Newspaper headlines: Omicron 'already in the UK' and fears over Christmas – BBC

The risks posed by the Omicron Covid variant are weighed up on almost all of the front pages. The Daily Mirror says some scientists fear it may already be in the UK, while others think it's a matter of "buying time" before it gets here.
"New variant is threat to Christmas" is the headline on the front of the Daily Express, which highlights comments from some health experts who think we need to prepare for new curbs on our freedoms in the weeks and months ahead…
The Daily Mail is determined to send a different message with its front page, which urges readers to "Keep calm and don't let new Covid ruin Christmas". The paper says health chiefs don't think there is any "plausible scenario" under which the country will find itself "back to square one". It points out in its editorial that "even the notoriously lugubrious Professor Chris Whitty" has sought to "calm apocalyptic warnings" and urges Boris Johnson to "keep his head and face down the shroud-wavers demanding fresh curbs."
Professor Whitty's comments are also seized upon by the Daily Telegraph, which says he believes Delta remains the principal variant we need to concern ourselves with between now and Christmas. The paper says Professor Whitty has made clear that his "greatest worry" is that the public would not support further restrictions if they were brought in.
Writing in the Guardian, the former prime minister Gordon Brown says the blame for the emergence of Omicron lies with global leaders who have failed to ensure vaccines are given to the poorest countries. He says 100 million jab doses will pass their use-by dates in December – being destroyed when they could have been used to save lives and prevent future mutations.
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Several papers print the same image showing the first named victim of Wednesday's Channel migrant disaster. Maryam Nuri Mohammed Amin – a 24-year-old Iraqi-Kurd – is pictured in a blue dress, smiling alongside her fiance. The Times says the government has told France that its decision to disinvite the UK from talks on tackling the migrant issue will cost more lives. The paper says Mr Johnson's decision to publish a letter to President Macron about the issue on Twitter has caused "an extraordinary diplomatic spat". A UK governmnent source tells the paper: "We need to fix this. We can't have kids dying in the Channel every week."
The Sun doesn't hide its distain for Mr Macron – describing him as "Le Muppet" and a "naive, puerile poser" elected to a job "far beyond his competence".
The Daily Telegraph reports on a study that suggests a dog owners' sense of smell may be almost as good as that of their pooch. Researchers in the Czech Republic found almost all owners were able to recognise their pet by smell alone. The owners were asked to smell jars containing gauze pads which had been soaked with dog body odour. 90% of them got the right answer – with those who admitted to not bathing their pets being the most likely to guess correctly.
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