Brief. Me - April 22, 2021 5:38 pm
Covid: UK marks one year since the first lockdown
BBC News says the UK is marking one year since the first Covid-19 lockdown was announced.
On 23 March 2020, Boris Johnson outlined measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. Since then, the UK’s official death toll has risen from 364 to 126,172.
A minute’s silence will be held at midday as part of a day of reflection. A year on, Mr Johnson has praised the “great spirit” shown since that moment and he offered his condolences to those who have been bereaved during the pandemic.
Colorado shooting: 10 killed, including police officer, at Boulder supermarket
The Guardian says a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, has killed 10 people, including one police officer, authorities said on Monday.
The Boulder police chief, announced the death toll at a news conference Monday night, fighting back tears.
Authorities have released few other details about the shooting, saying at a press briefing that they were still in the early stages of the investigation.
UK to announce ‘enhanced’ trade deal with Canada
CITYAM says the UK is set to announce an enhanced trade deal with Canada, the trade secretary has said after the two nations ratified a post-Brexit agreement last week.
Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Australia event on Zoom this evening, Liz Truss said the UK was working “very closely” with “like-minded partners” to tackle issues such as China as part of ongoing trade discussions.
“On trade negotiations, we’re just about to announce that we’ve committed to an enhanced trade agreement with Canada,” she added.
Lockdown confusion: France’s new Covid-19 rules raise questions, satisfy few
France24 says nearly a third of France’s population on Saturday entered what PM Jean Castex billed as a “lockdown”, the country’s third since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, amid a sharp, variant-inflected spike in new infections. But confusion reigned over the weekend, even down to whether the term “lockdown” is appropriate for the limited measures imposed.
“Can we call this a third lockdown?” Health Minister Olivier Véran said: “I don’t know what we should call the measures being taken. But there is a key difference, which is that we are turning more to the outdoors.”
Quarter of civilian casualties in Yemen are minors: Save the Children
Arab News says roughly one in four civilian casualties of the war in Yemen are children, and the situation is getting worse, Save the Children said.
“Between 2018 and 2020, there were 2,341 confirmed child casualties,” but “the actual number is likely to be much higher,” the aid group said.
“In addition, the conflict is getting deadlier for children. In 2018, one in five civilian casualties were children, but in 2019 and 2020, that jumped to one in four.”
Israel election: Can Benjamin Netanyahu prevail again?
Aljazeera says Israel holds its fourth general election in two years on Tuesday after the coalition government collapsed in December.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party remain popular. However, the latest opinion polls indicate the election is unlikely to provide the country with much-needed stability and its outcome remains unpredictable.
While Likud has a slight lead in the polls, Netanyahu faces a dynamic that did not exist during previous elections. Israel’s political landscape has transformed, and it could make winning the election significantly harder for the longtime leader.
Amnesty accuses Lebanese authorities of torturing detained Syrian refugees
TRT World says Amnesty International has accused Lebanese authorities of “cruel and abusive” treatment of more than 20 Syrians in prison or during interrogation.
In a report called “I wish I would die”, the rights group documents the cases of 26 Syrians, including four minors and two women, imprisoned between 2014 and 2021 on suspicion of terrorism-related charges.
Sentences varied from a few months to several years, with at least six men still detained, Amnesty said.
‘Day of reflection & travel ban extended’
The prime minister’s warning about another possible surge in Covid cases is the main news for the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror, which says Britain is facing the threat of a “catastrophic” third wave of infections.
The Daily Telegraph says it has obtained details of a leaked government document suggesting it could become a legal requirement for care home workers in England to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Times and the Daily Mail lead with the travel ban. The Times says the ban on holidays abroad is to be extended until July and adds the move is one of “legislative convenience” and does not pre-empt a review of foreign travel next month.
The Daily Mail’s front splash highlights concerns about the curbs on travel – including people who leave the UK without a reasonable excuse from next Monday could face £5k fines.
YOUR QUESTIONS answered
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.
Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. Shielding ends on 31 March.
People will be asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2 April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5 April is on GOV.SCOT.
The stay at home restriction was lifted on 13 March. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.