Oggend almal. I’m Martin Farrer and these are your top stories this morning.
Dominic Raab is facing increasing pressure to resign, including from Tory MPs, after claims he in effect disappeared for more than a week while on holiday in Crete during the collapse of Afghanistan, delegating almost all duties to juniors. Officials did not deny that the foreign secretary asked another minister to make a call last Friday to the Afghan foreign minister to assist the evacuation of former British military translators. It has now emerged the call was never made. As the foreign secretary became the focal point for anger over Britain’s humiliating retreat from Afghanistan after 20 jare, Arbeid, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP demanded Boris Johnson sack Raab if he did not decide to quit. Tory MPs said Raab had been “lacklustre”, with one saying his position was “untenable”. Dominic Grieve, former Tory chair of parliament’s intelligence and security committee, has urged it to launch an investigation into the fiasco.
A man who worked in the kitchen at the British embassy in Kabul for seven years has appealed to Johnson to save him and his family from the Taliban, who he says are hunting him down. “We request him to help as much as he can. Please help us get out,” said Ahmad. Thousands remain stranded in Kabul as the Taliban are reportedly going door-to-door searching for people who worked with the allies. Australians trying to board planes at Kabul’s besieged airport have reported being pushed back by Taliban guards, and saw some people beaten and shot at by the militants. An Afghan teenager who played football for the national youth team was one of those who died after falling from a plane during the chaos at the airport this week.British soldiers in Catterick, the army’s largest garrison, have spoken of their dismay at the shambolic end to the mission in which many of their comrades died.
UK’s Covid ‘pessimism’ – American officials thought their British counterparts “were out of their minds” in aiming for herd immunity as part of Boris Johnson’s initial policy on dealing with the coronavirus, according to a new book about the global response to the pandemic. Whitehall was “oddly pessimistic” about its capacity to defeat the virus, rejecting measures such as a ban on mass gatherings. Op dieselfde tyd, the authors report how US officials struggled to convince then-president Donald Trump of the need for tough measures because he had been given assurances by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, that it was under control. Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, says he and his wife Jill will receive a Covid booster shot despite criticism for going ahead with extra shots while many poorer nations were struggling to access their first doses. British MPs are being urged to wear masks in the chamber to protect staff, after cabinet ministers and many Tory backbenchers shunned the advice during a debate on Afghanistan. In Australië, large parts of Sydney will be placed under curfew from Monday night, and the city’s lockdown, already in its eighth week, has been extended to the end of September. New Zealand’s outbreak has spread to the capital, Wellington.
OnlyBans – OnlyFans, the subscriber-only website synonymous with pornography, will ban adult material after pressure from its payment processors. The London-based site, which has exploded in popularity around the world during lockdowns, will continue to allow some posts containing nudity but “any content containing sexually explicit conduct” will be banned, with the site instead focusing on more mainstream content.
Supermarket sweep – Morrisons has agreed to a £7bn takeover by the US private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in the latest round in a fierce fight for control of the country’s fourth-largest supermarket chain. The Bradford-based chain confirmed last night it had accepted an improved offer of 285p per share that bettered the offer on the table from rival suitor Fortress. It comes amid a rash of private equity takeovers gripping corporate Britain, including bids for aerospace firms Meggitt en Ultra.
Auf Wiedersehen, Putin – Angela Merkel will make a “farewell visit” to the Kremlin today, marking the end of a tense 15-year tug-of-war between Europe’s elder statesperson and the bloc’s chief antagonist in Vladimir Putin. The German chancellor, who stands down later this year, will discuss human rights and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, among other issues. “I don’t hold back,” Merkel says of her approach to dealing with the former KGB strongman.
Culture club – A record 20 places in the UK have put in bids to follow Coventry as the next city of culture. Wolverhampton, Stirling, Conwy county in Wales and a joint application from Armagh city, Banbridge and Craigavon in Northern Ireland are among those to have expressed an interest in hosting a year of cultural festivities in 2025.
In 2012, Sophie Carrigill was a complete beginner at wheelchair basketball. Now she’s going to Japan with real hopes of a gold medal – and inspiring a new generation of athletes.
In his new film The Nest, Jude Law plays a 1980s broker whose financial deals destroy his marriage. He tells Steve Rose about maturity, class and growing up in the 80s, and they also discuss the film’s transatlantic roots with the film’s director, Sean Durkin.
Harry Kane did not feature as a weakened Tottenham side lost 1-0 to Paços de Ferreira in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off. Kiran Carlson inspired Glamorgan to their first One-Day Cup triumph after beating Durham by 58 runs at Trent Bridge. The Great Britain team to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics has been confirmed, with a record number of female athletes selected among the 227-member group. Rob Burrow gave a defiant speech to the crowd before Leeds beat Huddersfield 18-12 to keep alive their Super League play-off chances. The world No 1, Nelly Korda, got off to a great start at the Women’s Open with a first-round 67, with England’s Georgia Hall to start day two at Carnoustie one shot back. Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine has backed Justin Langer to continue after some “tough and robust conversations” with Krieket Australia and is now calling on his teammates to rally around the under-pressure coach. And former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is off life support and recovering in hospital after emergency surgery in Sydney for a heart problem.
The FTSE100 is expected to lift 0.4% this morning after being battered yesterday amid growing concerns that central banks will induce a global downturn if they begin withdrawing stimulus too quickly. Our business commentator Nils Pratley reckons the markets’ nascent “taper tantrum” exposes the fallacy that the global economy will continue to see an easy recovery. On the foreign exchanges, the pound will fetch you $1.364 and €1.167.
Die Voog leads with “Raab ‘refused to take calls’ during fall of Afghanistan” en die Mail also piles the pressure on the foreign secretary with a highly critical front page saying “Bad call, minister”.
Die Times shifts the focus to civil servants with the lead “Whitehall chiefs holiday despite Afghan debacle”, while the Telegraph splashes with “Biden: UK and allies had choice to remain”. Die FT reports on rumblings about the state of the economy with “Toyota move to slash output 40% adds to jitters over global growth”. Die Express hails “100,000 lives saved by Covid jabs”. Die Mirror has an interview with Terry Lubbock, whose son was found dead in the pool at comedian Michael Barrymore’s house 20 jare terug. “I will fight on for Stuart”, the splash says. Die Scotsman leads on “ScotRail plans to cut one in eight trains”.
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