News

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,...


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...


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...


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...


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

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


‘A scandal that needs putting right’: How fight for bereavement leave has stepped up in wake of coronavirus

When Stephen* lost his wife to cancer two years ago, he found himself struggling to cope with the devastation. Small tasks felt impossible. Mustering up the energy even to make a cup of tea became a Herculean effort. Yet 72 hours after his loss, he was expected into work as a teacher. Bosses at his school made it clear he was required back in the classroom. After three days of compassionate leave, he was told he should, to all intents and...


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


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.


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...


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...


Matt Hancock says he ‘hopes’ Covid-hit schools will be able to reopen by Easter (but it depends on the data)

Matt Hancock has said he “hopes” schools will be able to reopen by Easter, but it will depend on Covid-19 data. “I would hope so,” the Health Secretary said, when asked during an interview on Sky News if schools would be open then. “But...we’ve got to look at the data, we’ve got to look at the impact of the vaccination programme ... The education secretary said that he will ensure that schools have two weeks’ notice of return and I don’t know...


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


Matt Hancock reveals 77 cases of South Africa coronavirus variant found in UK

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr cases were under "very close" observation and enhanced contact tracing was under way


Boris Johnson warns of further Covid deaths in 'tough weeks to come'

Boris Johnson warns of further Covid deaths in 'tough weeks to come'


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....


Daily politics briefing: January 24

A look at the key figures and dates in the world of politics on January 24. Coronavirus vaccines may not fully prevent people from passing the virus on to others and people who have had the jab should still continue to abide by lockdown restrictions, the deputy chief medical officer for England said.


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

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told The Andrew Marr Show that there is no community transmission of the South African variant within the UK, saying "at the moment it is all linked to travel".


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...


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.


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...


Richard Keys claims he was "set up" in incident which saw him lose Sky Sports job

It has been ten years since Keys and his co-presenter Andy Gray left Sky after they were overheard making sexist comments


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...


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


Teachers have ‘good shout’ at being high on jab priority list after vulnerable

The Health Secretary said it was important to break the chains of transmission, but that those at highest risk of death needed to be protected first.


‘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...


Bodycam video reveals moment riot police storm 300-strong illegal rave in Hackney

Riot police have stormed an illegal rave attended by 300 people in east London after the doors were padlocked to stop them getting in. When the event on Saturday was broken up, dozens of revellers scaled fences at the rear and others forced open a gate to avoid a £200 fine for breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules. The Met Police on Sunday released bodycam footage of the moment officers stormed the illegal rave being held in a railway arch in...


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...


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...


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...


Survivor recalls mother and baby home ‘hellhole’

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


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.


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”.


Cultural warriors attacking ‘woke’ history care little for truth. It’s all political theatre

In the middle of a dark January, nine months into a pandemic, at the height of a second wave, with the consequences of Brexit finally becoming apparent, what was the great, burning issue at the forefront of everyone’s mind last week? According to housing minister, Robert Jenrick, the critical red button issue of the moment was the fate of the nations’ statues. Last summer, when the statue of Edward Colston was toppled by Black Lives Matter...


Chelsea Vs Luton, Frank Lampard Press Conference


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


Joe Biden's Inauguration.

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


Snow In London


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...


China-Taiwan tensions rise days into Biden presidency

China-Taiwan tensions rise days into Biden presidency


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...


Rioting youths in Dutch village set fire to coronavirus testing centre

Protesters also threw fireworks at police.


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...


Gavin Williamson to 'rule out pupils return after February half-term'

It is believed that Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, will within days rule out the full reopening of schools after the February half-term break.


Hancock 'worried' about new COVID variants

The health secretary has concerns about potential variants and says we "cannot risk the progress" already made.


They Married and Divorced 23 Times in a Month for a Scam

Divorcees Mr Pan and Ms Shi found an opportunity to exploit a the system through re-marriage. Except they didn't stop when they should have.


Lives will be lost if Boris Johnson fails to restart the Everyone In scheme

The Everyone In initiative, implemented during the first wave of the Covid-19 virus, took tens of thousands of rough sleepers off the streets and helped them start the transition into more secure and long-term accommodation. In the space of just 72 hours, this ambitious programme took thousands of people off the streets. It saved lives and shattered the illusion that homelessness is an intractable problem to solve. Since then, Boris Johnson’s...


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...


‘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.


Matt Hancock ramps up Cabinet war over border crackdown

Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave a strong hint he favours blanket curbs on arrivals ahead of a showdown in a key committee on Tuesday.