• Celebrity
    Yahoo Lifestyle

    Prince Charles 'withdraws financial support' for Harry, Meghan

    Clarence House was previously in charge of handling any mail sent for the Sussexes. But that will soon change.

  • News
    Yahoo News UK

    COVID infections now rising in 55 areas – map shows rate in your area

    One in seven areas of the UK have seen a weekly rise in COVID cases, the latest government data reveals.

  • News
    The Independent

    Mother and daughter die after 11 family members catch Covid meeting on Christmas Day

    Their family has already raised more than £15,200 in charity for hospital services

  • News
    The Telegraph

    EU unity in face of coronavirus under pressure over vaccines supplies

    Austria and Denmark have become the latest EU countries to break away from Brussels' vaccines strategy, raising fears that the bloc's unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic was crumbling. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday night said that Austria would work with Israel and Denmark on second generation coronavirus vaccines and “no longer rely on the EU in the future”. It is widely seen as a rebuke to the European Commission-led joint procurement scheme for vaccines, which has lagged far behind the UK, Israel and US, and involved negotiating for supplies as a bloc. Mr Kurz told Bild, Germany’s biggest selling newspaper, that the European Medicines Agency had been “too slow” in approving the jabs. "We must therefore prepare for further mutations and should no longer be dependent only on the EU for the production of second-generation vaccines," he said. Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that she had already bid for supplies of Israel’s leftover vaccines in another sign of the disintegrating confidence in Brussels to deliver the jabs. 7.54 doses per 100 people have been administered in the EU, compared to 31.58 in the UK and 89.99 in Israel. Austria has given 7.4 doses per 100 people and Denmark 11 doses. Mr Kurz is due to travel with Ms Frederiksen to see Israel's rapid vaccine roll-out up close in a visit that will cause blushes in Brussels. An EU diplomat said the joint procurement strategy was “born out of fear” that smaller countries would miss out. “That said if all the smaller chickens are leaving the nest it begs the question why we initiated joint procurement at all,” the diplomat said. "You can't have enough vaccines that are effective against the different virus strands," a second EU diplomat from a major member state said in Brussels. "So we should wish them luck - I guess." The European Commission's preference is for member states to stick to the joint approach because side deals sap the bloc’s negotiating power. EU rules allow national governments to approve and buy vaccines which are not part of the joint scheme, such as the Russian Sputnik and Chinese vaccines. Other EU leaders have already moved to secure national supplies of the vaccines rather than wait for the EU scheme, which involved countries negotiating as a bloc to drive down prices. Last night, Poland’s President talked to China’s leader Xi Jinping about a possible purchase of Chinese vaccines. Slovakia took the first delivery of two million doses of the Sputnik vaccine, which has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency, on Monday. Andrej Babis, the Czech prime minister, said he would not wait for the EU regulator before buying Sputnik. Hungary has already approved and bought Sputnik without waiting for the EU regulator and is also the first member state to approve the Chinese vaccine. On Sunday, Viktor Orbán, the prime minister, posted a photo of himself being vaccinated by the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. Budapest has bought 2m doses of Sputnik and 5m jabs of Sinopharm. The authoritarian leader attacked the EU scheme in late February. “We’ve sought to do something together that we could have managed more successfully on an individual basis – take a look at the examples of Britain or Serbia,” he said. Regional leaders in France said they would try and negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies in January but have so far had no success. Germany ordered 30 million extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine outside of the scheme in September. Berlin also has a separate order of 20m doses with CureVac. “We have all agreed that there will be no parallel negotiations or parallel contracts,” Ursula von der Leyen told reporters after news of the German side deals broke. A commission spokesman said that the joint vaccine programme had not crumbled and warned that emergency authorisations of jabs at national level could be risky. "It's not that the strategy unravelled," the spokesman said,"For our vaccines, we go through the European Medicines Agency because we want to ensure efficacy and safety. What member states do in addition to that, it's their responsibility." The under-fire European Commission president has repeatedly defended the decision to negotiate as a bloc, despite a row following supply shortfalls from AstraZeneca. She said the strategy ensured smaller member states had access to the jabs in the European Parliament in February. She claimed it would have been “the end of our community”, if larger, richer countries had snapped up all the vaccines instead of securing them jointly as a Union. Brussels has secured and authorised supplies of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines but the distribution of the jabs at national level have been slow.

  • News
    The Telegraph

    Channel migrants seeking UK asylum are smuggling themselves back to France, says charity

    Channel migrants seeking asylum in the UK are smuggling themselves back to France because of Priti Patel’s crackdown, says a UK charity. Care4Calais has revealed the case of an Iranian who came to Britain on a small boat but has since managed to return to Dunkirk after becoming disillusioned with his experience in the controversial Napier barracks used to house Channel migrants in Folkestone, Kent. He told volunteers working for the charity that he had smuggled himself back to France on a lorry. “England does not have any law,” he told them. “I don’t have a good memory of the place. It is broken from the inside.” Napier barracks was at the centre of a near-riot when migrants being kept on the former military base after an outbreak of Covid-19 went on the rampage and set fire to buildings in protest at the Home Office’s refusal to move them to a hotel. The Home Secretary has been under pressure to close down the barracks as an asylum centre, including from local Tories because of the conditions, location and spartan regime. Care4Calais’s founder Clare Moseley also disclosed that two young men from El Salvador who had come to the UK to seek asylum had also applied to the Home Office to be repatriated, but had been told there was a waiting list before they could be returned home. “Their father is in the military and the family was being pursued by terrorist and criminal groups so he sent them to England, but they are now stuck in Manchester. All they want to do is work and don’t like relying on the state,” said Ms Moseley. She blamed the increasingly tough restrictions and hostility that the migrants faced for their decisions to seek to leave the UK. The Government is seeking to deter illegal migrants from making the perilous journey across the Channel through increased patrols and surveillance on French beaches and a tougher approach to asylum. A new law, introduced after Brexit, makes any migrant’s asylum claim inadmissible if they have been in a safe third country before their arrival in the UK. This weekend it emerged that Ms Patel is drawing up plans for smugglers to face life sentences, rather than the current maximum of 14 years. A policy paper due this month is expected to tighten up what ministers claim is the “broken” asylum system by placing curbs on “litigious” human rights claimants who seek to delay their deportation and encourage judges to take a tougher stance against asylum seekers with criminal records.