Brief. Me Better Faster June 24, 2021 5:12 pm


Courteney Cox ‘hurt’ she was only Friends star not to receive Emmy nomination


Covid: Outdoor meetings and sports to resume in England

BBC News says two households or groups of up to six people are now able to meet outside in England again as the stay-at-home Covid restrictions order comes to an end.

Outdoor sport facilities including tennis courts and golf courses are also reopening, and organised outdoor sports can resume in the latest easing. And weddings will also be on again, attended by up to six people.

The prime minister said: “Despite today’s easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called.”

Read on

Merkel presses German states to get tough with Covid curbs

The Guardian says Angela Merkel pressed Germany’s states to step up efforts to curb rapidly rising coronavirus infections, and raised the possibility of introducing curfews to try to get a third wave under control, Reuters reports.

Merkel expressed dissatisfaction that some states were choosing not to halt a gradual reopening of the economy even as the number of infections per 100,000 people over seven days had risen over 100 – a measure she and regional leaders had agreed on in early March.

“We have our emergency brake … unfortunately, it is not respected everywhere. I hope that there might be some reflection on this,” Merkel said in a rare appearance on broadcaster ARD’s Anne Will talk show.

Read on 

Paris doctors sound alarm, warn of catastrophic overload of Covid-19 cases

France24 says critical care doctors in Paris say surging coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick in the capital’s hospitals, possibly forcing them to choose which patients they have the resources to treat.

It comes as President Emmanuel Macron has been vigorously defending his decision not to completely lockdown France again as he did last year. Since January, Macron’s government has instead imposed a nationwide overnight curfew and followed that with a grab-bag of other restrictions.

Read on

Container ship stuck in Suez Canal ‘partially refloated’

Arab News says the stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week was re-floated on Monday and is currently being secured, raising expectations the vital waterway will soon be reopened.

The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early on Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

Read on

Dozens of ‘defenceless’ civilians killed in Mozambique attack

Aljazeera says Mozambique’s government has said dozens of civilians were killed in an attack this week on the northern town of Palma, including seven people whose convoy of vehicles was ambushed as they attempted to flee.

Omar Saranga, a spokesman for the defence and security forces, told journalists on Sunday that hundreds of other people – locals and foreigners – were rescued from Palma, a logistics hub for international gas projects in Cabo Delgado province.

“A group of terrorists sneaked into … Palma and launched actions that resulted in the cowardly murder of dozens of defenceless people,” Saranga said.

Read on

Fresh protests hit Bangladesh after Modi’s visit

TRT World says more than a dozen protesters have been wounded in the third day of demonstrations in Bangladesh, local media reported, as violence spread across the country in the wake of a controversial visit by Narendra Modi.

At least 11 protesters were killed in clashes with police during demonstrations organised by Muslim religious groups against the right-wing Hindu leader’s visit, and violence raged on after his departure as anger swelled over the deaths.

Five people died on Friday, and another six the next day, after police shot at demonstrators in several major districts across the Muslim-majority nation of 168 million people.

Read on

US Vows ‘Consequences’ for Russian Actions

VOA says Antony Blinken says there will be “costs and consequences” for Russia for its allegedly malign activities against the United States.

“We will take the steps necessary to defend our interests” at the time of the U.S.’s choosing, Blinken said.

He said there was “a shared commitment” among Western allies to be “clear-eyed” about Moscow’s actions and hold the Kremlin accountable.

The top U.S. diplomat said officials “are in the process” of considering what sanctions or actions Washington plans to take against Moscow, and in consultation with other NATO countries.

Read on


Live Updates

  • The UK reported a further 3,862 Covid-19 cases and 19 more deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test
  • Merkel presses German states to get tough with Covid curbs
  • Kosovo received its first shipment of Covid-19 jabs on Sunday
  • Brazil has recorded 44,326 new coronavirus cases and 1,656 further deaths
  • England relaxes lockdown
  • Dr Birx says earlier action would have mitigated US deaths

News Briefing


England’s easing of lockdown restrictions is covered on the majority of the front pages. Also featured is Jennifer Arcuri’s alleged affair with prime minister Boris Johnson. As well as the MET police investigating abuse at elite schools and the upcoming heatwave.


The Metro covers the easing of restrictions with the title ‘Jabby Monday,’ highlighting the “huge strides” taken as 30 million people have now received the first jab and some measures are being lifted.  

The front splash features a picture of American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri who alleges she had an affair with PM Boris Johnson for four years – and he gave her £126,000 of public money. 

Read the stories on The Metro


The i has a slightly more cautious tone – focusing on the potential impact of variants that could have an affect on infection rates. The paper carries the PM’s message that the UK recovery is still threatened by strains that could be vaccine resistant. 

Read the full story on The i


The Daily Express is looking ahead, saying the prime minister is now “taking aim” at obesity and ill health, launching an initiative to cut a £100bn “sickness bill.” 

The paper carries a picture of the prime minister saying he is battling on with his own fitness regime. 

Also featured on the front splash is the headline “It’s happy Monday” in response to the relaxing of rules and the news England is expected to reach 20c in a heat wave this week. 

Read the full stories on The Daily Express

The Daily Telegraph reports that a racial disparities commission is set to tell the PM that the term BAME should not be used by public organisations and companies. The blanket term has become “unhelpful and redundant” a source tells the paper. 

Also featured on the front page is the story that the police are struggling to fight the rise in scam messages from criminal gangs.

Read the full stories on The Daily Telegraph


The Guardian front page leads with the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council saying that race is the continual fault line of British policing, with low levels of trust and confidence within black communities jeopardising effective law enforcement. 

Meanwhile, schools that do not meet safeguarding standards for pupils could have to shut amid concerns of a “rape culture” in education settings, the paper reports. And, Boris Johnson’s warning to the public as lockdown is eased. 

Read the full stories on the Guardian


The Times reports a senior police officer has told the paper he believes schools have covered up sexual offences to protect their reputation. He says he feared a “culture of misogyny and sexual harassment” had not been challenged in some schools. 

The paper features a picture of people swimming, telling people to ‘embrace their freedom but don’t hug’. It also carries the story of the rescue plan for steel jobs as the PM rejects £170m bailout.

Read the full stories on the Times


The Daily Mirror dedicates the majority of its front page to Jennifer Arcuri’s history with Boris Johnson. She tells the paper that she and the PM had an affair while he was mayor of London, claiming he cheated with her in his family home. 

Read the full story on the Daily Mirror

News Briefing



A spat over Covid vaccine doses has erupted between the European Union and the UK threatens to have far reaching implications over coronavirus jab disruption.

Brussels demanded access to AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in UK plants to make up for a shortfall after the pharmaceutical giant said it would have to cut the amount of doses delivered to the bloc by the end of March.

What do we know about the dispute? And what potential implications could the rumbling dispute have on future Covid vaccine rollouts? – (ITV)

Recent and upcoming changes

Restrictions are easing across the UK.

In England

Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. Shielding ends on 31 March.

In Scotland

People will be asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2 April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5 April is on GOV.SCOT.

In Wales

The stay at home restriction was lifted on 13 March. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.

In Northern Ireland

The next review will happen on or before 15 April. You can read the guidance on current restrictions on nidirect.

latest Covid-19 news

For the latest Covid-19 news visit the UK governement website 

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