Thursday’s briefing: “No justification” for violence in Northern Ireland

The main story: ‘Shame’, says Arlene Foster

Hello and welcome to this briefing on Thursday, with me, Alison Rourke.

The director of Northern Ireland will meet this morning to discuss the ongoing violence after a bus was hijacked and set on fire on the sixth consecutive night of unrest. Twitter appears to have revealed that the bus was bombarded with gasoline while still moving, while a dozen masked men – including some who appeared to be children – were cheered on as they fled the scene. The driver was reportedly uninjured. A press photographer was also attacked, and tires and buckets were set on fire near the gates on Lanark Way, which open into a wall separating the two communities.

Police vehicles are seen behind a hijacked bus burning on Shankill Road as protests continue in Belfast. Photo: Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, said those involved were “a disgrace to Northern Ireland”, tweeting: “There is no excuse for violence.” Her feeling was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill, who said: “Those involved in violence, criminal damage, manipulation of our youth and attacks on the police must stop.” Boris Johnson said he was “deeply concerned” by the violence, and the Irish Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said he fully condemned the attacks and called on all parties to “work together to ease tensions and restore calm”. The Stormont Assembly is recalling this morning and will discuss the violence.

Loyalist outrage was fueled by a recent decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin leaders for attending a mass funeral. Others put the blame for people’s anger on Brexit, on Stormont Justice Minister Naomi Long, saying Johnson’s “insincerity” over Brexit border checks inflamed the situation.

AstraZeneca alternative – People under the age of 30 will be offered an alternative vaccine for fears that confidence in representation could be undermined by concerns about rare blood clots. Healthy young men aged 18 to 29 who are not at high risk for Covid should have the option of a second sting if one is available in their area, the government’s joint vaccine and immunization committee said. But for older people, the benefits of the vaccine – which is most commonly used in the UK – far outweigh the risks, JCVI said. England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, called the move a “course correction” and said it should have little or no impact on the timing of the introduction of the vaccine, although he warned that people under the age of 30 could face a short delay in vaccination. You can keep up to date with all the news about coronavirus with our live blog.

Richard Okorogheye – A body found in a lake in the Epping Forest has been formally identified as a missing 19-year-old. Essex police officers unveiled the discovery on Monday. Matt said that the death of the student is treated as inexplicable and that at this stage they do not believe that a third party was involved. Okorogheye, who was protecting against sickle cell disease during the pandemic, disappeared on March 22 at his home in Ladbroke Grove, West London.

Exodus lecture – Every third teacher from Great Britain plans to leave the classroom within five years due to the increased workload and reduced respect for that profession, the research of the National Union of Education showed. She found the educational workforce exhausted after a year of Covid’s disorder, with 70% reporting an increased workload in the past 12 months and 95% concerned about the impact on their well-being. Of the 10,000-member survey, 35% said they would “definitely” not work in education until 2026, while two-thirds said the status of the profession had deteriorated and accused the government of not listening to or appreciating teachers.

Isis’s raid – The RAF and other coalition planes last month took part in the biggest airstrikes on Isis in two years, in a ten-day mission that attacked up to 100 cave hideouts in Iraq and that probably caused dozens of casualties. The attacks ended on March 22, the defense ministry said. An estimated 10,000 Isis guerrilla fighters are operating in Syria and Iraq, almost seven years after the start of the war against the terrorist group.

Thinking inside the box – The Welshman issued a public call to help find two Irish people who helped him return home from Australia by packing him and sending him to a box. At age 19, Brian Robson of Cardiff wanted to return home but could not afford plane tickets, he told the Irish Times. He bought a box “the size of a mini fridge” and packed pillows, a suitcase, a Beatles songbook and two bottles – one for water and one for urine. His friends nailed him and booked Robson as a cargo on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to London, but the diversion sent him via LA on a four-day trip he described as a “pretty scary experience”.

Today in the Focus podcast: The case against Derek Chauvin

George Floyd’s death after being restrained by Minneapolis police last year sparked a wave of rage that swept the U.S. and then the world. A police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes is now on trial for his murder.

In focus today

case against Derek Chauvin

Reading for lunch: Ted Brown: the man who held a mass kiss and went down in history

After a tumultuous childhood, Ted Brown helped organize Britain’s first homosexual pride in 1972 – continuing the battle against homophobic media, in a life dedicated to change. His work with the Gay Liberation Front, his efforts to improve the treatment and representation of LGBT people in the media and his battle against violent police work make him a key figure in the history of British civil rights and LGBT history. As Jason Okundaye writes, Brown was also one of the few blacks in the first Pride March: “I felt we were continuing the legacy of the Civil Rights March.”

Ted Brown:
Ted Brown: “I thought we were continuing the legacy of the civil rights march.” Photo: Tristan Bejawn / The Guardian


Kylian Mbappé made a stunning top cut to drive Paris Saint-Germain to the 3-2 quarter-final of the Champions League in their first win in Munich. Porto couldn’t run into a kick they were still trying to throw and in the end it was Chelsea who could prove a knockout shot, close to the first semi-final of the Champions League in seven years. England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley says her move on loan to OL Reign in the US has ignited a fire and she wants a second taste at the Olympics. English cricket will step up its digital revolution this summer as counties take live match coverage to new levels and for the first time make all enhanced streams free with a single smartphone app. Five of the eight remaining sides in this season’s Champions Cup come from France, but Exeter rugby director Rob Baxter believes Galski’s first triumph in six years is not guaranteed as his defending champions prepare to face Pro 14 winner Leinster in Saturday’s quarter-final. Tiger Woods was driving at speeds of up to 87 km / h (140 km / h) in the 45-mile zone when he was involved in a serious car accident earlier this year, Los Angeles police revealed during a news conference on Wednesday.


HSBC and JP Morgan should have thousands of employees working constantly from home, which is the latest sign that some of the changes caused by the coronavirus could survive the pandemic. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, said that 10% of the 255,000 employees in the American investment bank can work at home all the time. Representatives of the British call center staff at HSBC are talking to the bank about up to 1,200 workers who are permanently switching to teleworking.

Hundreds of Deliveroo couriers staged protests Wednesday against their actions by a takeaway delivery group as the company marked its first day of open trading on the London Stock Exchange. More than 200 Deliveroo couriers joined the demonstration in London, riding bicycles and mopeds from Deliveroo’s headquarters in central London, according to the organizers of the strike, the Independent Trade Union of Great Britain (IWGB). Minor protests were held across England, including Reading, Sheffield, Wolverhampton and York.

The pound buys 1,375 and 1,159 euros.


Front page of the Guardian on April 8.
Photo: The Guardian

The AstraZeneca jab dominates the front pages. “Fears of self-confidence because under-30s offered an alternative to AstraZeneca,” he says. Guardian. The i followed by a suit with “AstraZeneca jab excluded for under 30s”; the FT leads with “Under 30s should get an alternative to AstraZeneci, say sting counselors.” The Times i Telegraph Report on the campaign to strengthen public confidence with “Jabs are safe and save lives, insist on Johnson” and: “Continue to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, say that the family of the victims is a clot.”

The Express i Mirror they have almost identical titles, with “Full speed forward when introducing the vaccine” and “Full speed forward when stabbing”. The Mail goes with “Be calm and keep blabbering on”. The The sun also praises the blow, and the figure “0.000095%” is streaked on the front page with the headline: “Little chance of a killer after the AZ vaccine.”


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