What the papers say – October 17

The latest moves to halt Britain’s increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and hopes of a million daily virus tests by Christmas feature prominently on the nation’s papers.

The Guardian says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has threatened Northern leaders in a “Covid standoff”, while the i reports the UK is moving “closer to new lockdown”.

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Scientists in The Times predict Britain will be carrying out a million coronavirus tests each day by Christmas, as the Daily Star says “dodgy Russians” are circulating lies on social media claiming a UK Covid-19 vaccine will turn recipients into apes.

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And the UK’s largest teacher’s union has made a call in TheDaily Telegraph for a two-week half term as part of a national circuit-breaker.

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Meanwhile, the Financial Times leads on Brexit, saying Mr Johnson has broken off trade talks, while the Daily Mirror reports the PM has “no deal and no clue”.

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The Daily Express , by contrast, quotes Mr Johnson saying the country will “prosper mightily” once it leaves the EU.

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Elsewhere, The Sun claims ex-ambassador to the US Lord Darroch was investigated in Washington over fears he “leaked White House secrets to his journalist lover”.

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And the Daily Mail writes drivers will next year face a £200 fine for touching their phone while behind the wheel.

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