Brief. Me Better Faster May 11, 2021 8:46 pm



The Queen carries out first duty since Prince Philip’s death

BBC News says the Queen has conducted her first in-person royal duty since her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on Friday.

The monarch hosted a ceremony in which the Earl Peel formerly stood down as Lord Chamberlain, whose office organised royal ceremonies.

During a private event held at Windsor Castle, the Queen accepted her former royal aide’s wand and office insignia.

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Greensill: Top civil servant ‘joined firm before quitting’ as PM is warned Cameron inquiry lacks independence

The Independent says one of the country’s most senior civil servants was allowed by the Cabinet Office to work part-time as a director at Greensill Capital while still part of the civil service, it was revealed last night.

Bill Crothers began working for the firm in September 2015 in a board advisory role, but he did not leave his job as chief commercial officer until November that year.

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France suspends all Brazil flights over Covid-19 variant fears

France24 says France is suspending all flights to and from Brazil to curb the spread of a new Covid-19 variant found in the South American country.

Experts say the Brazilian variant, is particularly virulent and partly to blame for a sharp increase in the country’s coronavirus death toll in March.

“We have observed that the situation is worsening and that is why we have decided to suspend all flights between Brazil and France until further notice,” Castex told parliament.

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UAE administers 118,805 doses of COVID-19 vaccines overnight

Arab News says the UAE administered 1118,805 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines overnight, bringing total jabs given to residents and citizens to 9,156,728 or about 92.58 doses per 100 individuals.

The nationwide inoculation program aims to give the population immunity from coronavirus that will help curb its spread as well as bring down infection cases.

UAE health officials reported 2,022 new coronavirus cases overnight, bringing the country’s caseload to 487,697 since the pandemic began.

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Bangladesh COVID shutdown triggers exodus from capital Dhaka

Aljazeera says tens of thousands of people have scrambled to get the last trains, buses and ferries out of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, before a nationwide transport shutdown to halt the spread of coronavirus takes hold.

With new cases and deaths hitting record numbers, Bangladesh’s government has ordered all offices and shops to close for eight days from 6 am on Wednesday.

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US plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11

TRT World says President Joe Biden will remove all US troops from Afghanistan before this year’s 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, ending America’s longest war around five months later than planned, a US official has said.

Biden has “reached the conclusion that the United States will complete its drawdown – will remove its forces from Afghanistan – before September 11,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

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Minnesota Police Officer Involved in Traffic Stop Shooting of Black Man Resigns

VOA says the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer involved in the shooting death of a 20-year-old African American man during a traffic stop Sunday has resigned, as has the police chief of the Minneapolis suburb.

A 26-year veteran of the city’s police department, Kim Potter resigned in a letter Tuesday, saying, “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately.” Her union announced her resignation.

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Live Updates

  • The Queen carries out first duty since Prince Philip’s death
  • France suspends all Brazil flights over Covid-19 variant fears
  • UAE administers 118,805 doses of COVID-19 vaccines overnight
  • US plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11
News Briefing


Most of Wednesday’s front pages are dominated by the controversy over David Cameron’s lobbying on behalf of the finance firm Greensill Capital.

The Times, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph print the same photograph on their front pages – showing Mr Cameron and Lex Greensill sipping drinks together.


‘Alarm’ at Number 10 – ‘Sleazy access’ in lobbying row 

The Times says arrangements like this have been authorised by the Cabinet Office and the civil servant involved, Bill Crothers, said they were “not uncommon”. The paper says Mr Crothers was responsible for £40 billion of government spending in his three years as Whitehall’s chief commercial officer, before eventually becoming a director at Greensill with a £5 million stake in the company.

Read the full story on the Times


The Guardian reports sources from Downing Street say they are “deeply concerned” that the dual role was given official approval. Mr Crothers’ claim that arrangements to work part-time in private companies are not uncommon has sparked “alarm” in Number 10, the paper says. 

Read the full story on the Guardian


The i newspaper says ‘vaccines for under-40s in six weeks’, the paper says people in their late 30s will be able to book the jab by the end of May. The paper adds there is “growing scientific support” for using different vaccines for first and second doses, quoting a scientist saying it may increase their effectiveness. 

Read the full story on the i


The Daily Express focuses on the Queen as she mourns Prince Philip, saying that she intends to spend more time at Windsor Castle and to treat Buckingham Palace more like an “office”. The paper says the Queen has said she is “most comfortable” in Windsor and suggests she wants to stay close to where Prince Philip will be buried.

Read the full story on the Daily Express

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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