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Friday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph

Dec 31, 2021

Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph - a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Friday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free .

1. Prince Andrew told he will face justice after Ghislaine Maxwell verdict

The Duke of York has been warned that the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell proves that justice will prevail “whether you’re a president or a prince”.

Prince Andrew came under fresh pressure as lawyers in the US said that the guilty verdict in the Maxwell case will give succour to the woman who has accused the Duke of sexual assault. One said he should be “quaking in his boots”. Read the full story .

2. Ghislaine Maxwell's future prison life may feel like 'Disneyland' after 'living hell' New York cell

Ghislaine Maxwell's future prison life may feel like "Disneyland" to the British socialite compared with the New York cell she has spent her time awaiting trial, according to a prison consultant.

Maxwell, 60, has spent more than 500 days in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Centre, notorious for being one of America's most "troubled" prisons. Read the full story .

3. Critical workers could be prioritised for Covid tests as cases hit another record high

Nurses, lorry drivers and government officials could be prioritised for Covid tests under plans to prevent the New Year return to work from being thrown into chaos by a national shortage.

Ministers are examining whether tests should be targeted to workers in critical national infrastructure to avoid parts of the economy shutting down because of a lack of supplies. Read the full story .

4. Covid spreading at steadier rate as exponential growth stops, study suggests

Exponential growth in Covid cases appears to have stopped, with the virus spreading at a steadier rate, data from a symptom-tracking app has suggested.

The ZOE Covid Study said the trend had emerged despite the number of daily new symptomatic Covid cases being more than double what it was at this time last year. Read the full story .

5. The stranger-than-fiction history of the Maxwell madhouse

The seven siblings of the Maxwell family were reunited for the first time in years in June 2019 – Anne, Philip, Kevin, Ian, twins Isabel and Christine, and Ghislaine met in London on the day that would have been their father’s 96th birthday. Ghislaine disappeared shortly after, until she was arrested a year later.

It’s testament to the apparently run-of-the-mill of this dysfunctional group that her vanishing was pretty much par for the course; the Maxwells’ web of incomprehensible connections makes a Dan Brown plot seem like an Enid Blyton short story Read the full story .

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