Vrydag inligtingsessie: a star is born

Oggend almal. I’m Martin Farrer and these are the top stories today.

Britain has a new sporting superstar in the making after Emma Raducanu reached the final of the US Open with a straight sets win over Maria Sakkari under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York overnight. The 18-year-old from Kent showed immense composure to became the first qualifier to reach the final of a major in the Open era as she beat the Greek No 17 seed 6-1, 6-4. She is also the first British woman to reach a grand slam final since Virginia Wade in 1977. She will play another teenager, Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada, in the final on Saturday night. “Eerlik, the time here in New York has gone so fast,” she said after the match. “I’ve just been taking care of each day and, before you know it, I’m in the final and I can’t believe it.” Tim Henman, the former British No 1, described her performance as “absolutely staggering”.

Her victory caps a remarkable few months for Raducanu who was ranked outside the world’s top 350 in June. But after sitting A-levels in maths and economics (both grade As, by the way), she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and then thrived for five weeks on the US tour. Nou, after not even dropping a set in the whole tournament, she is one win away from one of the biggest prizes in the sport.

Credit crunch – Scrapping the £1,000-a-year boost to universal credit next month will trigger mental illness and poorer health for thousands of people, en hit the sickest areas of the UK hardest, new research suggests. Boris Johnson’s commitment to “levelling up” has been thrown into doubt by a study by the Health Foundation which comes as ministers are already facing criticism for a national insurance hike that will leave low-paid workers hundreds of pounds worse off. The ditching of the universal credit uplift hit areas such as Blackpool, Hartlepool, Wolverhampton, Peterborough and parts of east London the worst.

Booster pressure – The vaccine watchdog is under pressure to approve a programme of Covid booster jabs in time for winter as the number of people in hospital with the virus exceeded 8,000 for the first time since March. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is expected to give its decision on the boosters within days. Egter, one of the leading figures in the development of the Oxford AstraZeneca jab, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, said immunity is “lasting well” for most people and suggested extra doses should be directed to countries with a low rate of vaccination. The Scottish parliament has approved a plan for vaccines passports for entry to nightclubs and large events from 1 Oktober. In die VSA, president Joe Biden has responded to a surge of cases by announcing a vaccine mandate “to turn the tide” against Covid.

China ‘strategic void’ – Boris Johnson has been accused in a Lords report of avoiding a clear strategy on China for fear it will force him to make difficult decisions that put human rights ahead of enhanced trade. The report says there is a “strategic void” at the heart of Britain’s approach to dealing with Beijing and warns that we must be prepared for a “potentially long and severe period of disruption in its trade and political relations with China”. Intussen, Joe Biden has told Chinese president Xi Jinping that the two countries must avoid “veering to war” in their first call for months.

Cancer ‘revolution’ – Lung cancer patients in England will become the first in Europe to benefit from a “revolutionary” new drug that can halt the growth of tumours. Sotorasib will be fast-tracked to NHS patients after it was proven in clinical trials to stop lung cancer growing for seven months. The drug targets the mutation on the KRAS gene, which is found in a quarter of all tumours and is known as the “Death Star” mutation because of its spherical appearance and impenetrable nature.

Mercury sound – Arlo Parks has won the 2021 Mercury prize, awarded to the year’s most outstanding British album, for her debut Collapsed in Sunbeams. Parks, who grew up in west London, fended off competition from rivals including Wolf Alice, Celeste and Mogwai for the top prize of £25,000. Our music critic says it was richly deserved for her warm voice and diaristic lyrics.

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan and Nabil Abdul Rashid both came of age in the early 2000s, as Britain’s Muslim communities were feeling the backlash from 9/11. In conversation with Nosheen Iqbal, the poet and standup comedian look back at the past two decades and ahead to what the future holds for Britain’s Muslims.

The US diseases expert Anthony Fauci – lauded for his devotion to saving lives and even described as the “sexiest man alive” – has become an unlikely cult hero and is now the focus of a documentary film.

Fifa’s radical plans to stage a biennial World Cup came under attack hours after they were officially unveiled on Thursday – with the World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, warning of growing anger across Olympic sports and Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, saying the proposals could “kill football”. English cricket breathed a sigh of relief with news that India’s players have cleared an emergency round of Covid-19 testing and Friday’s fifth Test at Old Trafford should go ahead as planned.

After a season of tears and heartbreak, Dina Asher-Smith finished second behind Elaine Thompson-Herah in the Diamond League 100m, while Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson won the 800m in Zurich. Engeland narrowly scraped home in their women’s T20 series decider against New Zealand at Taunton, reaching their target of 145 with one ball to spare. Vivianne Miedema scored her 100th Arsenal goal, firing in a hat-trick against Slavia Prague to secure her team’s place in the Champions League group stage. The Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has welcomed this week’s proposal for a World 12s tournament, saying the sport must move forward and that most of modern Test rugby leaves him cold. And Lewis Hamilton has insisted he is looking forward to the challenge of having George Russell as a teammate next season with the British duo given the green light to race each other.

An increasingly febrile fight is developing over who controls the bulk of short-haul flights out of Gatwick airport after EasyJet rejected an unsolicited takeover approach – believed to be from the Hungary-based Wizz Air. The British carrier launched a £1.2bn fundraising call yesterday to see it through a slow recovery from the pandemic, but our financial commentator Nils Pratley says that won’t do much to cheer shareholders. The FTSE100 is looking flat this morning while the pound has nudged up to $1.384 and €1.171.

There is some divergence about the Covid booster vaccine , met die Times leading with “Huge rise in protection from Covid booster jabs” and the Telegraph splash saying “Oxford jab professor: we don’t need mass boosters”. In Scotland, die Herald reports “Scotland’s vaccine passports to start on October 1”.

Die Voog leads with “Revealed: ending benefits uplift will hit sickest areas the hardest”, en die Mail has a story about the rise in deaths allegedly caused by lack of face-to-face medical appointments: “Deadly toll of ‘remote’ GPs”. Die Mirror leads with Rio Ferdinand speaking out about racism – “My family’s racism torment” – while the Express manages “Rishi’s ‘immense pride’ at bounce back Britain”. Die FT says “ECB to slow crisis era support as confidence grows in recovery” and the Yorkshire Post carries a warning from Lord Heseltine saying “‘Johnson will not deliver on power sharing’”.

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