Friday briefing: Failure on racial justice

Giorno a tutti. I’m Martin Farrer and these are the top stories this morning.

Police and governments must do more to stamp out racial injustice in the ranks, with systemic failings leading to “unjustified inequalities”, a report by MPs has found. The home affairs committee is heavily critical of the progress made in the 22 years since the Macpherson report blamed “institutional racism” for allowing the white killers of Stephen Lawrence to go free. The report lambasts the police for failing to reform, but successive governments are also blamed for failing to take racial justice seriously enough. The MPs’ report details how black people remain nine times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched in England and Wales, with most found to be innocent. The findings about failures at the top of police and governments are very familiar and will almost certainly be repeated in others reports in years to come.

French farce – Ministers are facing a growing backlash for putting France on the new “amber plus” travel list, after concerns about whether they focused too much on coronavirus variant cases in its Réunion Island territory in the Indian ocean. The foreign secretary, Domenico Raab, admitted yesterday the decision to impose tougher restrictions on millions of fully vaccinated French citizens and Britons holidaying or living across the Channel was partly due to the prevalence of the Beta variant on Réunion. France’s Europe minister, Clement Beaune, called the British restrictions “discriminatory” and said they made no sense. Greece has begun sending extra police to holiday island hotspots such as Mykonos as the country’s tourism season moves into high gear. The daily number of Covid cases rose in the UK for the second day in a row yesterday to 31,117 casi, dal 27,734 the day before. Israel is offering a Pfizer booster shot to over-60s who have been double vaccinated.

Cycle censure – Councils that rip out cycle lanes or abandon low-traffic neighbourhood schemes could lose central government funding, transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris has warned. Councils from Conservative-run West Sussex to Labour-led Liverpool have removed cycle lanes and risk “implications” for future funding under the terms of a letter sent by the minister to councils. Boris Johnson has also weighed in, telling councils that “trying to squeeze more cars and delivery vans on the same roads and hoping for the best is not going to work”.

Twelfth fright – Shooting estates could be forced to cancel the traditional “Glorious Twelfth” opening of the grouse season because hard frosts, sleet and cold rain earlier this summer mean fewer birds have been born, and some eggs are yet to hatch. The grouse-shooting season extends from 12 August to 10 December. Estates across Britain have been postponing the opening of their seasons, and trying to find alternative activities for those who still wish to visit.

Storm warning – The UK is facing high winds and lashing rain as the newly named Storm Evert gathers pace and hits the south-west of England. The Met Office has warned that the storm, which is expected to bring 75mph winds, “will get worse before it gets better”. The storm will move across parts of the UK on Friday, giving a “wet and windy start” to the day for the southern and central regions. The storm could cause damage to infrastructure and travel disruption, as well as making things a bit fresh for holiday campers.

Widow’s writ – Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the recent release of Black Widow, claiming that the decision to launch her first, and last, Marvel film on the streaming service Disney+ as well as cinemas is a breach of contract. Il actor claims that her salary was based on the box office performance of the film, which opened strongly but suffered a steep second week decline which some blamed on the streaming release. Disney fired back at Johansson, saying the suit had “no merit”.

It’s the world’s most widely used psychoactive drug, it disrupts our sleep, it makes us grumpy when we miss it – and we give it to our children. What keeps us coming back to coffee?

Censor, the soon-to-be-released feature debut for director Prano Bailey-Bond, was inspired by the 80s home video outrage around films such as Evil Dead. It follows a film censor called Enid played by Niamh Algar as she grapples with the emergence of the shlock horror genre amid the decade’s authoritarian gloom. Bailey-Bond discusses how “Mary Whitehouse is living in my head” and art versus offence, while the BBFC’s head makes the case for its relevance today.

It’s been a sensational day for Team GB at the BMX track in Tokyo where Bethany Shriever won a thrilling gold medal race, and Kye Whyte charged to a silver in the men’s event. Elsewhere there was frustration again as Duncan Scott came second in the men’s 200m medley, there was a bronze for Luke Greenbank in the 200m backstroke, and there was also a bronze for the men’s rowing eight. Vicky Thornley missed out on a medal in the women’s single sculls, bringing Team GB’s fourth fourth-placed finish from six medal races on the water as the inquest began into the rowing team’s poor showing. It’s a big contrast with New Zealand who bagged two more rowing golds to add to one yesterday. The athletics is also under way with Dina Asher-Smith through to the semis of the 100m, and three British women reaching the semis of the 800m.

South Africa’s rugby coach Rassie Erasmus has offered to step down as the row over officiating on the British Lions tour goes on. Manchester City have opened talks with Aston Villa about signing Jack Grealish, while José Mourinho has played down expectations of success as he takes over at Roma. In basketball, the Detroit Pistons made Cade Cunningham the no 1 NBA draft pick, while Russell Westbrook has joined the LA Lakers in a blockbuster trade.

Più di one in seven shops are now vacant on UK high streets, retail parks and shopping centres, the highest proportion since at least 2015, as the Covid-19 pandemic ramped up pressure on already weakened retailers. Più di 5 million people had a parcel lost or stolen last year, according to Citizens Advice, which has called on the government to start fining firms that keep losing deliveries. The FTSE100 is set to shed 0.25% this morning, while the pound is on $1.169 and €1.174.

Il Volte leads with “Travel rules descend into French farce”, il Express reckons the travel chaos is “Brexit revenge: EU blocks opening up to UK tourists”, e il i says “Red alert for Amber list travel”. Il Mail is concerned about what could be a stealth “No jab, no job” feature on the NHS app and the Telegraph reports “Hospital Covid case numbers ‘misleading’”. Il Mirror splash is “Jabs save 60,000 lives”.

Il Custode leads with “MPs criticise ‘systematic failure’ of police to improve record on race”, mentre il FT has “Property sector donations rise to quarter of all funds gifted to Tories”. Il Sun splashes with “Fans lose £1,000s to Katie Price conman”. Il Herald in Scotland leads with “Number of teachers leaving profession at five-year high”, e il Record has a message about drug policy: “Choose life”.

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