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COVID alert level downgraded as threat of NHS being overwhelmed recedes

The UK's COVID-19 alert level has been downgraded as the threat of the NHS being overwhelmed recedes.

COVID alert level drops: What it means and what needs to happen for it to fall further

The UK introduced a COVID alert level system in May 2020 to reflect the degree of threat to the country from the virus.

UK reports another 323 coronavirus deaths and 9,985 cases - as first jab count tops 18.6 million

More than 18.6 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, and second jabs have hit 700,000.

Lady Gaga offers $500k reward after dog walker shot and pets stolen

Lady Gaga is understood to be offering a $500,000 reward for the safe return of two of her beloved dogs after her friend was shot as he was walking them.

Nicola Sturgeon accused of damaging Scotland's institution to 'save her own skin'

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of damaging Scotland's institution to "save her own skin".

'We won't be here in four years' time': PM warned he risks losing Red Wall seats ahead of Budget

Boris Johnson has been told not to raise business taxes in next week's Budget by Tory MPs in the North - as new Conservatives MPs told Sky News they "won't be here in four years' time" if he doesn't deliver funding for major projects.

Perseverance rover takes 11 million earthling names to Mars

Nearly 11 million people landed on Mars last week - even if it was just in names only.

'He saved Britney's life': Lawyer for Spears' father breaks silence over conservatorship

A lawyer for Britney Spears' father has given his side of the story, speaking out for the first time since a high-profile documentary was released questioning the singer's conservatorship.

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists

Decline in system underpinning Gulf Stream could lead to more extreme weather in Europe and higher sea levels on US east coastThe Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium,…

Nicola Sturgeon challenged over alleged naming of Salmond complainer

First minister pressed on what action she took over claims woman’s identity was revealed to former Salmond aideNicola Sturgeon has come under intense pressure to explain what action she took over allegations that a complainer against Alex Salmond was named to one of his former aides.During fiery exchanges in the…

Revealed: four in five Oxford Covid jabs delivered to EU not yet used

Guardian finding comes as Angela Merkel talks of vaccine’s ‘acceptance problem’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFour out of five of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses delivered to EU countries are yet to be used on a patient, a Guardian investigation has found, as the German chancellor Angela Merkel admitted…

New BBC chair managed firm that funded controversial property company

Exclusive: Richard Sharp is linked to firm accused of building ‘ghettoes for the vulnerable’A property company accused of cramming homeless and low-income families into former office blocks has been funded by an investment group managed by the new chair of the BBC.Richard Sharp was a senior member of RoundShield Partners,…

Concerns raised over 'squalid' Serco asylum seeker housing in Derby

Council arranging inspection as photos show missing plaster, rubble in shower and hole in ceilingA council is arranging an urgent inspection of asylum seeker accommodation in Derby after concerns were raised about conditions there.Photos of the property seen by the Guardian show part of the kitchen ceiling missing, rubble in…

Killings of black people in England and Wales at highest level since 2002

105 black people were victims of murder and manslaughter in year up to March 2020The number of black victims of homicide in England and Wales has climbed to its highest level in nearly two decades, official figures have revealed.A total of 105 black victims of murder and manslaughter were recorded…

Number of new FGM cases referred to NHS in England down by a quarter

Campaigners caution that drop may be down to difficulties in accessing services during Covid pandemicThe number of new female genital mutilation cases referred to NHS services in England has fallen by a quarter, prompting charities and campaigners to warn that the drop may be down to difficulties in accessing services…

Ronald Pickup, much-loved star of stage and screen, dies aged 80

The actor found global fame with The Crown and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, following a prolific and acclaimed career in the theatre and on televisionRonald Pickup, a highly respected stage actor best known for his roles in The Crown and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films, has died at…

India rout England by 10 wickets inside two days of third Test

England 112 and 81; India 145 and 49-0 Patel and Ashwin unplayable as India go 2-1 up in seriesA Test match that was already hurtling along on the first day was all over on the second when, shortly after the dinner break, Rohit Sharma twinkle-toed down the pitch and launched…

Arsenal v Benfica, Rangers v Antwerp: Europa League clockwatch –  live!

Europa League updates from all of the second-leg gamesA season of Aldridge, Richardson and Atkinson at la RealAnd feel free to email Ben or tweet @BenFisherj 6.44pm GMT Arsenal 1-1 Benfica (2-2 on agg)Hoffenheim 0-1 Molde (3-4)Ajax 1-0 Lille (3-1)Napoli 1-1 Granada (1-3)Rangers 1-1 Antwerp (5-4)Shakhtar D 0-0 M Tel…

France's Six Nations postponement leaves a mess destined to dilute grand finale | Robert Kitson

The rescheduling of France’s game against Scotland damages the competition’s momentum and is a logistical headacheAnother day, another massive headache for rugby union’s beleaguered administrators. If you think the late postponement of Sunday’s France v Scotland game in the Six Nations is no big deal, welcome to the notorious labyrinth…

Former USA Gymnastics coach charged with human trafficking, sexual assault

John Geddert, 63, charged with 24 crimes in Michigan courtAttorney general has scheduled afternoon news conferenceGeddert coached 2012 US women’s Olympic gymnastics team A former US Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar was charged Thursday with two dozen crimes, including sexual assault, human trafficking and…

Altior may get cheekpieces to sharpen him up at Cheltenham Festival

Nicky Henderson says 11-year-old ‘couldn’t be better’Trainer bullish about Shishkin for Arkle TrophyAltior could be fitted with headgear for the first time when he returns to the Cheltenham Festival next month, seeking to recover his crown in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Nicky Henderson said on Thursday there is a…

George North returns to face England in Wales' most experienced team

North will win his 100th cap in the Six Nations matchWayne Pivac: ‘England are the team to beat’ Wayne Pivac’s response when asked if he agreed that England were boring was immediate. “People can think what they like,” said the Wales head coach. “They have only lost one game in…

Are the Olympics heading to Australia again? Key questions about Brisbane 2032 answered | Kieran Pender

Brisbane has been installed as the IOC’s ‘preferred partner’ to host the 2032 Games and it appears the event is now Queensland’s to loseOn Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee named Brisbane as the “preferred partner” to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. What does this mean? Should you book…

Caster Semenya launches final bid to save career and defend Olympic title

Semenya takes fight to European court of human rights‘All we ask is to be allowed to run free, for once and for all’The double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya has filed an application to the European court of human rights in a final bid to save her career and overturn…

10 songs that bring back memories of my travels: Emma John's playlist

The Highlands, Texas, India and the Chilterns are among places that have inspired our writer – herself a bluegrass fiddler – through musicI first met the trio behind this track in a hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond. They were recording for a TV series, and the vast window…

10 of the best beaches for a winter walk: readers' tips

For a cleansing blast of cold air, nothing beats a seaside hike. From the Atlantic to the Channel, readers pick their favouritesLlanddona beach is a long sandy beach stretching to Red Wharf Bay, on the eastern side of Anglesey. Deserted in winter, it’s a wonderful place for adults, children and…

‘Tonight will be a great feast’: My mountain rescue in Croatia

In our third travel encounter, the writer is battered by a blizzard in the Velebit mountains but saved by Tomaš and his homemade wine The blizzard hit me about two hours after I’d started climbing the mountain. A furious wind drove through the pine trees, making their trunks writhe and…

Greece in talks with UK to allow holidays with vaccine passports

Greek tourism minister says he hopes to ‘dovetail’ with Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageGreece is in “technical” talks with the UK over allowing Britons carrying a vaccine passport to travel to its tourist hotspots from May despite concerns in Brussels and…

Kate Humble on walking – and how to improve it: ‘The rhythm is really good for your brain’

The TV presenter thinks our newfound love of walking will persist after lockdown. She talks about hiking around Britain’s coast, the joy of newborn lambs and the true meaning of liberationIt is a rare day that Kate Humble doesn’t get up and get outside, walking out from her farm in…

12 of Britain's best new campsites and glamping holidays

Lockdown easing may see campsites open by mid-May. From wild fields to stylish treehouses, these sites are worth checking out – but be quick, demand is high The numbers are significant: 250 new campsites so far this year on booking portal Pitch Up, 100 new glamping locations on the Canopy…

Peak cabin: a fire-spotter's lonely vantage point in Washington state

Continuing our series about memorable encounters, we hear the story of the fire watchman of Desolation Peak in Washington StateA few years ago, I travelled to the Cascade mountains of Washington state to research fire lookouts – crow’s nests for smoke spotters to raise the alarm in case of forest…

10 songs that bring back memories of my travels: Lois Pryce's playlist

Songs from a desert hut in the Sahara to a pick-up truck in Alaska – and a men’s prison in Belgium – have kept the author going in lockdownBoats have featured in my travels ever since the mid-90s when, aged 22, I bought a narrowboat to live on. I was…

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Call of Duty: Warzone Players Already Hate the New Intro Video

Played before every single match.Season Two has arrived in Call of Duty: Warzone, bringing with it a new location to visit on the Verdansk map and lots of other content. However, the community has already found something it dislikes. And to be fair to them, it's a very legitimate frustration.…

Madden NFL 21 Coming to EA Play Next Week, Star Wars Squadrons in March

Flag on the play.Update: EA has announced more of what it has in store for its EA Play subscription service over the coming months, with Star Wars Squadrons also set to join the vault in March. There’s no word on when the dogfighting title will be available for members to…

GTA Online Adds a Weaponized Dinghy in This Week's Update

Free sunglasses up for grabs.Looking to wreak some havoc on the ordinarily serene shores of Los Santos? You may want to pick up the Nagasaki Weaponized Dinghy, which is available this week in GTA Online. You can grab it from the Warstock Cache & Carry, and while you’re there, remember…

Subnautica: Below Zero Takes a Dip on PS5, PS4 in May

Bandai Namco to publish.You may recall that, last month, a rating for Subnautica: Below Zero crept onto ESRB's website. Age ratings don't just appear for no reason, so it was a pretty big clue that the follow-up to the beloved underwater survival game was heading to consoles. Sure enough, it's…

Outriders PS5, PS4 Demo Available to Download Now

Carry your progress over.Ahead of its release on 1st April 2021, the expansive Outriders demo is now available to download on both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. The pre-release test weighs in at roughly 22GB on both consoles and grants you access to the full game's prologue and opening chapter,…

Hot Wheels Unleashed Races to PS5, PS4 on 30th September

Lead the way.Well, it leaked weeks ago, but now it’s official: Hot Wheels Unleashed is racing to the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on 30th September. Developed by the ever-industrious Milestone, the game will see you “drift, boost, jump, and crash on Hot Wheels’ iconic orange tracks in various single…

Guide: New PS5, PS4 Games This Week (22nd February to 28th February)

Persona 5 Strikers! Curse of the Dead Gods! More!What new PS5 and PS4 games are releasing in physical retailers and as part of the PlayStation Store update this week? Sure, the PlayStation 5 may be the new hotness, but the PlayStation 4 is eager to prove there's life left in…

Apparently, Some Cyberpunk 2077 Devs Have Been Locked Out of Their Workstations

Following cyber-attack on CD Projekt RED.CD Projekt RED delayed a crucial Cyberpunk 2077 patch yesterday, explaining that it’ll no longer release in February, and is targeting a mid-March release window instead. The Polish developer had previously pledged that the pivotal update would massively improve the sci-fi RPG, after its initial…

Texas' Icy Disaster Makes the Case for Uniting the US Grid

The national grid is split into sections that can't share much power. Connecting them won't be cheap or easy, but it will help usher in the future of energy.

Clubhouse Is Booming. So Is the Ecosystem Around It

A wave of startups, features, and tools has sprung up around the popular audio app. And some are looking to cash in.

Lora DiCarlo's Baci Has Plenty of Suction Power to Satisfy

This space-age solo suction sex toy is a great way to add some self-care to your day.

California Can Now Enforce Its Net Neutrality Law

A judge ruled earlier this week on the law, which has faced challenges from lobbyists representing internet providers as well as the Trump administration.

The Terrible T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Must Be Undone

It should have never been allowed, and it’s led to anticompetitive behavior. The Antitrust Division needs to roll it back.

How This Old-School Road Runner Learned to Love Virtual Races

Virtual racing means cool swag, inventive race-day encouragement, and a pre-race bathroom to call your own. Here's how you can get to the starting line.

The 5 Best Apps to Get Live TV Without Cable

You don’t have to give up sports or talk shows when you cut the cord. These apps let you stream the same TV channels over the internet.

This Smart Panel Knows Your Electrical System's Cheat Code

Span's electrical panel uses a mobile app to control a home's circuits. It's an essential upgrade for those with a solar battery backup system.

Texas' Icy Disaster Makes the Case for Uniting the US Grid

The national grid is split into sections that can't share much power. Connecting them won't be cheap or easy, but it will help usher in the future of energy.

Twinkling Black Holes Reveal an Invisible Cloud in Our Galaxy

Cosmic radio backlights are helping scientists size up “missing” forms of matter and might offer clues about what makes up the universe.

When the Grid Goes Down, Can a Fleet of Batteries Replace It?

In a power crisis, maybe the solution is a network of smaller energy sources distributed across multiple places—like your garage.

What a 1900s Wildlife Survey Reveals About Climate Change

A century ago, a biologist counted California's desert animals. Now researchers are retracing his steps—and the results are surprising.

How to Remember a Disaster Without Being Shattered by It

Margaret McKinnon survived a midair catastrophe, then became a major researcher of memory and trauma. Now she’s studying how the pandemic will haunt us.

Perseverance’s Eyes See a Different Mars

The Red Planet’s red looks different to an Earthling than it would to a Martian—or to a robot with hyperspectral cameras for eyes.

The Mantis Shrimp Inspires a New Material—Made by Bacteria

By 3D-printing scaffolds and dipping them in microbe juice, scientists make robust structures that could one day lead to self-growing roads.

Cheese Actually Isn’t Bad for You

Don’t feel sheepish reaching for that manchego. Cheese doesn’t deserve its unhealthy reputation.