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Your morning briefing: What you should know for Wednesday, January 20

Sean Morrison
·3-min read

Washington sealed off as Joe Biden’s inauguration just hours away

Joe Biden’s inauguration is just hours away and more than 25,000 National Guard have been drafted in for the swearing-in ceremony.

The US is still reeling from last week’s attack on the Capitol Building and security is tight over fears of more violence later today.

President-elect Mr Biden last night made a sober entrance to Washington ahead of his inauguration, as he paid tribute to the country’s coronavirus victims.

In the final hours of Donald Trump’s last full day as US leader, the country’s Covid death toll has passed the grim milestone of 400,000.

Scientists warn Covid deaths will continue to rise after record daily toll

Deaths from coronavirus will continue to rise for some days to come, scientists have warned after the UK recorded its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began.

Officials believe there are signs the various lockdown measures in place around the country are having an effect as the vaccines are rolled out, with infection rates continuing to fall.

But the lag between people becoming infected and then being admitted to hospital means the rate of deaths will probably not start coming down until towards the end of the month.

Ministers ‘to halt plans for daily Covid tests in schools’

Ministers are reportedly set to halt plans for daily coronavirus tests in England’s secondary schools.

It comes after teachers raised concerns that the flagship policy had not been approved by regulators.

The Department for Education is said to be preparing to announce the move, only five weeks after the £78m programme was unveiled.

Theresa May accuses PM of abandoning UK’s ‘global moral leadership’

Theresa May has accused her successor Boris Johnson of abandoning Britain’s position of “global moral leadership”.

The former prime minister warned Mr Johnson’s threat to override the UK’s treaty obligations in the Brexit divorce settlement risked signalling a “retreat” from the UK’s global commitments.

In an article in the Daily Mail to mark the inauguration of Joe Biden as the US president, she hit out at the way Donald Trump had “whipped up” his supporters to storm the Capitol after refusing to accept the election result.

Storm Christoph ‘could bring two months of rain in under three days’

Parts of the UK could see two months’ worth of average rainfall in just two-and-a-half days as Storm Christoph moves in.

Weather warnings for heavy rain are in force across the country, and the unsettled conditions could also bring significant flooding, high winds and snowfall as the storm engulfs the country through the middle of the week.

The Met Office’s most serious weather warning – amber for rain – has been in place across parts of the Midlands and northern England since yesterday morning, while a less serious yellow warning is in place across the rest of England, parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.