Thursday briefing: PM assembles election cabinet

你好, Warren Murray with Thursday’s leading agenda items.

Liz Truss can look forward to eating cheese overseas after being named foreign secretaryBoris Johnson’s reshuffled cabinet. At least as much shoving as shuffling went on, with the exit from cabinet altogether of Gavin Williamson (教育), Robert Jenrick (housing), 罗伯特·巴克兰 (justice) and Amanda Milling (Tory co-chair).

Dominic Raab loses his job to Truss after the Afghanistan debacle – he moves to the justice portfolio, and also managed to wrest the consolation title of deputy prime minister from Johnson – while 迈克尔·戈夫 sidles into the housing, communities and local government ministry. Nadine Dorries is the new culture secretary.

After a gaffe-prone tenure in education, Williamson had been widely expected to be offered an alternative role – perhaps his old post as chief whip – but was instead dispatched straight to the backbenches. He is replaced by Nadhim Zahawi, an Iraqi-born entrepreneur who arrived in the UK as a child. Zahawi is viewed as a safe pair of hands in Downing Street after his management of the Covid vaccination programme. More junior ministry appointments are expected today.

Subs down under – Britain and the US are to help Australia build its own nuclear-powered submarines as the three countries set up a defence alliance called Aukus. Australia has only ever used diesel-electric subs and is due for new ones. The initiative was announced jointly by Joe Biden and prime ministers Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison. None of the three leaders mentioned China, which was immediately and predictably critical, but there was no doubt that the initiative was a response to China’s expansionist drive in the South China Sea and increasing belligerence towards Taiwan. New Zealand immediately reiterated that the not-yet-built subs would be banned from its waters – it has a longstanding nuclear-free policy.

‘Almost impossible’ – Former Chevening scholars have accused the British government of abandoning them in Afghanistan at grave risk from the Taliban. The government has prioritised the rescue of 35 current Chevening scholars who were due to embark on their studies in the UK before the Taliban takeover. 但 an estimated 70 former scholars are thought to still be in the country. One, speaking from hiding in Afghanistan, said it was “almost impossible” to cross into Pakistan without UK government intervention. British government sources said further details on eligibility for resettlement were being developed at pace and would be shared in due course. The Chevening scholarships support study at UK universities for potential future leaders, decision-makers and opinion formers – the sort of people it is feared the Taliban will target.

‘Deliberately retrogressive’ – Cutting universal credit by £20 a week is an “unconscionable” breach of international human rights law and likely to trigger an explosion of poverty, the United Nations’ poverty envoy has said. Olivier De Schutter said the withdrawal of the £1,000-a-year uplift from next month was “deliberately retrogressive” and incompatible with Britain’s obligation to protect citizens’ rights to adequate living standards. There was plentiful evidence showing millions of people would struggle to afford food and pay essential bills as a result. A government spokesperson said the government needed to turn from pandemic support to “supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more”.

See you around – SpaceX has succeeded in launching four people into orbit round the Earth for its Inspiration4 mission, dubbed as the first all-civilian adventure of its kind. Though as Lucy Mangan pointed out recently, they are not all complete greenhorns – one is a trained pilot, one is ex-air force, and the mission pilot, Sian Proctor, is in the Civil Air Patrol. None have been in space before, 尽管.

The passengers will spend three days orbiting Earth at an unusually high altitude of 357 英里 (575km) 100 miles higher than the International Space Station – before splashing down off the Florida coast on the weekend.

When the “subscription social network” OnlyFans announced it would be banning the sexually explicit content that made it a billion-dollar business, sex workers were up in arms – and many observers wondered how the move could make financial sense. Then it had second thoughts. So what does this tech saga tell us about where pornography fits into the future of the internet – and is it just another example of the sex industry treating women as disposable?

Amid the complex web of international trade, proving the authenticity of a product can be near-impossible. 但 one company is taking the search to the atomic level.

Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool’s Champions League return in front of a capacity Anfield crowd was everything he had hoped for except for his team “losing the plot” and allowing Milan back into a pulsating tie. At the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City had to work hard before Jack Grealish settled nerves in a 6-3 thriller against RB Leipzig, while in Belgium Lionel Messi failed to provide Paris Saint-Germain with any sparkle as their potent attacking trio lacked inspiration in a disappointing draw at Club Brugge.

Simone Biles has offered emotional testimony at a US senate hearing into the Larry Nassar abuse scandal, an episode that rocked the world of gymnastics. John McEnroe was criticised heavily after his comments about Emma Raducanu when she retired from Wimbledon in July, but the American said he was “very supportive” of her at the time and praised the Briton for her stunning US Open victory. Alberto Salazar, the US distance coach who guided Mo Farah to four Olympic gold medals and six world titles, is understood to have lost his appeal against a series of doping violations. 多于 96 female footballers and their family members have fled across the border of Afghanistan to Pakistan with the help of the Pakistan football federation. And former cricketer Michael Holding is retiring after 31 多年的电视评论员.

Independent retailers and food outlets are stepping into the gaps left by chain stores on the UK’s high streets, and in retail parks and shopping centres, driving the first rise in their numbers in four years. A net total of 804 locally run convenience stores, barbers, bakers, cafes and fast-food joints opened in the first half of 2021, according to retail analysts. The FTSE100 looks like falling by around 0.4% this morning while the pound is pretty much unchanged again at $1.383 and €1.171.

Cabinet capers dictate that we have a separate round-up of the front pages today – herewith our usual summary. 这 监护人 headline reads “PM’s ruthless reshuffle lays ground for next election” while the 每日电讯报 goes to the point with “Raab and Gove lose out as Truss promoted” in a reshuffle “more extensive than expected”. 这 时代’ headline is “Johnson wields axe in cabinet reshuffle” in what it calls “an attempt to refocus his premiership beyond the pandemic”.

FT’s take is that the reshuffle was to “revive faith in reform agenda” and “revive Britain’s standing on the world stage”. 这 每日邮件 says “At last, Boris wields the axe”. It brands Dorries and Truss the “new queens of the jungle” and calls the reshuffle “brutal”. It describes Raab’s removal as a “humiliating demotion” and says he was “savaged”. 这 i’s headline is “Johnson sacks blundering Cabinet allies”. It reports that an “angry” Raab refused to accept demotion until Johnson threw in the title of deputy prime minister as well.

每日快报 is characteristically subtle, with “PM’s ruthless cull to deliver Britain’s future”. Its strapline above the main headline reads: “In his biggest shake-up yet Boris vows to ‘unite and level up the whole country’”. He’ll stop at nothing for Britain … The 每日镜报’s front page is focused on climate change, with a small spot for Johnson’s “Cabinet clear-out”. Metro says it is “time to go away and shut up… or take a foreign holiday”.

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