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The Telegraph Frontpage of Tuesday 2022 December 20

Blower cartoon
Danny Boyle By Danny Boyle
Thousands of nurses are today staging a second walkout within a week in their dispute over pay. We have got full details of a series of strikes hitting the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

Hospitals declare critical incidents amid fresh strike

Amid fears the NHS stands on the brink of collapse, the Health Secretary will meet unions today for last-ditch talks. Steve Barclay will urge striking health workers to call off walkouts after a series of hospitals and ambulance trusts declared critical incidents. Leaked data shows that ambulances are now taking an average of 90 minutes to reach heart attack and stroke patients in some parts of the country. In other regions, six in 10 patients taken to hospital by ambulance were forced to wait for more than an hour outside. The situation is expected to worsen as thousands of nurses begin a second day of industrial action today. Search to see if your hospital is affected. Health editor Laura Donnelly reports that Mr Barclay is set to plead with unions to at least provide the most basic cover during 24-hour strikes by paramedics and ambulance workers, which are scheduled to start tomorrow – after unions said the warnings by trusts would make no difference to strike plans.

In Britain’s so-called winter of discontent, rail workers are preparing to strike again on Christmas Eve and then again before the new year. The industrial action was described as “one man’s ego trip” at Westminster by Lord Dobbs, the House of Cards author, in a rebuke for Mick Lynch, the RMT union boss. Travel will be further disrupted as Border Force staff walk out for eight days from Friday until New Year’s Eve, raising fears of two-hour delays at passport control and passengers being held on aircraft. With industrial action planned for every day in December, see all the details in one place in our rolling strike calendar.

King could pay £3m-a-year bill for Andrew’s security

The Duke of York’s private security bill is likely to be funded by the King – despite his refusal to pay for Prince Harry’s protection. Prince Andrew is to be stripped of his taxpayer-funded Met Police protection as he no longer performs public duties. His armed personal protection officers will be replaced by private security guards at an estimated cost of up to £3 million a year, a bill the King is expected to foot as the Duke has no discernible regular income. Royal correspondent Victoria Ward says the move is likely to rankle the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Meanwhile, new research ranks the hardest-working members of the Royal family.

PS: The Bank of England has today released the first images of the newly-designed banknotes to feature a portrait of the King.

Two-minute workouts that may add years to your life

For those of us who are time poor, or gym-allergic, it is music to the ears. A new study, published in Nature Medicine, indicates that tiny quantities of common activity can have a serious impact on your health, if done with a little added oomph. If this sounds like your kind of exercise regime – either now or in the new year – then read on. Hattie Garlick reports on the two-minute workouts that could add years to your life.

Find also to read: Everyday activities to keep you fit and healthy

Also in the news this morning

Economic slump | Early retirement during the pandemic has been blamed for a dramatic drop in the number of working-age people who are earning their living. There are 565,000 fewer people classed as economically active than at the start of 2020, many of whom have made a “lifestyle choice” not to work, a House of Lords report says. Associate editor Gordon Rayner reports how the “bleak” news for the economy is causing a “vicious circle” for the country’s finances.

Around the world: Beijing accused of deaths cover-up

Bodies piling up in Chinese morgues and crematoriums have led to claims Beijing is covering up the true scale of Covid-related deaths to protect President Xi Jinping from criticism. Western media reports suggest many more deaths than the two quoted by the official health agency since Dec 3, when many of China’s zero-Covid virus regulations were relaxed. China correspondent Sophia Yan reports high casualties among the elderly are also expected owing to weak rates of vaccination.
A health worker waits to take Covid swab samples in Shanghai.

A health worker waits to take Covid swab samples in Shanghai. Credit: AFP

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: England complete series victory

Ben Stokes and Ben Duckett guided England to a whitewash of Pakistan after just 38 minutes of play this morning. England had been set 167 to win on the evening of day three and started their chase in a manner that epitomised the attacking brand of cricket played by the side, quickly reducing the required total. Follow the latest reaction from Karachi. Meanwhile, the world of rugby and beyond united to pay tribute to rugby icon Doddie Weir, with guests sporting tartan as per his request.

Editor’s choice

Sharing your bed
Should your dog share your bed? | Both sides of the great debate dividing pet owners
Xanthe Clay | ‘I tried 14 shop-bought stuffings to find the best for taste and value’
Monty Python
Monty Python and sociopathic cats | The strange rise of the Christmas ‘gift book’

Business briefing: Industry fears over electric cars

A “silent majority” of car companies is concerned that electric vehicles will not alone be able to end reliance on fossil fuels, according to the president of Toyota. Akio Toyoda said many concerned senior figures are reluctant to say what they really think because of the pressure to go green, as the industry struggles to ditch petrol and diesel. Meanwhile, Howard Mustoe reports how the biggest ever jet engine built by Rolls-Royce is paving the way for an era of low-cost green flying.

Here is a selection of articles we think you’ll be interested in today.
Church of England official took £5.2m and spent it on flights and Burberry
Martin Sargeant was head of operations for the Diocese of London, and requested the money for ‘dysfunctional churches’ and the money went straight into his pocket. Sargeant pocketed just over £5.2 million and the cash was “lavished on his lifestyle”, prosecutor Joey Kwong told Southwark Crown Court.

Pensioners desert British Gas after being left without heating for a week
BT boss wins share of wife’s £2.5m estate despite killing her with marble chopping board
Leslie Winnister bludgeoned his partner of 40 years to death with a chopping board in 2020 after becoming paranoid she was having an affair

Jeremy Clarkson apologises as more than 6,000 complain over Duchess of Sussex column
Plea for strikers to call off walkouts as NHS faces meltdown

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A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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