In the first story in the Daily Briefing today, we look at the ongoing dispute between President-Elect Joe Biden and outgoing President Trump. Ever since the election, the President has claimed that the Democrats have attempted to ‘steal’ the election – without offering substantial evidence. Many Republicans have even urged the President to concede the election, for the sake of democracy and for the county, most notably former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Until now, the President has refused to do so, instead insisting that he won the election – despite being significantly behind in the electoral college predictions and national vote share. However, he has today signalled for the first time that he may not win the election.
He did this by stating on Twitter that the General Services Administration (GSA) must do “what needs to be done” by facilitating a handover between Mr. Trump’s administration and Mr. Biden’s administration. The President did, however, caveat the decision by stating that he intended to keep up the “good fight”.
Exactly whether this will signal a change from the president, and the beginnings of a full transition period will hopefully soon be seen.
The New English Rules
In the second story today, we move to the UK to discuss the new rules that Prime Minister Johnson announced yesterday. While the coronavirus pandemic continues, the UK has been plunged into a second national lockdown – reported to only last until the 2nd December. It was announced yesterday that this is the case, and that local lockdown rules will be reimposed – albeit, slightly modified.
This means that areas in England with higher coronavirus cases will be under the strictest rules, tier 3. Those with the lowest coronavirus cases will be under the most lenient rules, tier 1. The Prime Minister confirmed that many areas across England will most likely start in tier 3, due to the current prevalence of the virus. However, as the tiers have been ‘tightened up’, it is likely that areas will swiftly move down the tier list – possibly even in a matter of weeks.
One of the biggest changes to the tiering system is the announcement that spectator sports can return. In tier 1, up to 4,000 people can attend a sports match (with social distancing still being used). In tier 2, this halves to only 2,000 people. In tier 3, unfortunately, this will not be allowed.
This news will be welcomed by many across the country, as it allows them some of the comforts they had prior to the pandemic. After all, England is a huge footballing nation – and fans being allowed back to watch their teams can only be good news.
Currently, the plan is for the local restrictions to be announced on Thursday – potentially alongside the plan for Christmas restrictions. We’ll keep you updated on this.
An Update on Harry Dunn
In the final story today, we will discuss the latest development in the Harry Dunn case. This was where a 19 year old British teenager (Harry Dunn) was hit while riding his motorbike by Ms Anne Sacoolas. She was driving on the wrong side of the road. Tragically, Mr. Dunn died of his injuries.
As a result, Anne Sacoolas should have been arrested and charged with causing death by dangerous driving. However, as she was the wife of a CIA operative, she claimed she had diplomatic immunity, which is where diplomats cannot be charged for breaking laws in the country they work in (unless such immunity is rescinded by their home nation). The US did not drop her immunity, and in fact assisted her in fleeing the UK back to the US. This caused great diplomatic tension between the two nations – with Mr. Dunn’s family pushing for Sacoolas to face charges.
As we discussed in an episode of the Daily Briefing a few weeks ago, the Dunn family claimed in court that Ms. Sacoolas did not actually have diplomatic immunity. They claimed that her husband may have had diplomatic immunity, but they believed this didn’t extend to her. In a blow to the family today, though, the court claimed that “our conclusion is that Mrs. Sacoolas enjoyed immunity from UK criminal jurisdiction at the time of Harry’s death”. This will come as a blow to the Dunn family, who were hoping that Ms. Sacoolas would face trial in the UK for her crime.
It is unclear how the Dunn family will proceed from here.
For those of you who think the news is too long, be sure to check out tomorrow’s Daily Briefing.