Pandemic review panel criticises China, WHO for acting too slowly on Covid-19

China and the World Health Organization could have acted faster to avert catastrophe during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, a panel of independent experts has concluded. The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response said its evaluation of the start of the crisis in China “suggests that there was potential for early signs to have been acted on more rapidly”. Containment measures should have been implemented...

Priceless Leonardo-school 'Salvator Mundi' painting found in apartment

The 15th-century artwork, widely attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, had been stolen from the Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore in Naples two years ago.

From Bush Sr to Trump: Read the last five presidents’ inauguration speeches in full

As Joe Biden prepares to becomes the 46th president of the US, read the inauguration speeches given by the previous five commanders in chief as they took office Donald Trump, 2017 Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, fellow Americans and people of the world – thank you. We the citizens of America have now joined a great national effort to rebuild our county and restore its promise for all our people....

Tory rebels could block post-Brexit trade deal with China by backing Labour’s ‘genocide clause’

Tory MPs are being urged to “vote with their consciences” when Labour attempts to reverse post-Brexit trade deals the UK has made with countries that are committing genocide. Ministers want to reverse key amendments to the Trade Bill, recently passed by the House of Lords, when it returns to the Commons on Tuesday – including one which would force the government to withdraw from any free trade agreement with countries the High Court rules are...

'Don't blow it now': Hancock says 'brighter times' ahead but public must stick to rules

The health secretary has said there are "brighter times" ahead as the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues, but warned the public: "Don't blow it now."

Labour: Trust parents and give them £15 a week to spend on children’s lunches

There was an outcry last week over pictures on social media of food parcels containing just £4 or £5 worth of food intended to last a child a week.

Italian PM wins confidence vote, but tougher test comes next week

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a crucial confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies on Monday, hanging on to power after a junior partner quit his coalition and opened a political crisis amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Had he lost the vote, Conte would have been forced to resign. After his appeal to opposition and non-aligned lawmakers to back him following last week’s walk-out by former premier Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva party,...

Elderly woman ‘so lucky’ after swan crashes through bathroom window in Nottinghamshire

A swan smashed through an elderly woman’s double-glazed window just moments after she left the room. The RSPCA said the bird needed dozens of stitches after it flew into the bathroom window of the woman’s chalet home in Shamrock Lodge, Barton in Fabis, Nottinghamshire, at around 8am on Monday. She heard a loud crash, found her bathroom window shattered and the wounded bird on the floor. The female swan ended up cut and dazed after the incident...

German zookeeper seriously injured by camel bite

A zookeeper is in hospital with serious injuries after being bitten by a camel in northern Germany. The 54-year-old man was cleaning out the camel enclosure and feeding the animals at Perleberg Zoo on Sunday morning when one turned suddenly and bit him in the face, police said. The worker, who has not been named, was taken to a local hospital for treatment after sustaining “serious” injuries. The zoo, located between Berlin and Hamburg, is...

UK weather: ‘Major incident’ declared as Storm Christoph barrels towards country

A major incident has been declared in South Yorkshire as Storm Christoph is set to bring widespread flooding, gales and snow to parts of the UK. Forecasters have issued an amber weather warning for Tuesday and Wednesday for central northern England. The warning says there is a “danger to life” due to fast-flowing or deep floodwater and a “good chance some communities cut off by flooded roads”. Up to 70mm is expected to fall in areas around...

Case backlog threatens UK criminal justice system, say inspectors

Urgent action is needed to tackle an “unprecedented backlog” of court cases built up during the pandemic that has “severe implications” for victims, the UK’s four justice chief inspectors have warned. The plight of prisoners locked up for most of the day because of Covid-19 and disruption to services for young offenders were also highlighted in a report by the inspectors of probation, police, prisons and the Crown Prosecution Service. They...

Pink seesaws across US-Mexico border named Design of the Year 2020

A collection of bright pink seesaws that allowed people to interact over the US-Mexico border has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, with its creators saying they hoped the work encourages people to build bridges between communities. The Teeter Totter Wall, which bridged across El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico during a 40-minute session, was described as not only feeling “symbolically important” but also highlighting “the...

Police officers and teachers could jump the queue for Covid-19 vaccine

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said police officers and teachers may be given priority for the next Covid vaccine phase. There are also talks of prioritising thousands of shop workers.

NHS warns social distancing remains ‘critical’ as vaccine is rolled out

Scientists fear the public could drop their guard as the coronavirus jab is delivered across the country.

Man who drove 30 miles for takeaway and eight found in shed among Covid fines

Police forces across the UK have broken up parties and meet-ups and fined people for visiting beauty spots.

Drone tested for search and rescue in Wales bought by Canada to save whales

EXCLUSIVE: Experts hailed the Ottawa government for bringing in the unmanned aircraft - and said the devices could be used to monitor UK marine environments

Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy 'will hold head-to-head peace talks'

A mediator will moderate the video call talks between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, it is understood, as England's third national lockdown means they cannot meet in person.

Mexico's president hopes Biden will pass US immigration reform

The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said he hoped Joe Biden would reform US immigration policy during his presidency.

Report: On 1st day in office, Biden to propose overhaul of immigration laws

On his first day in office, President-elect Joe Biden will propose a sweeping overhaul of the country's immigration laws, while also addressing the reasons why people migrate, The Washington Post reports. Biden's legislative proposal will include an eight-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; the expansion of refugee admissions; and a security plan that deploys technology to the border, at and between ports of entry. To...

Government urged to reconsider plan to reopen schools for special needs pupils

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and public health officials took part in a Department of Education webinar for school staff.

5G roll-out should stop while ‘suspected adverse health effects’ investigated, expert claims

The global roll-out of 5G should be halted while further investigations are conducted into potential risks associated with the next-generation network technology, a health expert has warned. Professor John William Frank from the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh claimed that no more transmitter towers should be built in order to limit public exposure while safety standards are reviewed. In an opinion piece published in the Journal...

Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration's harsh immigration policies. The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other...

Prominent anti-abortion activist Joe Scheidler dies at 93

CHICAGO (AP) — Joe Scheidler, the founder of the Pro-Life Action League and prominent figure in the anti-abortion movement, died Monday, the organization announced. He was 93. Scheidler died of pneumonia at his Chicago home, according to Thomas Ciesielka, a spokesman for the group. His oldest son, Eric Scheidler, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday that his father "devoted five decades of his long life to proclaiming the value of human life at...

Countries should try to eliminate Covid-19 – expert

Professor Devi Sridhar said we are in a precarious position.

Magic Breakfast to expand vital food support for thousands more children in 20th anniversary year

The expansion means Magic Breakfast will be doubling the number of schools it works with compared to last year

Trump news – live: Biden team hits back at decision to reopen travel to UK and Brazil despite Covid surge

One his way out of the White House, Donald Trump lifted Covid-related travel restrictions on the UK, Ireland, the European Union, and Brazil. The incoming Biden administration hit back almost immediately, saying it wasn't the time to ease restrictions when. It wasn't the only Easter egg being left by the outgoing administration, with Nancy Pelosi raising the alarm of a "Trump loyalist" being installed just days before the president leaves...

Fashion student, retired firefighter charged over US Capitol riots

Federal authorities arrested a retired firefighter and a fashion student, both from New York, and a man from Iowa on Monday in the storming of the U.S. Capitol, according to the FBI and court documents. Nicolas Moncada, a 20-year-old student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, was arrested at his home in Staten Island early on Monday, the FBI said. The school shared information with the FBI about a social media post showing him at the...

U.S. lawmakers aim to curtail face recognition even as the technology IDs Capitol attackers

U.S. lawmakers aim to curtail face recognition even as the technology IDs Capitol attackers

Trump orders assessment of security risks of Chinese drones

Census Bureau director to resign following criticism over data

Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced on Monday that he will resign on Wednesday, the day President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. Dillingham's term was set to expire at the end of 2021, but last week, a watchdog agency said it found that Dillingham pressured employees to use state and federal administrative records to determine how many undocumented immigrants are in the United States. He wanted a report on the information filed...

Bidens will be greeted to White House by former Trump hotel worker in historic snub by president

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania are eschewing the tradition of meeting the incoming first family – instead leaving Joe and Jill Biden to be greeted by White House chief usher Timothy Harleth. Traditionally, the outgoing president and first lady invite their successors into the White House for coffee ahead of the inauguration and travel to the ceremony together. Indeed, Mr and Mrs Trump were hosted by former president Barack Obama...

Field of Flags lit up on National Mall for Biden inauguration

The Presidential Inaugural Committee for Joe Biden and lights the 'Field of Flags' Art Display on the National Mall, Washington DC. The flags represent those Americans that cannot attend the inaugurtation ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Story Of The 1981 New Cross Fire

This is the inside story of the fatal 1981 New Cross fire and the groundbreaking demonstrations that followed. The fire, a suspected racist attack, led to the deaths of 14 young people. Speaking to us last year, survivors and activists reflect on the fire and what’s changed for Black Britons in the last four decades.

UK vaccinates 4million people including half of over-80s and care home residents

The latest figures come as the mass rollout moves to the next stage, with over-70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable invited to book their jabs

Labour calls for rules to restrict bosses spying on workers at home

Workers need stronger protections against digital surveillance by bosses while they work from home, Labour has said. The opposition is calling on the government "urgently" update guidance amid what they call a "sharp increase" in the use of remote surveillance by businesses. Managers are increasingly using privacy-busting software following an increase in home working among office workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. But Labour says the new...

US coronavirus deaths will hit half a million in February, experts predict

Experts predict 500,000 Americans will probably be killed by Covid-19 before the end of February, and perhaps before, in an acceleration of deaths expected to crest in March. The warning comes as an increasing number of experts see February and March as peak months for Covid-19 disease transmission in the US, with a more contagious variant circulating in most states and mass vaccination off to a slow start. “We have a combination of factors that...

Kamala Harris says she's going into inauguration 'ready to work'

Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris says she is ready to get to work following the inauguration of herself and President-elect Joe Biden. Harris also speaks on the plans the pair have once they take office.

PM promises compensation to firms experiencing issues exporting to EU

Businesses experiencing problems exporting to the EU "through no fault of their own" will receive compensation, the prime minister has said.

More criminals are escaping with a slap on wrist, report reveals

More criminals are getting away with a slap on the wrist instead of being prosecuted since the pandemic started. A report warns this could make the public lose faith in the criminal justice system.

Country music star Garth Brooks to perform at Joe Biden’s inauguration

Country music star Garth Brooks will perform at Joe Biden’s inauguration as part of the swearing-in ceremony, it has been announced. Brooks, one of the biggest names in country music, said his performance is not a political statement but a “statement of unity”. “This is kind of how I get to serve this country,” he added. Brooks is the latest performer added to the star-studded line-up for Mr Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Hamilton creator...

Inauguration Day 2021: schedule and celebrity concerts

Biden inauguration: From Cawthorn to Cruz, Republicans who voted to block 2020 election results are attending his swearing-in

From fiery House freshmen such as North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn to longtime Senate demagogues like Ted Cruz of Texas, Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory are nonetheless attending his inauguration ceremony later this week. Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s office confirmed her planned attendance in a statement to The Independent on Monday, making her the fifth of the eight GOP senators...

Coronavirus news: ‘Don’t blow it now,’ Hancock warns as four million now have vaccine

Matt Hancock has warned people in England not to “blow it" as lockdown measures succeed in bringing coronavirus under control. “We’re on the route out,” he told a Downing Street briefing. It came as the government announced more than 4 million people had now been inoculated, with half of over-80s having received their first dose. Ten new mass vaccination centres opened around England today as the over-70s and extremely vulnerable people began to...

Facebook asks to appeal court ruling that it conducts business in Australia

Biden shoots down Trump decision to lift UK, Brazil and EU travel bans as new Covid variants surge

Donald Trump announced plans to revoke bans on travel from the UK, Europe and Brazil, but the move was swiftly slapped down by Joe Biden’s incoming presidential team amid concerns over emerging Covid variants. Two days before leaving the White House, the outgoing US president rescinded restrictions barring non-US citizens arriving from Britain, where coronavirus cases have been surging, as well as Brazil and the European Union. He said the ban...

Inauguration day 2021 updates: Joe Biden tasked with healing US as Donald Trump ‘to issue 100 pardons’

President-elect Joe Biden will be tasked with healing the US when he enters the White House on Wednesday as outgoing President Donald Trump is reportedly set to issue 100 more pardons and commutations. Mr Biden will be sworn in as US President in person atop a specially built platform. There will be no parade this year, however, and the number of attendees will be reduced. Tensions are high in the US after a closely fought election shrouded in...

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says city to extend social distancing measures

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says city to extend social distancing measures

Free school meals: 272 Labour MPs vote to guarantee full value of food and laptop access in non-binding vote

The motion will not change government policy

How Can A Government That Spends Billions On Mass Testing Quibble Over Helping The Low Paid?

You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening. When politicians appear to defend the bureaucracy of a system rather than the needs of the public, they can sound tone deaf. When that defence involves matters of life and death, they risk coming across as robotic at best, callous at worst.‌ So it’s not hard to imagine that if Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford were a Tory minister, he...

Parler partially reappears with support from Russian technology firm

Parler partially reappears with support from Russian technology firm