Newspaper headlines: Hong Kong law and ‘lost NHS heroes’


Newspaper headlines: Hong Kong law and ‘lost NHS heroes’


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The Financial Times is one of several papers to lead with reaction to the events in Hong Kong, reporting that Boris Johnson has condemned Beijing’s sweeping new security law for the territory as a “serious breach” of the 1985 UK-China handover agreement. It came as the UK prime minister vowed to honour a pledge to open the path to citizenship for almost three million Hong Kong residents, the paper reports.

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The bespoke immigration arrangement will be open to British National Overseas passport holders in Hong Kong and their dependants, as well as those who are eligible to apply for one, the Times reports. Under the plans, they will be given the right to remain in the UK, including the right to work or study, for five years, after which they will be able to apply for settled status and after a further year, seek citizenship.

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EPA

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The i says the citizenship offer will open the door to 40% of Hong Kong’s population and their dependants, with no limit on the number who could be admitted to the UK. The paper predicts sanctions and a U-turn on the involvement of Chinese firm Huawei in the UK’s 5G network are likely, as tensions with Beijing rise.

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The Daily Mirror’s front page carries a montage of some of the NHS staff and care workers who have died with coronavirus, alongside the headline “our lost heroes”. The tribute comes as the UK prepares to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS on Sunday.

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The Guardian says there are growing fears for the UK High Street, after more than 6,000 retail job cuts were announced on Wednesday. The latest jobs losses, which range from Harrods to Philip Green’s Arcadia group, bring the total cuts announced this week to more than 10,000, the paper reports.

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The Daily Express carries warnings from scientists that more towns and cities will follow Leicester with local lockdowns, after high localised infection rates were highlighted. Experts said areas including Bradford were of concern amid expectations of a trend of coronavirus clusters, the paper reports.

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“Hold on tight!” is the headline for the Metro, alongside a picture of people enjoying a socially-distanced ride at Alton Towers as the theme park prepares to reopen on Saturday. The paper’s lead story also warns that more Leicester-style local lockdowns could be “just days away”, as the government is accused of “burying” local testing data from drive-through centres and home tests.

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However, the Daily Telegraph is more optimistic, reporting that the rate of coronavirus cases in England has dropped almost 40% in the past week, according to official figures. The paper suggests other local lockdowns may be unnecessary because rates in towns on the government watch list, including Bradford, Barnsley and Rochdale, have notably declined.

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The Daily Star leads on a lawsuit involving Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, who is being sued by his former wife.

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