Boris Johnson has said science allows us to ‘turn on the lights’, having originally fought in the dark against Covid as he held a press conference in Downing Street to mark the anniversary of the lockdown. By his side were Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty, who warned that a further increase in cases was inevitable, saying he expected “upward pressure” on case loads. It comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that shipments from a Dutch AstraZeneca factory to the UK remain in the EU’s sights – although she has ruled out a blanket EU ban on vaccine exports to Great Britain. The pound’s value has fallen to a six-week low amid vaccination threats from the EU, which come as Germany prepares to impose a full Easter halt. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard analyzes why Britain’s scapegoat will not save Europe from a self-proclaimed disaster.
Meanwhile, Tory MPs are demanding the government make a “clear” plan for summer vacation abroad or risk a major revolt against extensions to the Covid regime. It comes as the government unveiled bills for a potentially foreign travel ban until the end of June – which will be voted on in parliament on Thursday. The impending extension of the ban came as the Queen paid tribute to the ‘grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many’ during a national day of reflection to mark the anniversary of the lockdown. Oliver Smith see how the holidays were sacrificed on the altar of Covid and read if you need to cancel your vacation.
Nicola Sturgeon survives vote of no confidence
Nicola Sturgeon comfortably survived a vote of no confidence in Holyrood, hours after it was confirmed that she was found to have misled a parliamentary inquiry. The committee responsible for reviewing the Scottish government’s handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond concluded that the Prime Minister had given ‘an inaccurate account’ of what had transpired in a meeting with him and thus had misleads the multi-stakeholder investigation. The long-awaited 192-page report comes after a separate investigation ruled that Ms Sturgeon did not violate departmental code. She survived today’s vote of no confidence brought by the Scottish Tories after a tense debate.
The key to how the universe works may have been discovered
The key to understanding how the universe works has perhaps been found by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, in a breakthrough hailed as the most exciting in 20 years. Particle physicists have seen signs that a mysterious particle or force is interacting with other particles in ways never seen before. This may explain some of the deepest puzzles in modern physics, such as what dark matter is made of or why there is an imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Details here.
At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing
Also in the news: other today’s headlines
Prince Harry gets a job | The Duke of Sussex has a new job at a startup in Silicon Valley, where he intends to “make an impact in people’s lives”. Prince Harry, 36, has been appointed impact director for BetterUp Inc, a coaching and mental health company. Read on for more details.
Around the world: Israel’s fourth election in two years
The Israelis returned to the polls today for the fourth election in two years, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks victory at the expense of his high-speed vaccination campaign and normalization deals with Arab states. Mr. Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud party, is leading in the polls, but he is expected to miss the 61 seats needed in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, for a majority. He will likely need the support of right-wing rivals and ultra-Orthodox parties. Read on for more details.
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