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G7 summit: Boris Johnson rejects claims of 'moral failure' on vaccines - and says Brexit row didn't

13 June

Boris Johnson has rejected claims of "moral failure" by the G7 over providing more COVID vaccines for poorer nations - as he dismissed suggestions a Brexit row had overshadowed the world leaders' Cornwall summit.

At the end of three days of talks at the seaside resort of Carbis Bay, the heads of the world's leading democracies committed to providing one billion doses of coronavirus jabs over the next year.
The prime minister described the pledge as one of the "triumphs" of the G7 summit.
However, charities claimed the G7 had chosen to "cook the books" on their vaccine pledge.
The summit's final communique gave a commitment to sharing only 870 million doses directly, with the rest of the one billion pledge made up through funding to an international vaccine-sharing scheme.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has challenged G7 leaders to help vaccinate at least 70% of the world's population by the time they meet again next year - a target the WHO has said will need 11 billion doses.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown told Sky News the G7 summit will go down as a "missed opportunity" as he accused leaders of "unforgivable moral failure" over providing vaccines to the rest of the world.
But, speaking at a news conference on Sunday at the end of the Cornwall summit, Mr Johnson pushed back against Mr Brown's assessment.
"I really must reject that," he said. "This is another billion (doses) made up of a massive contribution by the United States, other friends - the UK putting in another 100 million.
"This is June to June - now until next June - and don't forget this vaccine has literally only been invented very recently, these vaccines have only come onstream very recently."
He added the G7 were "going flat out and we are producing vaccines as fast as we can, and distributing them as fast as we can".
And the prime minister said a target to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022 will be done "very largely thanks to the efforts of the countries who have come here today".
The WHO have also said the waiving of intellectual property rights on COVID vaccines is "essential" to inoculating the world.
But G7 countries are split between those in favour of waiving vaccine patents - such as the US and France - and those opposed, including the UK and Germany.
Asked why he did not support waiving intellectual property rights on vaccines, Mr Johnson said: "The crucial thing is to make sure we build up capacity, build up manufacturing capacity - fill and finish and manufacturing - around the world, particularly in Africa.
"I think we should be sharing knowledge as much as we can, whilst obviously protecting the... incentives for innovation.
"You've got to accomplish both things at once."
The prime minister highlighted the Oxford-AstraZenca model of providing vaccines "at cost" as "highly effective".
As well as the G7 leaders' discussions on COVID recovery, future pandemic preparedness and climate change at the summit, lingering Brexit tensions have also been on display in Cornwall between the UK and EU leaders.
But Mr Johnson denied that a continuing UK-EU row over post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland had left a "sour taste" at the Cornwall gathering.
"I can tell you that the vast, vast majority of the conversations that we have had over the last three or four days have been about other subjects and there has been a fantastic degree of harmony between the leaders of our countries," he said.
Following the conclusion of the G7 summit, a group of leading charities accused world leaders of having "fallen disappointingly short".
Organisations including UNICEF UK, Crisis Action, and Action for Global Health said in a joint statement: "The success of this year's G7 summit should be judged by whether leaders have put their money and resources where their mouths are.
"Without 10 billion vaccines, the removal of patents and investment in healthcare systems pledges to inoculate the world by the end of next year ring hollow."
Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at Oxfam, said: "This G7 summit will live on in infamy.
"Faced with the biggest health emergency in a century and a climate catastrophe that is destroying our planet, they have completely failed to meet the challenges of our times.
"Never in the history of the G7 has there been a bigger gap between their actions and the needs of the world.
"In the face of these challenges the G7 have chosen to cook the books on vaccines and continue to cook the planet."

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Euro 2020:Raheem Sterling scores as England beat Croatia 1-0 in first Euro 2020 game at Wembley

13 June

England have beaten Croatia 1-0 in their opening Euro 2020 game at Wembley.

The only goal came from Raheem Sterling in the 57th minute - his first in a major tournament - in the same week he was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list.
It is the first time ever England have won their opening match of the European championship.
England dominated in the first half, with Phil Foden hitting the post six minutes in and Kieran Trippier coming close with a free kick just before half-time.
Croatia appeared to come out stronger in the second half, until Sterling scored with the help of Kalvin Phillips, while captain Harry Kane collided with the post as he looked to double the lead.
They had their chances but England held on to secure maximum points ahead of their next game against Scotland on Friday.
Asked about his performance after the match, Sterling told the BBC: "I've always said if I play at Wembley in a major tournament, in my back garden, I'm scoring. So it's great to finally do that."
Some fans booed as a number of England players took the knee before kick-off, but they were soon drowned out by applause.
Manager Gareth Southgate wrote an open letter to fans stating the squad's intention to make the anti-racism gesture throughout the tournament after they were booed for doing so during their two warm-up matches.
The FA has also called on England supporters to back the team's decision.
There were cheers ahead of the match as announcers wished Danish player Christian Eriksen well after he collapsed during the Denmark v Finland game on Saturday.
A big screen displayed the message "Best wishes Christian" as applause broke out in the stands.
The Group D clash, which won England three points, was held in front of 22,500 fans at Wembley in accordance with the government's lockdown roadmap.
Hopes of restrictions being lifted completely in England on 21 June are diminishing after Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted he is "less optimistic" amid a rise in cases and the spread of the Delta (Indian) COVID variant.
A final decision, which would mean more fans in football stadiums, is due to be announced on Monday.
England's next game is against Scotland in London on Friday.

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Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on pitch, doctors say, as he 'sends greetings t

13 June

Christian Eriksen is in a stable condition after suffering what doctors said was a cardiac arrest during Denmark's opening Euro 2020 match on Saturday.

The Danish footballer is awake in hospital, and has "sent his greetings to his teammates" while he remains under examination following his collapse in Copenhagen.
A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops completely, rendering the person unconscious, while a heart attack is a condition that slows down blood circulation, that the patient is likely awake for.
Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen told a news conference that tests on the player "so far look fine", adding that Eriksen "was gone" before resuscitation efforts began.
Mr Boesen added: "How close were we? I don't know. We got him back after one defib, so that's quite fast."
"We don't have any explanation why it happened. The details about what happened I am not quite sure of because I am not a cardiologist, I will leave that to the experts. I didn't see it live, only on screens afterwards."
Earlier on Sunday, the Danish FA said in a tweet that the 29-year-old had been in contact with the squad on Sunday, as he continues to recover from the incident in Copenhagen.
"This morning we have spoken to Christian Eriksen, who has sent his greetings to his teammates," it said. "His condition is stable and he continues to be hospitalised for further examination," it added.
Denmark's players and staff have "received crisis assistance and will continue to be there for each other after yesterday's incident", the statement added, with some of Eriksen's teammates having been reduced to tears as they formed a wall around him to shield him from the cameras while he received treatment on the pitch.
"We would like to thank everyone for the heartfelt greetings to Christian Eriksen from fans, players, the royal families from both Denmark and England, international associations, clubs etc," the statement said.
Medics attended Eriksen after being quickly ushered on to the field by English referee Anthony Taylor, while Denmark captain Simon Kjaer made what has been hailed as a life-saving intervention by securing his neck, clearing his airways and starting CPR.
Kjaer then led the Danish players in forming the ring around their teammate and comforted Eriksen's partner, who appeared distraught as she went on to the pitch.
Inter Milan midfielder Eriksen, who spent seven years in English football with Tottenham, has been inundated with messages of support since his collapse - including footballers past and present, pundits, politicians and royals.
Boris Johnson was said to have been "shocked" by what happened.
"He is very thankful for the quick thinking actions of officials," the prime minister's spokesman said. "The response of players and fans in the stadium was exemplary. It showed sport at its best."
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also tweeted to praise the referee and medical team.
Prince William, who is also president of the FA, added: "Encouraging news about Christian Eriksen, we are all thinking about him and his family."
Also among those to send their well-wishes was former Arsenal and Birmingham player Fabrice Muamba, whose heart stopped for more than an hour while playing for Bolton against Spurs in 2012.
Dr Jonathan Tobin, the Bolton club doctor at the time, told Sky News: "Even managing to start CPR under that much pressure... I'm not understating it when I said I could hardly breathe when I first started treating Fabrice on the pitch.
"After a minute or two, I was into the groove, everything was fine, but that first minute it was hard. All I could hear was my own heart thundering in my head."
"So, congratulations for starting the CPR and congratulations for letting their training take over," he said of those who treated Eriksen.
Muamba hoped to resume his career but retired from professional football five months later on medical advice - and doctors are concerned that Eriksen may also struggle to play again.
Sanjay Sharma, professor of sports cardiology at St George's University in London, who worked with Eriksen at Tottenham during his time in north London, said: "The good news is he will live, the bad news is he was coming to the end of his career, so would he play another professional football game? That I can't say.
"In the UK he wouldn't play. We'd be very strict about it."
He added: "Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again? The answer is no."
Inter physician Piero Volpi told The Associated Press now was not the time to be making such assessments.
"Right now, the important thing is that he recovers," added Dr Volpi, who also confirmed that Eriksen had never contracted COVID-19. He also was yet to receive a vaccine.
Some Denmark players chose not to continue playing, coach Kasper Hjulmand said after the Group B match, which Finland went on to win 1-0 via a 59th minute goal from Joel Pohjanpalo.
Eriksen was the focus of further well-wishes at Wembley in London on Sunday afternoon, when England begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia.
England captain Harry Kane is a former teammate of Eriksen during his time at Tottenham.

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COVID-19: Boris Johnson expected to approve 'inevitable' delay in lockdown lifting

13 June

Boris Johnson is expected to agree to the delay of lockdown easing in England and, according to a new poll, just over half of the UK public is backing the move.

The lifting of the last remaining coronavirus restrictions had been planned for 21 June under the government's road map.
But, due to concerns about the rapidly-spreading delta variant, this is likely to be postponed - possibly until the middle of July.
Dr Raghib Ali, a government adviser on COVID-19, told Trevor Phillips On Sunday that a delay to lifting lockdown is "inevitable", and he "expects" the prime minister to say that "a delay is needed to make sure that we don't get to the situation again where the NHS is unable to provide care to all its patients".
He added: "Hospitals are extremely busy at the moment, the emergency departments last month were the busiest they have been for years because of the huge backlog of patients that didn't come in during the previous waves.
"Even a relatively small increase in hospital admissions from COVID will have a significant impact on all our non-COVID patients.
"We really can't afford for those people to suffer any more; they have already suffered enough over the last 18 months."
An Opinium poll of 2,002 UK adults found that 54% thought the lifting of restrictions should be postponed, up from 43% two weeks ago.
Just 37% thought they should go ahead as planned or earlier, down from 44% two weeks ago.
Most of those wanting to postpone the easing are older adults, including almost two-thirds of over-65s, while young people are more evenly split - 45% of those aged 18 to 34 back postponement and 46% say the easing should go ahead on 21 June or earlier.
Around six in 10 people backed keeping the requirement to wear face masks, as well as keeping nightclubs closed and limiting large outdoor events.
Just under half backed keeping restrictions on weddings and the rule of six in people's homes.
Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of the Nervtag group, says that the UK is facing a "substantial" third wave of infection, telling the BBC's Andrew Marr: "I think if we were to open up more that would really fan the flames and lead to this increasing even faster."
Meanwhile, Stephen Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (Spi-B), says that the delay is a "bump in the road", telling Times Radio that "there will be a finish line" and that "vaccinations are going to make a difference."
"Not a complete difference, nothing is perfect in this world, but, yes, we will get there," he added.
One of the main reasons for keeping the restrictions would be so that more people can get their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
One dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine is just 33% effective in preventing a symptomatic infection from the delta variant first reported in India.
The second dose raises the protection provided by the Pfizer vaccine to 88% and the AZ vaccine to at least 60%.
Scientists estimate that 96% of all new cases of coronavirus are attributed to the delta variant, which is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the previously dominant alpha (Kent) variant.
There have been 42,323 cases of the Delta variant confirmed in the UK, up by 29,892 from the previous week, according to Public Health England.
Mr Johnson said on Saturday that the rise of the variant was a matter of "serious, serious concern".
He is expected to agree to put the final easing of controls on hold for up to four weeks when he returns to Downing Street later from the G7 summit.
The prime minister is likely to face opposition from some MPs and business groups who will see a move to keep the current restrictions as a bitter blow.
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Earlier in the week, their were concerns that a delay could slow the country's economic recovery, while one unnamed minister told The Sunday Telegraph that there was a "very short window" in which to open up, otherwise controls might have to remain until spring next year.
"I am very worried the people who want to keep us shut down now want us to keep us shut down permanently and are aiming for 'zero COVID'," the minister was quoted as saying.
"Once you start delaying to the spring you're making this type of control of people's lives semi-permanent."

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Brexit: Dominic Raab calls for 'respect' from EU figures amid Northern Ireland Protocol row

13 June

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called for "a bit of respect" from EU leaders as he claimed the bloc's senior figures "serially" talk about Northern Ireland "as if it were somehow a different country from the UK".

The UK and EU are currently at loggerheads over the implementation of post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland - known as the Northern Ireland Protocol - ahead of the end of a "grace period" for some border checks at the end of this month.
The row has threatened to overshadow the UK's hosting of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, this weekend - during which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed some in the EU needed to "get into their heads" that the UK is a single country.
The prime minister's ire is reported to have been raised during his bilateral talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday morning.
Mr Johnson is said to have attempted to explain his frustration with the protocol by asking what Mr Macron would do if sausages from Toulouse could not be moved to Paris.
The French president was claimed to have responded by arguing the comparison did not work because Paris and Toulouse were both part of the same country, thereby suggesting Northern Ireland is not within the UK.
Asked by Sky News at the G7 summit if those reports were true, Mr Raab said "as a matter of diplomatic professionalism" he would not "spill the beans".
But he added: "No one should be surprised by these reports and it's not just one figure.
"We have serially seen senior EU figures talk about Northern Ireland as if it were somehow a different country from the UK.
"That is not only offensive, it has real world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland - it creates great concern, great consternation.
"Could you imagine if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the Lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as different countries?
"We need a bit of respect here and also, frankly, a bit of appreciation of the situation for all communities in Northern Ireland."
Mr Raab claimed the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol had been "very lopsided" and had had "real life effects" on people in Northern Ireland.
"What we cannot have is the continuing disruption of trade and effectively try to change the status of Northern Ireland, contrary to the consent and wishes of the people, which is not just contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol but also to the Belfast Agreement," the foreign secretary added.
Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin has told Sky News there is "a route" to resolving tensions over the protocol.
He urged Mr Johnson to "very seriously consider" a veterinary-type agreement with the EU to eliminate "up to 80% of checks" on goods crossing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

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