A number of documents lead to the government’s plan to reduce the backlog of asylum applications by scrapping interviews for some migrants from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Syria, Yemen and Libya. The Daily Mail says that the fast lane is called amnesty in all but name – and warns it has been told by a senior source that the change will encourage more people from the five countries to come to the UK.
But the Daily Express says the plan is a practical solution to a long-standing problem.
“Just take NO for an answer” is the Sun’s message to Shamima Begum after the former Islamic State group member lost a legal bid to regain her British citizenship. The newspaper reported that her lawyers boasted that the battle was “not over yet” and that the appeals would cost the taxpayer millions.
An editorial in the Times said the government had yet to provide a convincing answer as to why Shamima Begum should not be returned to the UK or what threat she still posed that could not be countered by close surveillance. The paper acknowledges that keeping an eye on her would take scarce security resources, but adds that punishing people by leaving them stateless in the desert is not the answer to terrorism.
According to the Guardian, pollutants known as “permanent chemicals” – which accumulate in the body, may be toxic and do not break down in the environment – have been found in high levels in the UK and Europe. The document says the chemicals – prized for their non-stick and cleaning properties – have made their way into soil water and sediment from consumer products, firefighting foam, waste and industrial processes. In the UK, the highest level was found in a chemical plant discharge into the River Wyre near Blackpool.
Finally, almost all newspapers feature images of the late musician David Bowie in some of his extraordinary costumes, now gifted to the nation. The Daily Mirror says his personal archive is donating a collection of his manuscripts, letters, sheet music, costumes, photographs, music videos, album covers and awards to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which will open the David Bowie Center for the Study of the Performing Arts in 2025