Coronavirus news live — New variant ‘growing much faster’ warns Sage as UK R rate sticks between 1.2 and 1.3

France is banning the use of rapid Covid-19 tests for non-EU travellers, prompting fears there will be a return to the chaos seen at the borders before Christmas. Travellers will require a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old to enter France, the same system the UK is introducing from Monday. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said he believed there would be an exemption for lorry drivers to continue receiving the 30-minute tests - which are...

Dutch PM and Cabinet quit over child welfare payments scandal

The coalition will stay in office on a caretaker basis until after elections in March.

Call to review Parliament health and safety risks after security worker’s death

MPs said Godfrey Cameron showed ‘selfless care for others’ and was a ‘hard-working’ member of parliamentary security staff.

Coronavirus vaccine centre opens in historic cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral welcomed its first vaccine patients on Friday.

Police hunt man who tried to snatch five-year-old boy in London park

A man who tried to snatch a five-year-old boy from a park in west London is being hunted by police.

Rejection of Covid jab by ethnic minorities ‘could fan flames of Islamophobia’

Around 100 mosques are using Friday prayers to raise coronavirus awareness and dispel myths around vaccinations.

Now we have the coronavirus vaccine, how soon can we get back to normal life?

When will the Covid-19 vaccine begin to have an effect on the nation? The government has pledged to offer vaccines to 15 million people – the over-70s, healthcare workers and those required to shield by mid-February, and millions more by spring. This should slowly bring the virus under control although it will take many weeks before we can be sure the vaccine is having an effect. Numbers of daily cases of Covid-19 may drop but that decline could...

What's to mock? Mills & Boon sells a romance every 10 seconds in UK

It is easy to mock a fantasy world of personal assistants taming playboy princes, nurses unlocking the passions of surly surgeons, or chambermaids bedding brooding billionaires. Less easy to mock is the wild and continuing popularity of Mills & Boon when one of its romances is sold every 10 seconds in the UK. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York , was this week revealed as the latest recruit to the publishers’ roster of authors, with a novel...

Legendary illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher dies aged 81

Legendary illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher dies aged 81 at home in Vegas after battle with pancreatic cancer - less than a year after partner Roy passed.

This week’s good news, from England’s only fan in Sri Lanka to the world record for under-ice swimming

And a national ballet company calling for people with dementia, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s to submit videos for the chance to feature in new dance productions.

Jayne Torvill says Dancing On Ice's Yebin's injury was one of the worst she's ever seen

Dancing On Ice judge Jayne Torvill said Yebin Mok's leg injury was "a real shocker" that left the tendons visible, and she may not be able to return for the series

Nearly 60,000 have fled Central African Republic violence: U.N.

Nearly 60,000 have fled Central African Republic violence: U.N.

Trump impeachment news - live: President ‘furious’ over Nixon comparison amid report Bannon is back as adviser

President Trump is said to be “furious” at comparisons to Richard Nixon amid reports he has phoned former adviser Steve Bannon seeking help in overturning the 2020 election results. Rioters whipped up by Donald Trump’s rhetoric over a period of months sought to “capture or assassinate elected officials in the United States government” in their attack on the US Capitol, prosecutors believe. In a memo asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, the...

Vaccination centre near me: Where the Covid vaccine mass hubs are, and how to use NHS booking service

The Government has laid out its targets for at least two million people to receive the Covid vaccine each week, with tens of millions set to be immunised by spring

Andrew Yang announces his run for NYC Mayor

Andrew Yang Announces His Run For NYC Mayor. Yang announced his campaign for NYC mayor in a video posted on Twitter.

Joint stay-at-home plea over ‘unsustainably high level’ of Covid

Dr Michael McBride and Dr Tony Holohan have expressed ‘grave concern’ about the ‘unsustainably high level of Covid-19 infection’ across the island.

Uganda's Museveni takes early election lead as rival alleges fraud

Long-time leader Yoweri Museveni took an early lead in Uganda's presidential election according to preliminary results on Friday, though his main rival said there had been widespread fraud and his supporters had the right to protest. FRANCE 24's International Affairs Editor tells us more.

Boris Johnson plots workers' rights 'wrecking ball' - all the times he said they were safe

Fury is mounting as the 48-hour working week, rules on breaks and holiday pay look to be up for grabs after Brexit - despite Boris Johnson's promises

Brexit news – live: Government denies plan to scrap 48-hour week and DUP in ‘buffoon’ jibe at Johnson

Boris Johnson’s government has denied claims ministers are planning to “lower” workers’ rights after Brexit, amid reports they are preparing to tear up key protections enshrined in EU law. The 48-hour working week could be scrapped under government plans for a post-Brexit overhaul of employment laws, the FT reports. Labour described the reported plan as a “disgrace” and warned it would fight any such moves “tooth and nail”. Meanwhile, a DUP MP...

New York bus crash leaves vehicle dangling from Bronx overpass

Dutch government collectively resigns over childcare subsidies scandal

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the resignation of his government on Friday, accepting responsibility for years of mismanagement of childcare subsidies, which wrongfully drove thousands of families to financial ruin. Rutte said he had handed his resignation to King Willem-Alexander. The cabinet would remain in place in a caretaker capacity to manage the coronavirus crisis for now, with an election already due on March 17. The resignation...

'How many more lockdowns can we go through?' Bosses on Covid double-dip recession

The UK economy shrank by 2.6% in November, as a second national lockdown in England and tough restrictions across the rest of the UK hit growth. The Guardian has spoken to three company bosses about the pressure they and their employees are facing as the second wave of the pandemic threatens to tip the British economy into a double-dip recession. Urban Village Pubs, London Business planning has become almost impossible for Ian Grundy, the...

Heartwarming moment strangers push hearse up a hill after it got stuck in snow

Watch: Strangers help a stuck hearse up a hill Heartwarming footage shows a group of strangers braving snowy conditions to help a hearse up a hill when it got stuck. The vehicle was taking a coffin to Rotherham Crematorium but was unable to get over the rise near its destination. Yorkshire has been blanketed by snow in the last week week, causing more difficulties for ambulances as they deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Michelle Mulcahy, 40,...

New Covid outbreak at third UK immigration removal centre

A number of Covid-19 outbreaks have been confirmed across the immigration detention estate and asylum seeker accommodation, prompting warnings of a major public health risk and calls to release individuals into the community. Harmondsworth immigration removal centre (IRC), near Heathrow, the largest of its kind in Europe, is the third such centre to experience an outbreak. It is understood that there are at least two detainees who have tested...

Uganda’s opposition candidate says military has entered his home

Uganda’s electoral commission says long-time president Yoweri Museveni leads Mr Wine and other candidates in provisional results.

Most of us are sticking to the lockdown rules, so why do we blame one another?

There is a paradox at the heart of this pandemic. Since before England’s first lockdown, politicians, media pundits and government advisers have voiced concerns that the public would be the weak link in controlling infections. There have been numerous claims that adherence to restrictions is slipping and resilience fraying. Judging by polling and social media posts decrying lockdown violations and “covidiots”, the public also share this concern....

Christine Connor: ‘We responded to a call from what appeared to be a distressed victim - when our officers arrived explosive devices were thrown at them’

Police have welcomed the decision to increase the sentence for a woman who attempted to murder officers by luring them into a trap with a hoax domestic violence call.

German Covid vaccine officials forced to guess people's ages from names

German toddlers called Fritz or Adele could be invited for a Covid-19 vaccination while octogenarian Peters and Brigittes will not, as an overzealous interpretation of data privacy laws in one state has forced officials to guess people’s ages from their first names. Authorities in the northern German state of Lower Saxony claim legal hurdles blocked them from accessing official records when trying to send a written invitation for a vaccination...

Trump saw the economy was his ticket to a second term – then Covid struck

No time to waste. That was the message from Joe Biden as he announced plans for a $1.9 trillion (£1.4tn) stimulus package only days before his inauguration as US president next week. Combatting the health and economic crises he will inherit from Donald Trump will be top of the agenda for his administration. The latest jobs figures highlight the problem. In the latest week, the number of new unemployment claims rose by 181,000 to 965,000, the...

Freight group warns Irish Government of huge post-Brexit disruption

The Freight Transport Association of Ireland said stockpiling prior to Christmas had masked some of the effect of Brexit so far.

Deliveroo driver who refused to deliver to Jewish customers jailed for four months in France

A Deliveroo driver has been jailed by a French court on charges of discrimination after he refused to deliver meals from two Jewish restaurants in the eastern city of Strasbourg. Police in Strasbourg said on Monday that two Jewish restaurant owners in the area had filed complaints of racism against the food delivery company. Following a police investigation, a court convicted the 19-year-old Algerian man on Thursday on an antisemitism charge for...

Scottish court upholds Libyan Lockerbie bomber's conviction

Scottish court upholds Libyan Lockerbie bomber's conviction

Revealed: Universal Credit Glitches Left People ‘Destitute’ At Christmas

The glitch-ridden Universal Credit benefit system left claimants destitute over Christmas, with one ending up with just 9p in the bank and living off food parcels. Caroline Rae was made redundant from food supplier Compass Group in September. She received a redundancy payment of around £2,000, which she had been relying on, but says half of that amount was deducted straight out of her Universal Credit payments in an apparent error by the...

Regina King: "I wanted to present the Black experience with honesty”

The actress discusses inclusive storytelling in her feature directorial debut One Night in Miami and beyond

Germany passes two million coronavirus infections

The latest daily rise of 22,368 cases made Germany the sixth country in Europe to pass two million cases after Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Russia.

Cherry blossoms are blooming earlier and earlier in Tokyo due to warmer winters

Tokyo’s cherry blossom trees are expected to begin blooming three days earlier than average due to warmer temperatures, continuing a trend that has been observed over the last nine years. The iconic trees in the prefectures of Kochi and Fukuoka are forecasted to begin flowering at the same time as those in Tokyo – 23 March – making them the joint first in the country, according to predictions by weather forecasters at the Japan Meteorological...

UK coronavirus LIVE: 30% of Londoners ‘have already had Covid’ as Boris Johnson to lead briefing at 5pm

London has passed the peak of the second coronavirus wave, new figures suggest, but the capital is far from being out of the woods. Covid-19 cases dropped in 22 boroughs, according to the latest weekly figures, while researchers at Cambridge University estimate that up to 36 per cent of Londoners may already have had the virus. However, the city’s public health chief Professor Kevin Fenton warned that case rates “remain extremely high” and “we...

James Naismith: Google Doodle honours gym teacher who created basketball

Google is celebrating the anniversary of the day professor, doctor, and coach Dr James Naismith published the rules to the game he had invented, basketball. Born on 6 November 1861 in Ontario, Canada, Naismith showed an interest in sports and physical education early on. The interest would carry him to college at McGill University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1888, and where he would also begin his career as a...

Concerning Brazilian variant ‘should not affect vaccines’, Number 10 says

Government scientists put the latest reproductive number – the R rate – for the UK at 1.2 to 1.3.

French govt tightens Covid-19 border controls to fight virus

France will strengthen border controls and bring forward its night curfew by two hours to 6 p.m. as it tries to slow the spread of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday.

What time is Boris Johnson’s announcement today? When to watch latest Covid speech live, and what to expect

Boris Johnson's latest Covid-19 press conference comes amid ongoing concerns around a new Brazilian variant of coronavirus

Britain must prove to be successful for any EU return, says ex-PM Blair

Britain must prove to be successful for any EU return, says ex-PM Blair

Holyrood candidate quits Scottish Tories after labelling food bank users ‘fat’

The party said Craig Ross ‘left before he was pushed’, after he was suspended for the comments.

Best Apple Watch bands 2021: Pick up a stylish strap or band

Best Apple Watch bands 2021: Pick up a stylish strap or band

Nikki Haley launches push to support conservative candidates ahead of rumoured 2024 presidential bid

Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Hale, has launched a political action committee (PAC) to support conservative candidates, amid speculation that she will run for president in 2024. The committee, named the Stand for America PAC, has been formed to help conservative candidates get elected to Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. In an email to supporters, Ms Haley, 48, said the PAC is “laser-focused on the 2022 midterms and...

UK’s Covid-19 R number estimated at 1.2-1.3...but falls in London

The UK’s coronavirus R rate has narrowed to between 1.2 and 1.3, it was revealed on Friday. The reproduction rate was last week estimated to be between one and 1.4. London is now doing relatively well compared with the rest of the UK. The capital’s coronavirus reproduction rate is now estimated to be between 0.9 and 1.2, with a growth rate between minus two per cent and plus three per cent. Last week the estimate for the capital was between 1.1...

10 Reasons why 10 Republicans in Congress favor impeachment of Trump

Top Indian news anchor says she’s victim of Harvard University phishing scam

The leading Indian television news journalist Nidhi Razdan said on Friday that she has been the victim of an elaborate phishing scam, after she was led to believe she had received a job offer to teach at Harvard University. The award-winning journalist had already quit after 21 years working as a news anchor at NDTV, one of the country’s top news channels, in June last year, announcing in a Twitter post that she was taking up a job at Harvard as...

Grime artist has sentence increased to 30 years for rape and imprisonment

A grime artist who was serving 24 years in jail for imprisoning and repeatedly raping four women has had his sentence increased by six years.

Can I go for a walk with a friend in lockdown? Rules on meeting outside under England’s Covid restrictions

People should limit outdoors exercise to once a day under the new rules