Brief. Me Better Faster May 12, 2021 6:25 am



Cabinet to meet as PM tries to move past leaks

BBC News says PM Boris Johnson is preparing to chair a cabinet meeting later as he attempts to shift the focus from a series of claims and questions over his conduct.

Among them is an accusation the PM once said he would rather see “bodies pile high” than approve a third lockdown.

Boris Johnson and No 10 strongly denied he said the phrase, as the PM described multiple reports as “total rubbish”.

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Tributes to hero who died trying to rescue woman from River Thames

The Independent says Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole’s dad hailed his son a ‘heor’ after he jumped into the River Thames to rescue a woman who had fallen in.

Folajimi ‘Jimmi’, 20, was one of two men who dived into the river in an attempt to save the woman, who fell in around midnight.

One man and the woman were rescued but were unable to locate the other man until six hours later, when a body was found.

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Schools reopen across France despite spike in ICU admissions

France24 says schools reopened on Monday across France after a three-week closure in the first step out of the country’s partial lockdown, despite numbers of COVID-19 patients in ICU reaching their highest level since last spring. 

Authorities argue that daily numbers of new infections have started decreasing in the country, providing encouraging signs about the impact of restrictions that were imposed at the beginning of the month. 

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Houthis deprive medical workers of COVID-19 vaccines as disease spreads

Arab News says Yemen’s health minister has urged heath workers who live in Houthi-controlled areas to head to liberated provinces to receive COVID-19 vaccines after the Iran-backed group refused to run an inoculation program in densely populated areas.  

“Health colleagues who were deprived of the coronavirus vaccine in the Houthi-controlled areas can get vaccinated in the provinces under the authority of the legitimate government,” Dr. Qasem Buaibeh said.

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Fighting erupts in eastern Myanmar near Thai border

Aljazeera says the Karen National Union said its forces had captured an outpost of the Myanmar army close to the border with Thailand after witnesses in Thailand reported heavy fighting

The camp had been occupied and burned down and the group was still checking on deaths and casualties, the armed group’s head of foreign affairs, Padoh Saw Taw Nee, told Reuters.

Gunfire could be heard from across the Salween river, which follows the border between the two countries, and video posted on social media showed fires and smoke rising from the forested hills.

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Erdogan asks Biden to reverse ‘wrong step’ on Armenia declaration

TRT World says Turkey’s President Erdogan has denounced Joe Biden’s “genocide” label of the 1915 Armenian events as “groundless” and called for Washington to reverse the “wrong steps”. 

“The US president has made comments that are groundless and unfair,” Erdogan said in televised remarks on Monday, warning that they could have a “destructive impact” on Turkish-US ties.

“We believe that these comments were included in the declaration following pressure from radical Armenian groups and anti-Turkish circles. But this situation does not reduce the destructive impact of these comments.”

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California Recall Has Enough Signatures to Reach the Ballot

VOA says Organizers of the recall effort against California Governor Gavin Newsom collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.  

The California secretary of state’s office announced Monday that more than 1.6 million signatures had been verified, about 100,000 more than needed to force a vote on the first-term Democrat.  

People who signed petitions now have 30 days to withdraw their signatures, though it’s unlikely enough will do so to stop the question from going to voters.  

Read on


Live Updates

  • Cabinet to meet as PM tries to move past leaks
  • Tributes to hero who died trying to rescue woman from River Thames
  • Schools reopen across France despite spike in ICU admissions
  • Houthis deprive medical workers of COVID-19 vaccines as disease spreads
  • Fighting erupts in eastern Myanmar near Thai border
News Briefing


PM ‘on the ropes’ amid new claim

Most of Tuesday’s front pages lead with the mounting criticism of the PM after comments he allegedly made last year. 


I news says Boris Johnson is “tainted by sleaze” according to the paper, which reports the results of an opinion poll of voters. It says half of the respondents believe there is a “culture of sleaze” within the government. The paper describes Micheal Gove’s defense of the PM as a “wounding blow”- as it claims Mr Gove “refuses to deny” allegations the PM said “bodies could pile high” before he would approve a third national lockdown. The PM says the claim is “total rubbish.” i news


The Metro’s front splash says “Slurry of sleaze” as it reports Labour’s criticism of the “sewage of allegations” against PM Boris Johnson. The paper says the PM is being “swamped” by scandal and “fighting devastating claims” around the “bodies” comments he is said to have made last year. 

Elsewhere, the paper pictures British stars Daniel Kaluuya and Emerald Fennell who won big at the Oscars.METRO


The Daily Mail says the PM is “on the ropes” and “under siege”. It describes the mounting questions over the PM’s “personal conduct” amid what it says is a “string of controversies”. The paper highlights that its exclusive on Monday – the “bodies” comments – were “confirmed” later in the day by the BBC and ITV.  – Daily Mail


The Times carries new allegations that Boris Johnson said he would rather let coronavirus “rip” rather than impose a second lockdown last year. The paper says the PM made the remark in September as he argued there was “no evidence” lockdowns worked and “described them as mad”. No 10 describes the new claims as “gross distortions of his position”. Elsewhere, the Times reports the Duke of York “has gone into business” with an ex-Coutts banker who quit amid allegations of sexual assault.Times

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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