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The Israeli opposition leader, Yair Lapid, has told the country’s president he is in a position to form a government. Days of frenetic negotiations produced the result less than an hour before a midnight deadline, with Lapid pulling together a coalition of ideological rivals united by a desire to oust Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader. Lapid’s former rival in the form of far-right politician Naftali Bennett would be prime minister for the first two years of the proposed government, while the United Arab List would become the first party from Israel’s sizeable Arab minority to join a government.
Lawmakers will need to vote on the deal, which is expected next week, followed by a swearing-in. Bennett, the prime minister in waiting, does not believe Israel and the Palestinians will ever make a peace agreement. Die hardline religious nationalist instead wants to “manage” the crisis in perpetuity and always from a position of ultimate Israeli control over Palestinians – including annexing the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, het chosen Isaac Herzog to be the country’s next president, succeeding Reuvin Rivlin. The vote will inevitably be interpreted as yet more evidence of the end of the Netanyahu era and the politics that he defined. Herzog will begin his seven-year term in July.
Early holiday angers Ofsted chief – Schools in England should continue to teach pupils until the school year ends rather than giving them an extended holiday, the head of Ofsted has said. Schools usually give students study leave before their exams, but this year GCSE, BTec and A-levels exams have been replaced by teacher assessment. Amanda Spielman said it was “concerning” that secondary schools were allowing pupils on GCSE and A-level courses to end the summer term six weeks or more early. Spielman said Ofsted “will want to know” how schools are using the remainder of the term to help these pupils catch up on lost learning. Separately the government’s education catch-up chief has resigned in protest over the prime minister’s scaled-down recovery plan, warning it “does not come close” to meeting the needs of children whose education has been thrown into chaos.
Killing ‘followed racist abuse’ – A 14-year-old boy now named as Dea-John Reid was subjected to racist abuse before being chased and stabbed to death in Birmingham, het die polisie gesê. Six people – four men in their 30s and two boys aged 13 en 14 – have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody. Police said the attack on Monday evening took place following an earlier incident involving Dea-John and his friends during which they were subjected to racist language. In a tribute on Wednesday, Dea-John’s family described him as an “incredibly talented young boy” and asked: “How many more mothers will have to mourn for their sons for this to stop?”
MPs line up against aid cuts – Boris Johnson could face a shock Commons defeat over plans to cut foreign aid. Die minister van buitelandse sake, Dominic Raab, announced last year that the UK would cut aid spending from 0.7% of national income to 0.5% – a reduction of more than £4bn. The cuts have led to funding for some programmes being reduced by 85% or more. The amendment has the backing of a number of senior Tories as well as wide cross-party support. If selected by the speaker, it would seek to enforce the target of 0.7% in 2022. Rich countries are falling behind on their pledges to help the poor world tackle the climate crisis, new research has shown. The government will host a G7 meeting on Friday to discuss the climate crisis. The UK and the US are the only two in the G7 with recent proposals to increase climate finance, according to Care Denmark.
Beaver case in court – Wildlife campaigners are suing Scotland’s nature conservation agency for allowing farmers to kill wild beavers. Trees for Life insists the animals should be humanely trapped and relocated to other parts of the country rather than shot.
Hundreds of beavers have formed colonies in the Tay area of the southern Highlands, settling on islands near the city of Perth and spreading south to the Forth valley, after being somehow reintroduced in the early 2000s. The Scottish government recently designated them a protected species but NatureScot issued licences to cull those blamed by farmers in Tayside for damaging crops and prime agricultural land. The court case begins in Edinburgh today.
Pro-Trump tabloid fined for ‘catch and kill’ – A US election watchdog has fined the National Enquirer’s publisher $187,500 for illegally suppressing the story of an ex-Playboy model who claimed she’d had an affair with Donald Trump. The Federal Election Commission said the payment was done “in consultation with an agent of Donald J Trump and for the purpose of influencing the election”. Campaign finance laws prohibit corporations from cooperating with a campaign to affect an election. A360 Media, formerly American Media, paid Karen McDougal $150,000 to buy the rights to her story without publishing it. The National Enquirer for years kept stories about Trump and other celebrities out of the news by buying the rights to “catch and kill” the stories. Donald Trump has meanwhile shut down his less than a month old blog.
Joe Biden has asked US intelligence services to urgently investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the possibility that it began with an accident in a laboratory. The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont looks at the available evidence.
Vir dekades, anthropologists have been telling us that it’s often the informal, unplanned interactions and rituals that matter most in any work environment. So how much are we missing by giving them up?
The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, gesê het the Games will go ahead as planned, soon after Japan’s most senior medical adviser said holding the event under current coronavirus conditions was “not normal”. Gareth Southgate has hit out at the section of fans who booed when England’s players took the knee before their vriendelike oorwinning teen Oostenryk, watter turned into a draining occasion at the Riverside Stadium. Kevin Nisbet looked to have scored a winner for Scotland against the Netherlands in the Algarve before Memphis Depay rescued a draw with a late free-kick, terwyl France had a comfortable win against Wales, with Neco Williams sent off after 25 minutes in Nice. Instead of pride, a landmark day for Ollie Robinson will be remembered for all the wrong reasons na a series of racist and sexist tweets sent in 2012 en 2013 were unearthed and publicised while he was making his debut as a Test cricketer in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Engeland se hoofafrigter, Eddie Jones, het insisted he remains in sole charge despite being placed under greater scrutiny by the Rugby Football Union while also defending his “information-sharing” consultancy work in Japan. Serena Williams, the three-time Roland Garros champion, moved into the French Open third round with a strong finish, beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, while in the men’s draw world No 2 Daniil Medvedev fought back to beat Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Tottenham have opened talks with Antonio Conte oor om hul bestuurder te word. And the NFL has pledged to halt the use of “race-norming”, which assumed Black players started out with lower cognitive function in the $1bn settlement of brain injury claims, and review past scores for any potential race bias.
A committee of MPs will be urged to investigate claims that couriers working for the Hermes delivery firm were told to accept pay cuts or lose work. The allegation is one of a series referred to the business, energy and industrial strategy committee by Labour’s Andy McDonald. With stock markets becalmed ahead of a big US jobs report tomorrow, the FTSE100 is set for a modest lift of 0.2% this morning. Forex traders are also waiting for news of the US economy so the pound is flat at $1.417 and €1.160.
Die Voog today carries special coverage of Gen Z and their post-Covid future. As part of the Guardian’s 200th anniversary, 50 from Europe’s Generation Z tell us about their hopes and dreams, and how the worst global pandemic in a century has affected their lives. Naturally that gets big play on the front page, sharing it with “Archives reveal ban on black staff at the palace”. The Queen’s courtiers banned “coloured immigrants or foreigners” from serving in clerical roles in the royal household until at least the late 1960s. The documents also shed light on how Buckingham Palace negotiated controversial clauses – that remain in place to this day – exempting the Queen and her household from laws that prevent race and sex discrimination.
Unusual for the front page of the Express to go straight at the PM over something, but this it appears to do with “Boris’ school tsar quits in cash bust-up”. Die Mirror has “Johnson’s school betrayal” and “You’ve let down the children …again”. Die Telegraph en die Times join in with, onderskeidelik, “School tsar quits over catch-up funding” and “You’ve failed a generation of children, Johnson told”. Die Metro instead trains its cannon on the “failing education secretary” with: “It’s an F for failed, Gavin”. Several front pages also celebrate the announcement of a four-day bank holiday weekend in 2022 for the Queen’s platinum jubilee marking 70 years of her reign.
Die i brings a “Summer holiday warning”. The government will today announce revisions to the travel traffic-light system, with Whitehall sources expecting just a “handful of new places” to be given quarantine-free travel, and countries like Portugal, given its uptick in cases, potentially at risk of being relegated from the green list. “Wish you were beer” – the Sun says punters have nearly drunk Britain dry and asks “Why wait for the green list?” when the weather is so glorious on home soil. The splash in the Financial Times is “Trafigura warned Credit Suisse on Greensill’s suspect Gupta invoice” – a solid headline effort that gets all the names in from its report concerning the financial scandal.
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