In pictures: Notre-Dame Cathedral rebuild hits milestone as melted scaffolding cleared

Reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris reached a turning point this week. The removal of the final portions of the scaffolding that melted into a twisted web during last year's blaze led French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin to declare the once-imperiled landmark "saved", and crucial protective and stabilisation work can now proceed. Delicate work to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral began in June to clear away the 200 tonnes of...

Killers facing life after ankle tags proved they were at murder scene

A gunman and his 15-year-old getaway driver have been convicted of murder after their electronic tags placed them at the scene of a drive-by shooting.

Police design new uniform hijab hoping that it will help recruitment

Pc Uzma Amireddy, pictured, designed a new hijab for her North Yorkshire police uniform which she hopes will encourage more Muslim women to join the force.

Exclusive: Iraq trains U.S.-sanctioned militia leader for army position - sources

Exclusive: Iraq trains U.S.-sanctioned militia leader for army position - sources

The hostages: Iran’s relentless detention of foreigners and dual nationals a roadblock to relations with the West

As she boarded what appeared to be an Australian government plane late Wednesday, her nightmare drew to a close. After more than two years locked up in Tehran’s Evin Prison, the 33-year-old British Australian scholar Kylie Moore-Gilbert was heading home. “I am extremely pleased and relieved to advise that Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been released from detention in Iran and will soon be reunited with her family,” Australian foreign minister Marise...

England will face new year national lockdown if we ease off now, Boris Johnson warns

Boris Johnson has warned of a New Year national lockdown if England eases up on coronavirus restrictions, as 99 per cent of the country’s population was placed under tough controls in the run-up to Christmas. Despite hopes that vaccines and mass testing may return the UK to a more normal life by Easter, the prime minister warned that “we are not out of the woods yet” and urged Britons not to let up their vigilance when the second lockdown ends...

‘He made the poor feel rich’: Napoli fans break coronavirus lockdown to mourn Maradona

He is dead. The demigod – a God on the field, human, too human outside – Diego Maradona died at the age of 60 in his Buenos Aires house. He is not dead, not least in Napoli. In spite of a strict coronavirus lockdown, hundreds of supporters flocked to the streets on Wednesday night and Thursday. "There have been talks about his mistakes in life, his conduct. We forgive him everything because of the champion and the generous person he has been,”...

The Guardian view on word power: secure against loss

As the UK moves into the first winter of this global pandemic, the public is beginning to see certain patterns take shape. We have been through the hoarding stage, the bathos of piled-up toilet paper and the metaphor of disappearing flour. We have baked and decorated (if we had the time and money). We have watched a lot of television. And we are reading. Sales of physical books dropped in lockdown, when all shops were shut; the minute lockdown...

Hong Kong activist tells German paper he's doing well in prison isolation

Hong Kong activist tells German paper he's doing well in prison isolation

Jordan scrambles to affirm its custodianship of al-Aqsa mosque

Jordan is scrambling to affirm its custodianship of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem after a meeting between Israeli and Saudi leaders raised fears in Amman that the fate of one of Islam’s holiest sites could be up for grabs in a normalisation deal between the two countries. Warming relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, capped by a weekend visit by Benjamin Netanyahu to the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, have alarmed Jordanian...

Feeding America at Thanksgiving: Miles-long lines at food banks and soup kitchens as 25m struggled with hunger this week

Millions of Americans will spend this Thanksgiving having struggled to put food on the table after the Covid-19 pandemic has left hundreds of thousands of people unemployed and without financial assistance to fill the gap. More than 25 million Americans reported not having enough to eat in the past week, according to US census data. Food charities said that they were facing record demand in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. More than one in ten US...

Streatham pole attack: Boy, 13, off critical list after being struck on head near school in south London

A 13 year-old schoolboy who suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain after he was hit with a metal pole is off the critical list. The teenager was struck as he left Dunraven School in Leigham Court Road, Streatham, at 3.30pm on Wednesday. He is surrounded by family in hospital and his condition was considered life-threatening. However, in an update his condition was described as “non life-threatening”. In a statement police said: “His...

Trump news – live: President gloats over Supreme Court ruling as lawyer mocked for error-laden Georgia suit

Donald Trump on Thursday was gloating about his bitter rival Andrew Cuomo’s loss in the Supreme Court, after the justices ruled against his plan to limit attendance at religious services due to the pandemic. “HAPPY THANKSGIVING,” the president tweeted, with a link to the ruling against New York’s governor. The president is spending Thanksgiving in the White House, and played golf in the morning. At 3pm he will make the traditional Thanksgiving...

BBC presenter sent racist abuse 'following tweet by actor Laurence Fox'

A BBC reporter has said racist and homophobic abuse was directed at him and his family after actor Laurence Fox tweeted about his Twitter account. Ben Hunte, who reports on LGBT affairs for the corporation, said while he and his relatives are fine he “will let the police take over”. He asked for anyone who has an issue with his job or the BBC needed to use the corporation’s complaints process and not contact his family. My family and I have been...

PM challenged on Christmas travel plans

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is asked whether it is sensible move to allow families to see each other over Christmas, with most of the country under stringent coronavirus restrictions.

The Guardian view on England’s new tiers: dangerous juggling act

The UK government’s first attempt to control the Covid-19 pandemic in England through a regional tiered system was a failure. The rules were not tough or clear enough, and there were arguments about the way in which local areas were categorised by Whitehall. The tier system was in force for less than three weeks before a steep rise in Covid infections forced the government to replace it with the second national lockdown, which remains in force....

DIY SOS tragedy as orphans discovered mother had died before another cruel twist

When single mum Carrie Smedley tragically passed away her three sons' lives were turned upside down - leaving them in a cramped house without anywhere to grieve

A portable cabin and Google Translate: Life on the Brexit haulage frontline

After four years of politics and prevarication, Brexit is about to become a test of competence rather than conviction.

Climate crisis making autumn leaves fall earlier, study finds

Global heating appears to be making trees drop their leaves earlier, according to new research, confounding the idea that warmer temperatures delay the onset of autumn. The finding is important because trees draw huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and therefore play a key role in managing the climate. The rising temperatures also mean that spring is arriving earlier and, overall, the growing season for trees in the planet’s temperate...

Don’t hug your elderly relatives this Christmas, Chris Whitty warns

England’s chief medical officer has issued a stark warning to Britons ahead of emotional family reunions this Christmas. Professor Chris Whitty said it was right that loved-ones should be able to spend time together over the festive period, but urged caution among vulnerable relatives. Quizzed on the Government’s plans for December, Prof Whitty told a Downing Street press briefing: "Would I encourage someone to huge and kiss their elderly...

WHO's Ryan sees progressive control of COVID-19 in 2021, cautions on Christmas

WHO's Ryan sees progressive control of COVID-19 in 2021, cautions on Christmas

Irish Government ‘hypocrisy’ accusation over Finucane inquiry call

Unionists have accused the Irish Government of hypocrisy after Taoiseach Micheal Martin urged Boris Johnson to launch a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

Former Romanian PM accused of copying Gary Lineker message mourning death of Diego Maradona

A former prime minister of Romania has been ridiculed for copying Gary Lineker’s Twitter message mourning the death of football legend Diego Maradona. Victor Ponta posted his own message to remember the late Argentinian football star, who died on Wednesday. But social media users were quick to point out that part of his message was identical to that of the former English striker turned Match of The Day host. Lineker wrote that: “After a blessed...

Diego Maradona fans around the world in mourning after Argentine legend's death

Diego Maradona's death has sent the footballing world into mourning with fans around the globe paying their respects to the legendary Argentine who won the World Cup 1986

120 people a week referred to Government over radicalisation fears

Official figures show a 10% leap in referrals to the Prevent scheme since last year by police, schools and community leaders

Covid tier map: Full list of areas in all tiers under England’s new restrictions – and how to check your area

The country will split back up into three tiers of restrictions after lockdown ends on 2 December

Teddy Roosevelt relative joins mockery of Trump ‘elite strike force’ lawyer for misquoting his ancestor

Teddy Roosevelt’s great grandson has mocked Jenna Ellis on Twitter, where the Trump campaign lawyer tried to defend her own misquoting of his famous ancestor this week. Theodore Roosevelt V, an investment banker and managing director at Barclays, was responding to the Trump campaign lawyer’s claim that she misattributed words to the 26th US president because she “liked the ifea”, and not because the attribution was true. Ms Ellis, whose defence...

UK coronavirus LIVE: London spared Tier 3 ‘devastation’ as Boris Johnson says ‘your tier is not your destiny’

Boris Johnson has attempted to reassure people in England that the new tiered system will not be permanent when it comes into force next week. Leading a Downing Street press briefing this evening, the Prime Minister insisted that “every area has the means of escape" from the toughest restrictions, as communities around England grapple with new post-lockdown plans. His rallying cry to the nation “your tier is not your destiny” has already ruffled...

AP Exclusive: Letter from Venezuelan jail: 'Give me freedom'

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A U.S. oil executive jailed for three years in Venezuela said all he hopes for is a fair trial so that he can walk free with his name cleared and go home to his family in the United States. In a letter from prison provided exclusively to The Associated Press, Tomeu Vadell said it's especially painful to be separated during the Thanksgiving season from from his wife, three adult children and a newborn grandson he’s never...

Russia's Sputnik V developers call on AstraZeneca to try combining vaccines

Russia's Sputnik V developers call on AstraZeneca to try combining vaccines

Coleraine grandmother shooting: Two guns found by detectives and man, 30s, arrested for attempted murder

Detectives investigating the shooting of a vulnerable woman in her home on Bushmills Road, Coleraine in October and the attempted murder of a man in his 30s in Coleraine earlier this week have recovered two firearms, the PSNI has said.

Sturgeon wants second independence referendum early in next parliament

The First Minister’s comments come ahead of the SNP party conference this weekend.

How to tell if you're buying the new Nintendo Switch or the old one

How to tell if you're buying the new Nintendo Switch or the old one

Tensions rise over housing of migrants on Spanish islands

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A row over where to house African migrants increasingly arriving by boat on Spain’s Canary Islands deepened Thursday, when the mayor of the most affected town urged the Spanish government to transfer them out of local hotels. More than 20,000 West Africans and Moroccans have reached the archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean by boat or been rescued at sea so far this year, up from 1,500 in the same period of 2019. Onalia...

Have a nice Christmas, but if you do it’ll probably be granny’s last – that’s all for now, folks

Another Boris Johnson press conference, and all becomes clear, yet again. Lockdown has been a success, the virus has been brought back under control, which is why it will end next week, and when it does, a mere 28 million people, in England alone, will be living under more severe restrictions than when it started. We are now living back under the old tiers again, with the slight tweak that tier 1 used to have around 29 million people in it, and...

Brexit: Trade talks in fresh crisis as UK admits it does not know if EU will turn up

Efforts to avert a no-deal Brexit were in fresh crisis on Thursday as Downing Street admitted it does not know if EU negotiator Michel Barnier will turn up for face-to-face talks due to resume on Friday. Mr Barnier was expected in London in the evening, ahead of talks with Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost, with just 34 days to go to the deadline for a deal. But reports suggest that he has told Lord Frost that he will pull out of this...

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes flight in virus times

NEW YORK (AP) — The balloons were in the sky and the marching bands took to the streets for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, but coronavirus restrictions meant it was without the throngs of people usually scrambling for a view. Instead of its typical path through Manhattan, this year's parade was kept to the area in front of Macy's flagship store and aimed at a television audience instead of live crowds. There were some...

British-only passport holders cannot audition for part of Prince William in new Princess Diana film

British actors will be banned from from auditioning to play Prince William in a new film because of restrictions when the UK separates from the EU in January. A casting note issued on the part for a boy to play William aged 11 in the upcoming movie Spencer says British-only passport holders need not apply. The note says only European passport holders will be eligible “due to new Brexit rules from 1st January 2021”. Amy Hubbard, the casting...

Egypt: Desperate efforts to get food and blankets to ‘save lives’ of jailed activists

Relatives and colleagues of Egyptian human rights defenders arrested in an unprecedented state crackdown said they are working on “saving the lives” of three staffers, who have been denied family visits and are likely being held in freezing solitary confinement cells without adequate food. Three senior members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) were arrested last week on terrorism charges after briefing over a dozen diplomats,...

Andy Robertson determined to help disadvantaged as he launches 'AR26'

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY GORDON WADDELL: Despite his natural discomfort for the spotlight, he's aware he has a responsibility to use the amplified voice his elevated status brings.

‘I worked as a carer at the height of Covid-19 pandemic, now I live in a squat without water and electricity’

'I use bike lights because we don’t have electricity, and the neighbour has a garden tap which we can use to get water'

Coronavirus: ‘Forgotten’ Leicester could go full year in lockdown, mayor warns as city is placed in strictest tier

Some 350,000 people living in Leicester could go a full year in some form of lockdown, its mayor has warned after the city was placed into the strictest tier of the new coronavirus alert system. Sir Peter Soulsby said it “seemed increasingly probable” the East Midlands jewel could still be facing extensive restrictions come the spring – 12 months after the country was first shuttered. The city was among a huge swathe of the Midlands – including...

Tier 2 restrictions will hold the line but not bring cases down – Chris Whitty

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance commented that the previous tier system did not decrease the infection rate enough.

Christmas in tier 3: How the 5-day bubble rules affect Covid restrictions in ‘very high alert’ areas

More than 40 per cent of the country will find itself in the toughest level of restrictions after lockdown ends on 2 December

This government is so confused – we go from lockdown to tier 3 and back again and have no idea what any of it means

This is fun now. They have no strategy for containing this virus, so one moment they scream that we’ll beat it because we’re British and it’s in our spirit, and we didn’t get to own India by staying in a bubble of six. Then the R number increases to 3 million, as the scientists predicted, and so they say, “no one could have predicted that”, and we all have to go back inside. Now they’re so confused, we go from lockdown to tier 3 and back again...

Largest number of Prevent referrals related to far-right extremism

Just 11% of referrals to the government’s controversial Prevent programme were ultimately deemed to be at risk of radicalisation, with the largest number of referrals relating to far-right extremism. The annual figures emerged as James Brokenshire, the security minister, warned that far-right terror posed “a growing threat” which had been accelerated by the amplification of conspiracy theories online during the pandemic. Home Office data showed...

Assange partner in Twitter appeal for Trump to issue pardon

Julian Assange’s partner has appealed to US President Donald Trump to pardon him. Stella Moris used Thanksgiving Day to issue a plea to the president after he pardoned ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Ms Moris made a personal plea to Mr Trump through Twitter, saying it was the only channel he seems to value. Including a picture of her and Mr Assange’s two children, she tweeted: “These are Julian’s sons Max and Gabriel. They need their...

Rollout of NI vaccination programme ‘should be complete by summer 2021’

Under the UK-wide vaccine distribution plan, Northern Ireland is initially set to receive 4.35 million doses.

National Trust and United Utilities suspend trail-hunting over fears foxes being chased

The National Trust and another of the UK’s biggest landowners are suspending all trail-hunting on their land, following a decision by Forestry England on Wednesday to do the same. The decisions, which were greeted with celebrations by animal-lovers, come after police launched an investigation into online meetings held by hunt masters, representing more than half of Britain’s hunts, where they discussed creating “smokescreens”. The trust said in...

London or Kent? Tiers are a question of identity in leafy Bexley

In leafy Bexley, the question is perennial: is the borough truly part of London, or merely a Kentish promontory on the edge of the capital? Although many residents often insist on their self-appointed status as denizens of Kent, the latest coronavirus tier announcement appears to have caused something of an identity crisis. “Bexley is Tier 2 hurrah! For the first time ever, Bexley is full of people denying they live in Kent!”, Antonia Bance...