Monday briefing: indignation over Belarus’ hijacking of Ryanair plane

Monday briefing: indignation over Belarus’ hijacking of Ryanair plane

Top story: calls to expand action on Lukashenko

Good morning all. I’m Martin Farrer and these are the main stories from this morning.

Belarus has been accused of “terrorism” after forcing a Ryanair flight to make an emergency landing in Minsk in order to arrest one of the passengers, an opposition blogger in exile criticizing the country’s authoritarian president.. Roman Protasevich, who is accused of organizing last year’s protests against the brutal regime of Alexander Lukashenko, was arrested on Sunday after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was hijacked after Belarusian air traffic controllers informed the crew that there might be a bomb on board. Minsk confirmed that Lukashenko ordered his military to scramble a Mig-29 fighter to escort the plane. In a statement, Ryanair said the nearest airport was Minsk and the situation was “out of its hands”. The plane was over Belarusian airspace when it was hijacked, but it was closer to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, than to Minsk, according to flight data.

The United States joined the international outcry last night over what Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called a “hijacking”. He accused Lukashenko of “reprehensible act of state terrorism”. He said he would demand new sanctions against Belarus at a European Council meeting scheduled for Monday, while Dominic Raab, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, said the incident would have “serious implications” for the United States. Belarus. Protasevich lived in Poland but traveled to Athens to cover a visit by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a former Belarusian presidential candidate.

Failures of rape cases – Less than one in 60 rape cases recorded by police last year resulted in the indictment of a suspect, according to the analysis of figures from the Home Office. There were 52,210 police-recorded rapes in England and Wales in 2020, but only 843 resulted in a charge or subpoena. The figures come as a long-awaited end-to-end review by the government of how rape is investigated and prosecuted is expected to be released next month.

Dom’s day is coming – Dominic Cummings raised the issues ahead of his appearance at the House of Commons select committee on Wednesday, saying the government’s initial Covid policy was to aim for collective immunity. Despite denials led by Priti Patel yesterday, the stage is set for a potentially explosive testimony from Boris Johnson’s former senior adviser on the pandemic response. Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency, said yesterday the possibility of an easing of restrictions in England on June 21 was “good” despite concerns over the variant first detected in India. As part of attempts to increase the number of self-isolating people, residents of nine severely affected areas of England will be offered places to stay away from home if they live in overcrowded households. A survey found that more than half of children play less with their friends than before the pandemic, while researchers say sniffer dogs can detect Covid on a human within seconds. Countries in Southeast Asia that have handled the pandemic well, like Malaysia and Vietnam, are rushing to contain new outbreaks amid a lack of vaccines. Follow this and other developments around the world on our live blog.

Photography: PA Video / PA

Shot of a BLM activist – British activist Black Lives Matter Sasha Johnson is in critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head in south London. The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning, his Take the Initiative party said on social media. The group said it had followed “numerous death threats” against Johnson, 27, who rose to prominence during the BLM protests last year.

Filling time – People are told to wait three years for an NHS dentist appointment and others are taken off practice lists for not making earlier appointments, according to a damning report on the condition of dentistry in England. The Healthwatch England study also says some patients have canceled appointments halfway through treatment and others may not even be on waiting lists. He said, however, that some were told that private care would be available within a week.

The dull ladies – Boris Johnson is due to marry his fiancee Carrie Symonds next July after sending backup cards to friends, according to reports. The couple have been engaged since 2019, but wedding plans have been put on hold by the pandemic. Checkers are the favorite to host the ceremony, but the sun says the location will be kept under wraps. This will be the Prime Minister’s third marriage, while it will be Symonds’ first.

Today in Focus podcast: the crooks of the pandemic

When Rose received an email about a missed package, she didn’t think about arranging a new delivery – a mistake that would ultimately cost her thousands of dollars. Guardian editor-in-chief Hilary Osborne reveals the scale of a new lucrative scam.

Today in brief

Pandemic scammers

Noon Reading: My Favorite Bob Dylan Track

Dylan in 1965: “Like being around Shakespeare” Photograph: Val Wilmer / Redferns

As Bob Dylan turned 80, Dave Simpson interviewed a range of artists to ask them to talk about their favorite song from the master songwriter. Mick Jagger chooses the “wonderful” Desolation Row, Suzanne Vega chooses the a-Gonna Fall of Hard Rain (“still full of power”), while Gillian Welch believes that Ballad of a Thin Man shows that Dylan’s experience publishes his first real-time records “Must have been like being there when Shakespeare was creating new plays”.


In front of screaming and euphoric fans on the island of Kiawah, Phil Mickelson entered the record books after his victory at the PGA American Championship saw him become the oldest golfer to win a major. At the end of a checkered Premier League season, the top four places ended in the hands of its four biggest and wealthiest clubs. Leicester gave their all but missed out after a 4-2 loss to Tottenham gave Chelsea a Champions League berth despite the Blues’ 2-1 loss to Aston Villa, while Liverpool secured third place thanks to goals from Sadio Mané in a 2- 0 victory over Crystal Palace. Wolves have apologized to Rio Ferdinand after a supporter was arrested for making a racist gesture towards the former England defender in Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Molineux.

Max Verstappen’s Monaco Grand Prix victory is unlikely to have stirred the souls of Formula 1 fans, but the Dutchman’s victory is the tonic of the title fight. In an evening billed as a dress rehearsal for the Olympic women’s 100m final in Tokyo, Dina Asher-Smith proved to be a compelling star act with a victory over a solid field. Victor Campenaerts won the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia, a bumpy 147 km race from Grado while the Colombian Egan Bernal retained the maglia rosa. And Barney Curley, the architect of several of the biggest betting coupons on the pitch, has died at the age of 81.


Britain’s biggest fund manager Legal & General Investment Management lobbied Shell after joining a shareholder rebellion against the company’s carbon reduction plans, saying they lacked credibility. The government is urged to use the environmental bill submitted to parliament to ban the export of plastic waste, invest in a national recycling industry and set a binding target for plastic reduction. The FTSE100 is expected to rise 0.2% this morning as the pound is at $ 1.414 and € 1.161.

The papers

Front page of the Guardian, Monday, May 24, 2021
Photographie: The Guardian

Guardian leads with “Only 1.6% of rape cases lead to a charge, the numbers reveal”, while the FT prefers that “Belarus arrest an opposition activist after forcing the flight to land in Minsk”. the Telegraph says that “the cancer crisis ‘is likely to replace the pandemic’”, and the Poster and Express both have the title “Dentist will see you in three years”. In other post-pandemic news, the Soleil collects the pack with “Boris to marry Carrie”.

the Mirror says “100,000 Britons on their way to Spain” and the is splashes the information according to which “the freedom of June 21 is” ​​beautiful “”. the Time focuses on Diana’s interview – “Culture secretary calls for changes at BBC” – while the Star gets back to basics with a story about the hot weather coming up this holiday weekend: “Luvvly bubbly”.

Register now

Subscribe to the Guardian morning briefing

The Guardian’s Morning Briefing is delivered to thousands of clear, early inboxes every day of the week. If you don’t already receive it by email, you can sign up here.

For more news:

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments on any of our newsletters, please send an email to [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here