Thursday briefing: Biden lands with Northern Ireland warning

Morning everyone. I’m Martin Farrer and here are the top stories today.

Joe Biden is expected today to warn Boris Johnson not to “imperil” the Northern Ireland peace process when the two leaders meet in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit. With talks between the UK and the EU reportedly close to collapse over post-Brexit border checks in Ireland, the US president is expected to reinforce warnings issued by his senior diplomats in a meeting yesterday with Lord Frost, Britain’s top negotiator. Frost was told that he will inflame tensions in Northern Ireland if he does not compromise over border checks, although the discussion stopped short of a formal reprimand for Britain suggested by some reports. There were signs, egter, daardie all is not lost in the UK/EU talks and that there is still room for an agreement over how to manage the border issue. It promises to be a busy day for Johnson and Biden, who will invoke wartime cooperation between WInston Churcill and Franklin Roosevelt by signing a new Atlantic charter to help forge a new post-Covid world order.

G7 leak – A leaked draft communique for the G7 meeting says leaders will call for a new, transparent investigation by the World Health Organization into the origins of the coronavirus. The call was initiated by Biden, whose aim to reassert American influence around the world is likely to dominate the summit. Speaking to US military personnel last night after he landed at RAF Mildenhall, the president said the “US is back” as he delivered a repudiation of the isolationist rhetoric of the Trump era. No single country could fix the post-Covid world, hy het gesê, but “democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges”. To help restore American prestige, his administration has agreed to buy 500m vaccine doses from Pfizer to distribute to 100 lande. How to vaccinate people in poorer countries will be among the key issues the G7 leaders will discuss at Carbis Bay, along with Russia’s threat to democracy, Sjina, tax, aid, the climate crisis and Brexit. Egter, some leaders such as Japan’s Yoshihide Suga and Italy’s Mario Draghi have more domestic concerns such as, onderskeidelik, support for pressing on with the Olympics and economic growth.

Hancock grilling – Some of the UK’s biggest care home operators repeatedly warned the Department of Health about the risk of not Covid testing people discharged from hospitals into care homes in March 2020. Their claims are likely to increase pressure on Matt Hancock when he appears before MPs today to defend his handling of the pandemic. It comes amid mounting tension over whether Boris Johnson will allow the easing of all remaining restrictions a week on Monday. New modelling shows Britain is at risk of a “substantial third wave” of infections.

Don veto – Meer as 150 dons at Oriel College, Oxford have signed a letter refusing to teach students over its refusal to remove the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes from the college building. The lecturers have also pledged to withdraw from all talks, seminars and conferences sponsored by Oriel and stop their involvement in interviewing students and recruiting fellows.

School harassment – Children have told school inspectors that sexual harassment and online sexual abuse are such a routine part of their daily lives they don’t see any point reporting it. Girls bear the brunt, complaining of sexist name-calling, upskirting, unwanted touching in school corridors and rape jokes. Boys share nude pictures on WhatsApp and Snapchat “like a collection game”, inspectors were told.

Putin enemy ‘comatosed’ – Russian agents who tailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny before his poisoning last year also shadowed a journalist who had earlier fallen severely ill with similar symptoms, according to the investigative organisation Bellingcat. Dmitry Bykov, an an outspoken critic of president Vladimir Putin, spent five days in a coma after he became sick on an aeroplane while on a lecture tour in 2019. Vroeër, a Russian court enforced Putin’s crackdown on dissent when it outlawed Navalny’s nationwide political organisation on the grounds it is “extremist”.

Mind your language – Swearing is becoming more commonplace in everyday life but parents do not want their children to hear more bad language on television or in films. A study by film censors reveals that six in 10 people say strong language is part of their daily lives. About a third say they use it more than they did five years ago and there is also a generational divide with younger people more likely to be swearers.

The world’s richest democracies will come together in Britain this week with global heating high on the agenda. Anushka Asthana speaks to the Guardian’s environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, oor whether the leaders can match big promises with concrete action.

As Britain’s athletes gear up for next month’s Olympics, Anita Neil, the first black woman to represent the country at the Games, talks about running in Mexico City and Munich before being forced to quit in her prime to make ends meet. She talks about the devastating blow – “I just felt let down” – but also her joy at her achievements being belatedly recognised. It’s “just wonderful”, she says.

Joe Root confirmed England will continue to deliver the message of cricket’s inclusivity with another “moment of unity” before the second Test against New Zealand which starts today and offers a chance to change the mood. Novak Djokovic moved into the semi-finals at Roland Garros vir a 58th showdown with Rafael Nadal, surviving a third-set hiccup to beat Matteo Berrettini in a match soundtracked by cheers and silence after the players were forced to leave the court so spectators could be persuaded to go home as the national curfew approached.

Die International Olympic Committee has offered to source as many doctors and nurses as needed from around the globe to ensure the Tokyo Olympics is safe – and to help Japan fight a fourth wave of Covid infections. The IOC and organisers stand to lose billions of dollars if Tokyo 2020 falls victim to the coronavirus for a second time. Tottenham are in advanced negotiations with Paulo Fonseca after the former Roma manager was identified as the club’s preferred option to succeed José Mourinho. The six English clubs who attempted to join the European Super League have agreed a settlement with the Premier League in which they will pay £22m between them to causes that support “the good of the game”. And Brooks Koepka has insisted his feud with Bryson DeChambeau will not hinder the US team’s Ryder Cup chances.

The upward pressure on UK property prices continued for the fourth month running in May, according to surveyors, after the gap between demand for homes and supply grew to its widest level since 2013. The FTSE100 is tracking to rise 0.25% this morning while the pound is on $1.412 and €1.160.

Die Voog leads with an exclusive on the tough day ahead for health secretary Matt Hancock as he faces a committee of MPs. “Hancock was warned of risks of not testing, say care homes”. Die Times also boasts a scoop with its story “Biden accuses Johnson of ‘inflaming’ Irish tensions”. Die FT also likes that issue with its splash reading “Biden to press Johnson on ending bitter Northern Ireland stand-off”.

Die Mirror is concerned about pubs closing because of the pandemic recession – “Last chance saloon” – and the i is worried about the easing deadline: “Downbeat PM casts doubt on 21 June final unlock”. Die Mail is upbeat, egter, with what it says is good news on Covid cases, vaccines and the economy, giving it the headline “Triple dose of good news (so why so glum Boris?)”. Die Scotsman says “Mask rules for residents in care homes spark anger”. Die Telegraph has a scoop on “150 Oxford dons refuse to teach on Rhodes row”, en die Express leads on the royal baby name drama: “Enough! You’ve upset the Queen again, Harry”.

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