Thursday morning UK news briefing: France row deepens

, Thursday morning UK news briefing: France row deepens, The Evepost BBC News

The diplomatic row with France has deepened. After the Prime Minister urged Emmanuel Macron to “get a grip”, it has emerged that Boris Johnson and Joe Biden privately expressed astonishment at his heated reaction to the Australia-UK-US pact. 

Mr Johnson and the US President are understood to have discussed their surprise when they met for talks in the White House. 

The PM later said he was “taken aback” by Mr Macron’s response to the security deal, which included withdrawing ambassadors from the US and Australia. 

Political Editor Ben Riley-Smith reports that the French could withdraw from Nato’s integrated military command. Plans are now being pursued to deepen the three-way defence pact, beyond just nuclear submarines, in spite of French opposition. 

In his hard-hitting column, Allister Heath argues that Biden and Macron are vandalising the liberal order they both claim to love.

, Thursday morning UK news briefing: France row deepens, The Evepost BBC News

Cartoonist Bob’s take on the CO2 dichotomy

Early today, Mr Johnson used a landmark speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to make the argument for nations radically escalating action to curb climate change.

He told world leaders it is “time to blow out the candles of a world on fire” – and insisted that Kermit the Frog was “wrong” to say it is not easy being green

As Insulate Britain protests continue, Ben Wright and Charlotte Gill examine how the environment became a new front line in the battle of the classes.

PS: The White House last night appeared to blame Mr Johnson for chaotic scenes at his meeting with Mr Biden in the Oval Office.

‘Nowhere for Covid to mutate’ into deadlier variant

Covid-19 is unlikely to mutate into a much deadlier variant because there “aren’t many places for the virus to go”, the lead scientist of the Oxford vaccine has said. Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert said viruses tend to become less virulent over time as they spread through a population which is becoming more immune. She said Covid-19 will eventually become like other seasonal coronaviruses, which cause the common cold and respiratory infections. It came as Prof Chris Whitty warned that “virtually all” children will get Covid without the rollout of vaccines.

, Thursday morning UK news briefing: France row deepens, The Evepost BBC News

James Bond was a rapist, says new 007 director

For many filmgoers, Sean Connery as James Bond remains the ultimate ladies’ man. But Cary Fukunaga, the director of the new Bond adventure, has an alternative take – Connery’s 007 was a rapist. The director of No Time To Die is understood to be referring to a scene in Thunderball between Connery and Molly Peters. Meanwhile, Film Critic Robbie Collin says the woke warriors who want to kill off 007 underestimate his appeal – as he argues why the new Bond film really matters.

Daily dose of Matt

Today’s cartoon | View Matt‘s latest cartoon, with a joke about M25 Insulate Britain activists.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Seeing a doctor | Patients are entitled to see a GP in person, the Prime Minister said, amid mounting concern about access to face-to-face care. Boris Johnson said people should be able to have “the confidence that they will be treated in person by a GP”. The intervention came after the head of Britain’s GPs rejected calls for all patients to be given such rights.

Around the world: Battle to save town from lava

Firefighters on La Palma are frantically digging a channel to redirect a river of lava in a last-ditch battle to salvage as much as they can of a town. As James Badcock reports, it is destined to be flattened by molten rock flowing downhill from the Spanish island’s Cumbre Vieja volcano. View a gallery of more striking world pictures of the day.

, Thursday morning UK news briefing: France row deepens, The Evepost BBC News

Comment and analysis

Editor’s choice

  1. ‘What is malt loaf?’ | Millennials do not know what they have been missing
  2. From Dickens to Mantel | The fiction that makes the past feel gloriously real
  3. End of the line | Wonderful places where the London Underground terminates

Sport briefing: Golf’s ‘cheesehead’ diplomacy

As pre-emptive strikes go, the European team’s decision to mount the first tee with blocks of imitation cheese on their heads was a masterstroke. Chief Sports Writer Oliver Brown, at Whistling Straits, covers the charm offensive by the visiting Ryder Cup team. In cricket, Boris Johnson intervened in an attempt to save the Ashes this winter by directly calling on his Australian counterpart to lift a travel ban.

Business briefing: Soaring prices take their toll

After more energy suppliers collapsed with warnings of long-term higher wholesale energy prices, there are fears that several more will follow in the coming weeks. It comes amid concerns that carbon dioxide shortages could spread across Europe, striking a new blow to the Continent’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Tonight’s dinner

Pasta with sausages, broccoli, chilli and garlic | A comforting pasta dish by Diana Henry with nuggets of sausage, flavoured with punchy chilli and garlic. View the recipe. For more, try our Cookbook newsletter.

Your daily travel inspiration

London orbital motorway | Bear with us. Congestion, concrete, protests… it is rare for the M25 to generate positive headlines – until you think about the places it can take you. Chris Leadbeater explains why a lap of the motorway is Britain’s ultimate road trip.

And finally… for this morning’s downtime

Dark, disturbing stories | For three years, Netflix has been eyeing up a chunkier slice of the Roald Dahl pie. This week, it bought the whole bakery in its biggest ever rights deal. The streaming giant plans to create a host of animations, films and video games. We look at Dahl’s lesser-known work that Netflix would not dare touch.

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