BBC News

Newspaper headlines: 'National lockdown looms' and shooting 'curtailed'

By BBC News

image copyrightPA Media

The Daily Mail is in no doubt that Boris Johnson will announce the national lockdown next week.

It says the rapid spread of coronavirus means the prime minister now faces a "critical weekend" to determine exactly what form the restrictions will take and how long they will last.

The Times headline also warns that "National Lockdown Looms".

It says there will be an official announcement on Monday following growing concern from advisers that hospitals will be overwhelmed.

The Times says the new measures could see everything closed except essential shops and "educational settings" - ranging from nurseries to universities.

It says data from the Office for National Statistics suggests Covid cases have not "spiralled out of control" and the move would be "catastrophic" for cancer patients and people with mental health issues.

The Daily Mirror and the Guardian report that the police and Crown Prosecution Service have been handed a 225-page dossier urging them to investigate the PM's special adviser, Dominic Cummings.

A former regional chief prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, claims Mr Cummings perverted the cause of justice when he made statements about his journeys to north-east England at the height of the pandemic.

Durham Police has previously said Mr Cummings committed a "minor" breach of the rules.

A spokesman for No 10 says the prime minister considers the matter closed.

The Daily Telegraph reports that pheasant shooting has been curtailed across "vast swathes" of the countryside.

It describes the government as having "bowed" to a campaign run by the BBC presenter Chris Packham - who pushed for a ban on releasing the birds around Britain's sites of special scientific interest.

The British Association of Shooting and Conservation tells the paper the ban covers around 10% of land used for releasing game birds and accuses Mr Packham's group of using legal loopholes to "damage" shooting.

image captionWildlife presenter Chris Packham has pushed for a ban on releasing the birds around parts of Britain.

Ahead of the US presidential election on Tuesday, the Washington Post reports on what it says are attempts by the Trump campaign to challenge votes after they have been cast.

The Republican party has filed a lawsuit in Nevada to obtain images of signatures of all registered voters.

The paper assumes this is the first step in trying to have ballots thrown out if the signatures do not match.

The Post adds that in Texas, Republican officeholders have asked a judge to declare some drive-through polling stations illegal - which would invalidate more than 100,000 votes already cast there.

The paper describes it as a change of tactic for the Trump campaign after it largely failed to limit access to mail-in voting.

Ralph Biden, 74, from Surrey, did not realise his family connection until the paper approached him.

When asked for his thoughts on his 77-year-old relative, Ralph Biden hardly gave an overwhelming endorsement.

He said in his heart of hearts he thought the Democrat challenger was a little too old for the job.

He tells the paper: "I think he would make a good president, the question is for how long?"