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NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: Boris Johnson wants to speed up teen vaccines efforts AND alleged racist chants aimed at England squad in Hungary


Now it’s time for an update on your latest national headlines including the PM urges more teen vaccines to protect against coronavirus, racist abuse towards English footballers in Hungary, and new study suggests a link between internal organs and poor body image.

TEEN VACCINES: Boris Johnson has said the UK needs to “go faster” with the vaccination of 16 to 17-year olds, despite a “strong” uptake of vaccines among the age group.

Figures show that almost two-thirds of 16 and 17-year-olds in Wales have had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and half of this age group in England and Scotland have been jabbed. The figure for teen vaccines is 40% in Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson told reporters at Merville Barracks in Colchester that the eligible teenagers were “a very important group for potential transmission”.

“I would urge all 16 to 17-year-olds, everybody who knows 16 to 17-year-olds – the numbers are coming up very fast now, it is very encouraging to see more and more 16 to 17-year-olds taking the jab – but we need to go faster with those,” he said.

“There are still some who need that protection and I would just urge everybody who hasn’t yet had a jab to go and get one.”

FOOTBALL RACISM: Raheem Sterling and substitute Jude Bellingham were reportedly subjected to racist chants on a night when England players were pelted by missiles in Hungary.

Gareth Southgate’s men won Thursday’s World Cup qualifier 4-0 at a packed Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Hungary are to play two home matches behind closed doors, with a third game suspended, after being charged over racist and homophobic chanting at Euro 2020.

But as Thursday’s match fell under FIFA’s jurisdiction, a full house was allowed into a match marred by bad fan behaviour.

Deafening jeers welcomed England players taking the knee before kick-off and Sterling was pelted by missiles when celebrating the opening goal.

Further items were thrown onto the pitch, including a flare, and ITV reported that some monkey chants were aimed at Sterling and substitute Bellingham as he warmed up.

BODY IMAGE STUDY: People whose brains are less responsive to signals from their internal organs are more likely to hold negative views about their appearance, a study suggests.

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) got a group of healthy UK adults to complete a series of assessments designed to record their feelings about their body image.

They then carried out measurements of the participants’ internal signals, including brain responses to heartbeats and the strength of the connection between the gut and the brain.

The latter was measured by recording the electrical activity of both regions at the same time.

Their research indicated that weaker brain responses to the gut and heart were both significantly associated with greater levels of body shame and weight preoccupation amongst the participants.

Senior author Dr Jane Aspell, associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at the university, said: “We experience our body both from the inside and out: we can be aware of how our skin and limbs look, but also of how hungry we feel or how strongly our heart is beating during exercise.

“The brain also continuously processes internal signals that we are not conscious of.

“We found that when the brain is less responsive to these implicit signals from inside the body, individuals are more likely to hold negative views about their external bodily appearance.

“It may be that when the brain has a weaker connection to the internal body, the brain puts more emphasis on the external body and so appearance becomes much more important for self-evaluation.”

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