Joe Biden to drop Donald Trump’s military transgender ban – reports

Mr Biden has been widely expected to overturn the Trump policy in his early days in office.

Donald Trump’s niece wants to change her name to distance herself from former president

Mary Trump, Donald Trump’s niece, has said she wants to change her last name in order to disassociate herself from her uncle as it comes with a “negative connotation” due to the “damage” done by him. The former president’s relative, who publicly criticised Mr Trump and wrote a scathing memoir about him, said her uncle did “incalculable damage" to the country. "I am prepared to change my name if need be," she said in an interview to The...

Chapter Chat: Royal Black launches its plans to mark centenary of NI

The Royal Black Institution has launched its plans to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland.

Freeze all council tax bills by bailing out town halls for Covid costs, Labour says

All council tax bills should be frozen with the government handing billions to town halls to meet the huge costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, Labour says. The party is warning that householders face an average rise of £93 in April – just as the furlough scheme is about to shut, threatening a further spike in unemployment. The “council tax bombshell will hit many hard-pressed families at the worst possible time – just as many receive their p45s,”...

Indian farmers ride caravan of tractors into capital ahead of Republic Day

Indian farmers ride caravan of tractors into capital ahead of Republic Day

Mina Hamza Khalil discusses getting by in Cairo, 10 years after the revolution.

Mina Hamza Khalil discusses getting by in Cairo, 10 years after the revolution.

London coronavirus cases by borough revealed as infections continue to fall across capital

Coronavirus cases are falling fast across London, raising hopes that the huge pressure on the capital’s hospitals might soon start to ease. All but two of the 32 boroughs saw daily cases fall by over 20 per cent in a week – and ten boroughs achieved falls of 30 to 40 per cent. Big falls in east London hotspots like Havering and Barking & Dagenham mean the capital’s highest Covid rates have shifted to the suburbs of west London, Hounslow and...

Thousands more people to get Covid jabs as mass vaccination centre opens in Cornwall

Vaccinations will start at the Stithians Showground from Monday

North Korea's acting envoy to Kuwait has defected to South Korea: lawmaker

North Korea's acting envoy to Kuwait has defected to South Korea: lawmaker

Italy's prime minister looking to resign, then form new govt: papers

Italy's prime minister looking to resign, then form new govt: papers

UK coronavirus LIVE: Schools must open before Easter, Boris Johnson told as lockdown easing ‘to start in April’

England’s school children have become the “forgotten victims” of the coronavirus pandemic, Tory MPs have warned as Boris Johnson faces mounting pressure to reopen schools after the February half-term. On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested the full reopening of schools before Easter was a “hope” rather than an expectation, as he warned that the easing of lockdown restrictions was a “long, long, long way” off. It comes amid reports...

Indiana community surprises longtime pizza deliveryman with a new car

Over the last three decades, Robert Peters has gotten to know a lot of people in Tipton, Indiana, and when they learned he was having car trouble, they were more than happy to lend a hand. Peters has worked at a Pizza Hut in Tipton for 31 years, and Tanner Langley, 28, told Good Morning America he's the only pizza deliveryman he's ever known. "The town of Tipton calls him Mr. Smiley," Langley said. "He makes that impact on everybody and he's a...

Monday briefing: New Covid could 'slip through' without quarantine

Top story: London and south-east at risk of ‘levelling down’ Hello, Warren Murray putting the news afoot immediately to hand. Boris Johnson is facing increasing pressure from cabinet ministers and scientists to require all new arrivals, including British citizens, to quarantine at their own expense in government-supervised hotels. “Anyone who slips through could be a new mutant strain, hence the need for blanket measures,” one Home Office source...

The Poltergeist review – you are invited to a new circle of hell

Philip Ridley’s interest in the dramatic monologue long precedes the pandemic, even if the form has since become the central, Covid-secure medium for playwrights. What is marked about this one-man play about family dysfunction and wasted genius is the absence of any signs of our current reality, and it feels all the more liberating for it. It was the same with Ridley’s lockdown series, The Beast Will Rise, comprising 14 theatrical monologues on...

Edward Colston statue toppling: Four to appear in court charged with criminal damage

Four people will appear in court charged with criminal damage following the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol. Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 32, and Sage Willoughby, 21, all of no fixed abode, will appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court for their first hearing on Monday. The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7 last year,...

EU says very concerned about Russian arrests

EU says very concerned about Russian arrests

Lee Rigby killer ‘fighting for life’ with Covid

One of the terrorists who killed Lee Rigby is fighting for his life after catching coronavirus, it is reported. Michael Adebowale,29, is serving a 45-year minimum term for murdering Fusilier Rigby in May 2013 on the streets of Woolwich, south-east London. The 29-year-old Islamic terrorist was moved from high security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor to a specialist ward last week following a deterioration in his condition after he contracted...

Israel ‘closes skies’ to air travel to prevent spread of coronavirus variants

Israel on Sunday announced a week-long ban on most incoming and outgoing flights in a bid to slow the spread of new variants of the novel coronavirus. The measure will begin at midnight from Monday into Tuesday and remain in effect until Sunday, a statement from the prime minister's office said. Exceptions will be made for cargo and firefighting flights, as well as trips for medical treatments, funerals and legal procedures. A panel of health...

Death threats and daily harassment: Fauci opens up on what working for Trump was really like

Infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, who frequently contradicted Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about Covid-19, said he and his family were facing harassment and death threats as early as March 2020, when coronavirus had started spreading. Dr Fauci was part of Mr Trump’s Covid-19 task force, but throughout the year they often found each other at the opposite ends of the spectrum — whether it was about the lockdown, easing of...

Explainer: South China Sea tension flares again as Biden takes charge

Explainer: South China Sea tension flares again as Biden takes charge

Spain's Health Minister quits to run for regional Catalan elections

Spain's Health Minister quits to run for regional Catalan elections

Rishi Sunak revamps Covid jobs scheme for young people after protests over bids stuck in ‘a backlog’

Applications to a jobs scheme for young people hit by the pandemic are stuck in “a backlog”, business groups are warning – forcing Rishi Sunak to rework it. “Complex bureaucracy” is undermining the £2bn Kickstart programme, they say, amid forecasts that unemployment will soar to 2.6 million this year, as the Covid-19 crisis continues. Now the chancellor has ripped up a requirement that only companies offering at least 30 placements can apply to...

NHS trusts urge people to 'walk like penguins' through the snow

With yet more freezing temperatures expected in the UK today, NHS trusts have issued an odd edict urging members of the public to 'walk like penguins' in order to avoid falls in the snow.

Your Morning Briefing

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know to start your day with our daily briefing.

Mexican officials confirm President López Obrador has COVID

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador,, revealed he's tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home with 'mild' symptoms.

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a woman wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse in Australia, following a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments. Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of sexually abusing several former students at a Jewish school in Melbourne, had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014. Leifer maintains her innocence and the protracted court case and...

In ambulances, an unseen, unwelcome passenger: COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's crowded in the back of the ambulance. Two emergency medical technicians, the patient, the gurney — and an unseen and unwelcome passenger lurking in the air. For EMTs Thomas Hoang and Joshua Hammond, the coronavirus is constantly close. COVID-19 has become their biggest fear during 24-hour shifts in California's Orange County, riding with them from 911 call to 911 call, from patient to patient. They and other EMTs,...

Susanna Reid confronts Piers Morgan over 'fat-shaming' her in interview

The Good Morning Britain hosts opened the show today and Susanna demanded to know why she looked "twice the size" of him this today

Former PM Brown sees no democratic mandate for Scottish independence vote

Former PM Brown sees no democratic mandate for Scottish independence vote

Dutch police clash with anti-curfew protesters, amid looting and vandalism

Protests against a curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Netherlands degenerated into clashes with police and looting in cities across the country Sunday, authorities and reports said. Police used water cannon and dogs in Amsterdam, public television NOS reported, after hundreds gathered to protest the curfew which is set to last until February 10 and is the country’s first since World War II. In the southern city of Eindhoven, police...

What the papers say – January 25

Many of Monday’s papers are led by the education implications of the pandemic.

How a cannabis farm cured my fear of nature

There’s always a detail in apocalypse fiction that looms horrifically in your subconscious from your first encounter with the genre, when you were a bit too young for it. Mine is plants bursting through concrete, that stark reminder that mankind is evanescent and nature is stronger. As a child, it was the most terrible thing I could imagine: grass growing through pavement, creepers tendrilling out of defunct offices. I think I got this phobia...

Wattlebridge security operation ends - ‘no community should live under threat of such violence’ - device found in bus shelter declared a ‘hoax’

The local community in Wattlebridge, Co Fermanagh have been thanked again for their ‘patience and support’ as the PSNI confirm the security operation in the area has ended,

UK reviewing pandemic welfare support, minister says

UK reviewing pandemic welfare support, minister says

Egypt’s revolution, 10 years on: Dreams of a better future largely unfulfilled

This Monday marks 10 years since the start of Arab Spring protests in Egypt that brought about the fall of strongman Hosni Muburak. At the time, the revolutionaries' slogan was "Bread, Freedom and Social Justice". But over the decade that followed, the economy collapsed and the new military regime that seized power in 2013 had to cut numerous state subsidies. In the poorer neighbourhoods of the Egyptian capital today, everyone is labouring to...

UK weather forecast: Severe warnings for snow and flooding as temperatures plunge to -10C

The mercury is set to drop to between minus 10C and minus 12C in parts of the Midlands and Wales amid ice and flooding warnings following a weekend of heavy snow across the UK

Biden set to reimpose travel ban on UK and EU over fears of new COVID variants

US President Joe Biden will reimpose a number of travel bans that were repealed by his predecessor.

Starwatch: follow the moon to the Winter Hexagon

The moon will guide you to a fun asterism this week called the Winter Hexagon. Asterisms are patterns made by connecting stars, whereas constellations are the areas of the sky that contain the asterisms. Not all asterisms belong to a single constellation, however. This week’s pattern joins seven stars from six different constellations. The chart shows the view from London, looking south at 22.00GMT on 25 January. The almost full moon will be...

‘Hotel quarantine’: What travellers to the UK could soon face

Ministers are contemplating introducing tough travel restrictions – of the kind that have been in force since last March in Asia and Australasia. These are the key questions and answers. Surely no one should be travelling? No leisure travel is allowed for anyone living in the UK, but some of the people coming in left the country before the third lockdown started on 5 January and have been on long-stay trips – whether holidays or staying with...

Biden wants unity and democracy. But in the US these have always been in conflict

The three words that stood out in Joe Biden’s powerful inaugural address, if only for the number of times he used them, were “democracy”, “unity” and “truth”. But it was democracy that took centre stage. “This is democracy’s day,” he said, in his first statement after taking the oath of office. “The will of the people has been heard … Democracy has prevailed.” Is this apparent vindication of democracy enough for unity and truth to prevail as...

Two new vaccination centres announced for Devon

People will start getting the jabs on Tuesday (26 January)

UK Coronavirus LIVE: Boris plots border crackdown as children ‘face months at home’

Boris Johnson is reportedly set to approve a new border crackdown this week that could see travellers, including British citizens, escorted to quarantine hotels at their point of entry. Foreign passport-holders from countries where the coronavirus is mutating could also be banned altogether from entering the UK, according to the Sunday Times. Cabinet ministers are said to be split over whether the hotel quarantine plan should apply to all...

Colleagues shocked that 'nerdy' Justice Department official joined Trump's election overthrow effort

Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and other top Justice Department officials spent New Year's Eve berating Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the DOJ's civil division, for repeatedly pushing them to help former President Donald Trump overturn his clear electoral loss and secretly meeting with Trump, The New York Times reports, citing six people with knowledge of the meeting. Rosen thought the matter was settled that night, the Times...

Maryland man finds his calling in retirement, fixing hundreds of bikes at no charge

Neighbors, friends, strangers, it doesn't matter — Ric Jackson is fixing any bike that comes his way, free of charge. Jackson, a retired mathematician and avid cyclist, lives in Potomac, Maryland. Last April, one of his neighbors was trying to find someone to fix the brakes on his daughter's bike, and Jackson offered to help. When he was finished, the father and daughter were both "thrilled" with the results, Jackson told CBS News. That was his...

Novelist who researched Queen Elizabeth II for murder mystery says she is 'not nearly as formal'

Sophia Bennett imagines the queen as a detective who investigates a murder while carrying out her official duties.

Covid-19 pandemic makes rich much richer as poor suffer, inequality report says

Billionaires including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla founder Elon Musk have seen their wealth soar during the Covid-19 pandemic while the world’s poor face years of hardship, charity Oxfam said on Monday as it demanded steps to tackle inequality. Nations have a “shrinking window of opportunity” to build a fair, green recovery, according to “The Inequality Virus” report, published as global leaders tune in for the World Economic Forum’s virtual...

How do we help the homeless or housebound? Work is underway in Devon to decide

Work is underway to decide how best to vaccinate homeless people in Devon - and also those who are housebound.

The information warriors fighting 'robot zombie army' of coronavirus sceptics

Sometimes, Stuart Ritchie feels like he’s being pursued by an army of smiley faces. The lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, is not delusional: instead, and somewhat to his surprise, he is on the frontline of a coronavirus information war. The emojis often decorate the Twitter profiles of the self-proclaimed “lockdown sceptics”, a subset of social media users who remain unconvinced that...

A car burns after being set on fire in front of the train station in Eindhoven, on January 24, 2021, after several hundred people protested against the country’s new Covid-19 curfew.

A car burns after being set on fire in front of the train station in Eindhoven, on January 24, 2021, after several hundred people protested against the country’s new Covid-19 curfew.

Calls to child welfare hotline jump by 50% during pandemic

Calls by concerned adults to an NSPCC child welfare hotline have jumped by over 50% over the course of the pandemic, the charity has said.