Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Healthy teenagers aged 16 and 17 will be offered the Pfizer vaccine within weeks and will be able to overrule their parents to get vaccinated, after a rethink by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Less than three weeks ago, the committee ruled that the benefits did not outweigh the risks for youngsters, ruling out “routine use of universal vaccination of children”.

But today, the JCVI said it had gathered more data about the safety of the vaccines and had also weighed up the impact of the pandemic on education and mental health.

Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said it was “full speed ahead” with vaccinating these teenagers.

It also emerged scientific advisers are reviewing whether to allow more children aged between 12 and 15 in the UK to receive a vaccine. Our liveblog has the latest reaction.

Meanwhile, up to 15 countries, including Poland and Germany, could be added to the UK’s green list tomorrow, while Spain looks set to remain amber.

France could also be removed from the amber-plus list. Our travel liveblog has the details.

Here are the countries that could go green, amber and red.

As travel to the UK opens up, Emma Beaumont analyses how long the hotel quarantine policy can credibly continue.

If foreign travel still feels like too much hassle for you, Hugh Morris reviews this Cotswolds hotel that turned his toddler break into a dream.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson pulls out with injury

First Dina Asher-Smith, then Adam Gemili and now Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Three of Britain’s biggest medal hopes – and the nation’s only two world champions – have seen their Olympic dreams end in injury and tears. Johnson-Thompson collapsed halfway through her 200 metres heat in the heptathlon after her calf gave way. There was better news in the showjumping, where Ben Maher held his nerve in the most nail-biting of circumstances to win gold. Britain are now fourth in the Olympics medal table and Jim White analyses why Team GB overhauling Australia is the race that counts in Tokyo. After Sky Brown became Britain’s youngest Olympic medallist aged 13 this morning, Oliver Brown asks how young is too young to be an Olympian? For the latest updates, you can still enjoy our free Olympics Briefing newsletter.

Inside Meghan’s ‘intimate’ 40th birthday party plans

The Duchess of Sussex has launched a Nelson Mandela inspired project to mark her 40th birthday by encouraging people to donate 40 minutes of their time to help others. Meghan has collaborated with the likes of Adele, Gloria Steinem and Stella McCartney to persuade them to commit 40 minutes to community service or mentorship as part of the new “40×40” initiative. The Duchess’ big “four-oh” will be marked with an “intimate” birthday bash at her Californian mansion. Yet with LA’s splashiest party planner signed up, Luciana Bellini reveals how the party at her Montecito mansion will be anything but low key.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Ship attacks | The head of Britain’s Armed Forces has said that the UK must retaliate against Iran to deter it from carrying out further attacks in the Gulf region. Yet following General Sir Nick Carter’s remarks, Roland Oliphant analyses why anyone banging the drums of war should remember neither Iran nor Britain can jeopardise their mutual interests.

Around the world: Taliban chief was in prisoner swap

The Taliban commander leading the attack on Helmand’s capital was released from jail last year under a controversial prisoner swap that the Afghan government was pressured into by Washington. Lashkar Gah was today on the brink of collapse with government forces mounting a desperate defence of their remaining corner of the city. See images of the conflict, where the assault is being led by a commander who had been captured last year, only to be released with 5,000 other Taliban prisoners under Donald Trump’s effort to kick start peace negotiations.

Wednesday big-read

Beirut blast one year on: empty medical shelves and no justice

A wounded man receives help outside a hospital following the explosion - Ibrahim Amro/Getty

A wounded man receives help outside a hospital following the explosion – Ibrahim Amro/Getty

On August 4 2020, an explosion ripped through Beirut so powerful that it registered as a 3.5 magnitude earthquake. Harriet Barber examines the Lebanese capital’s emergency situation – compounded with the country’s twin crises of Covid and economic collapse

Read the full story

Comment and analysis

Editor’s choice

  1. Relationships | ‘Three years after we fell out, I still miss my best friend more than any ex’

  2. Moral Money | ‘Grandma doesn’t know I’m gay and would cut me out of her will if I told her’

  3. An expensive do-over | Is a £300 haircut worth it for men?

Business and money briefing

Paying more at the pump | Petrol prices have hit the highest level in eight years as the post-pandemic recovery heightens global demand for fuel. The average price for a litre of petrol in July was its costliest since September 2013, while diesel costs are the highest since 2014.

Sport briefing

England v India | The hosts were all out for 183 after a poor first innings on the opening day of the first Test at Trent Bridge. See India’s reply.

Three things for tonight

And finally… for this evening’s downtime

‘Spiritual opium’ | It is an industry worth billions but more than 86 million players have a dangerous obsession – and the pandemic has only made things worse. Annabel Heseltine asks whether a gaming addiction and the screentime explosion could ruin a generation.

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