the government over giving the Commons a "meaningful vote", so MPs now have to decide which House they agree with.

BBC political correspondent Jonathan Blake says you could be forgiven for thinking this is just a re-run of last week's vote but, in fact, it does present another big test for the prime minister. That's because, last time, Conservative rebels were persuaded not to vote against Theresa May when she offered "assurances" they would be heard - they've since called that offer "a slap in the face".

Is the vape shop boom about to end?

By Ben Morris, Business reporter, BBC News

In 2015, when James Restarick opened his first shop in Kent selling kits for vaping, his friends were surprised. "They thought I was mad. I didn't actually tell anyone for seven months that I had opened a shop." Having previously been a partner in a bar and restaurant business he enjoyed his new lifestyle. And as a former heavy smoker, Mr Restarick enjoyed helping others give up cigarettes. Business went well, Solvape was profitable within eight months, but the market was about to get a lot more difficult.

What the papers say

Image source, Guardian, The i

There's a keen sense of anticipation in the papers about the aforementioned Commons showdown. "Brexit D-Day" is the Sun's take. Its leader column says Theresa May has a duty not to compromise. The Daily Mail says giving Parliament the power to block a no-deal Brexit would prevent the UK from implementing what it calls "the people's will". Several rebels tell the Guardian they will stand firm - but the paper says they'll be under "intense pressure" from the Tory whips. Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror believes Theresa May has been left looking stuck in the past by refusing to consider legalising cannabis for recreational use. It calls reform a "no-brainer". And the i reports on a Europe-wide shortage of carbon dioxide, apparently putting the fizz in our drinks under threat.

Daily digest

Cannabis Canada legalises recreational use

Food labelling Fix the chaos, says Which?

Rural consumers "Far less likely to use mobile banking"

Murray "I could miss Wimbledon"

If you see one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

Image source, Getty Images

If you read one thing today

Image source, iStock


Today EU chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt faces not one but two Commons committees - a grilling from both is likely

Today The second day of Royal Ascot, with attention continuing on both the racing and spectators' behaviour

On this day

1984 A shake-up of the school exam system is announced, with O-Levels and CSEs to be replaced by a new exam, the GCSE

From elsewhere