Wednesday evening news briefing: Pubs ordered to shut again

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp. Sturgeon shuts pubs as coronavirus sweeps Scotland Is this a sign of things to come? Nicola Sturgeon has announced a 16-day ban on pubs and restaurants selling alcohol indoors as she tries to halt the spread of coronavirus north of the Border. The First Minister insisted the new measures were not a lockdown, although all licensed premises in five health board areas - which include the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh - will be closed except for takeaways. Simon Johnson outlines of the restrictions. In Westminster, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that infection data is "not good news" for the hospitality industry, as a new traffic light system being finalised by the Prime Minister could see pubs and restaurants closed in local lockdown areas in England. Different options have been sent to Boris Johnson and an announced could come later this week. Gordon Rayner has the details. All this comes as Sir Keir Starmer challenged the Prime Minister to publish the evidence that shows there is a scientific basis for the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants in England, and to "review the rule" if he cannot do so. Pub operator Greene King is set to cut up to 800 jobs, blaming the 10pm curfew for the closure of dozens of sites. A Commons vote on the measure had been expected last night but was delayed until next week, as many Conservatives MPs were expected to vote against it. Eliot Wilson asks why are ministers running scared, rather than engaging with Tory Covid rebels? Angela Epstein says hooray for the hawks fighting to save our economy from further chaos. Biden wants to ditch debate as Covid hits Trump team Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said next week's scheduled debate with Donald Trump should not take place if the President is still infected with Covid-19. Mr Biden said the Oct 15 debate in Miami should only be staged under strict health guidelines and called the coronavirus outbreak that has hit Mr Trump and a wave of other White House officials "a very serious problem". It comes as White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said he tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Tonight sees the two vice presidential candidates go head-to-head in a TV debate. Both Mike Pence and Kamala Harris are expected to play more by the rules than their running mates, with the result that American voters may receive their most policy-focused exchange of the campaign. Here is everything you need to know about the event. How the Queen's conduct in pandemic 'restored faith' When the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of the disease, it destabilised the lives of millions, and the Queen was no exception. As head of state, the monarch has always relied on public engagements to remain visible to the public. But under strict lockdown rules, the role of the Queen faced another unprecedented challenge. In this video, Associate Editor Camilla Tominey explains how the Queen managed to remain ever-present and restore faith in this period of uncertainty. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed a youthful new hairstyle in a visit to students at the University of Derby to hear how Covid-19 has impacted their lives and mental health. Annabel Jones reveals why her new "blondette" hair colour is a genius move. At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines Also in the news: Today's other headlines 'McMafia' order | A businessman who flaunted his wealth, posing with private jets, sports cars and celebrities, has been stripped of his £10 million property empire after becoming the first Briton to be hit with an Unexplained Wealth Order. Mansoor Hussain, 40, from Leeds, built his fortune by money laundering for organised crime gangs, according to the National Crime Agency. Click here to see pictures of him alongside stars including Simon Cowell, Beyoncé and the Duchess of Sussex. Around the world: Landmark convictions of neo-Nazis Greek neo-Nazi leader Nikos Michaloliakos has been convicted of leading a "criminal organisation" in a landmark trial involving the xenophobic Golden Dawn party. Mr Michaloliakos and nearly 70 other defendants are on trial for the murder of an anti-fascist rapper and other crimes in one of the most important trials in Greek political history, which has taken over five years to conclude. Read on for details. Wednesday interview 'I wanted to show what someone with HIV was capable of doing' Gareth Thomas Credit:  BeatMedia One year after telling the world he was HIV positive, Gareth Thomas speaks to Oliver Brown Read the full interview Comment and analysis Editor's choice: Features and arts Rebel Wilson's weight loss | Her secrets and why she's likely to keep the pounds off Virtuoso, innovator, hater of brown M&Ms | Eddie Van Halen, the man and the myth Confession

Wednesday evening news briefing: Pubs ordered to shut again

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

Sturgeon shuts pubs as coronavirus sweeps Scotland

Is this a sign of things to come? Nicola Sturgeon has announced a 16-day ban on pubs and restaurants selling alcohol indoors as she tries to halt the spread of coronavirus north of the Border. The First Minister insisted the new measures were not a lockdown, although all licensed premises in five health board areas - which include the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh - will be closed except for takeaways. Simon Johnson outlines of the restrictions. In Westminster, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that infection data is "not good news" for the hospitality industry, as a new traffic light system being finalised by the Prime Minister could see pubs and restaurants closed in local lockdown areas in England. Different options have been sent to Boris Johnson and an announced could come later this week. Gordon Rayner has the details.

All this comes as Sir Keir Starmer challenged the Prime Minister to publish the evidence that shows there is a scientific basis for the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants in England, and to "review the rule" if he cannot do so. Pub operator Greene King is set to cut up to 800 jobs, blaming the 10pm curfew for the closure of dozens of sites. A Commons vote on the measure had been expected last night but was delayed until next week, as many Conservatives MPs were expected to vote against it. Eliot Wilson asks why are ministers running scared, rather than engaging with Tory Covid rebels? Angela Epstein says hooray for the hawks fighting to save our economy from further chaos.

Biden wants to ditch debate as Covid hits Trump team

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said next week's scheduled debate with Donald Trump should not take place if the President is still infected with Covid-19. Mr Biden said the Oct 15 debate in Miami should only be staged under strict health guidelines and called the coronavirus outbreak that has hit Mr Trump and a wave of other White House officials "a very serious problem". It comes as White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said he tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Tonight sees the two vice presidential candidates go head-to-head in a TV debate. Both Mike Pence and Kamala Harris are expected to play more by the rules than their running mates, with the result that American voters may receive their most policy-focused exchange of the campaign. Here is everything you need to know about the event.

How the Queen's conduct in pandemic 'restored faith'

When the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of the disease, it destabilised the lives of millions, and the Queen was no exception. As head of state, the monarch has always relied on public engagements to remain visible to the public. But under strict lockdown rules, the role of the Queen faced another unprecedented challenge. In this video, Associate Editor Camilla Tominey explains how the Queen managed to remain ever-present and restore faith in this period of uncertainty. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed a youthful new hairstyle in a visit to students at the University of Derby to hear how Covid-19 has impacted their lives and mental health. Annabel Jones reveals why her new "blondette" hair colour is a genius move.

At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

'McMafia' order | A businessman who flaunted his wealth, posing with private jets, sports cars and celebrities, has been stripped of his £10 million property empire after becoming the first Briton to be hit with an Unexplained Wealth Order. Mansoor Hussain, 40, from Leeds, built his fortune by money laundering for organised crime gangs, according to the National Crime Agency. Click here to see pictures of him alongside stars including Simon Cowell, Beyoncé and the Duchess of Sussex.

Around the world: Landmark convictions of neo-Nazis

Greek neo-Nazi leader Nikos Michaloliakos has been convicted of leading a "criminal organisation" in a landmark trial involving the xenophobic Golden Dawn party. Mr Michaloliakos and nearly 70 other defendants are on trial for the murder of an anti-fascist rapper and other crimes in one of the most important trials in Greek political history, which has taken over five years to conclude. Read on for details.

Wednesday interview

'I wanted to show what someone with HIV was capable of doing'

Gareth Thomas Credit:  BeatMedia

One year after telling the world he was HIV positive, Gareth Thomas speaks to Oliver Brown

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice: Features and arts

  1. Rebel Wilson's weight loss | Her secrets and why she's likely to keep the pounds off
  2. Virtuoso, innovator, hater of brown M&Ms | Eddie Van Halen, the man and the myth
  3. Confessions of a Peloton addict | 'I didn't know I needed it until it arrived'

Business and money briefing

Defying the crisis | Car dealers could enjoy a Christmas sales bonanza as frustrated consumers splash the cash on new vehicles, according to the boss of Vertu Motors. Robert Forrester said the company had seen a "sales rebound far exceeding what I thought was possible" after dealerships were forced to closed for more than two months because of the pandemic. Read on for details of the company's half-year results.

Sport briefing

Premiership clash cancelled | Sale Sharks' match against Worcester Warriors has been called off after the north west club received more positive tests for Covid-19 within their squad. Eight new positive cases - six players and two rugby staff - have been identified overnight following the latest round of testing on Tuesday, dashing Sale's hopes of reaching the Premiership play-offs. Mick Cleary thinks sanity has prevailed with the cancellation but fears Premiership Rugby set a terrible precedent.

Tonight's TV  

Agatha and the Midnight Murders, Channel 5, 9pm | Channel 5 hasn’t allowed the tiny detail of lacking the rights to Agatha Christie's books stop them mining gold from history's bestselling fiction writer. Read on for more.

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Mazda MX-30 review | You did not honestly expect Mazda to come up with a normal battery-electric car, did you? When the rest of the automotive world zags, Mazda almost wilfully zigs. Its perseverance with the Wankel rotary engine, its pillarless construction with rear-hinged "suicide" back doors and last year's spark-controlled compression-ignition engine are some examples of its contrariness. Andrew English reviews the electric car that dares to be different.