Brexit

So now we’re relying on the German leader for a trade deal, says the Express.

BRITISH negotiators believe Angela Merkel will now focus on Brexit to broker a free-trade agreement before the autumn.
Downing Street thinks the German Chancellor has time to convince European Union leaders to break the deadlock now they’ve finished the bitter wrangling over the bloc’s coronavirus recovery package. David Frost, the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator with Brussels, wants member states to hand his EU counterpart Michel Barnier some “meaningful guidance” on a way forward to end the impasse. A senior UK source close to the negotiations said: “We believe it is eminently possible to find an agreement in September.
“It is definitely possible now with the MFF wrapped up member states will become more engaged in this process in Brussels and get them moving forwards politicaly.
“The German presidency, obviously, should pay more attention to whats going on, which I think has got to be helpful.”

The Guardian says she has insisted the UK gives up more.

Angela Merkel’s government has called for more realism from the UK in the ongoing trade and security talks, after the EU capitals were given a “sobering” update by Michel Barnier following the recent round of Brexit negotiations.
After a presentation by the EU’s chief negotiator to ambassadors from the 27 member states on Friday, a spokesman for the German government, which holds the rolling EU presidency, said the bloc was ready to move negotiations quickly forward but “expressed the need for more realism in London”.
The comments will be a blow to Downing Street, where it had been hoped the resolution of the EU’s internal budget and recovery fund debate would allow Merkel and the other leaders to intervene and unblock the negotiation following a month of little progress.

And the bloc’s negotiator says it’s all our fault, reports the Telegraph.

British negotiators are banking on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to unblock Brexit talks after Michel Barnier accused the UK of wrecking the chances of a trade deal with the EU.
In July, Germany took up the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, which allows it to set the bloc’s policy direction until the end of the year.
A senior UK source close to the negotiations said Mrs Merkel’s reputation as a dealmaker on the European stage could be key to end the impasse.
“It is definitely possible now with the (EU budget) wrapped up that member states will become more engaged in this process in Brussels and get them moving forwards politically,” the source said.
“The German presidency, obviously, should pay more attention to what’s going on, which I think has got to be helpful.

The Times reports the possibility now that the EU’s budget has been agreed.

British trade negotiators are banking on Angela Merkel “paying more attention to Brexit” after a marathon European Union summit agreed a Brussels pandemic recovery fund this week.
Post-Brexit trade talks have hit an impasse despite progress over the past month and the German chancellor, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency until December 31, is expected to play a big role in unblocking negotiations.
“The German presidency obviously should pay more attention to what’s going on, which I think has got to be helpful,” a senior UK official close to the negotiations said.

Fisheries

But our fish will not be sacrificed, reports the Express.

BREXIT negotiator Michel Barnier has been told to forget about continued access to UK waters by a furious fishing chief, after the arch Europhile demanded European trawlers be able to plunder British territories beyond the transition period.
Barrie Deas, CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, has warned Michel Barnier the EU’s “exploitative relationship” over the past 40 years with UK waters is coming to an end. The latest round of Brexit talks between Michel Barnier and UK negotiator David Frost concluded on Thursday, with outstanding issues over fishing, governance and trade remaining.
Mr Barnier firmly pointed the blame towards the UK for the lack of progress and described the UK’s position on fishing as “simply unacceptable”.

Labour Party

Antisemitism in the party has raised its head again in the Guardian.

Labour’s most senior lawyer under Jeremy Corbyn formally warned the party that an internal report on antisemitism was deliberately misleading and relied upon improperly obtained private correspondence, leaked documents show.
Thomas Gardiner, Labour’s director of governance and legal until last month, wrote that the report should not be circulated because party employees’ emails and WhatsApp messages had been “presented selectively and without their true context in order to give a misleading picture”.
The report, which was leaked to the media, was compiled to be submitted to an inquiry by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints.
Gardiner’s comments, sent in an email to the party’s then general secretary, Jennie Formby, will be a key piece of evidence for 32 former Labour officials, including the former general secretary Iain McNicol, who are suing the party for data breaches and libel within the leaked report.

And the Morning Star reports a huge hike in contributions to the former leader’s legal fund.

A FUNDRAISER set up to pay for Jeremy Corbyn’s legal fees surpassed £170,000 in a day today, after he was threatened with libel action by a BBC journalist.
The Islington North MP and former Labour leader is being accused of libel by John Ware, a reporter for documentary series Panorama.
It comes after Mr Corbyn criticised Labour’s “political decision” to apologise to seven former senior party employees and pay them damages, reportedly amounting to £500,000.
The staffers had claimed defamation following a Panorama investigation into allegations of anti-semitism within Labour.
At the High Court hearing on Wednesday, Labour also apologised and agreed to pay “substantial damages” to BBC journalist Mr Ware for falsely accusing him of “deliberate and malicious misrepresentations designed to mislead the public.”

Wales

Meanwhile, there’s lots of money heading west, reports BBC News.

UK ministers have announced £1.2bn funding for the Welsh Government.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said it was “like an advance payment” ahead of announcements to be made in England.
The Barnett formula is used to decide how much money the other nations receive when the UK government spends in England.
The Welsh finance minister said it would “give the NHS the kind of certainty that it needs” to plan for a potential second wave of the virus.
The Welsh Government has previously said it was “not clear how much of this package is wholly new”.

NHS

More cash will be given to doctors who want to become GPs, says the Times.

The NHS will step in to cover childcare costs for doctors who want to retrain as GPs, in an attempt to boost numbers.
A new scheme will offer up to £2,000 towards the costs of caring for children or family members while doctors complete the placements necessary to return to work in general practice.
On his first day as prime minister last year Boris Johnson promised to recruit 6,000 more GPs to improve patient access mid widespread shortages.
The money will be offered as part of an “induction and refresher scheme” first introduced in 2016, designed to bring GPs who had left the NHS, or who had worked in similar roles overseas, into the health service by getting their skills up to date.

But mental health issues have hit staff in the service, says the Mirror.

More than 400,000 working days in the NHS were lost to mental ill-health in the first month of the coronavirus  crisis, new figures show.
Figures uncovered by the Labour Party reveal the pressure frontline NHS staff were under as the virus started to take its grip on the country.
The sickness absence rate for NHS staff in England was 4.48% in March, up from 4.08% for the same month in 2019.
In total two million sick days were taken in March – with anxiety, stress, depression or other psychiatric illnesses listed as the reason in more than a fifth of cases.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Mental Health Minister and an A&E doctor who uncovered the grim statistics, said: “These statistics make for alarming reading.
“Of the over two million sick days taken by NHS staff in England in March, over 400,000 were due to mental ill health.

Litter

ITV News highlights the tons of litter that have been noted during the last few months.

Litter left in parks and on beaches has reached epidemic levels after coronavirus lockdown eased, according to campaign group Keep Britain Tidy.
Councils have spent 81% more on clearing litter than before – with a reported average of 57 tonnes of additional waste left in parks in the last three months.
Peter Ryan, the founder of litter picking group Dorset Devils, clears litter in Bournmouth’s parks with his team of volunteers.
“The litter these days, unfortunately you are going to look at it as contaminated rubbish so we have got to deal with it,” he said. “And that goes from tissues, nappies, wet wipes, even human waste.”

Spray

Has a magic bug-killer spray been found?  The Mail reports:

Whether they’re in ChinaHong Kong or Japan, they’ve become a familiar sight: men with giant cylinders on their backs spraying everything around them.
Lampposts, train carriages, classrooms, railings, restaurants, bars, shops, airports, entrances to hospitals, schools, government buildings – they are all targets.
And it seems to have paid off in the fight to tame Covid-19.
Or, at least, it’s played a vital role in curbing the spread of the virus and helping to unlock those countries from their respective coronavirus shutdowns.
But what exactly are they spraying? And why, if it’s so effective, aren’t we doing something similar here? The answer to the first question is rather more straightforward than finding an explanation for the second one.
What’s being sprayed is hypochlorous acid – known more widely as HOCl.
It is 100 times more effective as a disinfectant than bleach, killing germs and viruses instantly.

The Sun also runs the story.

A CHEAP spray that costs pennies and can kill viruses instantly could help the UK beat the coronavirus, it has been claimed.
Hypochlorous acid – known more widely as HOCl – has already been used to disinfect the front line workers in South Korea.
The substance is applied by a spray or fogger and tunnels resembling airport scanners that people can walk through and have become a common site in parts of the world.
They have a pressure pad on the floor that triggers a fine mist of HOCl as people walk through.

Gloves

Would you wear gloves when you go out in the summer?  The Telegraph reports:

Ministers are considering requiring the public to wear gloves to combat coronavirus, as well as face coverings.
During a debate in the House of Lords on coronavirus regulations health minister Lord Bethell said gloves are “an area we’re looking at” as the Government considers how best to protect the public.
The exchanges came on the day people in England were required to start wearing face coverings in shops, shopping centres, banks, takeaways, post offices, sandwich shops and supermarkets or risk a £100 fine.
Speaking in the Lords, Conservative Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked: “Has the Government formed a view on the use of gloves?
“Obviously we’re all following the guidance of washing our hands but surely the correct use of gloves outdoors and indoors could prevent the passing on of the virus?”

A health minister says it’s a possibility, says the Sun.

MINISTERS are “looking at” whether the public should have to wear gloves to stop the spread of coronavirus, it was revealed today.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said that covering up the hands remained under consideration.
On the possibility of Brits having to wear gloves, Conservative Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked in the House of Lords today: “Has the Government formed a view on the use of gloves?
“Obviously we’re all following the guidance of washing our hands but surely the correct use of gloves outdoors and indoors could prevent the passing on of the virus?”
And health minister Lord Bethell, concluding a debate on coronavirus regulations, replied: “To date, gloves are not in the guidance but they remain an area that we’re looking at.”

Looks like they’re ‘following the science’, says the Independent.

The government is considering telling the public to wear gloves to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a health minister has revealed.
During a debate on coronavirus legislation in the House of Lords, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked: “Has the government formed a view on the use of gloves?
“Obviously we’re all following the guidance on washing our hands, but surely the correct use of gloves outdoors and indoors could prevent the passing on of the virus.”
Health minister Lord Bethell replied: “To date, gloves are not in the guidance but they remain an area that we are looking at.”
While the importance of hand-washing has been stressed heavily by both the NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO) since the outset of the pandemic, experts are less united over the benefits of wearing gloves.

Obesity

You’re more likely to suffer badly from the virus if you’re overweight, says Reuters.

People who are obese or overweight are at increased risk of death or severe illness from COVID-19, a report by Public Health England (PHE) said on Saturday as the government prepares to introduce measures to confront the problem.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to tackle obesity and has himself lost weight since he was admitted to intensive care with COVID-19.
PHE said data showed that for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35, risk of death from COVID-19 increased by 40%, and it increased by 90% for those with a BMI over 40 compared to those of a healthy weight.
People with a BMI of over 30 are classed as obese under the system. PHE said that almost 63% of adults in England are overweight or obese.
“The current evidence is clear that being overweight or obese puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, as well as from many other life-threatening diseases,” said Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE.

Three times as likely, says the Mail.

Overweight people are more than three times as likely to die of Covid-19 than those of a healthy weight, a Public Health England report has revealed.
People who have extra weight, defined as a body mass index of over 25, are also at higher odds of needing ventilation when ill with Covid-19 by seven-fold.
The report said excess weight does not seem to increase people’s chances of contracting Covid-19, but said excess fat can affect the respiratory system and is likely to affect immune function. Experts behind the report said ‘every kilo’ people lost would reduce their risk of being admitted to hospital with the coronavirus.
It follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggesting Britons should lose weight this summer in preparation for a possible second wave of Covid-19 later this year.

The PM says we should diet, says the Sun.

BORIS Johnson urged Britain to slim down yesterday as a review suggested the high Covid-19 death toll was due to bulging waistlines.
The Public Health England report warns fat people are up to five times more likely to die from coronavirus than someone of a healthy weight.
Mr Johnson said: “We need to tackle our struggle with obesity.
“Typically, our great country tends to be ­fatter than many other countries in Europe.
“Losing weight is one of the ways that you can reduce your own risks from Covid.”

Testing

The Times has the latest news on testing.

The use of antibody tests is down three quarters in little more than a month as hopes fade for a technology once billed as “game-changing”.
Scientists are pessimistic that the results of the tests can be used to issue “immunity certificates” even if infection does turn out to protect against the disease.
Plans to give the checks to millions of people appear to be on hold, amid concern that the results could be confusing or counterproductive.
At the start of the pandemic, Boris Johnson said antibody tests were a “total game-changer”, holding out the hope that people who had recovered could resume normal life.

But there could be a breakthrough in the search for antibodies, reports Yahoo News.

Scientists have found 19 potent antibodies that neutralize the new coronavirus, including nine that exhibit “exquisite potency,” according to a study published in Nature. Compared to previously isolated antibodies, some of the new ones target different regions of the so-called spike protein. “Finding antibodies directed to different regions of the spike allows for more/better possibility of forming antibody cocktails to attach the virus and to avoid viral resistance,” Dr. David Ho, Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University, told Reuters.
Furthermore, the newly found antibodies can be easily generated by the immune system, and potentially be used both to treat and prevent infection, he added. “An antibody cocktail could be administered to infected patients early in the course of infection, especially if they are elderly or have underlying chronic conditions,” Ho said, citing nursing home residents as an example.

Quarantine

Could the quarantine regulations be on the verge of being changed?  The Times reports:

Air passengers arriving from business destinations such as New York and Singapore would be exempt from quarantine under plans being drawn up for a coronavirus testing system.
The government is being urged to approve a regime that would see arrivals from “red” countries — those with high Covid-19 rates — given permission to skip the two-week isolation period if their coronavirus test result is negative.
Tests are unlikely to be allowed before the end of August, limiting summer holidays to and from countries on the quarantine list. It is also feared that quarantine exemption could be removed for those coming from Spain, including returning holidaymakers, if Covid-19 cases continue rising there.

China

The Home Secretary could bring in anti-Chinese laws says the Sun.

PRITI Patel is to bring in sweeping powers to protect British companies from being ripped off by hostile Chinese rivals.
Tough laws will stop Beijing-backed firms taking over UK businesses and stealing their ideas.
Home Secretary Ms Patel said Britain is “completely geared up” to better protect itself against such “pernicious behaviour”.
Under the shake-up, sanctions will be imposed on spies and their governments to curb hostile activities in the UK.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email