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May.20, 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper headlines: Holiday ‘police’ to visit homes amid travel ‘chaos’

The i 20 May
“Red list travel queue chaos” is the headline of the i, which claims to have new photographs showing passengers from countries on the government’s travel red list waiting alongside those from non-red list nations inside an airport terminal. Travellers have told the i of “inadequate social distancing” while stuck “for hours” at immigration, amid continued concern over the spread of the Indian variant.

By BBC News: Staff:

The Mail’s splash says that after “days of confusion” about the government’s so-called amber travel list, families should soon expect to receive a “knock on the door” from the authorities when they return from countries such as France, Spain and Italy to check they are obeying the 10-day quarantine requirement.The Daily Star playfully summarises the government’s messaging on foreign travel with the headline “Go on holiday, but don’t go on holiday”.

The Guardian’s lead warns that ministers are thinking about “diluting” plans for England’s “freedom day” on 21 June – when it is hoped all Covid restrictions will lift – and delaying the end of all social distancing, after new data showed another surge in the Indian variant in the UK. But the paper tempers this with the comment that No 10 has “not lost hope” of being able to end restrictions by 21 June, with one source noting there was now a more optimistic feeling than there was previously about the prospect of unlocking the country as planned.

The Times takes a more upbeat tone with its lockdown easing lead, saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “increasingly optimistic” that Covid restrictions can lift as planned on 21 June, as early data had suggested the Indian variant was not spreading as fast as first thought. But the paper cautions that “firmer” data is due to come out next week – with government sources stressing the figures were preliminary and “the picture could change significantly again”.The upcoming publication of a report into how ex-BBC journalist Martin Bashir secured his 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana is the focus of the Daily Telegraph’s front page. The paper says it understands the report by Lord Dyson, a former Master of the Rolls, will say BBC rules were breached to get the interview, in findings one source says could be the corporation’s “phone hacking moment” – a nod to the controversy involving the News of the World newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Sun reports on claims made by Simone Simmons, a friend of Princess Diana, about Mr Bashir’s 1995 interview with the princess.

The Daily Mirror’s front page claims that some male celebrities are facing accusations of sexual abuse – with the possibility that women in the showbusiness industry could go public with allegations. The paper quotes an unnamed source who says the claims are a “timebomb waiting to explode” – and follow allegations of sexual harassment and bullying made against the actor Noel Clarke. Mr Clarke has strongly denied any sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

The Metro reports that Britain’s railways will undergo their “greatest shake-up” in 25 years to coincide with the planned end of lockdown – with the arrival of pay as you go, contactless payments and digital ticketing on smartphones. The “rail revolution” will also see the introduction of a new national flexi season ticket which would allow passengers to travel on any eight days in a 28-day period, and the formation of a new public body called Great British Railways to oversee all train services.

The Financial Times leads on the “turbulence” seen in cryptocurrency markets on Wednesday following a Chinese “crackdown” on digital currencies. It saw the price of Bitcoin fall by as much as 30%, while another digital coin, Ethereum, lost a quarter of its value, the FT reports. But the paper hints that this has not deterred Elon Musk, the Tesla boss and a cryptocurrency enthusiast, who said the electric carmarker had no plans to sell any of its Bitcoin and would hold it for the long term.

The Daily Express claims about 10 SAS veterans are now facing investigation and possible trial over missions they undertook while serving in Northern Ireland.

Several front pages carry images of the scenes of ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians. 

The Guardian’s photo shows an injured child being tended to, with the caption “De-escalate, orders Biden. US president talks tough to Netanyahu”.

“Hopes rise for end to lockdown next month” is the main headline for the Times, which says hospital admissions remain flat in hotspots of the Indian Covid variant.

The Guardian has a different take. Its front page suggests that plans for further easing of Covid restrictions in June “may be diluted” after a sharp rise in cases of the variant. 

The Daily Mail leads with the news that Britons who decide to go ahead with a holiday in amber-list countries will face spot checks at home when they return – to ensure they observe the official 10-day quarantine period. 

The paper says Home Secretary Priti Patel is stepping up the checks, with 30,000 carried out last week. 

The Daily Telegraph reports that the BBC-commissioned Dyson inquiry into how Martin Bashir obtained his 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana will find him guilty of deceit and breaching corporation guidelines when it is published later. It adds that he has declined to comment publicly, citing poor health. 

“Humph still rules Whitehall” is the Sun’s verdict on the Social Mobility Commission’s report – referencing the fictional mandarin Sir Humphrey Appleby, from the TV series ‘Yes Minister’. 

The study finds that just 18% of senior civil servants are from working class or low socio-economic backgrounds – compared with 19% in 1967. 

The Times says that staff who took part in the study reported feeling excluded because of their regional accents, or by the use of Latin in meetings. 

Rail revolution

“Season tickets go Flexi” is the Metro’s headline as it tells readers that plans for the biggest rail shake-up in 25 years will reflect emerging post-pandemic working patterns. 

The Daily Telegraph focuses on plans for ownership and control in its coverage suggesting that the new publicly owned Great British Railway, which will centralise operations as franchising ends, is ‘British Rail’ under a new name

It carries criticism too, from those who oppose what they see as “nationalisation by the back door”.

Several papers carry the news that there is to be one final novel from the espionage and thriller writer John Le Carre. 

The Guardian reports that Le Carre gave permission for his completed final manuscript to be published before he died in December. 

His son, Nick Cornwell describes ‘Silverview’, which will be released in October, as ‘fierce and forensic’ and a superb searching of the soul of the modern secret intelligence service. 

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: May.20: 2021:

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