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Newspaper headlines: BBC Proms ‘row’ and Army to ‘axe tanks’

Newspaper headlines: BBC Proms ‘row’ and Army to ‘axe tanks’

By BBC NewsStaff image captionThe BBC’s decision to play instrumental versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory at the Last Night Of The Proms features on the front pages. The Daily Telegraph says the broadcaster “defied the government” by “effectively censoring the traditional anthems” after announcing that they would be played but

By BBC News

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image captionThe BBC’s decision to play instrumental versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory at the Last Night Of The Proms features on the front pages. The Daily Telegraph says the broadcaster “defied the government” by “effectively censoring the traditional anthems” after announcing that they would be played but not sung at this year’s event.

image caption“Surrender!” declares the Daily Mail in its headline about the same story, saying the BBC’s decision not to include the sung version of the show’s “patriotic finale” Rule, Britannia! comes after a “racism row” over the lyric “Britons never shall be slaves”. The paper says the move by the BBC has been condemned as a “complete cop-out”.

image captionThere is a different tone in the Daily Express, which says the inclusion of the two instrumental versions – following earlier reports they would not feature at all – shows BBC bosses “have caved in to popular demand by announcing a Proms reprieve” for the two numbers. It goes on to point out that this apparent U-turn only came “after PM steps in”.

image captionThe Times reports that military chiefs have drawn up plans to mothball all of Britain’s tanks “under radical proposals” to modernise the armed forces. It says the government faces a battle over the “controversial idea” which aims to cut costs and focus on cyberwarfare.

image captionThe new school term is the focus for the Metro, which says fines of £120 are in store for parents who refuse to send their children back to school. The paper says ministers have warned the penalty will even apply to schools with a coronavirus outbreak, unless parents have explicit permission to keep pupils at home.

image captionThe i leads on British scientists warning that fast-tracking Covid-19 vaccines could endanger the public after the US staked an interest in the vaccine being developed in the UK. The paper reports Downing Street as saying the UK will be the first in line for any effective drug developed in Oxford.

image captionA study suggests pregnant women should cut out all caffeine, according to the Daily Mirror. It claims researchers found that drinking tea or coffee raises risk of birth problems.

image captionTesco is to create 16,000 jobs at its online grocery business, reports the Financial Times, which describes the move as “a glimmer of light at a bleak time for the jobs market”. It says the move came after the pandemic drove shoppers online.

image captionA warning that systemic racism in British TV has forced out a generation of black talent who were being ignored or worn down by their experiences, is the main story in the Guardian. The comments come from broadcaster and historian David Olusoga, in a speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival, who is quoted as saying the impact of the “lost generation” could be seen in unrepresentative programmes that failed to reflect modern Britain.

image captionAnd the Daily Star leads on what it calls a “love curse” at Eastenders. It says actress Samantha Womack is the latest “high-profile victim of the Albert Square marriage curse” – and pictures all three “victims” that have been in the news this month.

“Surrender” is the headline in

the Daily Mail – one of several papers to lead with the Proms story. It says the BBC’s decision to have Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory played, not sung, is a compromise likely to please nobody.

The Daily Telegraph paints the change as a “defiance” of the government’s call to tackle the substance – not the symptoms – of problems.
But the Daily Express has a different take – claiming the BBC has “backed down” in the Last Night of the Proms battle, granting a “reprieve” by allowing orchestral versions to remain on the programme.

The paper reveals an alternative solution was put to the BBC by author and Elgar expert, Richard Westwood-Brookes.

He wrote to the director general suggesting Elgar’s original lyrics could be sung, rather than the more colonial lyrics widely known and used today, which were introduced by a collaborator at a later date. The author says he received a “bland reply” telling him his idea wouldn’t be considered.

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image captionBritain’s Challenger tanks are said to be obsolete
The lead for the Times is a different skirmish. Under the headline “defence chiefs face battle over plan to scrap tanks”, it reports the government is considering the controversial idea, as part of proposals drawn up by military chiefs to cut costs.

Both Britain’s Challenger and Warrior tanks were branded obsolete last year.

The paper suggests an argument is being made in the Ministry of Defence to have more investment in cyber-capabilities and that discussions will conclude in November.

Many of the front pages carry pictures of Donald Trump formally accepting the Republican nomination for the US presidency. The Guardian’s caption – “Four more years?” – is the question occupying many columnists as they weigh up the contenders in the race.
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On the Independent website, Sean O’Grady ponders that while Mr Trump has the benefit of a hugely loyal support base who fail to be appalled by anything he says and does, he carries the disadvantage of a failure to get a grip on what he calls the “china virus” and the economy.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the former Conservative leader William Hague argues that while President Trump’s first term hadn’t been too bad for Britain, it is in the UK’s national interest that Joe Biden wins.

He says that, under Trump, the US has shown disdain for democratic values and failed to lead on global issues.

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“Mums-to-be told no tea or coffee” is the splash for the Daily Mirror. It is among several papers to report a new study, which links any caffeine intake during pregnancy to an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and child health problems.
The Times goes with “no safe level of caffeine” for its headline, but it also carries sceptical reaction from a number of medical experts who suggest the research hasn’t adequately excluded other factors.
And the Daily Express reveals that coronavirus has temporarily claimed the scalp of another famous brand’s slogan.

Under the headline “we’ve chickened out” it details how KFC is to pause use of the phrase “Finger Lickin’ Good” – after 64 years – because of concerns about hygiene messaging during the pandemic.

The company promises the slogan will be back when the time is right.


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Susan E. Lopez

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