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May.05, 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper headlines: ‘Stop veterans witch hunt’ and third jab for over-50s

Telegraph front page
Calls for the “witch hunt” of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland to stop is the lead in the Daily Telegraph. The paper says campaigners and military leaders have demanded an end to prosecutions after the first of a series of trials “collapsed in just six days”. Two men who served during the Troubles were acquitted on Tuesday of the murder of an Official IRA man 50 years ago.

BBC News: Staff:

The same story makes the front of the Daily Mail, which says that the trial of the two former paratroopers “sensationally” collapsed after the trial judge ruled that crucial interview evidence was inadmissible. The paper says it raises “grave questions” as to why prosecutors pursued charges against the pair, now in their 70s, for five years.”End the cruel hounding of all our veterans” is the Daily Express’ headline on the same topic, quoting a former head of the Royal Navy – Admiral Lord West. The paper says the two former paratroopers walked free from court on Tuesday “after five years of hell”.

A third Covid vaccine is going to be offered to everyone over 50 in the autumn, reports the Times. It says the booster is an attempt to eradicate the threat from Covid entirely by Christmas, and it could be offered at the same time as the annual flu jab. The paper suggests the jab would only be given to the over-50s and those with underlying health conditions, who are at higher risk.Holiday destinations with the least risk to tourists and the UK will be revealed by the government on Friday, according to the i newspaper.

The paper says Portugal, the Canary Islands, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Zante, Malta, Israel, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and the US Virgin Islands are all expected to go on the “green list” for quarantine-free travel.

Mortgage lending rising by the highest amount on record in March is the lead in the Financial Times. The paper says it was driven by a “frenzied rush” among UK housebuyers looking to snap up property before the end of the stamp duty holiday.

The trial of a police officer accused of the murder of former Premier League footballer Dalian Atkinson is the focus for the Metro. It reports that a jury was told the footballer was tasered “for 33 seconds” and kicked in the head before his death. The officer accused denies any wrongdoing, and the trial continues.The Daily Mirror splashes on what it calls a “miracle escape” after a 99-year-old woman whose house exploded was rescued by two passers-by.

The paper calls Andy and Harry Hodges – father and son – heroes for saving Ethel Hanford, whose house in Kent was blown apart in a suspected gas leak.The first byelection since Boris Johnson was elected in December 2019 is the focus for the Guardian, which also carries the story that the French government could cut off the electricity supply to Jersey in an escalating row over post-Brexit fishing rights. The paper quotes a French government minister as saying France was ready to retaliate as it was “revolted” by the UK government’s behaviour over its waters.

And “break it to us gently, Nasa” is the headline in the Daily Star. The paper says the “space boffs” have warned that “we have no chance of surviving an asteroid collision”.

“End the cruel hounding of all our veterans” is the Daily Express’headline. It is a quote from the former head of the Navy, Admiral Lord West, in response to the collapse on Tuesday of the trial of two former paratroopers, accused of murdering a senior figure in the Official IRA, in 1972. 

He argues that the government should honour its promise – to allow veterans who served in Northern Ireland the same protection from litigation given to those who were deployed overseas.

The Daily Mail agrees, demanding on its front page: “Now end witch hunts for good”. It thinks it was a “day of shame” for ministers, who have – in its words – “repeatedly failed to bring in promised legislation to protect the former soldiers”. 

There’s a comment piece written by Paul Johnston, the former deputy director of the Historical Enquiries Team, which was set up to investigate unsolved killings during the Troubles. 

He states that as well as being unfair to the former soldiers, the case did not respect the wishes of the family of Joe McCann, the Official IRA commander who was killed.

McCann FamilyJoe McCann was shot near his home in the Markets area of Belfast in April 1972

Under the headline “a shameful action against old soldiers”, the Daily Telegraph’s opinion column points out that the two defendants, known as soldiers A and C, “were on trial for murder, having never been arrested or even spoken to by the police – let alone formally interviewed”. 

The paper calls for other similar cases to be dropped immediately.

EPAThe overpass collapsed as a train was travelling over it

There’s an aerial photo on the front of the Financial Times, of the section of metro line in Mexico City that collapsed, killing 24 people. The headline is: “Mexico looks for answers”. 

The website of El Universal, which is based in the Mexican capital, reports that staff on the entire metro system are threatening to go on strike, because they fear that an even more catastrophic failure could occur. 

Another Mexican paper, Excelsior, highlights the fact that the metro had no maintenance director for a whole year.

According to the Times, people in the UK aged 50 and above will be offered a third Covid jab in the autumn. It suggests that trials are being conducted of two different strategies. 

The first involves distributing vaccines that have been modified to give protection from new coronavirus variants. Under the second, people would be given a shot of one of the three jabs currently in use.

The Daily Mirror leads on the rescue of a 99-year-old grandmother – Ethel Hanford – whose house in Ashford, Kent, was destroyed by an explosion on Tuesday morning. 

The paper describes Andy Hodges and his son Harry, who helped Mrs Hanford out of the wreckage, as “gas blast heroes”. It says they deserve a medal for their bravery.

Finally, the Guardian marks its 200th anniversary with a “souvenir edition”. 

Among pages of special features is an article comparing the very first Manchester Guardian, published on 5 May 1821, with its modern incarnation. 

“The front page was crammed with small ads,” it says, “and the news, such as it was, touched on ghosts, rooks and a heavily-pregnant dog that had deserted its new owner.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.05: 2021:

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