By BBC News
Staff

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image captionBoris Johnson’s appeal to parents to send their children back to school features on a number of the front pages. The Daily Mirror says the prime minister “begged” parents in his message which was released ahead of schools reopening in England next week.

image captionThe same story is the lead in the Daily Telegraph, which says Mr Johnson sought to reassure parents with medical evidence that the chances of children contracting Covid-19 were “very small”. It says the PM’s appeal came amid government concern that “natural reservations” over a return have been hard-wired into parents by months of messages about the risks of coronavirus.

image captionThe Guardian says the prime minister’s message is an attempt to “reassert his grip over education after days of chaos”. It quotes an unnamed senior Tory as saying the move was part of a deliberate attempt to switch the “messenger” and win back the public, after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was criticised for how he dealt with the exam chaos.

image captionTeachers being warned by scientists that they are spreading coronavirus is the main story in The Times. It says new research from Public Health England showed that two thirds of outbreaks came from staff-to-staff transmission, or staff to pupil. It quotes a leading paediatric infectious diseases specialist at PHE as saying “we need to educate the educators”.

image caption“Raving idiots” is the headline in the Metro, which reports that the police had to break up at least 100 illegal mass gatherings across the UK at the weekend. It says more than 70 of those events took place in Birmingham – including one party which had two marquees and a DJ.

image captionUS President Donald Trump’s administration is considering fast-tracking a vaccine being developed in the UK, according to the Financial Times. The paper claims his administration could bypass normal regulatory standards to have the Covid-19 vaccine – which is being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford – ready for use in America ahead of the presidential election.

image captionThe Daily Mail leads on an investigation into the deaths of 15 babies at East Kent Hospitals University Trust. An independent inquiry into the trust was launched earlier this year over a series of failings that led to the deaths. A spokesman for the trust said it was treating “the concerns raised about the safety of the service with the utmost seriousness and urgency”.

image captionThe BBC is facing a backlash over plans to drop Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory from Last Night of the Proms, according to the Daily Express. The paper claims the broadcaster is considering axing the anthems “as part of a dramatic shake-up” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. But it says an online campaign has been set up to try and prevent the move.

image captionAnd the Daily Star leads on what it calls “pyscho” seagulls causing problems for the new series of I’m a Celebrity. It says the programme will be held at a castle which is overrun with the birds.

Boris Johnson’s appeal to get children back to school receives support across a number of editorials.

The Daily Express backs the idea that there’s a “moral duty” to ensure the return of pupils. It argues that while schools aren’t wholly without risk, going back is the right thing to do.

The Daily Telegraph agrees, labelling the danger as “infinitesimally small” while the impact of missing so much school was “considerable”.
The Times also backs the prime minister’s call, saying the closure of schools has disproportionately damaged the young, and less well off.

The paper devotes its front page to new research from Public Health England which reveals that teachers are far more likely to transmit the virus than the children in their schools. Two thirds of outbreaks recorded in June and July were found to be either staff-to-staff, or staff-to-pupil transmission.

Rape victims may soon be allowed to give their evidence in a pre-recorded statement, rather than in a courtroom, according to the Daily Telegraph.

It reports that the Ministry of Justice is considering the move – which would include videoed cross-examinations – in a bid to prevent victims from being intimidated by attackers in court.

Justice minister Alex Chalk tells the paper it is vital to protect the vulnerable without reducing a defendant’s right to a fair trial.

Dame Vera Baird, the victims’ commissioner, describes the change as “essential” to ensure increasing numbers of victims don’t give up on the justice system.

image copyrightPA Media

image captionOne street party in Birmingham had two marquees and a DJ, police said
“Raving idiots” is the headline for the Metro – one of several papers to report on how revellers have been ignoring warnings of a spike in coronavirus cases.

It says police were forced to break up at least 100 mass gatherings across Britain over the weekend.

The Daily Mirror also provides coverage – “city ravers snub lockdown fears” is its take as it says frustrated police in Birmingham had to break up 70 illegal parties.
“Vegans try to finish Thatcher’s work” is the headline the Times chooses for its report on how campaigners are putting the case to replace free or subsidised cow’s milk in schools with fruit and veg.

Margaret Thatcher earned herself the nickname “the milk snatcher” by ending free school milk in the 1970s.

The paper says currently about one and a half million children receive free or subsidised cow’s milk. Schools are able to serve plant-based alternatives if they’re calcium-enriched but these don’t receive the school milk subsidy.

Dr Shireen Kassam, a campaigner for plant-based diets tells the paper: “The wrong foods are being subsidised; access to fruit or vegetables for our children would be much more beneficial.”

And the Proms finds itself front page news in the Daily Express. Under the headline “fury at BBC bid to axe Land of Hope and Glory”, the paper suggests that anthems such as Rule Britannia – traditionally belted out on the Last Night of the Proms – might be banned because of jingoistic overtones.
The Daily Mirror suggests that the conductor for the Last Night, who is from Finland, is keen to drop the songs – prompting Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to quip that if she’s too “woke” to do the job, she should be dropped.

The BBC has said its still finalising arrangements for the Last Night to ensure it complies with Covid-related guidance.



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