Coverage of the English Channel migrant crisis continues to dominate the front pages.
The Daily Telegraph leads with powerful quotes from the husband of one of the people believed to have died on Wednesday, saying he was tracking her progress from Calais via GPS before her signal disappeared.
An image of a young migrant who arrived in Dover yesterday is on the front page of the Metro – alongside the headline “We Just Want To Live Like You”.
The Daily Mirror focuses on a picture of the type of dinghy some migrants are being given by traffickers, calling them “DIY Death Boats”. The paper claims criminal gangs are building their own vessels from plywood, PVC and gaffer tape because of a shortage of inflatable boats in shops in northern France.
The Financial Times believes the UK and France are playing a “blame game” over who was responsible, adding that strained relationships between the countries are hindering efforts to find a solution.
The countries have started a “united effort”, according to the Daily Express, which will see British troops allowed to patrol French beaches, despite public statements from Paris resisting that.
The Daily Mail reports the arrangement could start as early as Monday if permission is granted by President Macron, who has so far refused to approve the plan.
It is recruitment problems at the Home Office that are fuelling the problem, says the i paper. It claims the home secretary is struggling to find somebody to fill a key position aimed at fixing border issues, saying that high staff turnover at the department is being fuelled by a “toxic” culture.
The tightening of travel restrictions following the discovery of a new Covid variant in Africa features in many papers. A Whitehall source tells the Guardian the possibility of it being resistant to antibodies makes it “a potentially significant threat to the vaccine programme”. The Times quotes a senior airline source, who calls it a “hammer blow” for the travel industry.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, has used a letter in the Times to acknowledge that the government lacks the skills needed to address the challenges it faces.
The UK’s most senior civil servant sets out some of the measures he’s taking to address the problem, including reforming Whitehall training schemes and increasing the number of private sector secondments.
A scientist in the US has discovered a genetic trait in giant tortoises that could explain their long life spans – and revolutionise the treatment of cancer, according to the Daily Star.
It reports that the biologist Vincent Lynch from the University of Buffalo has discovered the animals have unique genes which duplicate cells associated with longevity while destroying ones that could become cancerous.
Mr Lynch also seeks to reassure people worried that his research may lead to them being injected with reptilian genetic material – saying it’s hoped drugs will be developed that mimic the process instead.