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The papers: ‘Get UK flying’ and BBC’s social media ‘crackdown’

The papers: 'Get UK flying' and BBC's social media 'crackdown' thumbnail

By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration1 hour agoimage captionThe Daily Mail makes an impassioned plea to the prime minister to help “get Britain flying again” in the face of coronavirus. The paper says it is “infuriating” that the economies of other nations have been able to reopen as a result of virus tests at airports, while the UK…

By BBC News



image captionThe Daily Mail makes an impassioned plea to the prime minister to help “get Britain flying again” in the face of coronavirus. The paper says it is “infuriating” that the economies of other nations have been able to reopen as a result of virus tests at airports, while the UK has done “nothing… and our economy crumbles”. The tabloid runs quotes of “furious business chiefs” who say 14-day quarantines for people arriving to the UK from other countries were “wrecking trade prospects”.
image captionIn other coronavirus news, the Metro questions the government’s claim of throwing a “protective ring” around care homes during the pandemic, after new figures “reveal” there were more than 400 daily virus deaths in care homes at the height of the UK’s epidemic. The paper claims news of the “shocking toll” comes as the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing system “suffered its worst week since its launch”, with the Department of Health saying more than 30% of “at-risk” people had not been contacted and told to self-isolate.
image captionAlso leading on criticism of NHS Test and Trace is the i, which says senior doctors claim the testing strategy is “flawed”. The paper hones in on an apology from the contact tracing programme’s boss, Baroness Harding, as laboratories “struggle” to keep up with “soaring demand” – with health chiefs claiming new outbreaks could be missed as a result.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph leads on comments by the BBC’s new director general, Tim Davie, who says people who want to voice their opinions should not be working at the corporation. On Mr Davie’s third day in the job he talked about a crack down on “political bias”. The paper speculates that it could signal Mr Davie will take a “harder line” than his predecessor, Tony Hall, who said – for example – that Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was free to be critical of the government on his social media accounts, because he is not a news presenter.
image captionThe Times also reports on Mr Davie’s crackdown on employees who carry out “partisan campaigns” – but its main approach to the story is the new director general’s claim that the corporation needs to be “cut down to size”. As Mr Davie outlined his priorities for his tenure in a speech to staff, he raised the prospect of a 20% cut in BBC output and warned he “would not hesitate to close channels” if necessary, the paper says.
image captionThe BBC is also the focus of the Daily Express, which claims the total cost of collecting TV licence fees will increase by around £38million this year, to £140million. The paper lambasts the corporation for “wasting money”.
image captionA warning of “severe” disruption to supply chains next year, as a result of “gaps” in preparations for the UK’s departure from the European Union, makes the lead in the Financial Times. Its report says customs and logistics groups, such as the Road Haulage Association, are demanding “urgent” meetings with the government over fears of “chaos” at borders. The intervention comes as negotiations on a future EU-UK trade agreement appear to have “stalled”, the paper adds.
image captionThere might be another government U-turn on the horizon, the Guardian says, as it reports on the “mounting pressure” faced by the prime minister over the appointment of the former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, as a post-Brexit trade adviser. Opposition and some Tory MPs say he is unfit to represent the UK due to his views on climate change and past “misogynist” and “homophobic” comments.
image captionThousands of local chemists could be forced to close, according to a “damning report” taking up the Daily Mirror’s front page. Some 72% of family-owned pharmacies will be losing money within four years as a result of “chronic under-funding”, the paper says – adding that more money from NHS England is needed to avert the “crisis”.
image captionAnd the Daily Star is full of disdain for the Jobcentre after it banned a job advert for a “happy hairdresser” on the grounds it could “discriminate” against unhappy people. Hair salon owner Alison tells the paper she thought someone was winding her up when she had a phone call from officials telling her to tweak the wording. And the paper agrees: “You’ve got to be ‘aving a laugh,” reads the headline.

“Boris, let’s get Britain flying again!” demands the Daily Mail’s front page.

The Mail says it is “infuriating” that other nations use airport coronavirus tests, while the UK does “nothing”.

Inside, it pictures Heathrow’s empty Terminal 5. The paper’s editorial dismisses the quarantine policy as damaging and misconceived – saying it has hung a “closed” sign on Britain.

The Daily Telegraph says senior MPs are forcing a House of Commons debate on the issue.

The paper reports that the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt and ex-transport secretaries Lord Adonis and Chris Grayling have joined the voices calling for the rules to be changed.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionCoronavirus testing is available at some German airports

Concerns are raised about the NHS Test and Trace programme, which is described as “flawed and dangerous” by a senior figure in British Medical Association in the i.

Dr Peter English says doctors are “incredibly worried” that if people are required to travel miles to get tests, they won’t bother.

The Daily Mirror says its analysis suggests that just 45% of contacts were being reached by call centre staff at the end of August.

While Huffpost UK asks whether the label, NHS Test and Trace, undermines the health service’s brand. It suggests the tag be dropped given its performance, saying it isn’t formally part of the NHS.

With the formal start of construction work on the HS2 rail line, government sources tell the Times the multi-billion-pound project has passed the “point of no return”.

image copyrightHS2

image captionMajor work for HS2 has already been carried out at sites such as Euston, Solihull and central Birmingham

The Daily Express says the prime minister is hoping it will fire up economic growth, with the creation of 22,000 jobs.

The Express concedes the scheme is “controversial” but argues that with the economy reeling, “this is not the time to put on the brakes”.

The Sun is not convinced. It questions the value of “pumping £106bn we don’t have into a commuter rail line when half the country may end up working from home”. The tabloid suggests improving the UK’s broadband might be a smarter investment.

The Financial Times explains the thinking behind French President Emmanuel Macron’s massive stimulus package – worth €100bn (£89bn) – designed to revive his country’s economy.

According to the FT, the French president decided against giving people money to boost consumer spending, like Germany, figuring that people’s incomes had barely shrunk during lockdown.

Instead he focused on structural reform. It suggests the investment programme will help France meet its climate goals while encouraging job creation.

The Times is among several papers to report a claim by the National Crime Agency that Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites have refused to remove web pages linked to suspected migrant traffickers.

The Daily Telegraph says Home Secretary Priti Patel is demanding action. Facebook tells the Guardian that posts, pages or groups co-ordinating people smuggling are not allowed on its site, but it does allow requests for information about how to be smuggled.

And the Times declares that “Women are at their best in the morning” after research carried out by some male academics in Pennsylvania suggests that women’s circadian rhythms may be the most active earlier in the day.

According to the Daily Mirror, the report also claims women cope better with shift work — making them better suited to jobs with anti-social hours, such as doctors and cabin crew members.

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