News

Three-quarters of over-80s receive first Covid-19 jabs as Peaky Blinders set becomes vaccination hub

The UK is ramping up the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations this week as it was revealed three-quarters of over-80s have had their first jab. Around six million doses of vaccine have already been administered - with Matt Hancock confirming on Sunday that a similar proportion of nursing home residents have also had their first dose. A further 32 vaccine sites are set to open across the country this week including one at the museum made famous as...


Matt Hancock says he ‘hopes’ Covid-hit schools will be able to reopen by Easter


Teachers have ‘good shout’ at being high on jab priority list after vulnerable, says Health Secretary

Covid rates among teaching staff have been up to four times higher than the local average in some areas of England


Nicola Sturgeon insists ‘I did not mislead Parliament’ as investigation into Alex Salmond affair stepped up

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she “did not mislead” the Scottish Parliament, as an investigation into the Alex Salmond affair is stepped up. The SNP First Minister faced tough questions after a dramatic escalation of a bitter row over the non-disclosure of legal papers, with prosecutors set to release key evidence. Mr Salmond, the former leader, alleges WhatsApp messages suggest Peter Murrell – the SNP’s chief executive and Ms Sturgeon’s husband...


South African astronomy has a long, rich history of discovery — and a promising future

The South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town is the oldest permanent observatory in the southern hemisphere: it turned 200 in 2020.


Amanda Gorman at Biden's inauguration reminded me: politics needs poetry

Obama-endorsed and wearing gold-clipped braids and Oprah-gifted earrings, 22-year old poet Amanada Gorman and her poem The Hill We Climb have been the talking point of Biden’s inauguration.


The government is attempting to make it harder to change your name – devastating news for millions of women and victims of abuse

Is there no issue so straightforward that this government does not believe the best way to solve it is through the application of a sledgehammer? Judging by recent proposals, designed to resolve the easily containable problem of sex offenders evading detection, but likely, in fact, to penalise millions – mostly innocent women – and simultaneously over-turn a centuries old right, the answer has to be a thundering, thudding, “No!” Late last year,...


Winter Wonderland: Snow sweeps across London as Met Office issues new weather warnings

Snow swept across London on Sunday as forecasters warned of hazardous conditions. Many took to social media to share pictures of heavy snowfall outside their homes as the capital was gripped by a cold snap from Iceland and the Arctic. Overnight, the capital shivered in temperatures as low as -3C. A Transport for London roadside CCTV camera was among the first to capture a blizzard on the A4 Sipson Road near Heathrow. By 11am, heavy snow was...


The Environment Bill is fundamentally flawed – too weak and unenforceable

The UK is now out of the EU and we have lost many of the environmental protections that came with membership. If we are to avoid any risk of a return to being the “dirty man of Europe”, those protections urgently need to be restored and strengthened. The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. In the course of my lifetime, populations of some of our most important wildlife have plummeted by over a half, and the situation is...


Can't Even by Anne Helen Petersen review – genuinely enlightening on the millennial experience

In January 2019, Anne Helen Petersen’s BuzzFeed long read on millennial burnout went viral, attracting more than 7 million readers. My initial reaction was an eye-roll. I am a millennial. I know we’re all burned out, but I also know complaining about that only makes people hate us more. If there’s one thing more common than a complaining millennial, it’s a boomer complaining about complaining millennials. And anyway, I didn’t have time to read...


Urban clickbait? Why 'iconic architecture' is all the rage again

An image opens on my screen: a 2,000-seat theatre on the edge lands of Guangzhou, a territory of raw new towers and just-departed rural ghosts, designed to look like a swirl of red silk, imprinted with “tattoos” of phoenixes, cranes and other ornithology. It refers, goes the explanatory text, to Guangzhou’s historic role as “the birthplace of the silk road on the sea”. It is a declaration of something where there was formerly nothing, a...


Russian police violence under review after mass arrests at Navalny protests

More than 3,300 protesters were arrested at demonstrations in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, a monitor reported Sunday, as prosecutors probed possible violence "on the part of law enforcement". Police clashed with demonstrators in Moscow as tens of thousands took to the streets across the country on Saturday following Navalny's call to protest against President Vladimir Putin's rule. Putin's most charismatic critic was detained...


New Zealand records first community coronavirus case in months

New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months, although there was no immediate evidence the virus was spreading in the community. Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from four months travelling in Spain and the Netherlands. Like other returning travellers, she spent 14 days in quarantine and twice tested...


Revealed: The 10 Areas Of England Where Covid Cases Have Risen Again

Coronavirus infections have risen in ten areas of England, just days after it was reported they were going down across the entire country. According to the latest NHS data, a number of places mostly in Yorkshire and the North East had a higher number of confirmed Covid cases on 21 January than they did seven days previously. Barnsley has seen the sharpest rise with a 24% increase in cases, followed by Bradford (15%) and Wakefield (12%) These...


France imposes new border controls in effort to curb Covid-19

New border controls went into force in France on Sunday as part of a massive effort to contain the spread of Covid-19 and avoid another nationwide lockdown. After a slow start to vaccinations, French health authorities reported that a million people had received coronavirus inoculations by Saturday. But stubbornly high new rates for infections, hospitalisations and Covid deaths fuelled fears France may need another full lockdown, which would be...


Iconic Rugeley power station chimney is demolished

A small crowd gathered to watch the demolition of the Rugeley Power Station's chimney this morning which has been an iconic part of the Staffordshire skyline since it opened in 1964.


Still 'a long, long way' until lockdown restrictions can be lifted - Hancock

It is still a "long, long, long way" before coronavirus cases are low enough for lockdown to be lifted, the health secretary has told Sky News.


EU says it will make vaccine companies respect supply contracts - Michel

EU says it will make vaccine companies respect supply contracts - Michel


Boost for teachers' vaccine hopes but uncertainty over schools reopening

Teachers have a "good shout" to be "very high" on the next priority list for a coronavirus vaccine, the health secretary has told Sky News.


People could end up needing an annual Covid-19 shot like the flu jab, vaccines chief says

Vaccines may become an annual occurrence as new variants 'pop up in all sorts of different countries'


HSBC chiefs face scrutiny over freezing Hong Kong pro-democracy accounts

HSBC’s (HSBA.L) chief executive and the bank’s chief compliance officer will be questioned my UK MPs next week over the bank’s freezing of the account of a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist. The bank faced backlash last summer after it issued a statement in favour of a new national security law in Hong Kong that handed China sweeping powers over the former British territory. It has since avoided public comments on the deepening crisis as its...


Snow In London


Keep focus on Covid, not a ‘reckless’ border poll, says Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster has said a border poll on a united Ireland would be “absolutely reckless”.


‘Asia’s El Chapo’ arrested by police in Amsterdam

Dutch police have arrested the alleged leader of one of the world’s biggest drug gangs.


SAS soldiers will be allowed to keep their beards when back in camp

Elite members of the SAS and SBS will now be allowed to keep the beards they grew during operations when they return home under new military rules.


Trump once got tricked into a phone call with a prankster pretending to be Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan has revealed that a prankster pretending to be him called former US president Donald Trump on Air Force One last year – and ended up having an entire conversation with him. The Good Morning Britain presenter said the former president only realised he had been pranked when he called Morgan the next day. The incident apparently happened in October but Morgan spoke about it for the first time on the BBC's Americast podcast this week....


As birth rates fall, animals prowl in our abandoned 'ghost villages'

For many years it seemed that overpopulation was the looming crisis of our age. Back in 1968, the Stanford biologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich infamously predicted that millions would soon starve to death in their bestselling, doom-saying book The Population Bomb; since then, neo-Malthusian rumblings of imminent disaster have been a continual refrain in certain sections of the environmental movement – fears that were recently given voice on David...


Covid vaccine boss confirms jab priority order after the over-70s might change

Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), today said teachers could be prioritised if jabs are found to prevent Covid transmission


Survivor recalls mother and baby home ‘hellhole’

Adele, 69, was sent to the Marianvale home in Newry when she was 17 after falling pregnant.


William and Kate welcome new spaniel puppy

The dog was a gift from the duchess’s brother James.


Nearly 95% of councils want to delay May elections again to keep people safe

A number of elections are due to be held later this year, in England including those for the Mayor of London, local authorities in England, and police and crime commissioners


US Capitol Hill rioter ‘threatened to assassinate’ Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Garret Miller is facing five separate charges, from insurrection and trespassing to making death threats


London international mime festival: 5 Short Films review – now everyone can watch

My heart went out to Jonathan Agnew, having to commentate on England’s first Test by watching the television in his attic instead of being in Sri Lanka’s Galle stadium, because of a Covid travel ban. “You don’t feel in the game,” Aggers told a BBC news reporter, after opening Test Match Special from his home. I know how he feels, but there are compensations to on-screen experiences. This week, from my attic, I’ve been watching short films...


Biden news - live: President to reverse ‘draconian’ migration policies as Boris Johnson presses for trade deal

Joe Biden will end the Trump administration’s “draconian” immigration policies, the president has told his Mexican counterpart, after a flurry of policies and executive orders in the first days of his administration. A White House readout of the call between the two leaders said a priority would be “reversing the previous administration’s draconian immigration policies". In a separate call, Boris Johnson made clear to Mr Biden on Saturday that...


In Pictures: Fun in the snow as temperatures tumble

Temperatures across the whole of the UK have dipped below freezing.


Rioting youths in Dutch village set fire to coronavirus testing centre

Protesters also threw fireworks at police.


Labour bids to be seen as able and competent, not bold and radical

Big economic shocks tend to do for prime ministers. Jim Callaghan was finished after the winter of discontent, and the writing was on the wall for John Major once the Bank of England lost its fight with George Soros and his fellow speculators on Black Wednesday. Gordon Brown would have had a decent chance of beating David Cameron had it not been for the financial crash. Brown’s defeat in 2010 was the start of a run of four election defeats for...


More than £15,000 in fines handed out following illegal rave in east London

Officers from the Metropolitan Police attended a venue under a railway arch in Nursery Road in Hackney in the early hours of Sunday morning.


UK vaccination drive expands as virus toll nears 100,000

LONDON (AP) — Britain is expanding a coronavirus vaccination program that has seen almost 6 million people get the first of two doses — even as the country’s death toll in the pandemic approaches 100,000. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that three-quarters of the U.K.’s over-80s have received a vaccine shot. He said three-quarters of nursing home residents have also had their first jab. Almost 5.9 million doses of vaccine had been...


Joe Biden's Inauguration.

2021-01-21 00:11 Joe Biden's Inauguration.


‘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. What new restrictions could there be? “We are continuing to monitor Covid-19 rates and new strains of the virus across the globe, this alongside the suspension of travel corridors and pre-departure testing will help protect our borders,” said the transport...


Met police officer faces new hearing over death of mentally ill black man

A senior police officer cleared of misconduct over the high-profile death of a mentally ill black man is to face fresh disciplinary proceedings because of failings in the original case, the Observer can reveal.


Why Biden's immigration plan may be risky for Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is confronting the political risk that comes with grand ambition. As one of his first acts, Biden offered a sweeping immigration overhaul last week that would provide a path to U.S. citizenship for the estimated 11 million people who are in the United States illegally. It would also codify provisions wiping out some of President Donald Trump's signature hard-line policies, including trying to end existing,...


China-Taiwan tensions rise days into Biden presidency

China-Taiwan tensions rise days into Biden presidency


UK vaccine adviser says delay of Covid second dose will save lives

A representative of the UK’s vaccine advisory committee has defended its decision to delay a second dose, saying it will “save many lives”, as the health secretary, Matt Hancock, warned lifting restrictions was “a long, long way off”. Prof Anthony Harnden of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said the evidence was still in favour of delaying the dose, after a small Israeli study of over-60s suggested a first dose gave...


Matt Hancock: No community transmission of South African variant within UK


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...


President pro tempore of the US Senate makes cameo in The Dark Knight


Wormholes may be lurking in the universe — and new studies are proposing ways of finding them

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity profoundly changed our thinking about fundamental concepts in physics, such as space and time.


Woman, 60, killed in Co Dublin car crash

Gardai are appealing for anyone with information about the two-car collision at Blakes Cross in Lusk to come forward.