Friday morning news briefing: Madeleine suspect was ruled out

Danny Boyle
Madeleine McCann was snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007. - PA

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Vital mistakes made after Madeleine vanished

It was a blunder that meant the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann's abduction spent a decade at liberty. The 43-year-old German man suspected of murdering the three-year-old was discounted by Portuguese police just months after her disappearance. It can be revealed that the convicted child sex offender, drug dealer and burglar - named as Christian B - was first investigated by Portugal's Policia Judiciaria at the time. But, as Crime Correspondent Martin Evans reports, he was ruled out when detectives changed the focus of their investigation and wrongly declared Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, to be official suspects. Christian B had been living near Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in May 2007. He had a reputation as a bit of a "flash Harry". The reality, it has now emerged, was murkier; much, much murkier. Chief Reporter Robert Mendick has the inside story. What happens next? Justin Huggler writes from Berlin that detectives are seeking witnesses - but are a long way from charging the suspect.

Thirteen years after her disappearance, Madeleine's bedroom remains untouched and a local school keeps a place open in case she returns. Will her parents soon find closure? Joe Shute profiles a family frozen in time, still searching for answers. And Miranda Levy reflects on the ordeal of Kate, vilified over the years for not showing emotion publicly.

Foreign states 'trying to steal UK vaccine secrets'

The head of GCHQ has warned that foreign states are trying to steal information about Britain's attempts to create a vaccine for coronavirus. Jeremy Fleming, the director of Britain's cyber spy agency, confirmed it had seen attacks on the UK's health infrastructure. Defence and Security Correspondent Dominic Nicholls explains how states and criminals are "going after things which are sensitive to us". Meanwhile, the delicate balance between restarting economies and avoiding a second wave of coronavirus is being played out across the world. Science Editor Sarah Knapton examines the 11 countries that have reimposed restrictions.

Bald men 'at greater risk' of severe coronavirus

Emerging evidence suggests bald men may be at higher risk of suffering severe coronavirus symptoms. A Public Health England report found working-age males were twice as likely as females to die after being diagnosed with Covid-19. Scientists have been at a loss as to why. But increasingly they believe it could be because androgens - male sex hormones like testosterone - may play a part not only in hair loss, but in boosting the ability of coronavirus to attack cells. Read the full details. PS: For more insight and analysis from our experts, I can recommend listening to our daily podcast, Coronavirus: The Latest. For unlimited access to all of our journalism, try our subscription offer. Take a free one-month trial - then save 50pc on your first three months.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Black Lives Matter | Soldiers from the Household Cavalry were heckled by a group of protesters as they cleaned graffiti daubed on a Whitehall war memorial. Watch video of two women haranguing the group, who were in civilian clothing while scrubbing the Grade II-listed Haig Memorial that had been sprayed with abusive comments about the police. Meanwhile, US civil rights groups are suing Donald Trump after security forces fired pepper balls and smoke bombs to clear peaceful demonstrators outside the White House. Follow updates in our liveblog.  

You Are Not Alone: Getting you through the crisis

  1. Luxe appeal | How to prepare your garden for a chic socially-distanced summer party
  2. You're hired How Zoom job interviews are getting people back to work
  3. Homeschooling | What this radical 1950s education project can teach us

Comment and analysis

Life after lockdown: Finland infections fall

Finland's coronavirus infection rate has continued to decline despite the reopening of schools. Read Richard Orange's dispatch from Malmo amid growing international evidence that classes can restart safely. And view a gallery of how lockdown is being lifted around the world.

Primary school pupils returned to their classes in Helsinki last month - REUTERS

Business and money briefing

Quarantine | British Airways is embroiled in a row with the Government after boycotting an industry summit over Home Secretary Priti Patel's quarantine plans. Britain's largest airline failed to turn up amid claims by industry sources that it believed the quarantine to be unworkable, economically damaging and the meeting a "waste of time".  

Sport briefing

Deal done? | Chelsea appear to have pulled off a major transfer coup ahead of the restart of the Premier League in two weeks' time after RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner agreed to move to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have moved to sign the 24-year-old German international after Liverpool did not meet his release clause, reported to be worth £53m.  

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Through the keyhole | Formerly owned by Cecil Beaton, the house that hosted Greta Garbo, Mick Jagger and the Queen Mother could be yours next… for £4million. Zoe Dare Hall investigates if Reddish House, in Wiltshire, is the most idyllic country home on the market