News Daily: Italy in lockdown, de-radicalisation warning and Huawei rebellion

  • Published

If you want to get this briefing by email, sign up here

Lockdown and misinformation

Image source, EPA

"There is no more time." Those were the words of Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as he placed the entire country in lockdown due to coronavirus. All 60 million citizens have been ordered to stay at home, with only those who can demonstrate a valid, time-sensitive reason allowed to travel. More than 460 people have now died in Italy and Mr Conte said extreme measures were needed to protect the most vulnerable. "We all must give something up for the good of Italy," he added.

In the UK, the death toll linked to coronavirus has risen to five. So far the country is not escalating its use of so-called "social distancing" measures, but health officials say it's likely that in the next 10 to 14 days even those who show only minor symptoms of potential infection will be told to self-isolate. Meanwhile, efforts are being stepped up to combat misinformation about the infection and supermarket delivery hours have been extended to ensure shelves remain stocked.

Airlines have seen a big fall in passenger numbers due to disease fears and Virgin Atlantic has confirmed it has been forced to operate some near-empty flights just to keep its take-off and landing slots at major airports such as Heathrow. Other airlines are thought to be doing the same. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written to the European Commission asking for the rules to be relaxed.

What is the risk of flying on planes and other forms of transport? We've had a closer look. We've also been answering your latest questions on the outbreak, and have some tips if you're asked to work from home. And finally, a reminder of how to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Terror offenders

The Prison Officers' Association is calling for a fundamental review of the UK's de-radicalisation programmes. National chairman Mark Fairhurst said terror offenders who take part in post-conviction schemes may just be going "through the motions" to fool authorities. Usman Khan, who carried out the London Bridge attack in December, had taken part in two Home Office schemes, while Sudesh Amman, who injured people in Streatham in February, is reported to have refused to engage with attempts to turn him away from violence.

The government said it used "tough measures" to tackle prison extremism and the reoffending rate for terror offenders was low. But earlier this year, the psychologist behind the UK's main de-radicalisation programme told the BBC it can never be certain that attackers have been "cured".

Huawei row

Boris Johnson is facing his first Commons rebellion since his general election victory over plans to allow Huawei to build parts of the UK's 5G mobile internet network. A number of senior Conservatives are set to back attempts to end the Chinese firm's participation by the start of 2023. The PM won't lose - up to 30 Tories look set to defy him, far from enough to dent his majority of 80 - but it's an unwelcome rebellion for him nonetheless.

Those opposed to Huawei's involvement say it's an arm of the Chinese state and a risk to UK security - claims the firm rejects. Read more on the arguments here.

'Football is ready to have a gay player'

By Michael Baggs, BBC Newsbeat reporter

Coronation Street has been praised for its "really powerful" storyline about gay footballer James Bailey. It all comes to a head this week, when rumours about James's sexuality spread on social media, forcing his club to confront him about how he'll respond. LGBT charity Stonewall tells Radio 1 Newsbeat it hopes the storyline will help "moving national conversations on" about being gay in football. And actor Nathan Graham, who plays James, says he hopes the story might encourage young viewers who are LGBT and involved in football to come out.

What the papers say

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pictured on many front pages after they carried out their final engagement as senior royals. The Times claims Harry and Meghan's swansong was an "awkward adieu". "Brothers at arm's length" is the Daily Express verdict on Harry and William's interaction. Elsewhere, unsurprisingly, coronavirus coverage dominates. The Guardian shows a stock market trader with his head in his hands after share prices plunged across the world. One portfolio manager tells the Financial Times that in just a couple of weeks, investor sentiment has swung from complacency to panic. "Meltdown" is the headline in the Daily Mirror, describing how those at or near retirement risk being hardest hit as the value of their pension funds dived. The Daily Telegraph reports that Wednesday's Budget will include financial handouts for businesses affected.

Daily digest

'Bedroom tax' MPs demand action to help abuse victims

Emissions target Report warns of challenges facing the UK

Upskirting Teenager urges others to speak out

Coronavirus Key questions facing the Premier League

If you watch one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

If you read one thing today

Lookahead

Today The Cheltenham Festival gets under way - more than 250,000 horse-racing fans could attend over the next four days

09:30 The head of the civil service faces questions from MPs - expect recent unrest at the Home Office to come up

On this day

1973 The British governor of Bermuda and his assistant are shot dead outside his residence - see the islanders' reaction.

From elsewhere