Tuesday morning UK news briefing: Team GB rules the waves

Team GB won two golds in an hour this morning. Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell leapfrogged defending champions New Zealand to win Britain’s first sailing gold of the Tokyo Olympics. 

Watch how close it was as the British duo just pipped Germany to the line in a breathless photo finish. Chief Sports Reporter Jeremy Wilson watched a brilliant, tight 49er race. 

Then, Giles Scott claimed the second gold as he continued the country’s dominance in the Finn class. 

Team GB has now won 13 golds, with Jack Laugher and James Heatly eying medals in the 3m springboard final. View the medal table so far. 

But Britain’s sprinting woes continued this morning when a tear-streaked Adam Gemili was only able to walk his 200m heat after an injury. 

Meanwhile, Norway’s Karsten Warholm had a mind-boggling victory in an astonishing 400m hurdles final.

Team GB's Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell

Credit: Getty

Amber watchlist plans shelved following backlash

Popular European travel destinations have been given a reprieve. Family summer holiday plans received a major boost after Boris Johnson blocked the creation of a controversial new amber watchlist for foreign countries. The extra category in the Government’s travel traffic light system would have placed nations at threat of imminently turning red and forcing travellers into hotel quarantine on return, even if fully vaccinated. There had been suggestions that Spain, Greece and France were to be added to the watchlist, but now travellers heading to those destinations can do so without the explicit threat of them being recategorised. The Prime Minister’s decision allows millions planning to visit the Continent to avoid new complications. But these countries could go amber or red this week. Is it worth the risk? Five writers – including the PM’s father, Stanley Johnson – reveal their summer plans.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress want to subpoena a British-born scientist as part of an investigation in which they have concluded Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan laboratory. A report released by Republicans on the foreign affairs committee said the "preponderance of evidence proves" the virus leaked from the Chinese research facility. It cited "ample evidence" that Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers – aided by US experts – were working to modify coronaviruses to infect humans.

Three snogs and a slog – it’s Fergie’s Mills & Boon novel

Children’s author, philanthropist and spokeswoman for Weight Watchers… there appears to be no end to Sarah, Duchess of York’s talents. As of this morning, readers will be able to get their hands on the 61-year-old’s latest exploit: Her Heart for a Compass, Fergie’s first Mills & Boon novel. Hannah Betts has read the 540-page book, which she describes as "an interminable door stopper" in this two-star review.

Today’s political cartoon

View Blower‘s latest cartoon that imagines Boris Johnson as an Olympian. (Matt is away).

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Trans row | Male-born sex offenders who self-identify as women can be placed on female-only NHS wards, hospital trusts have said in guidance. Devon, Oxford and Nottinghamshire hospitals all tell staff that a criminal history should be part of a risk assessment when placing male-born people on female-only wards, but do not say it is a bar to admission. Hayley Dixon reports that some trusts have labelled those who express discomfort as transphobic and ordered staff to report them to police.

  • Matt Hancock | The curious art of the political comeback
  • Interpreters | Defence Secretary to personally review claims
  • Net zero | Tree planting ‘not enough’ to offset carbon
  • Divorce | ‘Mediation vouchers’ to keep disputes out of courts
  • Gooseberry row | Contest turns sour in poisoning claim

Around the world: Heatwave overloads grid

The Greek electricity grid is facing collapse as a result of a heatwave that has caused deadly forest fires across the eastern Mediterranean. Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appealed to locals and tourists to limit electricity use to the early afternoon and night-time as rapidly rising temperatures, low humidity and high winds continued to stoke blazes in several countries. View a gallery of more striking world pictures.

A firefighter tackles a blaze near Patras, in the Peloponnese

Credit: MILOS BICANSKI/GETTY

Comment and analysis

  • Sherelle Jacobs | World shamed Britain’s blasé rejection of liberty
  • Anthony Peregrine | French love Britain more than anywhere else
  • Charlotte Lytton | When is the social media conspiracies crackdown?
  • Suzanne Moore | Hubbard’s Olympic quest hasn’t helped trans rights
  • Letters | Will boosters mean double-jabbed not ‘fully vaccinated?’

Editor’s choice

  • Looking to relocate? | The most in-demand property hotspots in towns and suburbs
  • From press-ups to meal-skipping | The health secrets of the 60-plus royals
  • Fashion advice | Can you buy your summer holiday wardrobe at the supermarket?
  • Business and money briefing

    Rail | The accelerating shift to electric vehicles means HS2 will deliver almost no environmental benefits, according to a damning report into the near-£100bn project. The ex-head of the rail regulator found carbon emissions from building the controversial rail link will be approximately equivalent to the reduction achieved by removing vehicles from roads.

    • Woodford | Trapped investors face longer wait for their money
    • Vehicles | Where is the best place to sell a second-hand car?
    • Alex is on holiday | View latest cartoons on world of finance

    Sport briefing

    ‘Soft penalties’ | Premier League referees have been ordered not to award the kind of penalty that put England into the European Championship final in a crackdown on "trivial" free-kicks. After last season witnessed a record 125 spot-kicks, officials have been told to "raise the threshold" for giving fouls, including in the box.

    • Dementia | Footballs ‘should be sold with a health warning’
    • Joe Root | ‘My friend Ben’ should take all time he needs
    • Will Greenwood | How Gatland could change his Lions team

    Tonight’s dinner

    Roasted tomato and red pepper risotto | A quick meal by Olivia Andrews packed with vegetables. View the recipe and try our Cookbook newsletter.

    And finally… for this morning’s downtime

    Menopause myths | From hot flushes to brain fog, the menopause has an array of horrible symptoms, but they are being brushed under the carpet by some employers. Miranda Levy explains why it is time the menopause was taken seriously in the workplace.

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