BBC News

Newspaper headlines: Record GCSE results and 55 years for Manchester bomb plotter

By BBC News


Virus hospital admissions 'over-reported'

The Daily Telegraph reports that an investigation for the government's Sage committee has found that hospital admissions for coronavirus were "over-reported" at the peak of the pandemic. It says patients were counted as Covid-19 admissions if they had ever had the disease - even if they went to hospital for other reasons.

The Guardian's main headline says there's been a "sharp rise" in infections - up by 27% in a week in England - to reach the highest level since mid-June. It says people in Birmingham have been urged to act now to avert a city-wide lockdown.

The Times highlights a letter to vice-chancellors from the universities minister, Michelle Donelan - urging them to prioritise admitting students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The paper suggests such a move could force middle-class children to take a gap year, after the chaos over A-Level results left many courses oversubscribed.

'Boris carries on camping'

The front page of the Daily Mail claims to reveal where the Prime Minister has been on holiday throughout what the paper calls the "extraordinary exams fiasco". With the headline, "Boris Carries On Camping!", it says Mr Johnson has been spending time at a remote cottage on the Scottish coast - with a tepee-style tent pitched nearby.

Many of the papers reflect on the record 55-year minimum sentence handed to the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber. The Daily Express has the headline, "Never Let Him See The Light Of Day".

The Metro picks out comments by the judge at the Old Bailey who said he would have given Hashem Abedi a whole life term, but was unable to do so because of his age at the time of the attack.

The Sun's leader column describes the judge as "a credit to our justice system", arguing long sentences for convicted terrorists will help eradicate jihadism in Britain.

The Financial Times uses its leader column to denounce what it calls "Russia's dark culture of political violence", following the alleged poisoning of the prominent Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny. "There is no certainty the authorities or state-linked actors were responsible", it says, "yet in Russia they must be prime suspects until proven otherwise".

The FT goes on to argue that where the Russian leadership is "undoubtedly culpable" is in allowing a culture of impunity around such violence. Foreign investors, it warns, "should not close their eyes".

Future of BBC news bulletins

With the headline, "Beeb TV News Doomed", the Daily Mirror says the corporation's head of news has suggested the main evening bulletins could be obsolete within a decade, as more people consume reports on phones and the iPlayer.

Fran Unsworth is quoted as saying: "TV journalism will still be around because of the power of pictures to tell a story, but not necessarily in its current form. I might be wrong, but I doubt it."

The former BBC newsreader, Angela Rippon, has told the Mirror that scrapping the bulletins would lead to "information anarchy and chaos".

'Cloud will hang over Class of 2020'

As is common at this time of year, the papers are full of photographs of excited teenagers celebrating their GCSEs - but there's also concern about inflated grades following a record-breaking set of results.

"Prizes For All In Class Of Covid", says the Daily Mail.

According to the Guardian, headteachers are considering challenging the "unusually high" marks, with some reporting "bizarre anomalies" where pupils were unexpectedly upgraded beyond their school assessed grade by the now discredited algorithm used by the exams regulator, Ofqual.

The Daily Telegraph's leader column warns that "a cloud will always hang over the 2020 generation", but puts the blame squarely at the door of ministers. "Given everything else the country is going through", it says, "maintaining rigorous education standards is a battle the government hasn't had the heart to see through."

Britain bounces back

It says High Street and shopping centre activity is picking up, while traffic has almost returned to normal levels, helped by the "ever-dependable White Van Man back out on the road."

The Sun argues it would be "churlish" not to celebrate, but admits to remaining concerned about the future of offices, as well as the cleaners, shop owners and transport employees who depend on their survival for work.

A photograph of Steve Bannon is featured prominently by the Times, after Donald Trump's former chief strategist was charged with fraud. The paper says he was arrested on a boat off the coast of Connecticut, before pleading not guilty at a virtual hearing to defrauding donors who had contributed to a campaign raising funds to build a border wall with Mexico.

The Financial Times says Mr Trump "tried to distance himself from Mr Bannon and his project yesterday", saying he hadn't dealt with him for a very long time, and it was "a very sad thing".

Palace guard bearskin hats 'under threat'

The iconic bearskin hats worn by Buckingham Palace Guardsmen are under threat, according to the Daily Express, which claims to exclusively reveal that the government is drawing up plans to "raise standards even further", two decades after fur farming was banned in the UK.

The animal welfare minister, Lord Goldsmith, is said to be keen to introduce "tough new laws" once Britain has left the EU, which could also see an end to the ermine worn in the upper chamber of parliament.

A spokesman for the British Fur Trade Association has told the paper it "beggars belief" that in the middle of a pandemic and a catastrophic recession, "the government is secretly working on plans to ban the fur in people's wardrobes."

Finally, a number of papers cast their eye over the latest batch of places to be given protected status.

The Daily Mirror picks out a curved playpark slide on the Brunel Estate in central London - described by National Heritage as a "particularly ambitious and inventive creation."

The Daily Telegraph highlights Stockley Park, a 350 acre site near Heathrow Airport, which has become the first business estate to be Grade Two listed.

Historic England says its design shows influences from 17th-century English and French landscapes, but the Telegraph notes that glass-lined offices, acres of parking and a used car dealership make it "an unlikely choice."