Stories to read in the week of 2022 May 05-11

Take a few moments to get up to speed on all the latest news from around the globe with our selection of Independent Premium’s top stories.

The award-winning journalists of the Independent cover the topics you really care about. Whether that’s politics, the climate crisis, technology or sport, they have something for everyone.

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Tensions have soared in Transnistria – a Russian-backed breakaway territory in Moldova – as Moscow and Kyiv trade blame for a series of explosions, with fears growing that the enclave could be dragged into Vladimir Putin’s war. Amanda Coakley reports.

Those with relatives in care already knew the Covid ‘protective ring’  the government claimed to have provided was a sick joke, argues Andrew Grice. But what will be the political fallout from a High Court ruling declaring the policies around such premises unlawful?

The story behind an elaborate Second World War deception mission – Operation Mincemeat – has been turned into a musical comedy for the stage. Theatre company SpitLip talk to Isobel Lewis about the project.

Boris Johnson has suffered a grassroots Tory revolt on the eve of crucial local elections, while being warned that he faces fresh questions about his leadership as soon as the results are in.

 

As millions were set to go to the polls, some party candidates took the extraordinary step of rebranding themselves “local Conservatives”, pleading with voters not to “punish” them for the Partygate scandal.

 

The leader of one grassroots Tory group told The Independent that anger about the No 10 parties, topped up by fears over rising living costs, pointed to the party’s supporters staying at home on Thursday.

 

More than 4,350 seats are being contested in England on over 140 councils. All of Scotland’s 32 councils and all 22 councils in Wales are also holding local elections.

‘Putin must pay a high price for his brutal aggression,’ European Commission president says

Putin’s Russia ‘mirroring the fascism and tyranny’ of the Nazis,  Ben Wallace claims

Defence secretary’s speech comes same day Russian leader stages military parade to mark victory over Nazi Germany

Ukrainian refugees have been placed with unvetted hosts and in unsuitable homes because the government has yet to give councils any funding for vital safety checks.

 

Hosting arrangements under the Homes for Ukraine route are already breaking down, as it emerged the required DBS background checks are not always being done before refugees arrive in the UK.

 

Families who have fled the war have been forced to pay for hotel rooms or register as homeless after discovering their sponsor’s housing is unsuitable, with reports of rodent infestations, broken boilers and hosts with drug addictions.

Liz Truss pushing for unilateral action to tear up deal, despite warnings of trade war ahead

What are eight of the lessons learned from key local elections?

After the vote and the count, the eternal existential question: what does it all mean anyway?

Commentators have spent the last 36 hours wrestling with local election results that have, somehow, been a disaster for Boris Johnson without being much good for Sir Keir Starmer either.

The facts are simple enough. The Tories lost almost 500 councillors, while Labour and the Lib Dems both made big gains: 261 and 189 respectively. The Greens won 82 and the Scottish National Party 61.

Yet what exactly this tells us about the state of British public opinion – and how a general election might go – remains as contested as the campaigning itself.

In the run up to voting day on Thursday, The Independent identified eight key council areas that may offer key clues to the direction of politics over the next two years. Now, we look at the results in those places and the lessons they (possibly) offer…

Boris Johnson has been accused of abandoning British families to a life of poverty, after his legislative programme for the coming year contained no new measures to deal with the cost of living crisis.

 

One think tank described the package set out in the Queen’s Speech as “cosmetic surgery for an economy facing a heart attack”.

 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also denounced it as “a thin address, bereft of ideas or purpose” delivered by a government “whose time has passed”.

Al Jazeera journalist shot dead by Israeli forces while covering raid in West Bank

Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by a live bullet while covering Israeli raids in the refugee camps of the Palestinian city Jenin

Vladimir Putin could go nuclear if he thinks Russia is losing Ukraine war or his regime is under threat, US intelligence chief says

‘Next few months could see us moving along a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory,’ Avril Haines says

The Big Question

What was in the Queen’s Speech?

A package of measures unveiled by Boris Johnson with a promise to get Britain “back on track” after the Covid pandemic contained no new support for households struggling with the cost of living.

 

Announcing his legislative programme for the year ahead, the prime minister acknowledged that families are “anxious about the future” and promised to monitor the situation over the coming months and help “where we can”.

 

But he poured cold water on any further imminent steps to ease the burden of skyrocketing inflation – predicted to top 10 per cent before the end of 2022 – warning that any such measures will have to be balanced against the need to keep public finances on a “sustainable footing”.

 

Mr Johnson attempted to use the Queen’s Speech to draw a line under Covid and the Partygate scandal and reset his premiership on a more positive course for the general election due by 2024 at the latest.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“This Queen’s Speech shows the Tories don’t have a clue what life is like for ordinary people.”

 

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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