Brief. Me Better Faster September 19, 2021 3:09 pm



Met officer investigated over rape allegations

BBC World says the Met Police is investigating allegations that a serving officer raped two of his female colleagues.

The officer was not charged and has not been suspended but faces a misconduct hearing more than three years after the allegations were reported.

The women were awarded compensation but one of them says “we were just cast aside and not cared for”.

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Richard Okorogheye: Police searching in Essex after confirmed sighting of missing student

The Independent says police investigating the disappearance of student Richard Okorogheye are conducting searches in Essex after a new confirmed sighting last placed him in the area.

The Met Police has released CCTV images of the 19-year-old in Loughton in the early hours of Tuesday 23 March.

Richard, a student at Oxford Brookes University, left his family home in the Ladbroke Grove area of west London on the evening of Monday 22 March, and was reported missing two days later.

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France to close schools and extend Covid-19 lockdown to all of the country, Macron says

France24 says President Macron extended light lockdown measures from 19 areas including Paris to all of mainland France from April 3 for 4 weeks at a televised address on the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday. 

Macron widened the light lockdown measures currently imposed on a third of the French population – including the Paris region – to all of mainland France. “We don’t have to lock ourselves in but we need to limit our contacts,” he said.

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Covid-19 variants ‘stronger and faster,’ WHO emergencies chief warns as ‘worrying shift’ shows more young people in intensive care

RT News says global Covid-19 deaths and cases have continued to rise, the WHO has said as health chiefs warn of the threat of stronger variants and the growing number of young people in intensive care with the virus.

“It’s a watershed moment in the pandemic,” the director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, Mike Ryan.

“At the very moment that we need to stay the course with [health measures], we’re seeing the numbers starting to rise and governments going back to restrictive measures.”

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Egypt launches inquiry into cargo ship grounding

Arab News says the Suez Canal Authority has launched an investigation into the giant cargo ship Ever Given’s grounding that it says will cover events before, during and after the accident.

The 430-meter-long container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, halting maritime trade in the vital shipping channel for almost a week.

The carrier struck the eastern bank of the narrow canal on March 23 and became wedged diagonally across the channel.

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Many of Lebanon’s children ‘may never get back to school’

Aljazeera says Lebanon’s dire economic crisis faces the risk of turning into an “education catastrophe”, a leading humanitarian organisation has warned, with vulnerable children facing the possibility of never returning to school.

In a report published on Thursday, Save the Children said since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 1.2 million children in Lebanon have been out of school.

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Pfizer-BioNTech says Covid-19 vaccine is safe, effective on adolescents

TRT World says BioNTech-Pfizer have said their vaccine showed 100 per cent efficacy against the coronavirus in 12- to 15-year-olds, as they eye approval for adolescents to get the jabs before the next school year.

Phase 3 trials carried out on 2,260 adolescents in the United States “demonstrated 100 per cent efficacy and robust antibody responses,” the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Biden Unveils $2 Trillion US Jobs, Infrastructure Plan

VOA says domestic jobs and infrastructure plan with a price tag of $2 trillion was unveiled by Joe Biden.  

“Our infrastructure is crumbling,” the president said.

“It’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world,” Biden predicted of his American Jobs Plan, which emphasizes union-backed employment

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Live Updates

  • Met officer investigated over rape allegations
  • Richard Okorogheye: Police searching in Essex after confirmed sighting of missing student
  • France to close schools and extend Covid-19 lockdown to all of the country
  • Covid-19 variants ‘stronger and faster,’ WHO
  • Egypt launches inquiry into cargo ship grounding
News Briefing


Most of Thursday’s front pages report on the backlash received after the government’s ‘landmark’ race review. 


The Times reports a government review into race and racism has been called “culturally deaf” after it said there was a “new story” to slavery, which was not about profit and suffering. The paper adds the review argued the era was about how “culturally African people transformed themselves.” The comments were condemned within an hour of publication. Labour said the report was trying to “glorify” and put a positive spin on slavery and empire. 

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The i says Labour MP David Lammy responded to the review by saying: “We are being gaslighted.” The paper adds that the report’s recommendations include a crackdown on big tech to prevent abuse online, police cameras being switched on during stop-and-search and establishing a new body to tackle health inequalities. 

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The Guardian leads with the news the boss of Bet365 was paid nearly half a billion pounds last year, in what the paper says is the latest string of record-breaking awards that have taken her total pay since 2016 to nearly £1.3bn. 

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The Sun reports that the Queen has joined millions of Brits in receiving her second Covid jab. The 94-year-old was given the shot ahead of her first public appearance in five months, says the paper.

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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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