United Kingdom

Friday morning UK news briefing: Refusing vaccine is selfish, says Queen

Think about others before yourself, says Queen

She rarely makes public interventions. When she does, it is always careful - but deliberate. The Queen has said that those who refuse the coronavirus vaccine "ought to think about other people rather than themselves". In , Her Majesty said it was important people were "protected" by the vaccine. Speaking to the senior officers overseeing the delivery of the vaccine across all four UK nations, she said that her own inoculation was "very quick", adding: "It didn't hurt at all." Watch a video of her comments. The vaccine rollout has been beset by hesitancy, largely among the black community, of whom just 72pc are said to be willing to have the jab. Associate Editor Camilla Tominey says the Queen is helping the nation through another crisis. And read the Telegraph View on Her Majesty's intervention.

Comment and analysis

You've got this: Getting you through lockdown

  1. Lockdown in the lives of Giles and Mary | Five hours of TV a day - and many rows
  2. Long Covid remedies | Alternative 'treatments' are giving relief for some
  3. Carol Klein | 'Gardening has been a solace for so many during the pandemic'

Business and money briefing

Fintech crown | Rishi Sunak is considering plans to introduce new share rules that will give tech founders more power, in a bid to prevent rivals stealing the City's prized crown in financial technology. The dual share structure proposal is a key recommendation in a review.  

Sport briefing

England blown away on 'awful' pitch | Joe Root called for countries who produce substandard pitches to face sanctions after India completed the fastest Test victory by any side since 1935 on an extraordinary second day in Ahmedabad. Criticism centred on the Narendra Modi Stadium pitch, but Sir Geoffrey Boycott explains how he thinks England got this Test match all wrong - bad selection and fearful batting.  

Tonight's dinner

Baked halloumi with honey, blood orange and fennel | With this dish by Eleanor Steafel, you will almost be able to kid yourself you are on holiday - or at least that change is coming. View the recipe and try Cookbook newsletter.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

'My autism is my super power' | While it restricts his communication skills, Sam Holness says his disability is a strength when it comes to long-distance performance - and his target is the Ironman World Championship. Read more.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel dismissed suggestions she should ignore her government's guidelines and take the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. She rejected calls to "lead by example" and be vaccinated on camera to dispel public fears over the jab. Germany is one of a number of European countries where the AstraZeneca vaccine is not currently approved for the over-65s. Read how it compares to the other vaccines.

Sunak will be 'honest' as he is warned against tax rises

Rishi Sunak will call for "honesty" about the need to eventually bring down wartime levels of spending in his Budget speech next week. The Chancellor will say that the vast government spending caused by the pandemic is unsustainable, even as he pledges to help the worst affected through the next few months. It came as five Cabinet ministers - and David Cameron - warned him against major tax rises for now. Jeremy Warner argues that Mr Sunak risks squandering Britain's post-Covid recovery. This is what to expect from Wednesday's Budget.

Mr Potato Head has his chips as toy goes woke

With his bushy moustache and bowler hat, Mr Potato Head was the proud patriarch of his family. But he will no longer be a mister: toy manufacturer Hasbro has decided the traditional nuclear family needs a makeover. The gender-neutral branding, appearing later this year, is just one change brought in by the firm as it tries to reflect modern day life.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

US launches airstrikes | President Joe Biden early today directed US military airstrikes in eastern Syria against facilities belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to recent rocket attacks against American targets in Iraq. It is the first military action undertaken by the new administration.  

Around the world: Lava lamp in Sicily

Smoke billows from Mount Etna as eruptions light up the sky over the Italian city of Pedara, Sicily. Europe's most active volcano has been erupting steadily since last week, belching ash and fountains of red-hot lava. View our gallery of more striking world pictures of the day.

Football news:

For leaving the Super League, the contract stipulates a fine of at least 150 million euros
Giggs will not be in charge of the Wales squad at the Euro. He is accused of assaulting two women
Giggs has been charged with assaulting two women
Tuchel on Super League: The Chelsea owner doesn't have to apologize to me
Barcelona is preparing a 2+1 contract for Messi. Laporta is looking for a way to sign the stars to convince Lionel of the club's competitiveness
The investment banker analyzed the typical financial mistakes of athletes. And modeled a safe accumulation plan
Guardiola on the reform of the Champions League: Everyone wants to improve quality, and UEFA strives for quantity. We need to ask them to increase the year to 400 days