UK

New era for UK as it completes separation from European Union

The UK stopped following EU rules at 23:00GMT (midday NZ time), as replacement arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation came into force.

Boris Johnson said the UK had "freedom in our hands" and the ability to do things "differently and better" now the long Brexit process was over.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the UK remained a "friend and ally".

UK ministers have warned there will be some disruption in the coming days and weeks, as new rules bed in and British firms trading with the continent come to terms with the changes.

Nations impose UK travel bans over new variant

Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are all halting flights and travel. The measures vary and are initially generally short-term.

An EU meeting will be held on Monday morning to discuss a more co-ordinated response.

The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday introduced a new tier four level of restrictions for those areas, scrapping a planned relaxation of rules over the Christmas period for millions of people.

Christmas safety advice 'set to be strengthened'

People are likely to be urged to think carefully about travelling and to stay local where possible.

However, it is unlikely the agreed rules - allowing up to three households to mix for five days - will change.

Officials from all four nations held talks on Tuesday - and more are scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

It comes amid concern that relaxing the restrictions will fuel a further surge in Covid-19 case numbers.

Two leading medical journals described the current rules as "rash".

First batch of Covid vaccines arrives in the UK

It has been taken to a central hub at an undisclosed location, and will now be distributed to hospital vaccination centres around the UK.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses - enough to vaccinate 20 million people.

England's deputy chief medical officer said the first wave of vaccinations could prevent up to 99% of Covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths.

Speaking to BBC News, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said that would be possible if everyone on the first priority list took the vaccine and it was highly effective.

Sri Lanka returns 'hazardous waste' to UK

Customs officials said hospital waste was discovered in many of the 263 containers imported by a private firm.

The shipment was meant to be made up of used mattresses, carpets and rugs for potential recycling.

Most of the containers have been stored in warehouses, with only a small amount of material having been re-exported.

Legal action was taken after the Sri Lanka authorities impounded the material in 2018.

Officials said the 21 containers had left Sri Lanka on Saturday.

UK imposes 6-month curbs against virus

After scientific warnings that deaths could soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March but warned that further measures could come if the disease was not suppressed.

"We reserve the right to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions," he told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom's devolved governments.

Just weeks after urging people to start returning to workplaces, Johnson advised office workers to stay at home if they could.

Britain's newly discovered ancient sites

Today, Bodmin Moor in north-eastern Cornwall is one of Britain's most breath-taking wildernesses, where heather-covered high moors pocked by granite outcrops are cut with sharp river gorges and lonely woodlands. It's not a place you would associate with much human activity: the residents that seem most at home here are the area's wild horses. Only a clutch of stone circles and strange rocky formations - their mysterious origins and purposes lost in the mists of time - hint at past human presence.

At a glance you can see the whole history of the human race in this area

Coronavirus: Plane-maker Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs

It will cut 1,700 jobs in the UK, along with thousands more in Germany, Spain and elsewhere.

The move is subject to talks with unions which have opposed compulsory redundancies.

The Unite union said the Airbus announcement was "another act of industrial vandalism" against the UK aerospace sector.

Some 134,000 people work for Airbus worldwide, with around a tenth of them in the UK.

The firm said the UK cuts would fall only on the commercial aircraft division at its two sites at Broughton in Flintshire and Filton, Bristol.

Coronavirus: Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials.

The trials are among many across the world - there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.

Kathy, 39, who works in finance, is one of the first volunteers taking part in the Imperial trial.

UK park stabbing suspect 'known to MI5'

Khairi Saadallah, 25, from the town, was arrested at the scene yesterday and police say they are not looking for anyone else over the terror incident.

Sources told the BBC he is originally from Libya and came to the attention of MI5 in 2019.

One victim has been named as teacher James Furlong - described by his school as "talented and inspirational".

Paying tribute to Furlong, head of history, government and politics at the Holt School in Wokingham, the school's co-heads said he was a "kind and gentle man" with a "real sense of duty".