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UK Covid live: More than 1 million pupils in England out of school last week for pandemic-related reasons

Latest updates: Department for Education figures reveal more than 1 million children in England were out of class for Covid reasons last week

Nicola Sturgeon has obliquely chided her deputy, John Swinney, for tweeting a graphic wrongly stating that face coverings could cut Covid transmission by 100%, but she said he was trying to illustrate a valid point that masks were protective.

Swinney came under heavy criticism on Monday after tweeting an unsourced and contested graphic that said if two people wearing face masks are 2 metres apart, that cuts virus transmission to zero. He has resisted calls from the Scottish Conservatives and others to take the tweet down.

As we move to Level 0 in Scotland – marking good progress on our careful process of relaxing restrictions – this is a helpful graphic showing why we must use face coverings and keep our distance. #staysafe pic.twitter.com/AcyrEBmVgb

[And] I think the more we can illustrate that point the better. What I would say in addition to that is we recognise that in seeking to illustrate that, we should take care to use properly verified graphics and we will certainly take that on board in terms when we tweet that information in future.

All the main parties in the Northern Ireland assembly have backed a motion condemning the government’s plans for an effective amnesty for Troubles-related offences. MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) broke off their summer recess to return to Stormont for the emergency debate, where the motion was passed without opposition.

Nichola Mallon, the SDLP deputy leader opened the debate, on a motion tabled by her party, and she said the plans would allow “perpetrators – state and paramilitary – walk free and instead condemn the victims and their families to a lifetime of pain and suffering through the denial of hope, truth and justice”.

My party rejects these plans. The majority of murders were carried out by paramilitary terrorist organisations. The secretary of state seems to have chosen a path which finds equivalence between the soldier and police officer, and those who planted the bomb or pulled the trigger. This is morally reprehensible.

We have been quite clear that the soldier, the policeman, a terrorist, a member of the public or a politician – if you break the law, then you should face the law.

And everybody deserves the opportunity to get justice. It doesn’t mean they always will, but we cannot take away that hope.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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