Sajid Javid’s advice to not ‘cower’ from Covid provokes backlash

10 horas 42 minutos ago

Bereaved families, Labour and Lib Dems all condemn health secretary, accusing him of insensitivity

Sajid Javid has provoked a wave of anger from families of the victims of Covid after he said people must no longer “cower” from the virus.

The health secretary announced on Saturday that he had made a “full recovery” from Covid-19 after falling ill eight days ago, and said: “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

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David Connett

Even a pandemic can’t keep Ryanair from flying higher

10 horas 44 minutos ago

Although profits may be down this week, the airline’s shares – and its chief executive’s optimism – are defying gravity

Who’s afraid of the Delta variant? Not Michael O’Leary. Over the last 16 months of sickness, death and lockdown, the billionaire Ryanair boss has rediscovered his controversy button and has lately been loudly telling governments to stick their “scariants” and let everyone fly again.

Much of his ire has been reserved for Ireland, whose scientific and medical leaders must envy the UK’s Chris Whitty for only getting accosted in the park.

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Gwyn Topham

Britain faces ‘decades of financial risk’ as £370bn pandemic bill mounts

10 horas 48 minutos ago

MPs call for immediate inquiry into Covid response to learn the lessons of what went wrong

Taxpayers will be left facing “significant financial risk for decades to come” because of the levels of emergency government spending on the pandemic, totalling more than £370bn, a powerful committee of MPs says today.

In two separate reports, the all-party public accounts committee (PAC) paints a daunting picture of the lasting financial strain caused by the first 16 months of combating Covid-19, and says the government must not wait until after the official inquiry to learn the lessons of what went wrong.

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Toby Helm

Brazilian protesters call for Jair Bolsonaro to be impeached

12 horas 34 minutos ago

Demonstrators in several cities denounce president for alleged corruption and Covid mismanagement

Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far right president whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic.

This week, news broke that Brazil’s defence ministry told congressional leadership that next year’s elections would not take place without amending the country’s electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote.

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No, Australia has not peaked. Our best generation is here now | Jim Chalmers and Andrew Charlton

13 horas 49 minutos ago

We need the self-belief that comes from honest appraisal, not an ad-man’s optimism based on false confidence

When we started writing this piece, Brisbane was in lockdown. By the time we finished, Sydney, Victoria and South Australia were as well. Millions of Australians have already spent chunks of the last 18 months concerned for their jobs or their business, navigating the new world of remote learning and wearing the emotional strain of being cut off from the comfort of loved ones and familiar routines.

Amid all this, optimism might not seem thick on the ground.

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Jim Chalmers and Andrew Charlton

Sydney Covid crisis could take months to recede if other outbreaks are anything to go by

13 horas 49 minutos ago

Covid waves take months on average to go from peak to trough, analysis of other outbreaks in the OECD has shown

The current outbreak in Sydney may take months to recede, according to Guardian Australia analysis of Covid-19 waves across the OECD.

It took more than 80 days on average to go from the peak to the end of the wave in the 80 outbreaks examined. The average is longer this year – over 90 days – than the 75 days in waves that peaked last year.

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Josh Nicholas

Food bosses say ministers are making England’s Covid ‘pingdemic’ supply chaos worse

14 horas 46 minutos ago

Scheme to prevent knock-on effect on food of self-isolation is branded an absolute disaster as railways and airports are hit by staff self-isolating

An emergency government plan to prevent the spiralling “pingdemic” from hitting food supplies has descended into chaos, with industry leaders condemning the scheme as an “absolute disaster” that has done more harm than good.

As train services were also disrupted on Saturday by the number of workers self-isolating, airports reported long queues at passport controls and the hospitality industry warned of a summer of closures, Downing St defied growing calls to bring forward a full relaxation of quarantine rules from the scheduled date of 16 August.

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Toby Helm, Mark Townsend and Phillip Inman

Latitude festival 2021: 40,000 party people, good vibes, and not a mask in sight

16 horas ago

The bands are playing, the fans are dancing. For this weekend, and at this Suffolk festival, all is well in the world

All bands at festivals like to tell the crowd: “Hello [place we are in] … it’s great to be here.” At Latitude this weekend, these greetings – and the cheers they were met with – felt more genuine than they ever had before. They were back, we were back, this was back.

Latitude perhaps has the image of being among the more genteel of the larger festivals – aside from the headlining bands, there are ballet performances by the lakeside, literary debates, ballroom dancing, esoteric cabaret, even, naturally for the middle classes, wild swimming.

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John Sturgis

Under-30s reluctant to take Covid vaccine cite fertility and side-effect concerns

16 horas 11 minutos ago

Fears over ‘experimental’ inoculation show that more needs to be done to counter harmful misinformation

Since the vaccine rollout began last year, the journey has been relatively smooth. The few bumps that the jab juggernaut has encountered, mostly hiccups in the supply chain, have been successfully navigated.

Yet there are now concerns about the final stages, with under-30s showing markedly more reluctance to get their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines than older people.

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James Tapper & Alex Mistlin

UK lorry drivers plan to strike over low pay and poor working conditions

16 horas 57 minutos ago

Nearly 3,000 hauliers are proposing a ‘stay at home’ day, prompting fears over already creaking food supply chains

Lorry drivers are planning a nationwide strike over their working conditions, prompting warnings that this would magnify food shortages and cripple the country’s already creaking supply chains.

Hauliers are proposing a “stay at home” day next month in response to low pay and working terms, an event designed to compound the effect of the UK’s lorry-driver shortage , which last week led to widespread stock shortages. However the Road Haulage Association, which represents commercial road haulage companies and has more than 7,000 members, warned drivers against taking action saying it would make a “bad situation worse” and severely disrupt automated chains.

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Mark Townsend

Get Covid and live longer? No, it doesn’t work like that

17 horas 19 minutos ago

Boris Johnson’s alleged comparison was inappropriate, mixes different averages and ignores rising life expectancy as we age

According to the BBC, on 15 October, the prime minister allegedly sent a WhatsApp message: “I must say I have been rocked by some of the data on Covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men, 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer.” Presumably, this was a joke, but why is the reasoning so wrong?

First, more technically, the message confuses two types of averages. As children learn at school, the median means that if you lined up the women according to the age they had died of Covid-19, the woman in the middle would be 85. But life expectancy is a mean-average – you work out how long, say, 100,000 newborns are likely to live assuming that current mortality rates continue, add them up and divide by 100,000. Using data from the UK for 2017-19, life expectancy at birth is 79 for men and 83 for women, but the median age at death is slightly higher: 81 for men and 85 for women, the same as that quoted for Covid-19.

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David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters

‘Heart-wrenching’: inside a hospital grappling with Delta and vaccine hesitancy

18 horas 4 minutos ago

As the variant tears its way through the US and vaccination rates plateau in the state, hospitals are experiencing a new wave of cases

Nurse Matt Robinson braced himself before pushing the heavy doors to the recently reopened Covid-19 ward at Methodist University hospital in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

This hadn’t been in the script. After over a year of continuous work with Covid-19 patients throughout the pandemic, the burnout brought on by constant exposure to death and trauma, Robinson had hoped his job might return to normal.

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Oliver Laughland in Memphis and Jessica Glenzain New York

Young workers and Covid: battered finances, but broader online horizons

18 horas 49 minutos ago

Three twentysomething professionals tell us how they’ve tried to balance the books and find work in the pandemic

The pandemic has disproportionately hit young people’s economic prospects, with research finding that under-25s in the UK are more than twice as likely to lose their jobs compared with older workers.

Here three young people share their feelings about how the coronavirus crisis has affected their finances. Some say they have managed to save money, while others have had to move back in with their parents after falling into debt.

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Clea Skopeliti and Alfie Packham

Can the nightclub industry survive Covid passports?

18 horas 49 minutos ago

Public opinion favours government plans for new safety rules, but many English club owners think they are been treated unfairly in comparison with pubs and bars

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It’s the height of summer and trouble is brewing on the doors of England’s nightclubs. From September, Boris Johnson has said, clubs and other crowded venues will have to ask guests for proof that they have been fully vaccinated. In essence, the new door policy is two jabs or you’re not coming in.

Should the government press ahead, in the face of a coalition of opposition that includes Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the right wing of the Conservative party, it won’t just be nightclubs affected.

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Rob Davies

Tennessee radio host doubted and mocked vaccines – now he has Covid

21 horas 37 minutos ago

A conservative radio host in Tennessee who urged listeners not to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has changed track and called on listeners to get the shot, after contracting the virus and ending up in hospital in “very serious condition”.

Related: Fox News backs Covid vaccination – a pity no one told Tucker Carlson

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Martin Pengelly in New York