Tuesday briefing: New vaccines could be needed in a year

你好, Warren Murray here, let’s draw aside the curtains and let the news flood in.

It could be a year or less before new vaccines or boosters are needed against variations of the Covid-19 virus, according to a survey of experts, with low vaccine coverage in many countries making it more likely resistant mutations will appear. “Unless we vaccinate the world, we leave the playing field open to more and more mutations,” said Associate Professor Gregg Gonsalves from Yale University.

Rich countries like the UK and US have administered at least one dose to more than a quarter of their populations, while the likes of South Africa and Thailand haven’t even managed 1%, and some countries are yet to administer their first dose. “We have Covax [the global initiative] aiming for perhaps 27% … that is simply not good enough,” said Max Lawson, chair of the People’s Vaccine Alliance.

鲍里斯·约翰逊(Boris Johnson), Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and other world leaders have urged that a global pandemic treaty be struck, arguing in a joint newspaper article that “nobody is safe until everyone is safe”. Johnson has advocated better international health data-sharing following concerns that China hindered global health inspectors’ ability to investigate the origins and spread of Covid-19. Johnson has also led calls for richer nations to give surplus vaccine supplies to the UN-led Covax system for distributing vaccines to poorer countries.

Chauvin trial begins over Floyd death – Prosecutors have accused the former police officer Derek Chauvin of killing a defenceless George Floyd by “grinding and crushing him until the very breath, the very life, was squeezed out of him”. Jerry Blackwell, prosecuting, told the jury that the death of Floyd in May 2020 was caused by Chauvin keeping his knee on the neck of the dying man for more than nine minutes even after he stopped breathing.

“What Mr Chauvin was doing, he was doing deliberately,” Blackwell told the courtroom in Minneapolis. 沙文, 45, has denied second- and third-degree murder, and manslaughter, over the death of the 46-year-old African American man who was detained on suspicion of trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. The trial continues.

Driven off the road – Thousands of British citizens in France have been left without a valid driving licence, or face losing theirs, because of bureaucratic overload and the failure of the two governments to sign a post-Brexit reciprocal agreement. British residents need to exchange their UK licences for French ones, and have been given until 31 December 2021 to apply. But those applying have had requests rejected on the grounds that no reciprocal licence agreement is yet in place. “Commuters risk losing their jobs, tradespeople can’t work, elderly people have missed medical appointments. Many British people in France live in quite remote, rural areas, with little or no public transport. Some are thinking of moving back to the UK. It’s quite desperate,” said Kim Cranstoun, who runs an online group for Britons affected. Government sources have suggested an agreement is “close to being sealed” but not there yet. Short-term visitors and tourists can continue to use British licences.

Fears for UK rights of EU children – Thousands of children of EU citizens who have been taken into care may become “undocumented” adults with no right to work, rent a home or receive benefits, the Children’s Society has warned. It found that just 39% of children in care, or young adults recently out of care, have had applications made on their behalf to remain in the UK. With three months to go before the deadline the charity is calling for the Home Office to commit to accepting all out-of-time applications for looked-after children and care leavers, and to protect their status in the interim. The immigration and borders minister, Kevin Foster, 说: “Rightly, our focus is on encouraging applications before the 30 June deadline, but we will soon be publishing guidance on reasonable grounds for late applications, which will include looked-after children and care leavers where the local authority or parent or guardian failed to apply for them.”

Shielding student goes missing – A London mother is seeking help to find her son who has been missing for over a week. Richard Okorogheye, 19, who has sickle cell disease, said he was “struggling to cope” with university pressures and had been shielding during lockdown, according to his mother, Evidence Joel.

The Metropolitan police said officers were becoming increasingly concerned about Okorogheye. He was last seen leaving home and heading in the direction of Ladbroke Grove, 西伦敦, 上 22 March at approximately 8.30pm, having said he was going to visit a friend. Normally he would leave the house only to go to hospital for blood transfusions for his condition.

‘Truly sickening’ – GHB and related substances are to be reclassified from class C drugs to class B following their use in “truly sickening” high-profile rape cases, the home secretary has said. Those found in unlawful possession will face tougher penalties and victims will be better protected, the Home Office has said. Priti Patel announced she would tighten the restrictions following recommendations by the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). The serial rapist Reynhard Sinaga was last year jailed for a minimum of 30 years for drugging and raping or sexually assaulting more than 40 men in Manchester; while GHB was also found to have been used by the serial killer Stephen Port, who raped and killed four men, and is serving a whole-of-life sentence.

Fungi you could get to know – For the past few months Phoebe Weston has conducted an exploration of a strange and underrated world lurking in the woods of Britain. “Using an AI app and a fungi identification book, I identified 15 species and was baffled by many more. Slimy finds include yellow brain fungus (Tremella mesenterica), crystal brain fungus (Myxarium nucleatum) and amber jelly fungus (Exidia recisa).

“The tougher shelf fungi include things such as oak mazegill (Daedalea quercina), mustard yellow polypore (Phellinus gilvus) and chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus). The bit of fungi we see is the fruiting body, and it is part of a much larger structure laced through the soil, plants and trees. Unlike animals, fungi put their bodies in the food they eat, so they are invisible to us most of the time.” Get among fungus in our Science Weekly podcast.

The 46th US president took office promising a more welcoming immigration policy. But Republicans are calling a new wave of migrants at the southern border a crisis and demanding he addresses it.

The resurgence of hate-fuelled populism has become commonplace in the 21st century. But it is perhaps less common to hear extremist hate – notably against women – being named as the driver of the supreme legal machinery of the west.

At a talk in London in June 2019, Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy commissioner for human rights, described US policy on abortion as a form of extremist hate that amounts to the torture of women. “We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate,” she stated, “but this is gender-based violence against women, no question.” So how is it that those with the power to inflict most harm are blind to the consequences of their actions?

Sergio Agüero will walk away from Manchester City in the summer with golden memories and an “indestructible bond” with the club’s supporters. Leading Formula One team principals have called on the sport to end the ambiguity and confusion over track limit rules after it proved a decisive issue at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has said the instinctive relationship on the pitch between Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby has similarities to Andy Cole’s strike partnership with Dwight Yorke at Manchester United. Ian McKinley, the former Irish U20 player who overcame the loss of sight in his left eye to play international rugby for Italy, has announced his final retirement from the sport at the age of 31.

Luke Shaw has talked about the deep sense of regret he carried for more than two years at letting down Gareth Southgate as he vowed to make the most of his fresh start with England. A number of England’s cricketers have now linked up with their Indian Premier League teams but it remains to be seen if Jofra Archer will join them after surgery on a finger injury he suffered when accidentally smashing a fish tank in January. And Steve Smith is ready and willing to captain Australia again, three years on from the infamous cricket ball-tampering scandal.

Investment banks Nomura and Credit Suisse could be left with multibillion-dollar losses after a New York hedge fund defaulted on a so-called margin call. Archegos Capital Management, which is the personal fund of New York billionaire Bill Hwang, failed to back up trades with cash last week, triggering a frantic firesale of assets. Nomura slipped nearly 3% in Asian trade today after crashing 16% yesterday, but stock markets were in broadly positive territory with the FTSE 100 set to lift 0.3% at 8am. The pound is up a touch at $1.377 and €1.171.

“Call for urgent inquiry into serial school sexual abuse” – our 监护人 front page lead today. The Conservative MP Maria Miller says the allegations must be investigated by Ofsted – she oversaw a report into this issue back in 2016 when it was made plain that “peer on peer abuse was not acceptable and could never be justified as part of growing up”. Separately, Johnson has said it is unclear “exactly how strong” the UK’s defences are against a third wave of coronavirus but insisted pubs and non-essential retail are on course to open from 12 四月. 这 Times has only a flavour of that caution in its otherwise largely upbeat splash story: “We’re on track to reopen shops and pubs, says PM”. Its attic story is “Surge in claims of sexual abuse by pupils at state schools”.

Telegraph has “World leaders call for pandemic treaty”. While the Derek Chauvin trial features pictorially on most fronts, 这 Metro gives it the full page: “9 minutes 29 seconds – cop knelt on victim’s neck … even as he lay there without a pulse”. 这 太阳 leads with “Smashing – get fit in the sun, says tennis-mad PM” – illustrated by Johnson doggedly wielding a wooden tennis racquet, in a great impersonation of a Boris Johnson impersonator.

“UK vaccine boost,” says the i about the coming Novavax doses, “as great unlock begins”. Dear oh dear, Express – “We don’t need EU! 60m new jabs made in Britain”. “What are we waiting for?” – the Mail says Johnson faces calls to lift lockdown faster as “hospital cases and deaths hit a six-month low”. “You call that integrity?” – the Mirror continues to report on Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri. “Nomura and Credit Suisse hit as Archegos sparks sell-off” – the lead in the Financial Times, on events that Nils Pratley unpacks here. The back end of the Ever Given, which mariners will be glad to see, is shown in the pic slot, headed “Open water – Suez Canal gets back to business as container ship floats again”.

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