[Ed note: This is to let you know that Debbie is sadly still in hospital – not with covid! – and she doesn’t now yet when she will be allowed out. Meanwhile we wish her a speedy recovery!]
Not unexpectedly the main story this morning is ‘Storm Christoph’ which has caused havoc across England according to THE SUN who report that ‘ overnight emergency services have evacuated thousands of homes as more than 300 flood warnings were issued across England with the ‘Met Office threatening a timeline of hazards’ across Britain. Boris Johnson chaired a Cobra Cris meeting as the Environmental Agency said that many rivers were at dangerously high levels in many places and there were major incidents in Greater Manchester , South Yorkshire and Cheshire.
The Daily Mail reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to heed the warnings if they are advised to evacuate, adding: ‘It is their right not to do so if they choose – it’s always people’s right to stay wherever they are. ‘But it really is advisable – follow the advice. If you are told to leave your home then you should do so.’ Danger to life warnings were issued across the country as high winds, 120mm of rain fell in 24 hours across Britain which has also been hit by high winds and snow in some areas.
The Independent reports that the Home Office has been accused of “callousness” and “inhumanity” after blaming asylum seekers for the spread of the coronavirus in a military camp where hundreds are housed and over a 100 people are reported as having tested positive. They have been banned from leaving Napier Barracks, in Kent, since Saturday after a number tested positive for Covid -19. And have been told they were “not to leave the site under any circumstance” and that if they did they could face arrest.
The Daily Mirror reports that Corona Virus cases are not falling: cases didn’t fall in the first 10 days of England’s third national lockdown and experts have warned it appears to be having little impact on infection rates. The prevalence of Covid-19 in the community was “very high” during the second week of the strict shutdown, soaring by 50 per cent between early December and January 15, a new study has found.
The Guardian carries as its headline the first hours in the oval office of President Biden reporting that he has marked the start of his presidency by signing a flurry of executive orders of issues, including Covid-19, the environment, immigration and ethics. The orders halt the travel ban from Muslim majority countries , stops theconstruction of the wall on the U.S-Mexico border and allows the U.S.A to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Daily Mail reports that President Biden watched an inauguration firework display from the White House and went on to reiterated his calls for unity and insisted he believes the ‘best is yet to come’ for the nation during his speech at the primetime inauguration special, Celebrating America, on Wednesday night. Speaking at the Lincoln Memorial just hours after he was sworn into office as the 46th US President, Biden said: ‘It is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words’.
According to the Guardian, Boris Johnson said that there is nothing wrong with being ‘woke’ but deferred on whether the term would apply to Joe Biden, after Labour’s Lisa Nandy said the US president had won on a platform of progressive values. But he is reported elsewhere in Yahoo News as saying “‘There’s nothing wrong with being woke but what I can tell you is that I think it’s very, very important for everybody to … I certainly put myself in the category of people who believe that it’s important to stick up for your history, your traditions and your values, the things you believe in.” Apparently Boris Johnson faces bumpy path back to respectability in the White House as he has supported Trump in the past.
The Daily Mail reports: The Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to sources, has apparently decided local elections in England will go ahead as planned on May 6, it was claimed today. The elections were postponed last year because of the coronavirus crisis and there had been fears that ministers would have no choice but to move them back again because of the current surge in infections. But the Prime Minister is said to have resolved that the nation will go to the polls and vote in person later this year. This is also seen as a signal that Lockdown restrictions may be lifted by Easter
THE SUN reports: Cycle lanes in London could be axed after the High Court ruled Sadiq Khan’s controversial ‘Streetspace’ scheme was unlawful. The damning ruling said the Mayor of London “took advantage of the pandemic” in order to “push through” more cycle lanes and road closures via the scheme. The construction of cycle lanes in many towns and cities across England but particularly in London have caused consternation and annoyance to many people.