Your morning briefing: What you should know for Thursday, April 9

Sean Morrison


Britain braces for lockdown extension as death toll continues to rise

Britain is braced for the extension of lockdown measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus as the death toll continues to rise.

Ministers have urged the public to not put at risk the gains made in the fight against Covid-19 by not keeping to the restrictions.

But the measures face their toughest test so far over the Easter weekend, with temperatures set to reach 25C in some parts of the country.

A Cobra emergency committee to discuss the future of the measures will be held later today.


Australian police raid virus-hit cruise ship and seize 'black box'

Australian police have raided a coronavirus-hit cruise ship and seized its black box as part of an investigation after thousands of passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney.

Some 15 later passengers later died after testing positive for the virus.

Officers wearing protective suits boarded the vessel in Port Kembla last night and evidence was seized, New South Wales Police said.


Patel accused of avoiding scrutiny amid coronavirus crisis

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been accused by a group of senior MPs of avoiding scrutiny during a time of national emergency.

Ms Patel had been due to give evidence in public on the Home Office's response to the coronavirus pandemic to the home affairs select committee since January, but a date for a hearing is yet to be set.

Since then, the Home Secretary has been accused of belittling officials at the Home Office, with Sir Philip Rutnam resigning as permanent secretary amid claims of constructive dismissal and bullying.

Home affairs select committee chair Yvette Cooper has written six letters to Ms Patel over the last three months in an effort to officially set a date for the home secretary to give evidence.

A Home Office spokesperson said the home secretary had accepted the invitation to appear in front of the home affairs select committee before the end of April.


Trump vows to 'take a look' at Tiger King's case

Donald Trump has said he will “take a look” at so-called Tiger King Joe Exotic’s conviction for plotting to have an animal rights activist murdered.

Exotic, a zoo owner at the centre of Netflix’s breakout hit Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness, is currently serving 22 years in jail.

The US President’s remarks come amid calls for a pardon for Exotic from fans of the popular documentary series.


Will and Kate speak to children of key workers in virtual school visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised NHS staff and other key workers for doing an "amazing job" as they met some of their children during a virtual school visit.

William and Kate carried out their first royal tour via video call, speaking to pupils and teachers from a primary school in Burnley to learn how they are coping during the coronavirus pandemic.

With Easter days away, some of the children wore bunny ears for the visit, the duchess was given a virtual posey and William was left stumped by an inquisitive youngster's question.


On this day...

1483: The young Edward V acceded to the throne on the death of Edward IV. He was never crowned and disappeared, believed murdered, 75 days later.

1626: Francis Bacon, philosopher and statesman, died - apparently killed after stuffing a chicken with snow to test it as a method of preservation before catching a chill leading to bronchitis.

1806: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, railway and marine engineer whose works included the Clifton suspension bridge and steamship Great Western, was born in Portsmouth.

1838: The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, was opened.

1865: Confederate General Robert E Lee surrendered to General Grant in Virginia, bringing the American Civil War to an end.

1940: Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.

1945: The USS Liberty exploded in Bari harbour, Italy, killing 360 people.

1969: The first British-built Concorde 002 made its maiden flight from Filton to RAF Fairford.

1981: The US Navy nuclear submarine USS George Washington accidentally collided with the Nissho Maru, a Japanese cargo ship, sinking it.

1983: Jenny Pitman became the first woman to train an English Grand National winner with Corbiere.

1991: Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union.

2003: Baghdad fell to American forces, Iraqis pulled down a statue of former leader Saddam Hussein.

2005: The Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles in a civil ceremony at Windsor's Guildhall.