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May.17: 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper headlines: PM ‘must think again’ on rules, and 1m jabs ‘push’

BBC News: Staff:

The Observer front page 16 May 2021
Several of Sunday’s papers look ahead to the further lifting of lockdown restrictions in England on Monday, amid concerns over the Indian coronavirus variant. The Observer says PM Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to reconsider the relaxation of measures due to the threat posed by the variant. There are fears hospital admissions might surge, particularly among young adults who have not been vaccinated, the paper adds. Meanwhile, nurses are pictured treating a baby in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp on Saturday. Among the casualties were eight young cousins who had gathered to celebrate Eid with their mothers, the paper says, as the violence continues.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the government is planning to ramp up vaccinations in order to jab up to a million people a day “and save the British summer”. Ministers have told MPs the daily doses can be “safely” upped from 500,000 to 800,000 within the next two weeks, using a stockpile of 3.2 million doses in England. The paper says government sources hope this could then be increased to the one million mark.

Meanwhile, the Johnson & Johnson single dose Janssen vaccine is expected to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency this week, the paper adds.Elsewhere, the Mail on Sunday says door-to-door coronavirus “hit squads” will go to Bolton and Blackburn to focus on areas which have the greatest vaccine hesitancy.

The Indian variant is particularly prevalent in these areas, and the paper reports that ministers are cautiously optimistic such targeted jabs could stem the surge of the variant. Meanwhile, royal aides want the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give up their titles, according to the paper. It comes after Prince Harry revealed details of his upbringing during a podcast last week.In other royal news, the Prince of Wales is planning to transform palaces from “private spaces to public places”, according to the Sunday Times. Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral, Sandringham and Clarence House will be open more extensively for longer periods, the paper adds, giving the public greater access to these historic sites.Senior MPs have urged Mr Johnson not to “panic” over the Indian variant, to “believe in the vaccination programme” and to stick to the roadmap out of lockdown, the Sunday Express reports.

Vaccinations are set to soon roll out to over-35s, the paper adds.For those who have forgotten how to hug, the Daily Star Sunday says it has some top tips from Starsky and Hutch’s Huggy Bear.

The Sunday People reports that grieving families have accused the PM of “repeating past mistakes” over Covid, posing the question: “Will he ever learn?” Separately, the paper carries an update in its campaign to raise money for Nathaniel Nabena, who has leukaemia and needs stem cell treatment. Readers have helped to raise £201,000, the paper says, as Nathaniel and his father thank supporters from hospital.

And finally, the Sunday Mirror says that the daughter of serial killer Rose West believes her mother has details of missing Mary Bastholm. Police are searching a restaurant in Gloucester where the 15-year-old worked before going missing. It is feared she was murdered by serial killer Fred West.

“Will he ever learn?” is the question for the prime minister from an exasperated Sunday People amid concern about the Indian variant. 

It says families of Covid victims have accused Boris Johnson of “repeating past mistakes” by failing to restrict travel from India in early April.

The Sunday Times estimates that 20,000 people who could have been infected were allowed to enter Britain from India in the period before the government imposed a travel ban. 

One source says the delay was because Mr Johnson did not want to offend the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, with the UK seeking a post-Brexit trade deal.

Downing Street has denied relations with India had any role in the decision.

The Observer says experts have urged Mr Johnson to reconsider the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England because of the variant. 

Professor Kit Yates says a two-week delay would make a “huge difference” because it would allow more people to be vaccinated and enable scientists to learn more about the variant.

But the Sunday Express urges the prime minister to channel his inner Sir Francis Drake – who refused to rush a game of bowls before taking on the Spanish Armada – and “stick to his plan”, saying we cannot assume variants are going to have a “dramatic effect”.

“Royal aides want Harry and Meghan to give up their titles,” is the Mail on Sunday’s front page headline.

Senior courtiers have told the paper there is a growing sense of “bewilderment and betrayal” over the couple’s continued attacks on the royals.

The aides are said to be “particularly incensed” about Harry’s criticism of Prince Charles’s parenting skills in a podcast interview, and by implication, those of the Queen and the late Prince Philip. 

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden wants voters from so-called “red wall” seats – won by the Conservatives from Labour in the north of England at the last election – to replace people from “metropolitan bubbles” on the boards of Britain’s museums.

In an article for the paper, Mr Dowden says the change will give cultural organisations the confidence “to stand up against the political fads and noisy movements of the moment”. 

Official figures show that, last year, 50% of chairmen and trustees appointed to publicly-funded institutions lived in London – with the culture secretary now keen to ensure a “grandparent in Hartlepool or Harwich” feels as represented as a “millennial in Islington”.

Smelly rubbish could be left to pile up for a month under what the Sunday Mirror calls the “Boris bin plan”.

The prime minister wants all councils to pick up food waste, glass and recyclables on a weekly basis from 2023. 

But the paper says the fear is the new rules will delay the collection of general refuse. The government says its new approach will reduce landfill. 

The Sunday People’s verdict is: “This stinks.” 

And finally, “Wood you believe it” asks the Daily Express as it features photographs of 100 life-sized wooden sculptures of Asian elephants. 

The creatures were in London to highlight how humans can better co-exist with animals. 

The Express says there were “wild scenes” as the creatures were paraded under the Queen’s windows at Buckingham Palace – while the Sunday Telegraph wonders whether they used a “trunk road”. 

#AceNewsDesk report …..Published: May.17: 2021:

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