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The Papers: Wind farm power pledge and ‘contacts lost’

By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration4 hours agoimage captionBoris Johnson is to pledge to power every home in Britain with offshore wind inside a decade, the Daily Mail, among other papers, reports. The Mail says the prime minister will set out a “radical” plan to build thousands of coastal turbines on Tuesday and create up to 60,000 jobs…

By BBC News

Staff

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image captionBoris Johnson is to pledge to power every home in Britain with offshore wind inside a decade, the Daily Mail, among other papers, reports. The Mail says the prime minister will set out a “radical” plan to build thousands of coastal turbines on Tuesday and create up to 60,000 jobs during his speech to the Conservative Party’s virtual conference.
image captionMr Johnson will promise to make Britain the “Saudi Arabia of wind”, notes the Times, as he vows to upgrade facilities along the east coast of England, as well as Scotland and Wales, to ensure the next generation of wind turbines are made in the UK. The commitment will be made as the PM announces £160m of investment in ports and factories.
image captionThe commitment comes as the International Monetary Fund issues a “rallying call” to rich countries – including the UK – to increase public investment in areas such as green technology and digital infrastructure, says the Financial Times. The IMF hopes the investment could help to spark a strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
image captionIn other news, a testing error means thousands of people exposed to coronavirus in England may have been unwittingly spreading the disease when they should have been self-isolating, the Metro reports. The “debacle” has been blamed on an Excel spreadsheet reaching capacity and failing to update.
image captionThe “spreadsheet blunder” means contact tracers are now racing to reach up to 50,000 people who should have been self-isolating, says the Guardian. The paper reports that MPs from across the political spectrum “rounded” on Health Secretary Matt Hancock after it emerged 15,841 positive results were missed from official testing figures.
image captionThe Daily Star says Brits were left “baffled” by “test and trace “botches”, Covid-19 jab fears, and the PM’s dad, Stanley Johnson, who the paper says “still can’t wear a mask properly”. “You wot?” is its front-page headline.
image captionMeanwhile, the chancellor has warned tax rises will be needed to pay for the government’s emergency coronavirus spending, reports the Daily Express. Rishi Sunak said the Treasury had a “sacred duty” to “balance the books”.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph leads on Donald Trump’s remarks that Americans should not be “afraid” of Covid-19, ahead of leaving hospital. The US president delivered the news that he would be returning to the White House on Monday by tweet – just four days after he tested positive for the virus.
image captionThe US president has said he feels better than he did 20 years ago, the i reports, as he urged Americans not to let Covid-19 “dominate your life”. But the paper notes that Mr Trump’s doctor has urged caution over the president’s condition, saying he “may not be entirely out of the woods yet”.
image captionTwo students died less than 48 hours after arriving at university in suspected drug-related incidents, reports the Daily Mirror. Jeni Larmour and a fellow fresher, both 18, were found collapsed in their halls of residence, the paper reports. It is believed the girls took ketamine, says the paper.

Boris Johnson’s pledge that offshore wind farms will produce enough electricity to power all UK homes within a decade makes the lead for the Times, the Financial Times and the Daily Mail.

The Mail says that as the windiest country in Europe, the UK is perfectly placed to generate renewable electricity.

The Telegraph says Mr Johnson wants to show that his government is planning for the UK’s future beyond coronavirus as he tries to shake off the image of a prime minister trapped by events.

On that note, the Times reports that contact tracers’ phone lines crashed as they scrambled to reach tens of thousands of potentially infectious people missed because of an IT blunder.

The paper says tracers reported conversations disconnecting mid-call and then being frozen out of the software for up to half an hour as they tried to call back.

A computing malfunction is said to have caused phone calls to fail.

According to the Telegraph, the government’s 22:00 closure of pubs and restaurants in England could be thrown out in a Commons vote tomorrow after it emerged that dozens of Tory MPs are prepared to vote against it.

The paper says rebel Conservatives have been emboldened by comments from Chancellor Rishi Sunak questioning the wisdom of the measure.

And the Times reports that senior Conservative MPs are considering lodging a protest vote in the Commons today over the “rule of six” in England.

According to the paper, they believe it should be expanded to eight people and that children should not be included in the tally. But – the paper adds – the revolt is likely to be symbolic as Labour will back the current restriction.

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image captionBoris Johnson’s pledge that offshore wind farms will produce enough electricity to power all UK homes within a decade makes the lead for many papers

The computer problem that led to a delay in tracing the contacts of nearly 16,000 people with coronavirus features on many of the front pages.

A world-beating fiasco is how the Metro describes it.

“Another day, another government coronavirus blunder”, the Daily Mirror sighs.

The paper says test and trace errors that may have been understandable at the start of the pandemic in March are unforgivable in October.

For the Express, the debacle makes a mockery of the test and trace system.

The Guardian asks how many people will be infected by the virus who might otherwise have escaped it, and how ill they will become as a result, remains to be seen.

The Sun criticises Public Health England for what it calls its routine incompetence.

What an unmitigated disaster it has been in our country’s hour of need, the paper declares.

The Times thinks the problems that have dogged the system stem from its centralised nature, compounded by the decision to outsource vital functions to the private sector.

Elsewhere in the paper, there’s news of technical glitches at the virtual Conservative Party conference.

It says some of the UK’s most senior industry figures – who had paid for accreditation to the conference – were expecting to take part in an exclusive online question-and-answer session with the prime minister and the chancellor.

But they were left staring at a buffering screen for almost an hour before it started.

Finally, if you’re one of those people who use hand signals such as writing in the air to get the bill at a restaurant or tapping your wrist to ask the time – beware.

These signals are at risk of dying out because they make no sense to the younger generation.

The Telegraph says card payments have reduced the need for chequebooks and most young people use their mobile phones rather than a watch to tell the time.

Dr Vyv Evans, a linguist, said: “Younger generations will not know what these signals are… as technology changes, they lose their value.”

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.