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

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. Channel migrant disaster: ‘My wife was on the boat. I tracked the GPS … then it disappeared’

The husband of an Iraqi-Kurdish woman has told of his fears that she drowned in the Channel tragedy, after her GPS signal suddenly disappeared as he was tracking her across the sea.

Maryam Nuri is believed by her family to have been among 27 migrants who died when their flimsy boat capsized and sank six miles off the coast of Calais in rough seas and cold weather. Read the full story.

2. Smuggler shot migrant in the kneecaps when he refused to board boat

 Smugglers shot a scared migrant in the kneecaps after he refused to board a boat on the same night 27 people died trying to cross the English Channel. 

Volunteers in the Calais jungle migrant camp rushed to the aid of a 20-year-old man who was “quickly losing a lot of blood” after a smuggler became frustrated at his refusal to board the vessel and drew a gun on him. Read the full story. 

3. Travel red list returns as fears grow over Covid super-variant in South Africa

South Africa is being placed on a new travel red list from noon on Friday amid widespread concern over a new Covid-19 variant that has been detected in the country. 

Neighbouring Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Lesotho will also be red-listed with flights temporarily banned. Read the full story.

4. No new money for Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ agenda as Rishi Sunak turns off the tap

 Rishi Sunak’s Treasury has made clear no new money will be spent on the relaunch of Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda next month, The Telegraph understands.

Ministers and officials developing plans for the much-anticipated white paper are having to work with existing government projects and look at cost-neutral reforms. Read the full story.

5. British tanks will return to Germany to keep growing Russian threat at bay

British tanks are to return to Germany amid tensions with Russia, the Defence Secretary has announced, in a major restructuring of the Army.

The move will boost the amount of British military equipment available in central Europe, in an attempt to enable the rapid reinforcement of Nato’s eastern flank. Read the full story.

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