Thursday evening news briefing: Covid vaccine divide revealed

Chris Price
·6-min read
Derek Mersh, 82, receives the Oxford vaccine at Superdrug in Guildford - Matt Alexander/PA
Derek Mersh, 82, receives the Oxford vaccine at Superdrug in Guildford - Matt Alexander/PA

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No 10 defends vaccine rollout as London lags behind

Downing Street has defended its start to the vaccination rollout despite new data revealing London has only received a tenth of the vaccinations supplied across the country. The Midlands has administered more doses than any other area with a total of 447,329 jabs given in the region. By contrast, London has delivered just 237,524 doses. The capital's mayor Sadiq Khan said he was "hugely concerned". Read a breakdown of the Covid vaccine's regional divide and follow whether the UK is on target to end the lockdown with our vaccinations tracker. It comes as the Scottish Government has been forced to retract its Covid-19 vaccine delivery plan following a major backlash from UK ministers and manufacturers. Read why there is concern the disclosure could lead to vaccine manufacturers, such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca, facing disputes with other countries.

Meanwhile, the Government has banned international arrivals from the whole of South America, as well as Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde, over concerns about the spread of a mutant strain of coronavirus. The new restrictions will come into effect at 4am tomorrow, giving returning travellers just 12 hours to find their way home. Given the chaos, Nick Trend analyses whether readers should book a holiday for the spring.

'Death is the remedy': US rioter to Telegraph journalist

It was January 6. A violent mob had just stormed the US Capitol building. As Rozina Sabur spoke to rioters outside, she could tell that one of the men near her – a striking, shaggy-haired man – had been in the centre of the unrest. As she approached him, his comments were so shocking she assumed they were a consequence of the tense atmosphere. But cross-referencing her footage showed the encounter had come just minutes after he had allegedly assaulted a police officer. Click here to watch the striking video. So what is next for Donald Trump? Here is the latest. Meanwhile, Farhad Heydari analyses how the outgoing president's gold standard golf courses have been ruined by the toxicity of the brand.

World's oldest known cave painting found in Indonesia

Archaeologists have discovered the world's oldest known cave painting: a life-sized picture of a wild pig that was made at least 45,500 years ago in Indonesia. The finding described in the journal Science Advances provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region. It was found in 2017 in the Leang Tedongnge cave on the island of Sulawesi, which is located in a remote valley enclosed by sheer limestone cliffs, about an hour's walk from the nearest road. Click here to see it.

At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

BBC's Brexit coverage | The BBC's flagship programme Question Time had "more Remainers than Brexiteers" in the run-up to the referendum, the Government's preferred candidate for the next chairman of the broadcaster has said. Read what Richard Sharp told MPs.

Around the world: China blames steamed buns

China has waged a propaganda campaign to push its narrative that the coronavirus existed abroad before being brought into and discovered in Wuhan, even blaming an initial infection in a current cluster outbreak on an imported virus strain that had supposedly contaminated a package of steamed buns. Since the start of the pandemic, Chinese officials have been quick to seed a number of conspiracy theories. Sophia Yan analyses how intense paranoia inside China has sent the country into overdrive to restore its international reputation.

Thursday interview

'I'd like to see children's sports restarting before the pubs open'

Jo Pavey and her children
Jo Pavey and her children

Jo Pavey worries about the impact lockdown is having on children's physical fitness and feels the government should make it a priority issue

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

You've got this: Getting you through lockdown

  1. Market town's magic | 'I left London to join the mums of Amersham - now I know their secret'

  2. The psychology of missing post | Why we find it so disturbing when letters don't arrive

  3. Natural wonder | England's greatest wildlife spectacle – just a couple of hours from London

Business and money briefing

Solar close and yet solar far | In an industrial park just outside Berlin, a British business is about to go into production with a new type of solar panel it says could revolutionise green energy. Justin Huggler reveals why Oxford PV, dubbed the Tesla of solar energy, chose Germany.

Sport briefing

Sri Lanka v England | England's knack of starting Test series poorly ended in Galle this morning thanks to one of the worst ever batting performances by an amateurish Sri Lankan team. Indeed, the side's batting was derided as "farcical", "utter garbage" and "some of the worst Test match batting I have ever seen," as they collapsed on the first day.

Tonight's TV

Hadrian's Wall with Robson Green, Channel 5, 9pm | With just some boots, a rucksack, a tent and his hardy Geordie countenance, one of Channel 5's marquee names embarks on the 84-mile ramble along Hadrian's Wall. Read more.

And finally... for this evening's downtime

'I'd love to own the Beatles' | Buying back catalogues of stars including Shakira and Neil Young is likely to make music investment company Hipgnosis $30b. Who's behind it? James Hall meets the man spending millions buying up your favourite songs.