UK

New lockdown for England amid 'hardest weeks'

All schools and colleges will close to most pupils and switch to remote learning from Tuesday.

Boris Johnson urged people to follow the rules immediately amid surging cases and patient numbers.

He said those in the top four priority groups would receive a first vaccine dose by the middle of next month.

All care home residents and their carers, everyone aged 70 and over, all frontline health and social care workers, and the clinically extremely vulnerable will be offered one dose of a vaccine by mid-February.

New era for UK as it completes separation from European Union

The UK stopped following EU rules at 23:00GMT (midday NZ time), as replacement arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation came into force.

Boris Johnson said the UK had "freedom in our hands" and the ability to do things "differently and better" now the long Brexit process was over.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the UK remained a "friend and ally".

UK ministers have warned there will be some disruption in the coming days and weeks, as new rules bed in and British firms trading with the continent come to terms with the changes.

Nations impose UK travel bans over new variant

Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are all halting flights and travel. The measures vary and are initially generally short-term.

An EU meeting will be held on Monday morning to discuss a more co-ordinated response.

The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday introduced a new tier four level of restrictions for those areas, scrapping a planned relaxation of rules over the Christmas period for millions of people.

First batch of Covid vaccines arrives in the UK

It has been taken to a central hub at an undisclosed location, and will now be distributed to hospital vaccination centres around the UK.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses - enough to vaccinate 20 million people.

England's deputy chief medical officer said the first wave of vaccinations could prevent up to 99% of Covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths.

Speaking to BBC News, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said that would be possible if everyone on the first priority list took the vaccine and it was highly effective.

UK park stabbing suspect 'known to MI5'

Khairi Saadallah, 25, from the town, was arrested at the scene yesterday and police say they are not looking for anyone else over the terror incident.

Sources told the BBC he is originally from Libya and came to the attention of MI5 in 2019.

One victim has been named as teacher James Furlong - described by his school as "talented and inspirational".

Paying tribute to Furlong, head of history, government and politics at the Holt School in Wokingham, the school's co-heads said he was a "kind and gentle man" with a "real sense of duty".

Germany and France announce strict measures to stem spread of coronavirus

French President Emmanuel Macron announced an enforced lockdown, a step similar to curbs imposed by Italy and Spain, saying: "We're in a health war".

Mr Macron also said the European Union's external borders would be closed to travellers from Tuesday.

In Germany, most non-grocery shops and venues have been ordered to shut.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also banned religious services and told people to cancel any domestic or foreign holiday travel. Schools across the country have already been shut.

5G: EE launches UK's next-generation mobile network

5G mobile networks offer faster downloads, but customers will need a new handset to take advantage.

At first, the service will only be available in limited areas of Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester.

Rival Vodafone plans to switch on its 5G service in the coming weeks.

EE's lowest-priced deal is £54 a month plus a one-off £170 fee for a compatible handset. But this only includes 10GB of data a month, which can be used up quickly if you download lots of movies or games.

UK set for new PM by end of July as Theresa May quits

In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of "deep regret" that she had been unable to do so.

Mrs May said she would continue to serve as PM while a Conservative leadership contest took place.

The party said it hoped a new leader could be in place by the end of July.

It means Mrs May will still be prime minister when US President Donald Trump makes his state visit to the UK at the start of June.

Theresa May's deal is voted down in historic Commons defeat

MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain's exit from the EU on 29 March.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has now tabled a vote of no confidence in the government, which could trigger a general election.

The confidence vote is expected to be held at about 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

The defeat is a huge blow for Mrs May - who has spent more than two years hammering out a deal with the EU.

EU leaders agree UK's Brexit deal at Brussels summit

After 20 months of negotiations, the 27 leaders gave the deal their blessing after less than an hour's discussion.

They said the deal - which needs to be approved by the UK Parliament - paved the way for an "orderly withdrawal".

Theresa May said the deal "delivered for the British people" and set the UK "on course for a prosperous future".

Speaking in Brussels, she urged both Leave and Remain voters to unite behind the agreement, insisting the British public "do not want to spend any more time arguing about Brexit".