Tuesday briefing: Threat level ‘serious’ after terrorist attack |

Top story: ‘The complete miracle’ of the taxi driver’s escape with life

Hi Warren Murray here with your news feed this Tuesday morning.

A suspected terrorist who blew himself up outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital over the weekend has been named as 32-year-old Emad al-Swealmeen. Anti-terror police have said they “strongly believe” al-Swealmeen was the passenger who died when a taxi exploded shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday. Police have declared the incident a terrorist attack with Interior Minister Priti Patel, announcing that the threat level would be raised from significant to serious, meaning another attack was “very likely”.

According to reports, al-Swealmeen is believed to be of Syrian and Iraqi descent. He is said to have converted to Christianity after moving to Britain from the Middle East and was later briefly taken in by Christian volunteers Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchcott in Liverpool. Police said they could not be sure if the hospital was the intended target or if the unit he had constructed had ignited prematurely, but the NHS has advised all hospitals to review their security arrangements.

Four men who had been arrested in the Kensington area of ​​Liverpool were released without charge by the counter-terrorism police on Monday night. The taxi driver, David Perry, was treated for serious injuries and released Monday after stumbling from the cab just as it went up in flames. Perry’s wife, Rachel, said he was “lucky to be alive”, adding that “how he managed to escape is a complete miracle”.

‘Object’ – Boris Johnson’s attempt to draw a line during the sleaze scandal that engulfed the Conservative Party has fallen apart after a single backer, later named as Christopher Chope, shouted “objection” to stop Parliament’s support for the report, which considered Owen Paterson violates lobbying rules. When they spoke to the Guardian, other tories were furious at Chope, calling him, among other things, a “Jurassic embarrassment” that should be withdrawn. Chris Bryant, a Labor MP and chairman of the Standards Committee, said he had been assured that the proposal would be resubmitted today with a one-hour debate to try again to support the Paterson report. Chope was contacted for a comment.

‘Prevent 100%’ – The British and French authorities are determined to “prevent 100% of crossings” across the Channel and make the route “unsustainable” for migrants hoping to enter Britain from France, it was announced on Monday. Last Thursday, an estimated 1,185 people crossed the canal by boat, which is a record for crossings in a single day. Three people were feared drowned. More than 23,000 people have made the journey so far this year. The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and the French Home Secretary, Gérald Darmanin, agreed to “speed up the delivery” of their mutual obligations. The British government has accused France of not having control over the situation. Darmanin told CNews that the British government needed to change its laws to prevent migrants from being attracted to Britain.

Biden, Xi save over Taiwan – Xi Jinping has warned Joe Biden at a virtual summit that China was ready to take “decisive action” if Taiwan takes steps toward independence that cross Beijing’s red lines. In response, Biden said the United States remained committed to “one China policy” recognizing only one sovereign Chinese state, and that Washington “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” Biden said they both had a responsibility to ensure that their two nations’ rivalry did not “wander into conflict.” It comes at a time of high tension over everything from Taiwan, the South China Sea, Hong Kong and the Uighurs to Chinese hacking against the United States, division over the climate crisis and China’s rapid development of its conventional and nuclear military forces.

Biden-Xi virtual summit: Biden says US and China 'must not go into conflict' - video
Biden-Xi virtual summit: Biden says US and China ‘must not go into conflict’ – video

The U.S. president said he hoped they could establish “traffic rules” for their future behavior. In his introductory remarks, Xi said: “I am very pleased to see my old friend … China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation.” Earlier, Biden signed his hard-fought $ 1 tonne infrastructure deal in front of a bipartisan, festive crowd on the White House lawn. The president hopes to use the infrastructure law to rebuild his popularity, which has taken a hit amid rising inflation and inability to fully shake the public health and economic risks posed by Covid-19.

Nursing worker bonus encouraged – Social workers should receive an immediate bonus of up to £ 1,000 to stop them from stopping before the winter and put even more pressure on the NHS, ministers are told. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS Providers, which represent hospitals, say emergency payments will help tackle the worsening staff shortage. Figures show that hospitals across the UK are unable to fill almost half of the number of consultancy positions they advertise – the highest number in eight years.

Less stained – There are 247 million. fewer sparrows in Europe than there were in 1980, and other common bird species have also suffered a huge decline, a study has found. One in six birds – a net loss of 600 m in total breeding birds – has disappeared in less than four decades. Among the common species that disappear from the sky are yellow wagtails (97 m less), starlings (75 m less) and larks (68 m less).

The house sparrow has been the hardest hit species and has lost half of its population in Europe since 1980. Photo: Keith J Smith / Alamy

The sparrow and its close relative the wood sparrow have declined due to changed farming methods; sparrows have also disappeared from many cities for reasons that are unclear but which probably include food shortages, diseases and air pollution. Many species have been affected by intensification of agriculture, causing habitat loss and killing the insects they feed on.

Today in Focus podcast: The Cricketer and ‘Teasing’

When Azeem Rafiq announced the allegation that he had faced a series of racist incidents during his time at Yorkshire Cricket Club, the incidents he described were dismissed as “teasing”. But that defense has crumbled – and now he is ready to testify before MPs. What will he reveal about his experiences with bigotry in cricket?

Today in focus

The cricketer and the ‘teasing’

Lunch time read: ‘As Attenborough does jet skiing’

How has TV’s gas station chief Jeremy Clarkson been reborn as a son of the earth? When the presenter wins an agricultural award for Clarkson’s Farm, he talks about his new enemies: badgers, Bafta, and the “red trouser brigade.”

Jeremy Clarkson on a digger (points deducted because it is not a JCB)
Jeremy Clarkson on a digger (points deducted because it is not a JCB). Photo: Ellis O’Brien / Amazon Prime


Gareth Southgate praised England’s hunger and mentality after Harry Kane scored four goals in the first half and they qualified for the World Cup in 2022 by beating San Marino 10-0. European champions Italy must go into the playoffs after being held to a draw by a brilliant Northern Irish team at Windsor Park, while goals from John Souttar and Che Adams helped Scotland to a superb 2-0 victory over Denmark at a delighted Hampden Park that secured a home play-offs by virtue of seeding. Michael Vaughan is fighting to save his reputation ahead of the evidence meeting in parliament on Tuesday, where Azeem Rafiq will outline his experiences of racism in Yorkshire and has English cricket equipped for the names that could emerge.

Toto Wolff has described Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix as one of the world champion’s best performances, but the Mercedes team boss also struck out and expressed anger at how he felt his team was treated harshly by some “ridiculous” decisions in Interlagos. England are preparing for Saturday’s World Cup final rematch against South Africa without their captain Owen Farrell and are facing a crisis in the front row after Eddie Jones was awarded a major double injury on Monday. Nick Kyrgios has called for the Australian Open to be canceled instead of enforcing a “morally wrong” vaccine mandate on players at the 2022 opening grand slam. A growing movement, including Chinese feminist groups and international tennis stars, is raising concerns about the whereabouts of former Chinese double-pro Peng Shuai after she accused a senior government figure of sexual assault. And reforms in Qatar have stalled a year before the World Cup, leaving thousands of migrant workers trapped and exploited, according to a damning new report from Amnesty International.


The prospect of a pre-Christmas rate hike has widened after the Bank of England governor told MPs he was worried about Britain’s rising inflation. Andrew Bailey said he was “very uneasy” about rising prices and that he could vote for an increase at the December political meeting. The pound has risen to $ 1,343 and € 1,180, and the positive sentiment from the Xi / Biden summit seems to ensure that the FTSE100 opens in positive territory this morning.

The papers

Sprayed in ours Guardian print edition today is “Terror threat raised after Liverpool’s suicide attack”. At the bottom of the page is “Plan for Covid passport must have proof of three jabs”. Those eligible for booster jabs would need them to qualify as fully vaccinated in areas where people must prove their status, such as traveling or avoiding mandatory isolation. The requirement may be in place in the UK in early spring. Page one also has image coverage from the humanitarian crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus.

Guardian front page, November 16, 2021
Guardian front page, November 16, 2021.

That Daily mail leads with “Revealed: hospital bombs a Christian convert” and the Express has pretty much the same headline as does Times and Telegraph. That Mirror says he “targeted new mothers and babies” while it Metro says taxi driver David Perry is “lucky to be alive” after what the newspaper calls the “Poppy Day bombing”. The Times also has “preschoolers to have NHS anti-obesity coaches” that you can read about this morning.

That is The front page today says “Get booster jabs to save Christmas, says PM over 40s”. The top story in Financial Times is “Shell’s plan to move tax base to UK encourages Dutch to last ditch” – here’s our own Nils Pratley’s bid on it. It has also Steve Bannon, who appears in court, accused of contempt for Congress for not showing up for the Capitol assault investigation. For now he has been released with his passport taken away.

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