Welcome to Friday’s Early Edition from i.
In Russia, many of those opposed to Vladimir Putin’s latest decree – or terrified of being drafted into it – have bravely protested, or fled. “Thousands of Russian men – our fathers, brothers and husbands – will be thrown into the meat grinder of the war. What will they be dying for? What will mothers and children be crying for?” the Vesna opposition movement said. Since the announcement of a partial military mobilisation – which could see 300,000 people summoned to serve (although some estimates put it at one million) – queues stretching for miles have sprung up along Russia’s borders. At the same time, hundreds of people in Russia have been arrested for protesting. A courageous woman in a wheelchair at an anti-war rally called the Russian President a “goddamn, bald-headed nutjob,” saying: “He’s going to drop a bomb on us, and we’re all still protecting him. I’ve said enough.” But what of the world leaders, where do they stand, and will they do anything? We’ll look at the latest developments, after the headlines.
Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are under pressure to stop the economy from sliding into recession after the Bank of England forecast GDP to fall and hiked interest rates. The Chancellor will announce his fiscal statement today, including a package of tax cuts and regulatory reforms which he will argue will boost growth in the economy. “Friday’s fiscal statement by the Chancellor is now a critical moment,” David Bharier of the British Chambers of Commerce warned. “He has the unenviable task of shoring up the economy whilst avoiding additional inflationary stimulus.”
Homeowners are facing “eyewatering” rises of up to £273 more each month in an average mortgage payment following Thursday’s interest rate increase. Experts said the 0.5 per cent increase in the base rate, to 2.25 per cent, was bad news for property owners, and warned of a weakening housing market and a potential rise in repossessions.
The 1.25 percentage point national insurance rise will be reversed from 6 November, Kwasi Kwarteng has announced. The tax increase was only introduced from April, to fund health and social care, but Liz Truss had pledged to scrap the rise during the campaign to become the next Tory leader.
Labour is considering abolishing the House of Lords if it wins the next election, a leaked report seen by The Guardian reveals. The constitutional review, by Gordon Brown, recommends replacing it with an upper house of nations and regions.
Hospital admissions for Covid in England have gone up by 17 per cent in a week, new figures show. It’s the first time there has been a significant rise since numbers began to fall in early July. “All the early indicators are pointing towards the beginning of another wave,” Dr Kit Yates from Independent Sage warned.
Donald Trump has said presidents can “declassify anything” just by “thinking about it” as he gave his first television interview since the FBI search on his Mar-a-Lago home last month. “If you’re the president of the United States you can declassify just by saying: ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it,” he told Fox News. “You’re the president, you make that decision,” adding: “I declassified everything.”
Deforestation for agriculture and fires have been blamed for new figures that suggest carbon emissions in the Amazon more than doubled in 2019 and 2020 compared to the previous eight years. Scientists behind a new study say that a “collapse” in law enforcement in recent years has encouraged forest clearing.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi cancelled an interview with veteran CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour after she refused to wear a headscarf at their meeting in New York. Amanpour said no previous presidents had requested this when she interviewed them outside Iran. It comes amid protests over the death of a woman detained in Iran for allegedly breaking headscarf rules.
Authorities on the west coast of Tasmania face the gruesome task of disposing of 200 pilot whales after a mass stranding on a beach. The dead whales are expected to be towed out to deeper waters to “reduce the risk of the carcasses coming back and washing up on the beach”. Scientists will also conduct necropsies of the whales to help reveal clues as to why they came into shore.
Good news for cold water lovers, taking an icy swim could help reduce body fat and reduce the risk of diabetes, research suggests. However, experts also gave a note of caution, saying: “Many of the health benefits claimed from regular cold exposure may not be causal. Instead, they may be explained by other factors including an active lifestyle, trained stress handling, social interactions, as well as a positive mindset”.
reaction to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget, which kicks off at 9.30am in Parliament.
The latest census results do not mean Irish reunification is imminent – far from it, writes Roisin Lanigan. More revealing than the religious findings were the results on national identity in Northern Ireland.
Is there a surer sign that pre-Covid life is back than the return of the underwire bra? asks Frankie Graddon. The entire fashion landscape is moving away from an at-home casual aesthetic towards a smarter, more glamorous look.
The Woman King deserves to be as big as Black Panther. What went wrong? asks Kuba Shand-Baptiste. It seems poised to breathe new life into the historical movie genre, yet harsh assessments linger.
Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes, is an affectionate portrait of a brilliant but cantankerous writer, says Willow Smith. This is not a critical biography, but nor is it sycophantic – it shows Sir Terry Pratchett as crotchety but generous, with a ruthless sense of the ridiculous.
This rehab pilot aims to keep addicts out of jail – but some fear the opposite will happen, reports Ellie Broughton. “Problem-solving courts” offer substance abusers support getting clean – and potentially prison if they fail.
England’s OneLove armband risks being an empty gesture, writes Daniel Storey. The Football Association has started its journey to justice for Qatar’s migrant workers and mistreated communities. But it must be just the start.
May the cringe be with you: The US military’s Space Force has unveiled its official song, and the reaction has been more comic than cosmic. We’re the mighty watchful eye/ Guardians beyond the blue/The invisible front line/Warfighters brave and true/Boldly reaching into space/There’s no limit to our sky, it goes. As some have pointed out: Let’s hope the aliens aren’t music critics.
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