As her new BBC Two series 'Inside Culture' launches, Mary Beard talks snowflakes, empire and Stonehenge with Louis Wise
Read the full interview
Comment and analysis
Editor's choice: Features and arts
- Compulsively checking social media | Beware the health dangers of 'doomscrolling'
- Ronnie Scott's after the curfew | 'It's such a difficult time – only the fittest will survive'
- Do you have 'corona-rage'? | Here's how we can all calm down
Business and money briefing
300mph electric aircraft | Rolls-Royce is closing on its attempt to build the world's fastest electric aeroplane. The full-scale replica of the 500 horsepower system has been run up to full speed of 2,400 revolutions per minute. It aims to reach 300mph. Read on for details.
Hollywood fairytale? | Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and American actor Rob McElhenney are ready to "put forward their vision" and invest in the Welsh non-league club Wrexham, it has emerged, after details of their shock takeover bid were revealed. Read on for the latest.
London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year, ITV, 9pm | There are points of insight and interest to distinguish this from the many zoo documentaries doing the rounds, particularly the troubles of social distancing from certain vulnerable animals. Read on for more.
And finally... for this evening's downtime
'Ailing buffoon' | Donald Trump refused to clearly guarantee a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the upcoming US election in November to Joe Biden. Yet Dominic Green asks whether his opponent, Mr Biden, is really the best the Democrats could do?
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Chancellor unveils fresh Covid rescue plan to save jobs
The Chancellor has unveiled a new jobs protection scheme that will top up the wages of workers as a second Covid-19 wave threatens to derail the economy's recovery. Rishi Sunak vowed to help "the recovery by protecting jobs through the difficult winter months" as he announced a replacement to the furlough scheme. Under the new subsidy, employees must work at least a third of their normal hours but for every hour not worked the employer and government will each pay one third towards their usual pay. The Treasury said workers using the scheme would receive at least 77pc of their pay where the Government contribution is not capped. Mr Sunak also extended the income support scheme for self-employed workers with a third lump sum available worth up to 20pc of average monthly profits. Here is a summary of all the new measures and read a guide to whether you are eligible for the job support scheme. Our business liveblog has the latest reaction to the policy announcements.
The furlough scheme was due to end next month but a tenth of the workforce, or more than 3 million workers, are still using the wage support. Mr Sunak said keeping workers in so-called zombie jobs by extending the scheme would be "fundamentally wrong". He warned: "I cannot save every business, I cannot save every job." Restaurant and pub bosses warned they will be forced to shut sites and cut jobs as the latest support would not cover the damage caused by curfew rules. Marianna Hunt weighs up the winners and losers from today's announcements. Julian Jessop sets out why this new plan may be the lesser of several evils. Yet Russell Lynch analyses why the many caveats to the Chancellor's measures make it hard to know how many jobs it will save.
Covid mutation may be evolving to beat mask-wearing
Covid-19 may have become more contagious as it has mutated, the largest genetic study carried out in the US into the virus has suggested, as scientists warn it could be adapting to interventions such as mask-wearing and social distancing. One variant of the coronavirus is now one of the most dominant in America, accounting for 99.9pc of cases in one area studied. The paper concluded that a mutation that changes the structure of the "spike protein" on the surface of the virus may be driving the outsized spread of that particular strain. Read on for a graphic showing how the new mutation appears to be beating its competitors.
NHS Test and Trace app does not work on old phones
After many delays, the NHS Test and Trace app has finally arrived. However, if you have a phone more than five years old, you will not be able to use it. It has emerged it will only work on iPhones built on or after 2015, and Android devices built on or after 2017. The app will rely heavily on QR code technology which users will be expected to scan on their way into hospitality and other public venues, creating a digital record of where they have been. Yet people will be able to delete records of their visits to pubs and restaurants. Read on for a guide to how the app will work. It comes as new data shows fewer than one in three people who have an "in-person" Covid-19 test get their result within 24 hours.
At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines
Also in the news: Today's other headlines
Meg for Pres tracker | For avid royal watchers, the fact that bookmakers are genuinely pricing up the odds of the Duchess of Sussex running for president in 2024 will not come as a huge surprise. Meghan is known as someone with strong beliefs, and there have been hints in the past that politics was a possible destination for her. Read on for analysis of the chances of her running for office. And David Millward sets out why Americans may not take kindly to the Duchess telling them how to vote.
Around the world: EU won't recognise Belarus leader
The European Union said it will not recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate leader of Belarus. Mr Lukashenko's landslide victory in August's rigged vote sparked protests that were reignited on Wednesday after Mr Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for 26 years, held a clandestine swearing-in ceremony. Mr Lukashenko's security forces led a ferocious crackdown on opposition protests in the days following the elections. Read on for what the EU's diplomatic chief said.
'The job of students is to be a bit irritating'