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May.16: 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper headlines: ‘Threat to freedom’ as PM warns of variant ‘risk’

BBC News: Staff:

The Daily Mail front page 15 May 2021
Several papers lead with Boris Johnson’s warning that the Indian coronavirus variant could delay the end of lockdown. The Daily Mail carries comments from the prime minister, who said there was a “real risk” the plan to lift all restrictions in June could be threatened. While the next step will go ahead on Monday, over-50s will have their second jab fast-tracked, cut from 12 weeks to eight – signalling the government’s anxiety over the situation, according to the paper.

“Threat to 21 June end of lockdown” is the headline on the front of the i weekend. The PM has shocked the public by warning there will be “tough choices” ahead if the mutation spreads much faster, the paper reports.

Meanwhile, passengers arriving in the UK from India have told the paper of airport failures on quarantine and social distancing.”Threat to freedom day” is the headline on the front of the Daily Mirror, as the paper also leads with the PM’s warnings. Cases of the Indian Covid variant have nearly tripled in the past week, Public Health England figures show.

The prime minister warned the nation faces “hard choices” due to the potential impact the Indian variant could have on reopening plans, the Times reports. From Monday, people in England will be able to mix indoors and physical contact will be permitted, but scientists say that the lifting of measures could lead to a substantial rise in the number of hospital admissions, the paper adds.

Separately, Portugal, Italy and Greece are set to open their borders to British tourists.New coronavirus cases involving the Indian variant have more than doubled in a week, the Daily Telegraph reports, from 520 to 1,313 across the UK. London and the North West have seen the biggest rise of the variant, the paper adds.

But lockdown sceptic Conservative MPs have urged ministers to “keep cool heads” and “avoid sacrificing the progress made by our rollout”.The PM has admitted that “the race between our vaccine programme and the virus may be about to become a great deal tighter”

Guardian reports. Mr Johnson has also announced that the Army will go to Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen – variant hotspots – to help with the vaccination drive. The lead image on the paper is of a child crying at his brother’s funeral in Gaza, after he was killed in an Israeli airstrike. Violence in the conflict is escalating, the paper adds, as people in Gaza flee their homes and Israeli forces “pounded the territory from the air, sea and land”.

The FT Weekend’s main image is also of the conflict, with rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip meeting the Israeli Iron Dome defences.

Meanwhile, an investigation has been launched by the Serious Fraud Office into suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering at Sanjeev Gupta’s metal empire, the FT Weekend reports: The SFO has been talking to whistleblowers for about a year, according to the paper. GFG Alliance, Mr Gupta’s family conglomerate, said it would co-operate fully with the investigation.

Elsewhere, the Daily Express carries an interview with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who tells the paper Britain can look forward to a “brighter future”. “Enormous” pent-up savings will help the country recover, the chancellor tells the paper.

And finally, according to the Daily Star, Russia is using a four-year-old story from the paper to warn its people they face a potential invasion from the British Army.

“Threat to freedom day” is the ominous headline in the Daily Mirrorfollowing Boris Johnson’s remarks about the Indian Covid variant. 

A former chief scientific adviser, Sir Mark Walport, has told the Times the situation is “poised on a knife edge”, with a lot hinging on the transmissibility figure. 

The hospitality industry is said to be “in despair” at the fresh doubt, according to i weekend. 

But the chairman of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, Mark Harper, has urged ministers to “keep cool heads” in the Daily Telegraph – with data suggesting the vaccines are having an effect against the variant.

“Anger as Sturgeon slams the brakes on” is the Scottish Daily Mail’s take on the first minister’s decision to keep Glasgow and Moray in level three restrictions from next week. 

The paper says more than 700,000 people have been left in “lockdown limbo”. 

The decision means hospitality venues will not be able to fully re-open, with one restaurateur telling the Times Scotland that the extra £750 in government support is “a joke”.

The misery could go on for some time, with one expert in the Scottish Sunsuggesting the week-long extension of restrictions is the “absolute minimum” that is required.

The Guardian considers what changes could be on the horizon following Edwin Poots’ election as leader of the Democratic Unionists. 

Mr Poots – a creationist who thinks the planet is 6,000 years old – is described as savvy, ambitious and pragmatic. 

But his critics warn a turbulent campaign against the Northern Ireland protocol, could lead to the collapse of power-sharing. 

They also believe he might “accelerate a haemorrhage” of support to the centrist Alliance Party, allowing Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Fein to become first minister.

Labour has accused Priti Patel of a “flagrant and glaring” breach of the ministerial code after an investigation by the Daily Mail claimed she lobbied Michael Gove on behalf of her former adviser. 

The paper says the home secretary was approached by Samir Jassal as he attempted to seal a £20m contract for surgical masks last April. 

The deal was never agreed after the health secretary said the masks were not suitable for the NHS. 

A spokesperson for Ms Patel has insisted she has done nothing wrong and she rightly followed up representations about a vital supply of personal protective equipment at a time of national crisis. 

“Spending splurge to fire up Britain” is the Daily Express’ headline assessment of its interview with the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

He has told the paper he is “very optimistic” for the future, with “enormous” amounts of lockdown savings still to be spent to help drive the economic recovery.

And finally, the Times reports “guilt-free sausages” could be on your plate as soon as next year. 

Using technology developed at Oxford University, experts say they can produce pork cultivated in tanks. 

The process involves cutting small amounts of fat and muscle from an anaesthetised pig before supplying the samples with nutrients, minerals and vitamins. 

Ivy Farm Technologies hopes to be able to produce enough pork by 2025 to save 170,000 pigs a year from being slaughtered – and in a nod to the nursery rhyme, the Times points out “now all little piggies can stay at home”. 

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.16: 2021:

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