EU 

Express
BRUSSELS has been left scrambling after its attempts to punish Britain over leaving the European Union failed, a former advisor to Margaret Thatcher has claimed.
Brussels has failed to hurt Britain’s big economic industries following Brexit, Lord Powell has claimed. The former advisor to Margaret Thatcher told Chubb the city of London has withstood threats from the European Union  since Brexit. He pointed out that there are more people working inside the tiny square mile of the City of London than the entire city of Frankfurt, which had once hoped to overtake the UK capital as a financial centre after Brexit. 
Lord Powell said: “The city of London is a hugely sophisticated, well-developed institution.
“It has enormous networks throughout the world.
“Nowhere else in Europe is a global financial market.
“They would like to be, but they are not.”
He added: “More people work within in the small square mile of the city of London than live in the whole of Frankfurt.
“That tells you something! That’s not going to change.
“If Europeans want to make difficulties on financial services, they will try, in order to regain some of the business for themselves. 

Northern Ireland 

Express
THE EU has issued a stark warning to Lord Frost, Boris Johnson and the UK Government as ministers prepare to unveil their strategy on tackling the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The Brexit minister in the Cabinet Office is due to make a Parliamentary Statement outlining the way forward on the Protocol next week. But the impending announcement has ruffled diplomatic feathers in Brussels who fear the UK will be pushy over finding a long-term solution to implementing the Protocol.
Brussels has proposed the UK align with EU food safety standards and agree to a sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) deal, which Commission officials say would do away with 80 percent of checks on goods entering Northern Ireland.
But the UK has ruled out this option and is expected to demand the EU respect their food safety standards and agree on an equivalence arrangement, which Brussels is yet to rule out.
A Brussels source said: “It’s very unclear what to expect from the UK but we are willing to work cooperatively if they don’t drop any big surprise points.
“On matters including checks, we need to have a clear answer from them and effective communication.
“If they do drop big surprise points then we aren’t afraid to put our foot down and make clear the Protocol is here to stay.” 

Covid 

Mail
Sajid Javid last night triggered fears of a disruptive ‘pingdemic’ striking at the heart of Government after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Health Secretary had visited the Commons and Downing Street in previous days – and is understood to have held a lengthy face-to-face meeting with Boris Johnson just before his symptoms developed – sparking concerns that senior figures across Whitehall would have to be confined to home.
One insider warned that ‘half the Cabinet’ could be in isolation by the end of the week.
After feeling ‘a bit groggy’ on Friday night, Mr Javid – who has been double-jabbed – took a lateral flow test yesterday. When it came back positive, he began self-isolating with his family pending the results of a more reliable PCR test.
He said his symptoms were ‘mild’ but there were immediate concerns over those he had been in contact with, including Ministers and senior civil servants.
Downing Street last night said that if Mr Javid’s PCR test came back positive, those he had been close to him would be traced.
The Health Secretary was pictured leaving No 10 on Friday, shortly before he began to feel unwell, and earlier in the week he had visited vulnerable people in a care home. 

Similar stories can be read in the Telegraph, Guardian, Sun, Independent, Evening Standard, Order-Order 

Mail
Coronavirus cases have jumped by more than two thirds in a week, official data revealed today as experts warned infections will stay high for months and a new lockdown will be needed by September.
Department of Health bosses posted another 54,674 cases today — an increase of 68 per cent on last Saturday’s figure of 32,367 — breaching the 50,000 mark for only the second time since the darkest days of the last wave in January.
Another 41 deaths were also recorded, rising 20.6 per cent on the 34 seen last week.
Hospitalisations with the disease also spiked 30.4 per cent to 740 on July 13 — the latest date data is available for. It was the highest number of daily admissions seen since March 2, when they reached 834.
Experts today warned cases would continue to spiral across the country until autumn, passing the 100,000 in two weeks’ time.
The fire warning comes just two days before England is set to ditch most restrictions including social distancing and legal limits of gatherings on Monday  dubbed Freedom Day.  

Trade 

Express
HOPES of a UK-US trade deal being secured were boosted after Liz Truss held a meeting with her counterpart across the pond this week.
The International Trade Secretary met Katherine Tai, the US trade representative, during a five-day visit from Sunday to Thursday, July 15. A future UK-US free trade agreement was on the agenda and it is understood US officials were impressed by Ms Truss’ diplomatic approach.
However, Washington has urged caution over the timescale of a deal that is not expected to be signed immediately and could take at least 12 months to complete.
A White House source said: “Ambassador Tai really appreciated the visit by Liz Truss bringing her remarkable British charm over from London.
“We certainly commit to strengthening the trade relationship between US and UK in line with the Biden administration’s global agenda.
“But be in doubt this will take time and cooperative working, trade deals do not happen overnight and not straight away.” 

Freedom Day 

Express
BORIS Johnson’s plan to lift all coronavirus restrictions on Monday on what has been widely nicknamed Freedom Day is “madness”, scientists have warned – with one saying she was “p****d off and angry”.
And another has suggested the changes will simply stoke divisions in society, claiming individuals and employers had been left to make crucial public health decisions. Independent Sage discussed the proposed changes, confirmed by Mr Johnson earlier this week, during their Friday briefing yesterday against a backdrop of mounting concerns over the so-called Beta variant, which may be capable of evading the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Professor Christina Pagel, professor of operational research at University College London (UCL), said: “I feel p****d off, sad and angry.
“We are having the wrong conversation. Opening up on Monday is madness. We should not be doing it.
“We should be talking about how do we get cases down now.” 

Similar stories can be read in the Morning Star, Times 

Health tax 

Mail
Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are at loggerheads over plans for a new £10 billion-a-year ‘health tax’ to clear the NHS Covid backlog and fund reforms to care for the elderly.
Treasury sources accuse Mr Johnson of using new Health Secretary Sajid Javid to ‘gang up on’ Mr Sunak over the new levy.
They even claim that when Mr Javid was appointed, he was told by the Prime Minister that joining forces with him against the Chancellor was a condition of his employment.
Mr Sunak – the favourite to succeed Mr Johnson when he eventually leaves Downing Street – fears that his ambitions will be damaged if he is bounced by No 10 into raising taxes.
But Mr Javid, who replaced disgraced Matt Hancock last month, has told allies that as ‘the UK has maxed out its credit card’, the NHS backlogs and social care reforms can only be tackled with new taxes.
Under the plans being thrashed out between No 10 and No 11, the Government would introduce a new tax equivalent to 2p on income tax to raise an extra £10 billion a year to tackle, firstly, the backlog of operations caused by the pandemic.
A total of 5.3 million people are waiting for routine operations and procedures in England, and Mr Javid has warned that the figure could reach 13 million.
Once the backlog has been dealt with, the new money would be used to reform the social care system to reduce the burden on families.
Mr Johnson has told the Treasury that he is prepared to accept the plans drawn up ten years ago by Sir Andrew Dilnot, who carried out a review of social care, which limited to around £50,000 the amount that families have to pay towards care – with the state stepping in to cover the rest.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Boris told Rishi it [the extra health costs] had to be sorted.  

Child grooming 

Breitbart
Banaras Hussain, Mohammed Akram, and Talish Mahmood Ahmed have been jailed for grooming and raping a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl in Huddersfield, England.
Leeds Crown Court heard during the trial that the girl was raped in her primary school playground and even in her own bedroom after one of the groomers, Mohammed Akram, clambered up the drainpipe of her house.
The prosecutor in the case, Kate Batty, told the jury, per a court report from Yorkshire Live, that by the time she was 13, the victim was “intoxicated most of the time”, being plied with vodka, lager, cigarettes, and amphetamines by her abusers.
Mrs Batty said the teenager was treated as an “object”, adding: “Routine to her became the day in, day out events of being touched or groped or having sex on grubby mattresses on the floors of flats and houses that she found herself in.”
The “primary groomer” in the case, then-married Banaras Hussain, was accused of sexually abusing the victim at least twice a week over the course of a year in the woods or in the primary school playground.
“He took her to a house one day where again the alcohol and drugs were free-flowing,” the prosecutor said, adding: “In the bedroom of that house, she lost her virginity to him on a mattress without bedding, using a curtain as a blanket.”
Hussain was sentenced to 18 years, but he will, like his fellow predators, likely serve far less than this in prison, as criminals in Britain are typically entitled to automatic early release on licence halfway or two-thirds of the way through their sentences. 

Olympics 

Mail
No sex. No cheering. Eat alone. If competitors and support staff at this summer’s Covid-affected Tokyo Olympics don’t abide by these rules and many others, they risk getting kicked out.
The latest ‘Playbook’ of rules for the 90,500 overseas visitors to the Games – 11,500 athletes plus 79,000 coaches, support staff and officials – is explicit in stating this in a section headlined: ‘Non-respect of the Playbook’.
‘Failure to comply with these rules may result in disciplinary consequences,’ it says, listing just some of the things that might land you in trouble, from refusing to take a daily Covid test, to ‘intentionally disrespecting mask wearing’ to not adhering to social distancing.
The penalties range from warnings to fines to exclusion from the Games, to disqualification if an ‘offence’ happens after an individual’s competition is finished.
The sex ban has been alluded to by the organisers in several ways. The latest Playbook says attendees must ‘avoid physical contact, including hugs and handshakes’, and ‘keep physical interactions with others to a minimum’.
Since the Seoul Olympics in 1988, Games organisers have given away hundreds of thousands of condoms to promote safe sex at Olympic villages packed with thousands of the fittest young men and women in the world. Tokyo’s organising committee have scrapped their plan to give away 160,000 condoms this time, saying they will instead be given out when athletes go home.

Similar stories can be read in the Guardian, ITV News, Independent, 

German floods 

Telegraph
Scores of volunteers and rescue workers were on Saturday searching the wreckage left by catastrophic flooding in Western Germany in a desperate search for missing neighbours and loved ones.
As many as 1,300 people remained missing in the Ahrweiler district of Rhineland-Palatinate alone after heavy rainfall brought ferocious flooding to swathes of Europe, killing more than 183 people – 156 in Germany alone.
The exact number of people unaccounted for remains unknown. Many phone networks have been damaged, but some locals have managed to find loved ones during intermittent spells of reception. “That’s how we found friends who couldn’t make it [out],” Aaron Löhr, 22, said.
“Everything is in ruins,” another middle-aged resident told the local Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper as he stood by wreckage of his destroyed house, which he and his wife had renovated last year.
More than 22,000 emergency services are working on rescue operations in North Rhine-Westphalia, according to the state government. “Anything is possible. We do not know what we will find in the cellars,” a fire department section head told Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Saturday.  

Similar stories can be read in the Guardian, Independent, ITV News 

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