Your Friday briefing: Boris Johnson plans to quit

We cover the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a new coronavirus strategy in Beijing. Boris Johnson will step...


We cover the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a new coronavirus strategy in Beijing.

Standing alone at a desk outside 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson announced that he resigns after three years as British Prime Ministerthe result of a massive cabinet rebellion, a wave of government resignations and a devastating loss of party support caused by recent scandals.

Johnson has tried to keep his job in recent days. But a dizzying 48 hours, during which two of his most senior ministers resigned, left him with little chance of retaining his support in parliament. “Most prime ministers would have gotten the message sooner,” said Andrew Gimson, one of Johnson’s biographers.

“It is now clearly the will of the Conservative Parliamentary Party that there is a new leader,” Johnson said, adding that he would remain in office until chosen.

Chronology: At the latest, the conservatives will want to install his successor at the party congress in the fall. It’s unclear whether Johnson will be able to stay in office that long, given the intense backlash.

Legacy: Johnson’s tenure was notable for a landslide victory three years ago and a successful campaign to pull Britain out of the European Union. A journalist turned politician, his career has been characterized by a gleeful disregard for the rules, a shrewd instinct for public opinion, an elastic approach to ethics and a Falstaffian appetite for the political punch.

Who is next: Many potential candidates reflect a more representative face of the Conservative Party: Jeremy Hunt, the former Foreign Secretary; Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary. Here’s what you need to know about them.


American basketball player Brittney Griner, detained in Russia since February and turned into a political pawn, pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Griner, who sent a letter to President Biden this week asking him not to forget it, was accused of having a vape cartridge with hash oil in her luggage. Experts warned ahead of her plea that she would almost certainly be convicted. She faces up to 10 years in a Russian penal colony.

While the Kremlin says it is not involved in the Griner case, Russian state media have reported that Moscow may pressure the US to release a Russian in US custody – like convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout – in exchange for his freedom.

Details: Russia’s deputy foreign minister hinted that Moscow was interested in negotiating Griner’s fate, saying she would be helped by “a serious reading by the American side of the signals they received from Russia, from Moscow , through specialized channels”.

On the ground in Ukraine: The recent Russian attacks in Donetsk have caused great damage. But military experts say the strikes are most likely just the prelude to a full-scale assault – and an attempt to take full control of the Donbass region.

Snake Island: Ukrainians raised their national flag on Snake Island on Thursday, signaling the recapture of a piece of land in the Black Sea that has become a symbol of the resistance of Ukraine.

Foreign fighters: Small groups of Western veterans are on the front line, but many others with less skills are left trying to find a role.

The Chinese capital, Beijing, will require people to be vaccinated in order to enter libraries, museums and other public gathering places, a change from the country’s longstanding strategy of containing the coronavirus with lockdowns.

The announcement, which comes months after many other countries introduced similar restrictions, reflects efforts by Chinese health authorities to vaccinate more of the population. If successful, experts say, China could begin to reopen to the world and ease concerns about the country’s slowing economy.

Immunization of older Chinese has lagged behind that of other age groups, in part due to skepticism about the safety of vaccines developed in China. The country has not approved any foreign-made shotguns.

Data: By early May, 82% of people over 60 had received two injections, compared to 89% in the general population. Only 51% of over-80s had received two injections in March.

In other virus news:

A tragedy in the Italian Dolomites – where a glacier ruptured with the force of a collapsing skyscraper and crushed at least nine hikers – has proven to be a reminder of the consequences of extreme weather caused by irreversible man-made climate change.

Lives Lived: Ni Kuanga prolific Hong Kong fantasy novelist who wrote hundreds of martial arts films for Bruce Lee, has died aged 87. Kazuki Takahashithe creator of the internationally acclaimed manga and trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh!, has died aged 60.

The principle of online gambling GeoGuessr is simple: you are dropped off somewhere in the world, seen through Google Street View, and you have to guess where you are. Often this means clicking to move around the landscape and search for clues.

Trevor Rainbolt, 23, found fame online by posting videos in which it locates in seconds, writes Kellen Browning of The Times. His geography skills border on magic — he can identify a country by the color of its soil — and his highlights regularly get millions of views on TikTok.

“Honestly, I haven’t had a social life in a year,” Rainbolt said. “But it’s worth it, because it’s so much fun and I love learning.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Your Friday briefing: Boris Johnson plans to quit
Your Friday briefing: Boris Johnson plans to quit
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