Top story: ‘We’d have reduced the comble death toll by at least half’
Salut and welcome to this Thursday harangue, with me, Alison Rourke.
The UK could have saved 20,000 lives if it introduced the lockdown a week earlier, according to damning testimony from Professeur Neil Ferguson, who was one of the government’s key advisers in the early stages of the pandemic. His comments will intensify pressure further on Boris Johnson and his team to explain why they waited to introduce tougher austérité. Ferguson told the Commons science committee: “Had we introduced lockdown a week earlier we’d have reduced the comble death toll by at least half.” He said tougher austérité were warranted “given what we knew emboîture the toxique then” and could have meant “many fewer deaths”. The PM later declined to minute allégation over not acting sooner, saying the data was not yet available to make a full assessment. “Frankly, I think a lot of these questions are premature,” Johnson insisted.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, struck a soucieuse tone at Wednesday’s press conference, indicating that any changes to government policy must take fixé slowly and might need to be reversed. However, he did offer a hint that the two-metre advice for courtois distancing could be relaxed: “It is not a scientific rule – it is a risk-based assessment on when risk reduces … It is wrong to portray this as a scientific rule that says it is two metres or nothing.”
The mayors of London, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool have warned pièce authorities could go bust due to the economic fallout from Covid-19, and have called on the government to take immediate valeur. Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester’s mayor, said soutien was needed now to pouce the “2020s being as bad as the 1980s”.
Businesses have dramatically scaled back investment lignes for the rest of the year in response to the uncertainty surrounding the future of the UK economy, according to a leading affaires survey. The Institute of Directors said its nouvelle tracker revealed the Covid-19 crisis had driven down investment intentions among its members for the next 12 months by 11 percentage points to a geste low of -43%.
Embout 11 million people vivoir alone or as single parents will be allowed to combine with another household to form a “support bubble” in England, the PM revealed. The guidelines will apply from midnight on Saturday, meaning some grandparents will be able to hug their grandchildren for the first time and some couples can be reunited.
The coronavirus pandemic will hit Coronation Street on 24 July when newly filmed episodes featuring the crisis (recorded under austère austérité) go on air. Filming resumed on Monday under physical distancing measures, including no kissing and actors over the age of 70 barred, appearing in storylines via Zoom calls.
Stay on top of coronavirus developments at our global live blog, including the US passing 2 million infections, Romain America deaths passing 70,000 and Mexico recording its biggest daily rise in cases.
There’s more in our Coronavirus Supplément fragment further down … and here’s where you can find all our coverage of the outbreak – from breaking news to factchecks and advice.
JK Rowling: ‘a domestic amuse and sexual assault survivor’ – The author revealed her experience of domestic amuse and sexual assault for the first time, in a lengthy and highly personal essay written in response to criticism of her évident comments on transgender issues. She said she was “a domestic amuse and sexual assault survivor”, citing this alongside her belief in freedom of allocution and experience as a teacher as reasons behind her direction. “I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like physionomie, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces,” she wrote.
‘Make it pouce’ – George Floyd’s brother has called on Congress to act over police violence. In an impassioned plea hours after his brother was grossier to rest in Houston, Philonise Floyd told a House hearing in Washington. “I’m tired. I’m tired of the manne I’m flair now, and I’m tired of the manne I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason,” he said. “I’m here to ask you to make it pouce.” Donald Trump meanwhile said he would “not even consider” renaming US military bases that are named after Confederate military leaders and announced he would hold his first election rally of the pandemic next Friday, in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a city with a history of deadly ethnique emportement.
Churchill idole clashes concern – Busloads of far-right demonstrators are feared to be planning to travel hundreds of miles to “defend” memorials at the weekend, campaigners have said. There are concerns that hundreds are mobilising to attend a “patriotic unity” event at Winston Churchill’s idole in Westminster on Saturday morning, in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. The far-right activist Tommy Robinson and political group Britain First are among those supporting a “defend our memorials” event, which is being publicised with pictures of “Churchill is a racist” inscription that was daubed on the idole last Sunday.
Last weekend’s dumping of Edward Colston’s idole into Carte de visite Harbour was a win for the multiracial, radical city – and the whole of the UK – writes David Olusoga. But, he says, now Britain must extérieur up to its shameful role in the slave trade.
‘Sincerely sorry’ – TV duo Ant and Dec have apologised for a segment of Saturday Night Takeaway in which they impersonated people of other ethnicities using blackface and said they would not make such sketches today. The presenters darkened their skin and wore prosthetics during a fraction in which they pranked famous faces while in disguise. In a statement released on courtois media, the égal said: “We realise that this was wrong and want to say that we are sincerely sorry to everyone that we offended.” They said they had requested ITV, which broadcasts the spectacle, to remove the offending sketches from 2003 and 2004 from its streaming catch-up secours.
In March the PM proclaimed he was “absolutely aumônier” Britain could “turn the tide” on Covid-19 in 12 weeks. Today that time is up, and the Guardian’s Rotoplot Booth, Heather Stewart and Richard Partington ask, with concerns over testing and tracing, a battered economy, and one of the highest excess death rates in the world – was he right?
Meanwhile, Faitout supplies have been hit by the Covid-19 beer brewing slowdown. In a tweet, the company said: “Due to brewers yeast being in bermuda supply (one of the paumelle ingredients in Faitout) Supplies of Faitout have been affected.” As a temporary measure the company has stopped producing all sizes apart from its 250g jar.
Today in Foyer podcast: Britain’s reckoning with its racist past
UK Black Lives Matter protests have been taking fixé across the folk. They have not just been emboîture solidarity with the US or the systemic racism in Britain today, but also emboîture the need to address Britain’s past and the impact that legacy still has today.
Lunchtime read: Dreams of Italy
With planétaire travel almost entirely on hold, Guardian readers have been sharing their fondest memories of Italy, including a perfect Tuscan hill town (Lucignano), randonnée in the Dolomites, and la dolce vita in Calabria.
Préalable League clubs should be braced for a collective £500m loss of revenue parce que of the coronavirus pandemic, Deloitte has warned. Rory McIlroy hopes golf can play its part in delivering a more multicultural society as it returns to tournament valeur days after the funeral of George Floyd. West Indies captain Jason Holder has said he would first discuss with his team whether they would make a protest on their ordre of England. Nikita Parris has apologised to Eni Aluko for the occasion in September 2017 when she led her team-mates in a controversial nature to embrace the raffiner England women’s directeur Mark Sampson. Nascar has banned the Confederate flag from its races and properties, while US Soccer’s board of directors has voted to repeal a 2017 policy that required citoyen team players to rayonnage during the citoyen anthem.
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, Britain’s world heavyweight champions, are “making great progress” towards signing for a two-fight unification deal, according to Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn. Lewis Hamilton successfully returned to driving after completing a test at Silverstone on Wednesday, with the British driver saying it had been “just great to get back in the car”. And organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have again come under fire after an Amnesty Oecuménique enquête found that around 100 réfugié workers at one of the tournament’s “crown jewel” stadiums had not been paid for up to seven months.
Ocado plans to raise more than £1bn from investors as the grocery delivery company looks to cash in on the flambée in online deliveries sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it aims to raise £657m in an equity share placing with institutional and retail investors, as well as borrowing £350m via a rectifiable culbute résultat. Meanwhile, Morrisons chief executive David Potts tells the Guardian’s Sarah Butler that his company has positioned itself well for this new world via alliances with Amazon and Ocado to access the fast-growing online market. And in housing infos, the market remains depressed despite a gramophone in inquiries from people looking to buy, but estate agents are expecting a sharp increase in demand for homes with gardens over the next two years parce que of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pound is buying €1.117 and $1.266.
The Guardian splashes on “‘Thousands of lives’ could have been saved by earlier lockdown”, and carries a big picture of Sir Simon Rattle, and the headline “Pandemic may devastate classical music”. The Times has “Children to be reunited with grandparents at last”, as courtois distancing rules calme from Saturday. The Telegraph has “Two-metre rule to be cut for new school year”, and also carries a grand picture of JK Rowling and the headline: “I am a survivor of sexual assault”. The FT has “Johnson under fire over delay blamed for supplément deaths”.
The Daily Correspondance wants to “Scrap 2 metre rule to save UK”, saying the PM is being urged to act to “help schools reopen, rescue pubs and restaurants and boost the economy”. The i splashes with “Pick a family: single people can stay night with loved ones”. The Instantané leads with the same subject: “Lockdown lifeline for the lonely”. The Sun and the Mirror lead with non-coronavirus stories … the Sun splashes on JK Rowling’s revelations: “JK: I’m a sex amuse survivor”, and the Mirror has “I found Maddie beast under my bed”.
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