News

UAE human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor kept in 2m x 2m cell for 4 years

A prominent Emirati rights activist has been held for four years in a tiny solitary confinement cell with no bed or mattress in the United Arab Emirates, according to Human Rights Watch. The global rights group said that Ahmed Mansoor, a 51-year-old engineer, has been forced to sleep on the floor with no bed or pillow in a cell measuring just two metres by two metres since December 2017. He has spent that time entirely alone in his cell in a...


Public hailed as ‘heroic’ for adjusting to pandemic

The British public has been praised by scientists for adapting to life in lockdown and showing “heroic” levels of compliance with the strict Government measures. The praise came after officials warned that the death toll of more than 100,000 could rise by up to 50,000 within months. Despite the UK having one of the worst Covid fatality rates in the world, Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick this morning insisted that the Government “took the right...


Bill Gates says he's shocked by 'crazy and evil' COVID conspiracies

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said he has been the subject to millions of posts and 'crazy conspiracy theories', insisting he would like to get to the bottom of it all.


Priti Patel announces tough new measures for people entering UK

Home Secretary Priti Patel announces tough new measures for people entering the UK including tougher police checks at the borders, strict isolation stays in hotels for ten days and refusing entry to non-uk residents from countries on red list.


Holocaust Memorial Day: Honouring all victims

This year, Holocaust Memorial Day will remember those murdered under Nazi rule during WW2 and all the victims of other genocides.


Boeing 737 Max given green light to fly in the EU

The Boeing 737 Max can safely return to service, the boss of the EU’s air safety regulator has said. Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), said: “We have reached a significant milestone on a long road. “Following extensive analysis by EASA, we have determined that the 737 Max can safely return to service.” The latest version of the world’s biggest-selling aircraft was involved in two fatal crashes...


'Palestine on a Plate': Cooking up a storm with chef Joudie Kalla

The global health crisis has triggered a major shift away from restaurant dining, leaving many in the culinary sector out of work. But one chef, Joudie Kalla, has pressed on and transformed her career into something entirely new. The author of "Palestine on a Plate" and "Baladi" joins us from London to talk about cooking as therapy.


'I'm flabbergasted': Monique Roffey on women, whiteness and winning the Costa

After two decades of splashing around in the shallows of success, Monique Roffey was taking no chances with The Mermaid of Black Conch. The novel, which won the Costa book of the year award on Tuesday, is written in a Creole English and uses a patchwork of forms, from poetry to journal entries and an omniscient narrator, and “employs magical realism to the max”. Even its title was against it, she realised. “You’re either going to read a novel...


HS2 protesters hope to occupy Euston tunnel for weeks

The activists who secretly built a tunnel under a busy London square by Euston station have said they believe they can withstand eviction attempts and occupy it for weeks. Despite a number of police evictions from the protest site, at least at least four protesters remain inside the long tunnel which was constructed in order to try to prevent the next phase of work on the HS2 high speed rail link from taking place. Digging activities mostly took...


Huge ‘sonic boom’ noise ‘rattles’ houses in Norwich

Residents od Norwich and surrounding areas reported hearing a massive bang, believed to be a “sonic boom”, over the city. Taking to social media to tweet about the huge sound, some people said their house “shook” and windows and doors “rattled” from the booming noise on Wednesday morning. Witnesses said the bang could be heard for miles around for at about 11.45am,, sending “hundreds” of panicked birds up into the air. One person said: “The...


‘Making up for lost time’: Biden issues stack of executive actions to tackle climate crisis after four years of Trump

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday a pause on new oil and gas leasing on US public lands and waters, one of a stack of executive orders to tackle the climate crisis. The president is outlining a number of plans at the White House to swiftly reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment. The moratorium on oil and gas sales directs the Secretary of the Interior to put a hold on entering into new fossil fuel leases on...


Giuliani election witness who went viral after testimony says she’s running for office

A conservative activist who was widely mocked after she was called to testify by Rudy Giuliani during a hearing on election fraud in December says she is running for office. Melissa Carone, who was an IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems on election day, testified before a Michigan House panel in December 2020 that she had witnessed electoral fraud take place in favour of the Democrats on 3 November’s presidential election. In testimony...


‘Dead on arrival’: Trump supporting senators celebrate vote that sets course for impeachment to fail

Republicans appeared to celebrate after a last ditch attempt to dismiss Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial attracted strong support, and diminished chances of a conviction. As many as 45 Republicans backed a motion brought by Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday, who argued that a second impeachment trial would be “unconstitutional” because Mr Trump was no longer president. His motion stated that “as of noon last Wednesday, Donald Trump holds none...


UK Government will set out ‘gradual and phased’ easing of lockdown from 22 February


Dani Dyer reveals she has named her baby boy Santiago

Dani Dyer has revealed she has named her baby boy Santiago. The 24-year-old TV star – daughter of EastEnders actor Danny Dyer – announced the news on Sorted With The Dyers, the unscripted Spotify podcast she and her dad host together. She and Sammy Kimmence had announced the birth on Instagram, saying their little boy had arrived on January 23 “after a very long day and night”. In a pre-recorded voice note played on the latest episode of their...


Phillida Nicholson obituary

My cousin, the artist Phillida Nicholson, who has died at the age of 96, was a talented landscape painter, printmaker and tapestry maker, and an intrepid traveller. She was born in north Wales, and her lifelong home was a small cottage in the Clwydian mountains above the village of Bodfari, accessed by a farm track and supplied with water from a spring. She grew up there as the youngest of three children of Molly (nee Clark) and Richard...


Police raid Russian opposition leader's apartment, offices

MOSCOW (AP) — Police on Wednesday searched the Moscow apartment of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, another residence where his wife is living and offices of his anti-corruption organization. Navalny's aides reported the raids on social media. It was not immediately clear whether anyone had been arrested. Leonid Volkov, head of Navalny's corruption-investigating organization, said the searches were being carried out for alleged...


EU citizens offered financial incentives to leave UK in voluntary return scheme

The UK is offering EU citizens financial incentives to leave the UK and return to their country of origin, a move that activists say “undermines” the government’s claim it is encouraging EU citizens to apply for settled status. EU citizens were quietly added to the government’s voluntary returns scheme from 1 January. The scheme, which is meant to help migrants in specific situations leave the UK voluntarily, includes flights and up to £2,000 in...


Covid news – live: Schools to remain closed until 8 March in England as hotel quarantine plan unveiled

Schools won’t reopen in England until at least 8 March — and only then if the UK vaccination programme is on track, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons. The prime minister also finally unveiled the first details of a 10-day mandatory hotel quarantine scheme that will cost travellers thousands of pounds. It will apply to 22 ‘red list’ countries where there are fears over the spread of virus variants. The announcement came after Robert Jenrick...


Best iPhone tripods 2021: Give your smartphone a platform to stand and deliver expert shots

Best iPhone tripods 2021: Give your smartphone a platform to stand and deliver expert shots


The government’s duty is to protect the nation and preserve life at all costs – it has failed on both counts

The news that Britain has passed 100,000 deaths fills me with heart-wrenching sorrow. Such a high death toll – the highest death rate on the globe – was not inevitable. The government's number one duty is to protect the nation. The government's absolute priority should always be to preserve life at all costs. Tragically, the government failed on these counts. It acted too slowly, too late, too half-heartedly not once, but consistently. The fact...


Holocaust Memorial Day: Duchess of Cambridge moved by video call with two friends who survived concentration camp

The Duchess of Cambridge was visibly moved as she spoke to two Holocaust survivors who told her of the horrors they experienced. Kate’s video call with friends Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg, who met in a concentration camp in 1944, was organised to mark Holocaust Memorial Day today and highlighted the importance of remembering the atrocities of Hitler’s Nazi regime. The call was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust, for which the two...


More than 50 passengers killed in Cameroon bus blaze

Fifty-three people died on Wednesday when a bus collided with a fuel-laden van in western Cameroon, causing a blaze that engulfed both vehicles, the local governor said. "The dead have all been burned beyond identification," said Awa Fonka Augustine, the governor of West Region. Twenty-nine other people suffered severe burns. The 70-seat bus collided head-on with the van at around 3.30am at a location called the Cliff of Dschang, in western...


Key dates: How lockdown restrictions will be lifted as timeline unveiled for first time

Lockdown measures will effectively remain in place until at least March 8 after Boris Johnson earmarked that date for the earliest reopening of England’s schools. The hopeful date is based on progress in vaccinating the most vulnerable groups in society by mid-February, and then giving the jab time to take effect. Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Johnson also said he would set out the Government’s strategy for the “gradual and...


UK introduces mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers back from 'red list' countries

UK nationals and residents returning from "red list" countries will be placed in quarantine in government-provided accommodation.


Brexit news – live: Starmer blasts Johnson for ‘slow, slow, slow’ Covid response as Amazon halts more NI sales

Labour leader Keir Starmer has blasted Boris Johnson for his “slow, slow, slow” response to the pandemic and demanded the PM provides answers as to why the UK has the highest Covid death rate in Europe. Mr Johnson admitted it would not be possible to reopen schools in February – but said he “hoped” pupils would be able to return by 8 March. It comes as Amazon halts sales of wines, beers and spirits in Northern Ireland due to complex new excise...


Biden had a scathing one-word answer to this Fox News reporter asking about his call with Putin

President Joe Biden turned the tables on a Fox News reporter when he was asked a question about his phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin. On Biden’s way out after signing executive orders aimed at promoting racial equity, White House correspondent Peter Doocy called out: “Mr. President, what did you talk to Vladimir Putin about?” In response, Biden quipped: “You." Ooof. He then added: "He sends his best.” Other journalists in the...


Loss of taste and smell symptoms less common among sufferers of new UK Covid variant

People infected with the new UK Covid-19 variant are less likely to report a loss of taste and smell, figures suggest. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the symptoms were “significantly less common” in patients who tested positive for the new variant compared to those with other variants of Covid-19. They are more likely to report “classic” symptoms of the virus, such as a cough and a fever. The news came after it was reported that...


Biden says the Impeachment of Trump 'has to happen'

President Joe Biden says the Impeachment of former President Donald Trump 'has to happen.'


Violence in Central African Republic: Cameroon's border on high alert

Thousands of people have been forced from their homes in the Central African Republic due to rebel forces taking over towns. The United Nations refugee agency says that at least 60,000 people have already fled to neighbouring countries, with some 5,000 of them crossing over to Cameroon. Army forces there are now patrolling the lengthy border in a bid to push back any attempts by rebels to get through. Our correspondents Tony Menga, Regina Sondo, Michel Mvondo and Simon Batoum report from eastern Cameroon, where locals are also worried about the violence across the border.


Car crime suspect who rammed police motorbike jailed for assault

Callum Fellows was arrested after the incident saw Pc Steve Lovering hurled from his bike.


'Like witnessing my own funeral': Michael Landy on destroying everything he owned

Twenty years and an epoch ago, Michael Landy destroyed his worldly goods, all 7,227 of them, in the just-closed flagship branch of C&A on Oxford Street in London. It was a wildly theatrical event. The mise en scène involved a snaking conveyor belt bearing tubs full of carefully catalogued objects, with a team of blue-boilersuit-clad “operatives” painstakingly disassembling each item, and the artist himself standing atop a high platform flinging...


London Covid deaths: 12,600 die in London — so just what went wrong?

For London it began on March 6. The first confirmed death in the capital from the Coronavirus virus that has wreaked such havoc over the past year was an elderly man admitted to the Royal London in Whitechapel with breathing difficulties. Our city has been on the frontline in the monumental struggle against the pandemic ever since with both the first and second wave ripping through homes, hospitals and the care sector earlier and faster than the...


India farmer leaders condemn violent scenes in capital but refuse to end protests

The leaders of a farmers’ collective in India on Wednesday denounced the violent scenes that rocked the capital during a “tractor rally” on the country’s annual Republic Day but refused to end their months-long protest. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella group spearheading the protests against controversial government reforms of the agriculture sector, blamed the violence on “anti-social elements” who infiltrated an otherwise peaceful march...


Doomsday Clock: Humanity is still closer to apocalypse than ever, experts say

Humanity is still as close to apocalypse as ever before, the scientists behind the “Doomsday Clock” have said. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which organises the clock, said that it was leaving the time at 100 seconds to midnight. That time was announced last year, and was the first time it had been closer than two minutes to midnight ever before. The decision was made largely in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, the scientists...


Government sets out plans to halt new badger cull licences after next year

The badger cull policy aims to curb tuberculosis in cattle.


A Place In The Sun's Laura Hamilton fumes as 'picky' couple reject every property

Laura found herself frustrated after the holiday-makers shared their distaste for a string of gorgeous homes


Biden tells reporter he "talked about you" when asked about call with Putin


Prime Minister targets March 8 as earliest date for reopening England's schools

Lockdown measures will remain in place until at least March 8, Boris Johnson indicated as he earmarked that date for the reopening of England’s schools.


States lift restrictions gradually amid fears of new variant

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Several states are loosening their coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and other businesses because of improved infection and hospitalization numbers but are moving gradually and cautiously, in part because of the more contagious variant taking hold in the U.S. While the easing could cause case rates to rise, health experts say it can work if done in a measured way and if the public remains vigilant about masks and...


Biden news – live: President unveils climate crisis executive orders as GOP mocks Trump impeachment

Joe Biden is signing three executive actions on Wednesday designed to tackle the climate crisis, including one order pausing new oil and gas leases being granted on federal lands, another directing the government to acquire electric vehicles and a third formally establishing an office of domestic climate policy under John Kerry and Gina McCarthy. A new Morning Consult poll has meanwhile found that Mr Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, remains...


Dozens injured in Covid-19 lockdown protests in Lebanon's Tripoli

Overnight clashes in northern Lebanon between security forces and demonstrators angered by a coronavirus lockdown injured at least 45 people, the Lebanese Red Cross said on Wednesday. At least nine of the injured were treated in hospital following rolling scuffles in the main northern city of Tripoli, the Red Cross said.


Air France and Airbus face Paris trial call over deadly crash - source

Air France and Airbus face Paris trial call over deadly crash - source


Coronavirus vaccination continues in Turkey

Turkey received 6.5 million new doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.


Biden targets drilling, fossil fuel subsidies in sweeping climate push

The Biden administration will announce on Wednesday a new batch of executive actions aimed at combating climate change that will pause new oil and gas leases on federal land, reduce fossil fuel subsidies, and strengthen measures to protect poor and minority neighbourhoods from pollution, according to the White House. The orders will set the direction for newly sworn-in President Joe Biden's climate change and environmental agenda and mark a...


Bangladesh to move 2,000-3,000 more Rohingya Muslims to remote island despite criticism

Bangladesh to move 2,000-3,000 more Rohingya Muslims to remote island despite criticism


Covid vaccine plant in Wrexham evacuated over suspicious package

A factory manufacturing AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine has been partially evacuated after receiving a suspicious package. Police said they are currently dealing with an “ongoing incident” on Wrexham Industrial Estate, which houses the Wockhardt factory. Bomb disposal experts are in attendance, and first minister Mark Drakeford has said the Welsh Government is working with police and the military to find out more information. Read more: Live...


Head tells off parents for ‘critical’ comments about online lessons – and says they should go into teaching

Colin Dowland, head of Woodridge Primary School, suggested that parents who saw themselves as 'educational experts' should sign up to become teachers themselves


Josh Hawley ridiculed for claiming he is being silenced while on country’s most-watched cable news channel

Senator Josh Hawley is facing ridicule online for claiming he is being silenced by the “left wing mob” while appearing in an interview broadcast to millions on Fox News Primetime. Sen Hawley, who gained notoriety after he took part in an Electoral College challenge that became the focus of a violent siege of the Capitol on 6 January, made the comments in an appearance on Tuesday. Host Maria Bartiromo introduced the controversial senator as a...


Marjorie Taylor Greene: GOP leader McCarthy to take action on conspiracy comments

Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy will speak with Marjorie Taylor Greene about the series of inflammatory social media posts from before she took office that came to light this week. CNN found comments and likes made from the Georgia representative’s Facebook account that included apparent calls for the execution of senior Democrats, as well as endorsements of disturbing conspiracy theories linked to QAnon. A member of the GOP leader’s...