By BBC News
Most papers are leading with the UK’s latest sanctions on Russian oligarchs – especially those facing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
The Daily Express calls it “The fall of Roman’s Empire” – a fall the Daily Star describes as “inevitable.” The Daily Mirror pictures Mr Abramovich and Russian President Vladimir Putin against a backdrop showing a victim of the war, with the headline “Blood Brothers.”
The Daily Mail welcomes the crackdown, saying “Abramovich’s dirty billions” have been “frozen at last” and the Guardian questions why nothing has happened before now. The i suggests the billionaire could move to China, while the Financial Times reports wealthy Russians are flocking to the United Arab Emirates to avoid Western sanctions.
There is concern about the future of Chelsea as a football club, with the Sun warning it faces going bust – which the Mail thinks is a real possibility unless a sale takes place within months.
A senior source at Chelsea tells the Times that if the club cannot operate normally, it will quickly begin to lose money and rack up debts.
The Mail echoes the UN’s claims that Europe is facing its biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War Two, with two million more people expected to flee Ukraine in the coming days. The Daily Telegraph says ministers will announce a hotline and webpage where the public, charities and businesses will be invited to offer refugees somewhere to stay.
The Times suggests the scheme has been delayed because of disagreements over the details, including which benefits the refugees could claim and how safeguarding checks will be carried out.
The Telegraph reports that Russian state television has broadcast calls for Mr Putin to stop the war. Pundits likened the conflict to Afghanistan – while a serving army officer is said to have explained on a channel run by the country’s Ministry of Defence that Russian soldiers were dying in Ukraine.
In its leader column, the Times examines the threat of Russia using chemical weapons. The editorial says there can be “little doubt” that President Putin could adopt them. The paper says their deployment would raise the stakes for the West and intensify calls for a no-fly zone – calls the Times suggests should not be heeded.
The Express says that experts around the world are monitoring cases of a new Covid variant called Deltacron – a suspected combination of both Delta and Omicron variants.
According to the Times, cases of Covid 19 are now rising in every age group and region of England. But the Mail stresses that figures suggest that the virus is proving less deadly than flu.
The i reports that GPs and hospitals have been told to “crack on” with giving a fourth Covid vaccine to the over 75s and the vulnerable at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph notes that Britain’s pandemic death rate is considered to better than previously thought – roughly in the middle compared with other countries.
And many of the papers report on the second child of the Tesla chief executive Elon Musk with the singer Grimes – a baby that the Mail says was a secret.
The game was given away, explains the i, when the girl began crying unexpectedly during an interview. The Express says her name is Exa Dark Siderael, but is nicknamed Y, coming after her brother, X.
original source: The Papers: ‘Roman empire falls’ and ‘hotline to host refugees’